Role of Technology in Education
Research continues to show that instructional technology, when incorporated thoughtfully, can help create flexible learning environments where teachers can truly personalize learning and foster an environment where students are truly involved in their own learning.
“Blended Instruction” is a term that describes the incorporation of online-based instructional tools into the face-to-face instructional environment, creating a “blend” of online and offline instructional strategies. By thoughtfully incorporating instructional technology into the learning environment, teachers can maximize their role as "coach" and help students develop the skills they will require to be lifelong learners.
Through the use of blended instructional models, teachers can create a more personalized educational experience that meets the needs of all students - while valuing the best aspects of each method of instruction.
Blended Instruction vs. Hybrid Learning
While both "blended instruction" and "hybrid learning" (as experienced by students during the COVID-19 pandemic) incorporate aspects of in-person and online instruction, they are not necessarily the same. While "hybrid learning" was utilized in order to address ISBE requirements as well as IDPH health and safety concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic, it does not truly reflect the type of personalized, student-centered approach that is inherent to "blended instruction". In a truly "blended" environment, student needs (as determined by formative assessment data) drive decisions about instruction, pacing, and learning location; in a "hybrid" environment, health and safety are the primary deciding factors.