A new academic year is starting/ has started globally for most children. Across nations, as the status of Covid varies, schools are fretting whether schools should reopen for physical classes, continue online classes or work with a hybrid model.
The top priority of schools and state-run administration has been to prevent the spread of the coronavirus if schools reopen. Some schools are operating at 50% capacity as per local administration rules.
With pandemic impacting all industries, schools and colleges have had no choice but to welcome technology to their rescue. This was an important decision by most schools so that children don’t lose opportunities and impact the leadership of nations.
There is no unique solution that schools or colleges can implement at this stage. All stakeholders at a school level are worried about the delay and effectiveness of learning. Hybrid learning advantages have been popular with educators, parents, and students themselves. Let’s explore some hybrid learning benefits as well as its drawbacks below!
What is Hybrid Learning?
Hybrid learning is a learning approach that is a mix of in-person learning and remote learning. Participation and involvement of children during in-person learning are critical.
While trying to increase the learning effectiveness, the complexity and operational challenges are causing a step back. Operational challenges include physical space available in a classroom, following covid protocols set by local government, physical distancing norms, and more.
Let’s explore the hybrid learning advantages and disadvantages.
Benefits of Hybrid Learning
1. Easier Access to Learning
The first hybrid learning benefit is the ease to access learning. In-person learning or how schools were run earlier required learners to get to school, perhaps every day. For learners with special needs, schedules would vary. This meant limited access for those students who could not get to school for any reason.
With hybrid work technology, online classes have paved the way for easier access to those who can't make it to school. However, the reasons for not getting to school could vary from one child to another. In some countries, underprivileged children must earn their daily bread or contribute their earnings to their families.
With online classes, the commute to school and its cost have been reduced, making school fees affordable to some.
What does this mean for schools?
There are no limits to geographical locations for schools. With online classes, anyone across the globe can join a school/ college globally. This means more students for educational establishments.
2. Learning with Technology
Another hybrid learning benefit is the contribution of technology. Standardization in learning curriculums, robotics in learning, technology like text-to-speech for specially challenged children, and more are benefits of using technology in learning. In addition, educators in the hybrid learning space use online polls from websites like mentimeter.com, interesting crosswords from wordwall.com, and more, making the lessons interesting for students.
The children of the current generation are far more sophisticated in technology. They seek as many options as possible when they want. With the use of technology, even if they miss a lesson, they have the flexibility to learn by watching videos of online classes that were held. Schools have the option to record sessions with online meeting tools like MS-Teams, Zoom, and more.
Additionally, flexibility was welcome by students as colleges and universities closed due to the pandemic. Many students returned to their countries, where time zones are different. Flexibility is the major hybrid learning benefit.
Students today value the freedom they have on how to learn and what to learn.
4. Effective Use of Resources Leading to Higher Interest
Hybrid learning has proved beneficial for educators and students alike. Most educators have turned to online resources and incorporated them for varied learning pedagogies with everyone stuck at home. Examples include videos, live demonstrations where possible, home-based experiments, and more.
5. Reduced Absenteeism
While many schools detest absenteeism, online classes have provided students the flexibility to join sessions as they please. This is an obvious hybrid learning benefit. For example, in some cases, students have to go for a doctor's appointment when they have to take a full day's leave; not so anymore with online classes, as they can join back once they are through with a doctor's visit.
Here are some remote learning tips that will help you focus and gain the maximum from online sessions.
Challenges to Consider
Besides some hybrid learning benefits, it also has some disadvantages and challenges. Some students may have challenges in accessing high-speed internet and computer systems. For example, some households have seen only a single laptop or computer system amongst two or more siblings. This could lead to children sharing the resources and missing many sessions.
Additionally, not every house has independent spaces to be converted into a study room. Many houses need family members to share home space, leading to disturbances and perhaps ineffective learning.
Difficulty in Using Technology
While technology access is one of the hybrid learning benefits, it also causes some difficulties. While many children adapt to technology easily, many may have challenges with it. Some folks may prefer in-person classrooms as learning styles can vary between audio, video, and kinaesthetic.
Most children are facing alienation, having been stuck inside homes. They are missing their friends, opportunities to go out and play. Even physical activities and hobbies like sports and music lessons have come to a standstill.
Basic life skills like meeting people, making friends, communicating with folks, working as a team, and more have taken a back seat. How will children learn these skills when they are stuck all day long in their systems?
Increased Risk of Covid
With hybrid learning, children are required to go to school a few days a week. This increases their risk of catching the Covid. In addition, as vaccinations are just starting for twelve and above children in the USA, in many nations, children below 18 have not been vaccinated.
Limited Exposure to Practical Learning & Sports
Today, children miss learning from practical experiments they would do in a laboratory for sciences, music, audio/speech lessons, and more. Though some parents may be hearing their children shouting in delight, cracking their rifle as a sniper, those who play sports have been limited in their exposure. Sports schedules and body fitness is limited to individual children.
Don’t miss our reviews of some time management best practices.
Schools, Colleges, and Universities must explore collaborative technologies like the Autonomous Jam. Giving you instant access to your network, you can connect to your batch mates, school/college colleagues, or a faculty member. So say a quick hello, get an answer to your one-liner doubts, and more.
Those working in a hybrid office have already seen the benefit of such solutions that help you connect and network during office/school/college hours and even later.
As a wrap-up, hybrid learning is here to stay for a while as it has more benefits. How we adapt to it quickly is dependent on each individual, but there is no escaping it.
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