The Top 3 Benefits of Blended Learning
Blended learning is one of the most powerful and influential innovations in education. By combining the benefits of face-to-face education with the anywhere-anytime power of the Internet, blended learning lets teachers get more done in less time without breaking the bank.
This goes double for the Career and Technical Education sector (CTE).
Because you’re not just running a classroom. You’re also paying a mortgage. Raising your kids. Living your life.
You’re an expert in your field, and on top of everything else you have to do, you’re responsible for the experts of the future.
That’s a tall order for anyone. It’s also what makes these three benefits of blended learning so important — especially for CTE instructors.
It’s no secret that curriculum planning takes up a huge part of your time outside the classroom.
In fact, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, curriculum development is the #1 most time-consuming task for teachers (aside from teaching itself).
Blended learning empowers teachers to save time and quickly create curricula without sacrificing quality.
This comes from the use of pre-made modules that students can access from home — but it’s not homework.
Using these modules, students can teach themselves everything from the fundamentals to advanced concepts before applying those skills in the company of an instructor.
That means you don’t have to spend hours creating (and grading) homework assignments — you can use pre-made content that’s been proven to work.
The direct benefit of this is more free time — time you can spend on administrative work, meeting with students one on one, or even relaxing.
Then, when your course concludes, you don’t have to plan all the details for your next course weeks (or months) in advance.
Instead, you can have an entire course set up and ready to go, and all you have to do is fill in the gaps with your own expertise.
This is especially helpful for the hands-on teachers that work so frequently in CTE.
Planning curricula for a class is daunting if you’re not a trained teacher. Even worse, it can drain the fun out of your lifelong passion since you have to worry about creating classwork instead of teaching the occupation you love.
So when you remove a big chunk of planning, grading, and administrative work, you also remove the barriers between you and your life’s passion. You make it easier to get excited about passing your trade onto the next generation.
Your students will be able to feel the energy you bring to the classroom every day. And when you’re that energetic, you’ll truly enjoy teaching your craft.
2. Tech literacy
In today’s fast-paced world, technology has influenced every industry from agriculture to IT. That means everyone needs to have a firm grasp of modern technology — especially computers.
This is one of the most important byproducts of blended learning. Because of its heavy emphasis on web-based education, every student in a blended classroom passively acquires the knowledge, soft skills, and experience required to use computers in a professional setting.
Plus, any company with a physical inventory will always have a digital tracking system to track their stock as accurately as possible. Mechanics, electricians, plumbers, and just about every other trade will use computers in some capacity.
A student’s first year in your blended course introduces them to the principles of computers and lays the technological groundwork they’ll use in the future.
It starts from the moment they log onto the program, and it continues up until the last day of your course.
If your students are going to succeed, they need to be familiar with digital interfaces on a basic level so they can adapt to their working conditions as quickly as possible.
That means you’re giving your students much more than the knowledge they need to enter the job market.
You’re giving them long-term job security.
You’re giving them what they need to thrive.
The up-front costs of blended learning are intimidating.
The software alone can feel like a pricey investment, especially if your school already has the infrastructure for face-to-face teaching.
But believe it or not, blended learning becomes significantly more cost-effective on a long enough timeline.
Fortunately, that timeline isn’t very long at all.
A study from Monash University of Australia determined that overall education costs plummeted when using blended learning longer than three years.
But that’s the key — you have to use it for longer than three years!
The costs may not offset at first, but the results are undeniable going into year four — blended learning is much more affordable than sticking just to traditional teaching methods.
The above costs are all measured in AUD... But if an American teacher used blended learning for 10 years, the cost benefits would amount to $44,542 in operational savings.
The only catch is that blended learning offers the most savings on an individual or smaller-scale basis. In other words, you save less if you use blended learning in a large-scale university setting.
But in a CTE classroom, where you’re in control, blended learning can save you a boatload of cash if you stick with it.
That means buying blended learning software isn’t actually a “cost” at all — it’s an investment.
It’s an investment in your students’ futures, but it’s also an investment in the financial well-being of you as a teacher. This is especially true if you plan to teach in your field for more than five years.
Yes, it may cost a little up front — but the long-term savings pay for the program multiple times over.
Start benefiting from blended learning
Are you ready to take your classroom to the next level?
At AES, we’ve worked with thousands of teachers over the years, including those who’ve used blended learning for CTE.
We packed what we’ve learned into four tried-and-true teaching strategies that you can use every day. We’ve also talked to 10 teachers who are experts with blended learning to learn the secrets behind their educational successes.
All of that information is in a single whitepaper that you can get right now — for free!
Get your copy today!