At the height of lockdowns from the pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau found that more than 90 percent of students participated in some type of distance learning in 2020. Though the numbers are down now, you can expect that hybrid learning is here to stay.
And as the instructional landscape evolves, educators need to adapt their teaching methods. However, there are services and products to help ease the transition. In this article, we will cover a few tools and resources to enhance the experience for you and your students.
What is hybrid learning?
In a nutshell, hybrid learning is a teaching modality that combines traditional face-to-face classroom styles and distance learning, typically using the internet and new technologies. While it aims to reduce time spent in a classroom setting, hybrid learning encourages teachers to mix and match techniques to meet their students’ unique learning styles and abilities. The ultimate goal? To increase content comprehension.
If you look at the University of Colorado Boulder for a hybrid class definition, they say that it “combines the properties and possibilities of both to go beyond the capabilities of each separately.”
Hybrid learning tools
To get the most out of a hybrid learning environment, you will need the right tools to communicate and interact with students. Here are some of the types of software and resources that will assist in achieving your goals:
- Learning management system. A learning management system (LMS) is an application or software that acts as the foundation and framework for your instructional process. It allows you to store, assign and monitor learning material and progress. These are powerful tools designed to make your life easier so that you can focus on the development of your students.
- Interactive whiteboards. Interactive whiteboards can transform any area into a space that is well-suited to hybrid learning. These are large digital touchscreen monitors that promote collaboration and encourage engagement between students and teachers using increased immersion.
- Video conferencing software. As hybrid educators often teach in-class and remote students at the same time, stable and reliable video conference software is often necessary. Typically, the LMS or interactive system will have integrations to streamline the process, so you can use the provider that is best suited to your specific needs.
- University and online resources. Learning modules, activities and workshops provided by universities such as MIT and Stanford can also be effective. Many of these tools are free and available for everyone to use. YouTube also provides free documentaries and explainer videos that can help you to engage your students.
- Network security. Security is one area that you can’t afford to overlook. When remote learners connect through the internet, risks abound. One way to avoid this is to outsource the framework development of your hybrid learning environment to an experienced provider such as World Wide Technology.
Final thoughts and tips
For you and your students’ success, having the right tools for the job is key. Location and distance shouldn’t stop people from achieving their learning goals nor should it become a hindrance to your ability to teach and lead effectively.
Remember it takes time to build a robust hybrid learning program. So be patient, don’t stress if everything doesn’t work as perfectly as you hoped at first, and keep in mind that you can always rework and re-evaluate the processes when a new semester rolls around.