Modern technology has completely transformed the educational sector, with digital learning platforms, new devices, and advancements in networking offering whole new possibilities to teachers and their students, all the way from entry-level education to colleges and universities.
Due to recent events, like the COVID-19 pandemic, educators have been forced to rely on these kinds of technologies more than ever, and the term “hybrid learning” has become more relevant and talked-about than ever before.
An Introduction to Hybrid Learning
Hybrid learning, as the name implies, is a model of learning that aims to combine in-person classroom experiences with online, digital learning, giving students and teachers the best of both worlds and allowing students in different situations to all be able to partake in the same lessons, either physically or remotely.
It’s a really useful system for delivering traditional classroom experiences, digital courses, and experiential-based learning in one full package, catering to the needs of each student and allowing teachers to meet their own goals and objectives in the best ways possible.
However, hybrid learning has its challenges, and when approaching it for the first time, many teachers and educators can struggle to understand all of the various technologies and systems in play, as well as finding a way to strike the right balance between physical and digital learning. Read on for some top tips to help out with your own hybrid learning experiences.
Have Backup Plans
Ideally, a hybrid learning system is designed to allow all students to get involved and enjoy the benefits of classes. Some may attend in person, while others attend digitally, and they all get the same experiences. However, in some cases, students may not be able to attend classes or technologies may fail, for one reason or another.
It’s therefore wise to have a backup plan to ensure that all students get the necessary educational materials. You can record lectures and share them online, for example, or set up a learning management system to share files and instructions with your classes.
Provide Clear, Easy to Follow Instructions
When it comes to hybrid learning, one of the challenges that many educators face is getting their messages and instructions across to all students. Those in the classroom may be easy to speak to and explain things to, but when you also have students in remote locations relying on technology to keep up, problems can arise.
It’s important, therefore, to always provide very clear, easy to understand instructions so that everyone is on the same page and carrying out the same tasks during hybrid learning classes. Again, it helps to make recordings or written versions of these instructions you can share for all to see.
Learn about Screen Recording and Screen Sharing
If you’re going to be successful in hybrid learning, you need to master the technological tools and features that the system depends upon, such as screencasting and screen recording. For some tech-savvy teachers, this will be second nature. For others, it represents more of a challenge.
If you find yourself in the latter category, you can find guides, tutorials and videos online to help you figure out the basics. Being able to project remote students onto a screen in the classroom, as well as being able to record and share your own screen for all to see, are vital skills in this type of education.
Make Sure Everyone Can See and Hear You Clearly
Often, during hybrid learning lessons and lectures, you’ll need to make use of recording equipment like webcams and microphones to record you while you conduct your lessons. This allows you to talk back and forth with remote students, as well as potentially recording your lectures to share later on other platforms and systems.
It’s vital to ensure that all of your equipment is set up correctly so that everyone can hear. Many teachers have learned this lesson the hard way, attempting to carry out lessons without students being able to hear or see them correctly, and it can cause a lot of problems. A good tip is to carry out a test run before you start and check in with students often to make sure everyone is following.
Hybrid learning can be a great way for educators to reach more students and to cater to the needs and demands of a changing world. It can be tricky when you’re first starting out, but by following these tips, mastering the tech, and preparing properly, you can make your hybrid teaching a true success.