New research shows that elementary-age students who have access to blended learning in reading have significant gains on standardized reading tests over a typical school year. In addition, students in grades K-2 appear to benefit the most from a blended-learning model, showing larger learning gains than their older counterparts.
The study, which was completed at a school with a large minority and English Language Learner population, set out to determine how effective the blended learning program was and whether there were differences in efficacy based on grade level or ELL status. A total of 722 students were a part of the study, nearly 20% of which were ELs.
Students were tested both at the start of the study and then again at the conclusion of the research. Students in grades K and 1 had, on average, double-digit gains in reading during the year. These two grades had the highest rates of consistent participation in the blended learning program, which may be a connection to the higher level of success.
What is blended learning?
Although blended learning has existed for nearly a decade in various forms (and even longer than that, under different names), it continues to grow in popularity each year – and it should come as no surprise. By combining in-class and online activities in a variety of ways, teachers and administrators can create the blended learning program that works best for their class or school. These blended-learning models allow for teachers to more easily differentiate instruction, for parents to be more active and involved in their child’s education, and for students to build technology literacy while working in their core academic areas.
At this point, you’re probably wondering how blended-learning fits into your school or classroom. The great thing is that you can incorporate blended learning in just about any way you can think of. If you’re just getting started, you might want try one of these blended learning approaches:
Supplemental instruction is one of the easiest ways to incorporate blended learning into your school or classroom. Online learning management systems, such as Twine, allow students to access additional materials outside of the classroom. This helps parents see what their children are working on at the click of a button, and allows students to get additional practice in the areas they need most. It is also a great way to post homework or other important information that could get lost or forgotten before the students make it home from school.
Think of a flipped classroom as the exact mirror image of your traditional classroom. Rather than students getting lectures or reviewing their texts in class and practicing with homework at home, students in flipped classrooms watch videos and read their lessons at home and come to class ready to tackle problems and have discussions – putting their learning to work with the teacher there to support. Flipped classrooms are another type of blended learning that can take advantage of an LMS like Twine. Teachers can post lecture slides, videos, project guidelines, or other reading materials for students to review at home, so there is more class time to focus on practicing and refining skills at school.
Bring blended learning to your school
Whether you’re a blended learning expert or just wanting to explore the options for next school year, the first step to success is a great LMS. Interested in learning more about how Twine can help bring blended learning to your school? Contact us to find out more and see it in action.