Magazine article Technology & Learning

Blended Learning Creates Active Learners

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Blended Learning Creates Active Learners

Article excerpt

Over a year ago I took on a new professional challenge as the director of digital learning, technology, and innovation in the Milford (MA) Public Schools after 11 years as a school principal. At first it was difficult to sift through the buzzwords and jargon to focus on tools and strategies for bringing about the shift to digital learning. I kept hearing very different definitions of blended learning. Over the past months I've learned a lot from other staff members and have attended multiple blended learning sessions, in addition to reading on the topic. And I've come to the conclusion that giving educators strong support and examples is the best way to support a blended learning instructional strategy that will create active learners.

I've seen that the more engaged students are, and the more active a part they take in their own learning, the more likely they are to earn higher grades and test scores. It makes perfect sense that students who are participating more and involved in active learning will have higher content retention. Knowing this, teachers can shape curriculum and instruction to maximize engagement by increasing student participation.

One of the keys to academic achievement, then, is active learning. Research tells us that personalized, collaborative, and connected learning experiences enhance student engagement, which in turn drives student success. By integrating blended and digital learning into the classroom, educators can take learning experiences to the next level and improve student performance.

According to its most basic definition, blended learning is an instructional methodology that combines face-to-face classroom methods with digital activities. Ideally, in a blended classroom students will be able to learn according to their unique learning styles. Students often take different approaches to interacting with the same curriculum. Some are happy to express themselves verbally, while others prefer to write. Some don't like to be in frontofa camera. When teachers can use a variety of instructional tools and apps, they can help every student focus on his or her strengths.

Educators can use the following blended learning tools to increase engagement and help create active learners.

EDpuzzle: EDpuzzle enables users to select a video and customize it by editing, cropping, recording audio, and adding questions to make an engaging presentation or lesson. …

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