By Aarul Malviya,Founder & Director,Zamit
Classroom learning has made immense progress over the last few years. Marrying IT and internet technologies with education, the advent of new-age edtech platforms has expanded the traditional classroom environment to an online space thereby offering what is called hybrid or blended learning for students. Given that the K12 period for students is the real foundation of the future, a hybrid learning model allows them to make the best of both offline and online platforms.
Underpinned by a range of technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality, coupled with modern learning and instructional tools such as interactive digital whiteboards, dedicated apps, video conferencing tools along with learning management systems, the online mode when judiciously combined with a physical classroom offers the best learning environment for K12 students.
Some of the ways in which edtech-driven hybrid learning is helping K12 students better train and upskill themselves are as follows:
Offers flexibility, a supreme enabler
First, online platforms offer unprecedented flexibility for not only students but also teachers, content providers and other stakeholders including schools The hybrid model allows students to seek clarifications in class and the flexibility to reflect and understand their classroom teachings at their own pace. This encourages efficient self-learning based on their aptitude and preferences, whilst being supported by advanced AI-based measurement and assessment systems. Pursuing alternative courses along with mainstream curricula thus becomes possible for students.
Individualized attention key to growth
Second, drawing upon flexibility, it affords students individualized attention from their teachers and tutors. The availability of sophisticated assessment tools enables teachers to better evaluate each student’s strengths and weaknesses and therefore devise appropriate strategies to help students build on their overall development. As a result, each student sets out for the future with unique abilities and sans the early age shortcomings.
Experiential learning prepares students for the real world
Third, the virtues of experiential learning or learning by doing get enhanced in the hybrid learning model. While experiential learning in the physical learning space has definite advantages, the live tutorials, real-time learning experiences, simulations with the help of AR and VR and photo-realistic 3D visualizations multiply those advantages several times over. The innate interdisciplinary and broad nature of experiential learning help students expand their horizons in the process reflecting on culture, leadership, and above all, career development, all key ingredients to their future performance.
Peer-assisted learning fosters collaboration and leadership skills
Fourth, online tools are excellent platforms for peer-assisted learning. Students can interact and network with their contemporaries and peers outside their regular school hours. Collaborative group study and engaging discussions to solve problems together, peer-assisted learning helps a great deal in students working in a team environment and developing leadership skills, critical to their future pathways.
An integrated ecosystem conducive to student’s learning efficiency
Fifth, in the flexible learning model, geographical boundaries become irrelevant with the accompanying reduction in the need for physical infrastructure. The online mode allows multiple stakeholders to come together to improve the overall learning experience for students. So, just as edtech platforms can forge partnerships with established schools, onboard quality instructors and career counselors, and tie up with assessment and accreditation bodies, schools can employ and engage the best of teachers and source the best learning material from anywhere in the world. The emergence of such arrangements can make a student’s learning journey and experience far more fruitful and productive from their future standpoint.
In sum, the hybrid model accounting for both offline and online modes is proving to be a real game-changer for school students, as also the wider school ecosystem. With the online-first ed-tech startups increasingly finding favour with students, a combination with physical schools looks to be very encouraging, offering students a promising future.