Wednesday, March 5, 2014

5 Blended Learning Skills for Teachers

As schools implement the blended learning models, the role of the teacher is shifting and teachers will need different skills to be successful. There are 5 common skills that will help teachers be successful in the blended learning environment.

1. Comfort the Chaos
Teachers need to learn to be comfortable facilitating a learning environment where students will be engaged in different activities and working on different concepts and skills. The teachers shouldn't be alarmed with seeing students conferring with peers when she is working with other students. Teachers need to create a strong culture up front with expectations and clear norms, where blended learning will amplify that culture.

2. Student Learning Data Analysis and Decision Making
Teachers need to use more data to drive better instruction for students.  Responding to individual student data in real time or on a daily basis, happens in many blended learning models today. This is a significant and important shift for kids to master.  Teachers will be able to spend more time analyzing and figuring out what to do with the data they collect on students from their intuition and observations.

3. Targeted Learning Opportunities
Teachers have been forced to deliver a unified educational experience.  Teachers will now need new skills to learn how to support students who are learning different things at different paces, through different approaches.  Teachers need to be able to facilitate different learning opportunities for students, such as one-on-one tutoring, small group instruction, project based learning and lectures.

4. Specialization
Teachers won't have to be all things too all people.  As blended learning models mature there will be opportunities for team teaching and differentiated roles for teachers.  Some teachers may be content experts, other learning coaches or facilitators and others may be teachers who look like case workers.

5. Technological Prowess
Technology is being simpler to use in our daily lives and because of this teachers won't actually need as much in the way of technology skills to teach in a blended learning environment.  Teachers will skill need basic skills and teachers will be able to communicate through a variety of mediums to explore, identify, and use a variety of online tools to meet students' needs and be able to do basic trouble shooting such as helping students download plugins and reset passwords etc. For teachers being able to teach effectively offline as well as online will be critical.

With the use of these five basic skills it will help teachers provide a unique way of engaging students in collaborative work and projects and personalizing and individualizing instruction for all students.

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