Teachers have never been strangers to trying new things in their classrooms to serve their students—a skillset that will more than likely be put to use with the tenuous plans for teaching this fall. With so many new buzzwords and so many resources, it can be difficult to wade through to find what will work best for your in-person and virtual classrooms. Two words that are on the forefront of educators’ minds in regard to fall 2020 are blended learning and hybrid learning.
Oftentimes ‘blended’ and ‘hybrid’ learning are used interchangeably, but they are, in fact, two different teaching methodologies.
Blended learning is likely something that you may have been doing for a while: it’s an approach that combines in-person instruction with supplementary online activities to be done out of the classroom on the students’ own time.
Blended learning is not to be confused with a flipped classroom; blended learning still has you delivering most (if not all) instruction in-person with students. On the other hand, flipped classrooms usually require students to learn the majority of content on their own at home using instructional videos and texts and then come to class for a deeper dive with you, their instructor.
Both blended learning and flipped classrooms still operate under the assumption that students will, at one point, get some form of instruction in-person with you. Given how schools might have to pivot in the future to serve all students, hybrid learning might be the way to ensure that all students get the instruction they need whether they’re physically in school or tuning in from home.
Hybrid learning is the method of teaching students in-person at the same time as teaching students who tune in remotely with technology: students working from home are learning synchronously with those in the classroom. This would require the use of popular video conferencing apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or whatever your school has standardized. By setting up a webcam (or using the one built into your laptop), you can easily teach both sets of students at the same time.
But how can you engage them?
Engaging students sitting directly in front of you is hard enough, let alone students who are watching a video stream from home. However, you can leverage a solution that Promethean offers (and has offered since 2014) at no cost: ClassFlow.
ClassFlow for Student Engagement
ClassFlow is Promethean’s premiere online lesson delivery system that can be accessed on any device your students may have at home with internet access. It allows for the student-teacher feedback loop to run even if students aren’t physically in class by allowing teachers to send out quizzes, instant polls, and activities to students. Students can then send responses back instantaneously.
The easiest way to engage students during a lesson is through ClassFlow polling. ClassFlow polling allows you to ask your students eight different types of questions: word seed, text, number, multiple choice, scale, true/false, yes/no, and creative (which allows students to draw responses). During a poll, you and your students — both at home and in class — can see everyone’s responses to check for understanding which can lead to meaningful academic conversations to deepen understanding.
Worried that you might have students who might benefit from seeing live polling responses alongside your instruction who were unable to be present during the lesson? Don’t worry—Promethean has a solution for that as well. ActivInspire, Promethean’s lesson delivery software that runs on Windows or Mac computers, has a built-in screen recorder that will capture everything on your desktop, including ClassFlow polling.
Promethean prides itself as being an education company built by teachers, for teachers. We provide solutions to help engage and empower students through technology and are here to help support you in your classroom during these unprecedented times. You can find more information about our solutions at Promethean World and explore free professional development courses, videos, and resources at Learn Promethean.