I was taking a walk one evening and I saw my neighbour’s children sitting in the front porch laughing and chatting. They came up to greet me and I asked them if their summer holidays were on. They said that their vacations had started a week ago, so I asked them if they had any catching up to do because I used to spend the first half of my summers, catching up on school work or reading ahead of the class. They exchanged smiles and told me that they had finished more than half of their syllabus a month ago. I was stunned. I asked them if that was possible and was surprised to hear their reply.
The advancement of technology and its application in education
They told me that their school approved of blended learning and provide full support to students who are capable of zooming past their competition. They further explained that blended learning was a combination of online studies and offline work and effort put in by the student that helps them learn at their own pace. Therefore, if the retaining and comprehending capability of a student is more than the rest, then they can move ahead with the syllabus at their own time and finish work way before the rest.
What I heard perked my interest in innovation in the education sector so I logged on to the net that night and read up articles pertaining to blended learning. I came across a very interesting article on a 14 year old girl, Gabi Directo, from Summit Shasta High School, California. In very little time, Gabi had finished most of her ninth grade syllabus with the help of blended learning. She did part of her studies online but also got enough time to talk face-to face with her teachers and classmates and discuss issues. Here’s what Directo had to say about the advantage of blended learning.
“In regular high schools, you have to go at a certain pace. Here, if you excel, you can go at your own pace…. I’m all done with ninth grade.” – Gabi Directo, 14 years old, Summit Shasta High School
According to Directo, she succeeds in classroom work but also has the opportunity to make the most of her time. The independent work she gets to do online helps her comfortably go past her competition at school, giving her an edge.
“Most American kids are going to be in an environment that is predominantly digital before the end of the decade. Most learning resources are digital instead of print…. I think we’ll be able to call most of those environments ‘blended’ in terms of combining online experience with face-to-face instruction.” – Tom Vander Ark, Chief Executive Officer of Getting Smart
If you ask me I think blended learning is a great technological advancement that will help students who are capable of studying at a higher pace, get ahead of the rest giving them an edge over the rest. In fact, I also think that all schools should provide support to its students to use blended learning to its fullest potential.
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