Rumor has it that you might be teaching a blended or hybrid learning class sometime soon. Maybe you already are doing it now.
Feel like you’re on an island? Stop that! No instructor is an island.
When you are teaching a blended or hybrid learning class, surround yourself with a team of VIPs. Regardless of the level of instruction – secondary education, career education, adult education—it does not matter – you need to surround yourself with a VIP team.
VIP #6: A school or district technician
If you are teaching in a blended or hybrid learning situation, you are going to be using some sort of computer-based curriculum or online resources. And that implies both the use of computers and the technology needed to make them run well all the time. Routers, wires, switches, bandwidth—all of the buzz words that your technicians use to explain how computers are supposed to network and access the internet. So why do you need a VIP technician on your team?
Well, let me ask you this: What happens the day when the computers cannot connect to the internet? Or your online curriculum is down? Or your password will no longer let you into your computer? You switch gears. And you call a school or district technician.
So make friends with your techs. Get on their good side. I’m not recommending buying them off with cookies or lunch—but be nice to them!
VIP #5: Other Instructors and Team Members
Find the other instructors in your building or organization who are using blended learning instruction. Even if they are not using the same curriculum program as you, they can share their tips and ideas. Ask other teachers how they manage the balance between in-and-out of class instruction. Ask them where they use computer-based curriculum—and when they use direct instruction. Ask them how they deal with problems as they come up, such as absent students or uncompleted work.
A curriculum or instructional specialist or a department head or supervisor—at least one administrator—has had a hand in bringing the computer-based curriculum to your classroom. Talk to them. Ask them to explain their vision for the program. Make sure you are visualizing the goals and plans in the same way that they are.
A blended learning approach brings together the best parts of face-to-face instruction and online instruction. Your administrators can help you determine that balance. They can support you with resources and time—as well as expert advice.
VIP #3: Your curriculum
Now before you say, “But your curriculum is not a person,” let me clarify. VIP can also mean Very Important Part of the blended or hybrid learning course.
When selecting your primary curriculum, look for curriculum that will work with your course content and outline. Your curriculum content should allow you to either cut down on face-to-face instruction—or it should allow you to use it in a more effective way. The curriculum should allow you to provide a better learning experience.
VIPs # 2: Your students
Your students are a key part of your blended learning classroom. It goes without saying—but I wanted to make sure to give them billing here! (And debated if they are VIP #1 or VIP #2—in the end the VIP #1 spot went to… drum roll…)
VIP # 1: You
And last, but not least, YOU. You are the key VIP in making your blended learning work in your classroom.
Your attitude, your hard work, your focus will help to bring success to your experience and to your students.