A hybrid learning program allows the participation of people in a classroom to be segmented into virtual and physical settings. Thus, the educators and facilitators can teach students who are learning from remote location and face to face simultaneously.
As the pandemic still raises alarm in most countries of the world, technological development in education is at its peak. Hence, hybrid learning remains an option for most learning centers. In other words, learning centers have been propelled to create methods that will enable children to keep learning even while they are home.
Therefore, this article discusses what hybrid learning connotes and its effect on students and families.
Table of Contents
- What is Hybrid Learning?
- The Difference between Hybrid Learning and Blended Learning
- Students/Parents and Teachers Agreement
- The Effects of a Hybrid Learning Program on Students and Parents
- How can a Hybrid Learning Program be Helpful to Students and Families?
What is Hybrid Learning?
The word hybrid implies something that is established through the combination of two different approaches. For that reason, hybrid learning is an educational method that allows students to combine their studies at a physical/traditional classroom location and a virtual classroom setting. In other words, a part of the students attend the classroom physically and another part attends the classroom virtually by connecting through a digital device.
Hybrid learning also involves the participation of parents. For instance, children between age 3 and 6 may need the assistance of their parents for them to function appropriately during the online classrooms. In some cases, hybrid learning also requires a student to learn virtually from home and physically in class (as in part-time learning).
According to a survey carried out by Education Week on the United States Coronavirus retort, it was discovered that, while some schools have been opened, others remain entirely locked, and many have adopted the hybrid learning program, to balance its curriculum and activities.
Hybrid learning complements and does not separate virtual and physical learning. As a matter of fact, both forms of learning have their advantages and purposes.
The Difference between Hybrid Learning and Blended Learning
Frequently, both terms (hybrid learning and blended learning) are used synonymously, but they are slightly different. All forms of blended learning require a face to face meeting between all the students and their teacher. In addition, it comes with the availability of online materials as enhancements for learning activities.
Practically, blended learning involves a classroom that uses technological materials like projectors, to display a clearer picture of what is being thought. In contrast, hybrid learning enables students to be able to connect to classrooms virtually from home or/and alternate by attending classes physically.
Students/Parents and Teachers Agreement
The enrollment of a child into a hybrid learning program should be based on an agreement between the learning center and the parents. Thus, the following points should be considered;
- -Meeting between the parents and providers is important so that the parent can be aware of the provisions and the conditions of hybrid learning.
- -Ensuring that children are well equipped for online activities is a necessity for their academic performance. For instance, they should have either cell phones, tablets, or desktop/laptops.
- -Ensuring that the children use the platforms properly is fundamental. Therefore, parents, teachers, and caregivers should monitor children.
The Effects of a Hybrid Learning Program on Students and Parents.
Basically, in this era of the pandemic coronavirus, hybrid learning has raised diverse reactions in people. For instance, some students and parents are thankful that schools are resuming and maintaining learning methods and protective measures that will keep the students and teachers safe.
Nonetheless, others are worried about the fact that some schools have not resumed fully, which has made the children learning methodology complex and baffling. Typically, while some students and parents consider hybrid learning to be demanding, others consider it as a creative method of ensuring continuous and advanced knowledge.
Therefore, hybrid learning has both its positive and negative effects.
Positive effect (Advantages)
Flexibility is one of the major advantages of hybrid learning. Ultimately, the teaching and learning programs, the choice of environment, and the interaction between the teachers and the students are flexible. Simply put, the students can both learn online and still hold physical classroom learning.
However, it is an advantage for students who have any form of disability, especially in case they cannot perform well in the physical classroom.
At the rise of the Coronavirus pandemic, the need for adopting a flexible way of teaching children (promoting the social distancing measures) became a requirement. It is a learning model where the educator or teacher has to concentrate on the needs of the two sets of learners – remote and physical.
– Digital Knowledge
Hybrid learning undoubtedly help schools and learning centers to engage in the advanced use of technology for learning purposes. As a result, it develops the intellectual and research skills of students and teachers.
Usually, the students will get accustomed to more digital learning activities provided that they are properly monitored. Also, they will acquire the knowledge of doing their assignments by making use of the internet.
– Enhanced Safety
To keep the students and teachers safe, a safer way of learning must be promoted. The COVID measures should be properly observed by ensuring that the classroom is not crowded and rowdy. Therefore, the hybrid learning program enhances the public measures for safety commitments.
Most schools observe this by alternating learning days for the students. That is some days of learning physically at the centers and others days of learning virtually from home.
According to Dean Blumberg of UC Davis Children’s Hospital, schools must observe the following measures for safety;
- -Maintain small classes
- -Separate children into small groups
- -Teach children how to use mask properly
- -Maintain flexible classes
– Social wellbeing is still certain
Hybrid learning does not keep students away from their peers, caregivers, and teachers. Rather, the students will still have chances to interact and connect on days they attend their learning centers physically.
Also, there are safe social networking platforms for kids like Togetherville and ScuttlePad that can help them to connect socially.
Challenges of Hybrid Learning (Negative Effects)
One of the common problems of hybrid learning has been technical issues. Occasionally, there could be bad Wi-Fi connections which may cause a student to miss some vital information. Based on research, some school staffs reported that they have connection issues and difficulties placing cameras in classrooms.
Also, some parents complained about their data getting finished swiftly whenever their children are in an online classroom for long hours.
Moreover, younger children may find it difficult to understand what the instructor is saying, especially while on a nose mask. Hence, instructors should make use of microphones whenever they are wearing a mask.
Monitoring students in a physical classroom is more effective than monitoring students in a remote classroom. A child may even choose to miss classes on purpose because he feels no one is watching him, except in cases where the parents give the child close monitoring.
This can even cause the child not to meet up with his school assignments and eventually affect his academic performance and result.
Engaging students who are learning from home requires extra work on the part of the teachers so that they will not get lost in the learning process. When the cameras are off, the teacher may not know which student is paying attention or not. To ensure that the students learning from home perform well in classes, the teachers have to go extra miles.
Hybrid learning may also prove difficult if digital devices in classrooms are limited. Classroom digital devices are useful for;
- teaching students
- monitoring the performance of students
- recording the performance of students
How can a Hybrid Learning Program be Helpful to Students and Families?
Based on the present circumstances surrounding COVID19, one cannot deny the fact that hybrid learning is beneficial to a student’s knowledge and safety. Rather than avoiding it, it is better to consider how it can be managed because technology keeps advancing globally. In effect, hybrid learning may become inescapable in the years to come.
Parents, teachers, and students need to accept the fact that virtual learning can be safely merged with physical classroom learning. This will help individuals to gradually adapt to the innovative educational challenges, provided the safety measures are observed.
Therefore, hybrid learning program can be helpful to students and parents by implementing strategies that will enhance its efficiency. Such strategies include;
Prioritizing Students’ Wellbeing
Before the learning program commences, the wellbeing of the student must be first considered. This includes social, emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing because it is a more complex teaching model that requires paying more attention to the student.
Undeniably, the pandemic has created a sort of tension among students, teachers, and parents in society. Hence, teachers must take their time to ensure that the students who will be using this learning model are emotionally, physically, and mentally fit to do so. The essence of focusing on the child’s wellbeing is to encourage a positive student-teacher relationship, irrespective of the learning model.
The hybrid learning model may affect the well-being of the student if care is not taken. Teachers should monitor the well being of students and establish good relationship with them for positive academic performance. Also, the face to face interaction between the teacher and the student is still very important beyond the border of google classroom.
Steady communication is necessary
The essence of communicating steadily is to ensure that the teachers continue to keep in touch with students and their parents. Also, it will keep the students more engaged in their learning activities. In effect, the students and their parents must know what to anticipate from a hybrid learning program.
For instance, a teacher must communicate the days when a student will be having classes and will have to inform the student and his parent about the hybrid learning regulations. As a result, the parent and caregiver will be able to monitor the performance of the child.
Moderate implementation of digital applications
While hybrid learning can improve the digital knowledge of students, the use of digital applications must be moderate. In essence, the teachers must take it easy on the children while introducing them to several online classroom and reading applications.
The majority of students are used to google classroom, zoom, and among others. Hence, some teachers may want to try other attractive applications which may be at the disadvantage of the children. In effect, too many applications may affect their concentration. There is a need for moderacy.
Regardless of its challenges, schools and learning centers must get used to hybrid learning because the world is becoming technologically advanced by the day. However, the learning process can be well managed if good strategies as discussed above are implemented.
At Perfect Angels Learning Center, our hybrid learning program is highly effective and affordable. Similarly, we make available online programs that allow children to become digitally advanced under proper monitoring by our caregivers. To discover more about our hybrid learning program, visit Perfect Angels Learning Center now.