Connecting The Dots; an entire year of blended learning

Done. Finished. Complete.

Well, not quite. Because in the quiet moments we find time for reflection. And in the reflection we can learn much.

I’m sitting here at my dining room table with a cup of coffee having enjoyed my first week of the summer break. Reflecting on the year, here’s what I’ve learnt about blended learning:

  • There’s no substitute for face to face learning. This trumps the online experience every time. (You are well entitled to disagree).
  • Human relationships are best developed in person.
  • Some kids will flourish in this context but most will struggle.
  • Go analogue as much as possible when students are physically present. This means ditching laptops and pulling out exercise books and pens.
  • Set goals. When teams are physically distant, a lack of direction can easily set in very quickly. Goals generate focus and teamwork.
  • Stop comparing now with the past. It’s a natural human tendency but this is a situation like no other. The phrase apples and oranges comes to mind.
  • Many feel vulnerable teaching online. Effective school leaders must do all they can to protect teachers and create conditions where they feel safe and supported. Update policies and ensure everyone knows about them.
  • Listen to teachers as much as possible. I’m sure this one doesn’t need much explanation!

I could go on, but that would be painfully boring.

Don’t let this moment of rapid learning slip away from you. Spend 20 minutes jotting down your own meaningful insights. To paraphrase Steve Jobs, we can only connect the dots by looking back.

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