Blended learning offers the best of both worlds. It should be at the forefront of every student's educational plan - this is a strategy that is here to say. This will not be one of the buzzwords that is in and out of our schools in a few years. The writing is on the wall.
Think about having the ability to allow your students to "move at their own pace." Blended instruction allows this lofty goal to become a reality. Blended instruction eliminates some of the barriers to an individualized education that traditional models present.
In order to be successful in blending instruction, teachers need to be trained in how to implement blended tools, both in the technical realm and the instructional realm. We all know that each time you implement a new instructional strategy, there are bound to be some bumps in the road, and sustained and ongoing professional development around blended learning will allow you as an educator to sharpen your skills and get closer to the personalized education we are striving for with our students.
The impacts of blended learning that continue to have me the most excited in the classroom are that it allows for more personalized feedback for my students and the opportunity for more collaboration. I feel like I am able to reach all students now, and that the feedback I can give my students is more relevant and valuable. And for the "bumps in the road" - I had a few! There was initial technical problems related to setting up, I was nervous trying blended instruction (I'm kind of a control freak!) and a lack of resources. One of my biggest learning curves came from figuring out how to create blended activities that kept the class moving, and weren't just a reiteration of something already covered in class. Like everything else in life, with practice this began to come more and more naturally!
Years later, my students are now actively engaged in blended instruction that is relevant, has real world applications and is preparing them with the essential 21st Century Workplace skills needed to succeed. You owe it to your students, and yourself, to dip your toes into the blended learning pool!