By Shashank Pandey
When we talk about blended learning, we talk about 21st-century pedagogy. The education industry has changed significantly with the advent of blended (or composite) learning solutions. Integrating technology with education enables educators to foster collaborative learning and create a dynamic classroom experience, with ed-tech solutions democratising education and revolutionizing the entire learning landscape.
Blended learning solutions bridge the void between traditional classroom learning and online educational resources. It is a mode of education where students learn via online media alongside conventional face-to-face teaching. It’s just not screen-based education but an experiential approach and activity-based learning. Leveraging online and offline tools can only enhance the classroom experience for students and ease the skill crisis efficiently.
The global ed-tech market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 16% from 2018 to 2030, with spendings on digital products and experiences growing exponentially. By 2025, the spending on digital technology is projected to touch a staggering $342 billion.
There are several ways by which blended learning programs can shape the future of learning in India:
No geographical boundaries
Blended learning allows students to learn anywhere, anytime. There are no boundaries that come with location-based training in this brave new world of education. Technology has made it possible for students to access educational material on their smartphones, opening up avenues that allow one to learn anytime, anywhere, at any pace.
There are online platforms that provide incredible engagement opportunities for students and can enhance the overall learning experience. With enriching blended learning content, students can connect, learn and engage easily.
A blended learning environment enables the tutors to interact with learners, provide instant feedback, and access course materials on the go. The integrated learning platform makes communicating effectively easier for students, teachers, parents, and school administrators.
Developing new skills
With innovative learning content and intelligent tutoring systems, students can expand the horizon of their learning. They now have the opportunity to use virtual reality to develop analytical thinking, critical skills, problem-solving approach, etc. For instance, gamification is an exceptional tool pushing students to challenge themselves and learn more effectively. Chatbots can also improve learning by tracking the students’ performance and adjusting the curriculum to meet their personalized needs. The chatbot system is designed in a way that it can provide immediate feedback to the students so that they can instantly improve their performance.
Training for tutors
With blended learning programs, teachers too get an opportunity to attend training programmes that will help them create high-quality online content using online tools and platforms. The goal of this training will be to emphasise the teacher’s role in facilitating active student engagement with the content and with each other.
Students can learn at their own pace and get a personalised experience from blended learning programs. It is estimated that the global personalized learning market will grow by $7.2 billion by 2030. The astounding figure can be attributed to the increasing demand for personalized learning solutions and the need for education programs tailored to meet individual requirements.
The National Education Policy 2020 suggests, ‘’While promoting digital learning and education, the importance of face-to-face, in-person learning is fully recognized. Accordingly, different effective models of blended learning will be identified for appropriate replication for different subjects.” The flipped model of blended learning allows trainers to prioritize active learning during class time by giving training materials and presentations to the learners before the class begins. The trainer can share the content via a learning management system (LMS), email, etc.
For decades, the education sector has followed a specific pattern, but there is a difference between ‘learning’ and ‘being taught’. At the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world had to shift to virtual instructions. The advent of new technologies in the past couple of years has paved the way for students and teachers to choose what suits their needs. It is rapidly changing the way youngsters perceive education.
The author is co-founder, ConveGenius. Views expressed are personal.