As we approach the Easter break, it seems a good time to recap and take stock of a term that has been truly blended. It began with schools providing remote learning to most children, but up to 25% of children still being taught in-person in some primary schools, and has ended with the majority of children back in school but remote provision still required for shielding or self-isolating students or bubbles.
It’s been a couple of weeks of settling back and reviewing work for most schools (those not lucky enough to have a ‘welly week’). As Mark Martin describes in this week’s BlendEd video, there’s been a widespread need for low stake quizzes and activities to help students feel motivated again and inspired about what they need to learn before the year ends. He also highlights the value, ahead of next term, of repurposing the online content of the past few months within day-to-day lessons for homework, recaps and project-based learning.
BlendEd has been supporting teachers and school leaders with blended learning since the start of the year. In the spirit of reviewing and reminding, here’s a run-through of some of the key resources available, from blog posts setting out the principles of blended learning to speedy CPD in the form of webinars and self-paced courses.
Successful assessment and feedback strategies for the blended learning classroom
From assessing learning loss to using the digital tools of lockdown for feedback in class, Peter Lillington explores the challenges and possibilities of assessment in a blended context.
Ten ways teachers are bringing the blended learning experience back into school
We asked teachers what discoveries they’d made during the blended teaching of the past 10 weeks, which for most schools has been very different to the first lockdown a year ago, that they would seek to continue in the classroom. Here’s what they told us.
The return to school, March 2020
With the return to school imminent, how can teachers use and build on their experience of the last 10 weeks of remote and blended learning?
Online safety in a remote or blended education context
Considering digital literacy and critical thinking, as well as safeguarding and online safety, through the lens of the six principles of blended learning.
Learning design for remote or blended contexts
When it comes to lesson planning, ‘learning design’ is something that may be mapped out to the minutest detail, if time allows, or some teachers prefer to leave rather more to instinct. But how does that decision change when teaching in a remote or a blended context?
Building belonging in blended learning
‘Social presence’, or ‘belonging’ is both vital and challenging in remote or blended learning situations. We know that being part of a school and a class community is incredibly important for children and young people. How do we promote a sense of belonging to a community when we only meet online?
Teacher presence: why and how to be visible in remote and blended learning
Every teacher knows that teaching is a social process and the relationship between a learner and their teacher supports their learning. The connection we make with our students is vital but how do we develop and nurture that connection when teaching online?
Dialogue in blended learning: top tips for communicating with students online
Ever set a task online for students, left the platform open for their comments and suggestions and then wondered why no one responded? Dialogue in learning and teaching is crucial for both teacher and students. But what is genuine dialogue? Is it feedback? Can feedback lead to dialogue? Is it personalised? What about class dialogue or group dialogue?
Four tips for school leaders as pupils return to remote learning
Kate Atkins, executive headteacher of Rosendale Primary School and the Elmgreen School sets out her four key tips for school leaders returning to remote learning.
We had another deep dive into remote learning and the digital divide, considered the key points and debate of Ofsted’s remote education research report, provided an online safety roundup, and suggested two activities around blending the literacies – digital, critical, news literacies and online safety.
On BlendEd you’ll also find a wide range of self-paced courses and webinars to get up to speed on some of the critical issues in blended learning, from the challenges of assessment and feedback to Oak Academy’s curriculum manager Katie Marl on what makes a great asynchronous lesson.
Other highlights include a 30m course in which Zara Peskett, assistant headteacher at the Leadership and Training Centre, 5 Dimensions Trust, lays out her five top tips for effective questioning in online lessons, and a ‘maths in blended teaching’ webinar in which facilitators worked with a group of primary teachers to explore the differences between the ways they have been teaching maths to pupils who are learning from home compared with lessons taking place in school. Teachers shared examples from their own practice, and took part in facilitated activities making use of a range of tools, including Scratch programming and Padlet collaboration.
And, of course, BlendEd is also packed full of videos sharing the experiences of teachers and school leaders. You’ll find a wealth of tips and advice in our short (just one or two-minutes long!) video interviews with teachers and leaders covering how they are tackling the digital divide, tips for workload management, and recommendations and key pieces of learning since March 2020.
Finally, a reminder!
BlendEd is by teachers for teachers and your input matters in this community of blended learning practice we’re building. We want to know what you are doing in your school, what’s working for you and how. Send a tip or short video – here’s how.
We’d also love to hear your questions and suggestions for the site. Is there a theme you’d like us to cover or a webinar you’d like us to run? BlendEd needs your help to be as relevant and responsive to the ever-changing situation in schools as possible.