As educators around the globe prepare to take a well earned rest over the summer months, some are already starting to consider what education and training will look like in a post-inoculation world, which we refer to as AC (After Covid). The past fifteen months has witnessed an increase in the use of digital technologies by teachers in all sectors and the question now is, what practices will we keep and what will we leave behind?
A recent publication, Planning for a Blended Future, certainly provides a research informed approach to what this blend might look like. This short document, which is 41 pages long, introduces the idea of The Four Dialecticals of Blended Learning. The dialecticals are the dimensions of blended learning that we should consider when designing blended learning experiences for our learners.
Technological: How much technology are we using? Are we using lean technologies, such as face-to-face teaching and/or books? Or are we using more rich technologies such as YouTube, Teams or even augmented reality. So this dimension needs to be considered.
Temporal: Will your students meet in real-time (synchronous) or work independently (asynchronous)? Will they meet onsite, in school or in college, or will they this happen online using a meeting tool?
Spatial: “This dialectical provides flexibility by allowing students to learn together or independently from each other providing greater access for students being able to move in time and space” (p. 18).
Pedagogical: This is the most critical dialectical and it focuses on changing the instruction and teaching approaches towards active learning, so as to “positively influence student success”.
Figure E depicts the typical pattern of the dialecticals in a ‘traditional course that is teacher led but we should all strive to design and implement more student-centred models as below. So that we are considering the 4 dialecticals to create active blended learning models that mix technologies, time and space.
So the key question for us all is to consider what our model might look like in September for our learners? This will need to consider our context and our learners, there is no one-size-fits-all and note it may take time to develop such a model and to fine tune it. Practice makes perfect.
For more download the publication and consider what your model might look like? If you have ideas please share them with us and we will gladly share them.