Amid the Pandemic, online and offline education has marked its place in the education sector. The ease of online education has been a game-changing revolution for the students who continued learning in online classes. Similarly, offline education proved to be instrumental in improving the education infrastructure of rural India.
As online education is maturing, we have started thinking if it can replace the offline education
Aren’t we thinking way ahead?
Education has to be looked at as a 360-degree process to make learning & growth a wholesome experience for the students. Considering education as the overall development of students, we can not limit it to online or offline. Therefore, if online education integrates technology, reach, access, affordability, and convenience, it lacks the personal touch of teachers. Interaction of students with teachers, friends, and other school staff allows them to develop soft skills essential for personality development. Through offline education, students learn empathy, public interaction, gender sensitivity, teamwork, discipline, and integrity because they are surrounded by diverse types of people.
To be wise in the digital era, it is important for us to depend on online education, but offline education should also remain in existence. What we feel, therefore, will emerge are hybrid and blended models of teaching and learning. These two comprehensive frameworks combine the best of online and offline education.
Let us first learn the difference between hybrid and blended learning.
Hybrid learning is the implementation of structured classroom lessons to teach online and in-person simultaneously. Whereas, Blended learning combines a touch of in-person teaching with digital learning content, whether online or offline education.
Advantages of hybrid and blended learning models
|Hybrid learning||Blended learning|
|Personalised learning environment that empowers students to learn at their own pace||A safe personalised learning environment that empowers students to learn at their own pace because the learning content can be predefined.|
|The availability of a range of online content increases the search intent of students, where they invest time in researching and studying.||Availability of offline digital content on one platform saves their time in research, resulting in increased learning opportunities for students.|
|Flip classroom learning to virtual learning where students can sit and learn at home from online content with online teacher guidance.||Flip classroom learning with a mix of textbooks and offline digital content helps teachers better understand the concepts taught.|
|Students are empowered to take charge of their learning because concepts missed in classroom learning can be learned again through online platforms.||Students are empowered to take charge of their learning because concepts missed in classroom learning can be learned again through offline video lessons, reducing the learning gap.|
|Decreased efforts of teachers because students start learning on their own through online content available on a range of platforms.||Efficient use of teacher’s time because in-person teaching consumes more time of teachers to explain in comparison to a visual demonstration of the same content|
All of the above is, however, possible only when we are able to strengthen home-school learning. At home, the student has free space to explore digital content of their choice, and at the same time, teachers can keep track of students learning.
Can hybrid and blended learning models strengthen home school learning?
Covid has made all of us realise the importance of personalised learning at home under the guidance of teachers. During the lockdown, parents and teachers have seen student’s increased engagement in learning because they got a free, non-judgemental environment to learn. From this, it is evident that when at home, students learn what they want and at their pace. The availability of multiple categories of digital learning content makes learning fun at home.
The key, however, is not to talk specifically about school or home, as these are two separate ecosystems. But through education technology, our focus is on bringing them together on one platform to make learning accessible for all.
Let’s look at how we helped students continue their online learning during Covid
When Covid first struck, several of our government school teachers called us to understand how we could support them to maintain continuity in student’s learning. In response to these calls, we launched the iDream Learning App, a free mobile app. The app has all the curriculum-aligned digital content in Hindi, English and local languages. To make the app reach a large number of students, we collaborated with various NGOs and schools with whom we had already worked. Through them, we made the app reach thousands of students. They happily downloaded the app on their parent’s smartphones and continued their learning on one platform from home. Many of them officially adopted the application, and it was also adopted by the Department of Education, Government of Leh.
What happened next?
Very soon, a big concern started to emerge. In several NGO and CSR forums, there was discussion about how digital learning would reach students who do not have access to their own devices and live in regions that have poor internet connectivity.
We at iDream Education emphasise on enabling equity in education. Therefore, we designed our solutions keeping in mind the needs of students sitting in the remotest region of India.
In this situation, we collaborated with project officials and coordinators of many NGOs and foundations and provided students iPrep tablets. The educational tablets were given with a pre-installed iPrep learning app and preloaded curriculum-aligned digital content on SD cards. Through this, students continued learning from the app without connecting it to the internet. The app empowered students to track their learning in progress through usage reports which get saved on their tablets. The reports are also synced to an online reporting dashboard whenever the device connects to the internet.
By combining OFFLINE-ONLINE, we were able to bring together the best of both worlds.
We strongly believe that as our schools return to the new normal, we will see the increased adoption of the hybrid learning model to achieve the best outcomes. Therefore, our focus should also be on students who do not have smartphones and internet connectivity at home.
“Empower students and teachers to Learn Unlimited anytime, anywhere.”
If in case you would like to know about our digital learning solutions, comment below or write to us at email@example.com.