When used correctly, technology can compliment classroom instruction in a way that helps students take control of their learning under the guidance of their teacher. Marcia Kish, a professional coach who helps teachers integrate technology into their classrooms to promote student-centered learning, says that the approach, called “blended learning,” can significantly improve student learning and growth.
Kish uses a “3 Ps and a D” strategy to implement blended learning into their classroom: path, pace, place, and data. Students choose their own path. That might be small group instruction with the teacher, a group activity, or online learning. They work at their own pace, in their own place. The teacher uses various types of assessments to track how students are progressing.
She says that the model has been transformative for both teachers and students in the classrooms with whom she has worked:
By recognizing that blended learning has the power to engage students and help them take ownership of their learning in ways that are not always possible in a traditional classroom, teachers are able to take key steps toward providing instruction that is student-centered as opposed to teacher-centered. The ever-increasing abundance of high-quality, and often free, online resources to which teachers have access has opened instructional gateways that have previously been available only to the very few. Now, by introducing blended learning into their classrooms, all teachers are able to provide differentiated instruction that responds to students’ learning needs and to student interests. This is the very essence of great teaching and learning.
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