My name is Britney, and I am currently teaching high school sciences and some social sciences. I currently live in Regina (just moved) and prior to Regina I lived in Estevan for two years where I taught online with SECPSD. As previously stated, I have a fair amount of experience teaching online through CyberStone Virtual School where I taught mainly senior sciences both synchronously and asynchronously. Prior to teaching in Estevan, I taught in Kipling School where I would use some blended learning in the classroom.
Now that I understand the idea of blended learning, I realized how often I really did incorporate it into the classroom setting, but there are always means of improvement. When using blended learning in the classroom, provides students to sharpen their skill set on a topic that they would like to learn more about or as a means of enrichment. I also provided various readings or videos for varying learners in the classroom, although this comes with some challenges as well.
In preparation to utilize blended learning in the classroom was an undertaking to provide all students with leveled learning, therefore the preparation was a lengthy and time-consuming task. That being said, the opportunities students have to have level learning in the classroom is enhanced and students are not just learning from one source, the teacher. I found engagement to be enhanced when using a blended model in the classroom.
Regarding online learning, there are a number of challenges to provide differentiated instruction based on student need. The reason I find differentiated instruction challenging is because you cannot just walk around the classroom and see a student struggling with the material and provide the tools, they need to be successful, rather you must either wait for them to submit their assignment or complete whiteboard problems as a group (or other platforms) to see their abilities. However, not all students either participate in the in-class activities or they do not submit their assignments, therefore it is hard to understand the needs of each student. Students, especially in small schools, have access to more options of courses when they also learn online, as small schools do not have the resources to provide much more than the cores in their schools. There are advantages and disadvantages to both online and blended learning, but it is important to understand which students can be successful within these platforms of learning.