Blended learning is the way forward

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August 7, 2020
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September 3, 2020

Blended learning is the way forward

The Pandemic has caught the mankind unawares in 2020 and has put all of us into a catch 22 situation. The life has adapted itself into the new ‘Normal’ from now on. But has anything of this kind ever stopped anyone or any progress? This is just the temporary phase; human intelligence and human spirit are so powerful that they know the way forward.  This pause could possibly result in better things to unfold in the future. People will work their way to improve their personal lives and their careers; thus setting new limits for themselves. Going beyond what they felt impossible; it could be as a matter of fact the best time to learn, relearn, unlearn and the greatest need of the hour to e- learn!

The demand for e learning

To understand the demand for e learning; it is said that India will need 3 million teachers by 2030. Globally, India is 2nd in terms of teachers’ recruitment – that which is required to meet the current educational demands. The online search for teaching jobs on Google and other job portals has seen a 40% rise from the past few years due to increasing demand for teachers in schools and advancements in online education that have opened avenues to new roles.

Teachers, educators for higher learning and professionals in learning, training and development roles across industries will need to adapt and up skill themselves to use technology to be able to deliver engaging classes and training sessions online.

Even after we return to what was once considered normal, blended learning is here to stay. During these months of lockdown benefits of online learning has been tested and proven.

Blended learning also referred to as hybrid learning, technology-mediated instruction, web-enhanced instruction and mixed-mode instruction. It is an approach to education that combines online educational materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional place-based classroom methods. It requires the physical presence of teacher/ trainer and student/ trainee, with some elements of student control over time, place, path, or pace. Blended learning is also used in professional development and training settings.

Opportunities and benefits

There are going to be tremendous opportunities for teachers and trainers as evident from the demand for tech savvy educators and trainers. Google is coming up with an education platform. The company, which recently announced plans to invest $10 billion in India said it had partnered with the government of the western state of Maharashtra that will see 23 million students and teachers access Google’s education offering at no charge. It’s time for young people to explore these employment opportunities.

Here are a few tips that can be used to become tech savvy and increase one’s digital quotient. 

Get innovative and experiment

Let technology work for you and do what you can to the best of your abilities. Innovative thinking is important to identify issues that are significant. You might have excellent communication skills be it spoken, written or listening with impeccable vocabulary and being highly effective in face- to- face sessions but are you the same when you are required to deliver these sessions online?

It is important to use your vitality to your advantage even on an online platform.

Adapt to the changing times and be relevant

Do your best each day with what you have; up skill yourself, build on your digital competency so that you are able to be effective even without having the physical energy and support of the face- to- face classes or training sessions.

Enhance your expertise and become resourceful even without the physical resources that you were so used to! Change your pattern of work to reduce dependency on things that aren’t possible in the given the circumstances.

Self train and motivate to excel

When situations change or become difficult; it’s time to train oneself to be tough mentally so that nothing is disappointing. If you have not got the results that you anticipated it may be about time to improve the process. When you have all the ‘right’ elements in place, you’ll get the results that you had desired.

Some ways to implement the hybrid mode or use technology in learning are:

  • Face-to-face – where the teacher/ trainer drives the instruction and supplements it with digital tools.
  • Rotation –trainees follow a schedule of independent online study and face-to-face classroom sessions.
  • Flex – Most of the curriculum is delivered via a digital platform and trainers are available for face-to-face consultation, support or mentoring.
  • Labs – The entire curriculum is delivered via a digital platform but in a consistent physical location. Traditional classes can be delivered in this mode.
  • Self-blend – Trainees choose to supplement their traditional learning with online course work.
  • Online – Students/ trainees complete an entire course through an online platform. All curriculum and teaching is delivered via a digital platform and face-to-face meetings are scheduled or made available if necessary.

We can use technology to deliver great training programs or conduct courses effectively. Technology can supplement our knowledge or content delivery. Let’s prepare ourselves for the next revolution in teaching- learning. Be creative, innovative and adaptable in a constantly learning state. Upskill yourself for success!

PS: Image is taken from google with due credits

Laxmi Todiwan
Laxmi Todiwan
Founder Indian Women in Hospitality. She is a Professor, Corporate Trainer, Motivational Speaker and a Blogger. A hospitality professional with a career spanning over two decades; people engagement, training and development is close to her heart. She writes for hospitality journals, international websites and columns in the local newspapers. Married to a Master Mariner she loves to write on the maritime industry as well as the lives and relationships of the fraternity. She expresses her thoughts on her blog and website, www.theiwh.com

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