Teachers and Students Must Have (Working) Hybrid Learning Solutions at Their Disposal
With continued school closures, technical issues and relentless uncertainty, it’s critical schools at all levels equip their classrooms for reliable hybrid learning solutions for the long term.
If schools aren’t equipped to truly enable teachers to provide instruction in remote or hybrid scenarios by now, it’s a long list of risks they face in the not-so-distant future, including:
- Continued technical difficulties
- Sustained digital divides
- Elevated stress levels
- …and more.
Key to the success of long-term hybrid learning will hinge on the technical solutions that educational institutions — from pre-K on up — integrate into their environments.
Schools need reliable solutions with an intuitive design and function, or they risk technical issues, which have been widely cited as an inhibitor to students’ education and a point of frustration for teachers.
While hybrid learning technology alone can’t solve all challenges, a reliable solution will help reduce stress, improve user experience, and, most of all, enhance education.
Hybrid Learning Tech Can Help Teachers Overcome Several Key Challenges
These days, teachers need to be prepared for anything — at almost any time. For many, lesson plans change day to day, and with surges in cases rising and falling, it’s hard to know when teachers will catch a well-deserved break.
That’s where well-architected hybrid learning solutions come into play.
Hybrid learning is a blend of in-person and online instruction. “In the university setting, especially during this ongoing pandemic, hybrid learning offers students and instructors the best aspects of both core learning modalities—in-person and online—when planned with care and intention,” writes the University of Washington on its website.
There are several benefits to hybrid and online learning, including:
- Self-paced learning — Being able to choose the pace at which one learns provides a more personalized learning journey, and not just for the students. Teachers can speed up or slow down lessons to meet students where they are. This caters to different learning styles, preferences and skill levels.
- Broader reach — Hybrid learning allows schools and universities to defy physical boundaries, which in turn allows more to partake in education. This is especially crucial for students who have restrictions or limitations to being on-site for class, whether that’s due to physical proximity to the campus, access to transportation, or one’s ability to travel.
- Technical skill building — Students and teachers working in a hybrid environment build technical skills they can apply broadly in an increasingly digital-first world. From video conferencing technology to online cloud storage and more, the various hard- and software technologies used for hybrid learning continue to increase in both presence in education and importance.
- Cost-savings — Education institutions, as well as major employers, have seen cost-savings from remote learning. By cutting down on commute times, travel and facilities costs, institutions may lower some expenses, while still delivering education or training.
And the list of benefits continues on. While there are challenges with online or hybrid learning, the advantages have made a big impact on several institutions.
A study published by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) found that 59% of institutions intend to continue their remote offerings long term.
“This survey indicates a large swath of colleges and universities plan to continue offering online learning for the foreseeable future, indicating distance education may be a much more popular and prevalent modality from now on,” said NC-SARA President and CEO Dr. Lori Williams in an announcement.
What’s Needed for a Successful Hybrid Learning Environment?
There are several ways to approach a successful hybrid learning environment, but there are some essentials:
- Connectivity — You must have a stable network connection. That’s number one. But you also need ways to connect devices together to share material, display content, and more.
- Content sharing — Having inputs and outputs that easily — emphasis on easily — allow teachers to display material both in the classroom and via Zoom help enhance hybrid instruction.
- Reliability — If the technology or system doesn’t work as intended or it’s not intuitive enough for teachers to use it, it fails to earn the adoption it should’ve. But mostly, it fails the staff and students who rely on it for education.
Teachers Also Need Tech Support and Training
One survey found that about one-third of teachers don’t feel very confident using digital media services in the classroom. The same survey also found some teachers had no prior experience with K-12 digital services.
For school leaders, this should be a signal to survey your own teacher population to understand their comfort and experience levels, then act accordingly. Increased tech support and training will help build confidence in the teachers who must use these solutions every day.
Teachers and Students Need Tech That Will Keep Them Connected
While technology affords teachers the ability to instruct beyond the physical classroom, sometimes it lets them down. Poorly designed solutions that don’t truly enable teachers to do their best work result in low adoption and undesirable outcomes.
Further, if technical difficulties get in the way of lessons, how can teachers reach students?
Students ultimately bear the brunt of technical difficulties. Constant interruptions to their education cause delays and detract from their experience, whether they’re online or front and center.
Hall Technologies Is a Leader in Pro AV for Education
As a leader in professional technology solutions, Hall Technologies designs audiovisual systems with students and teachers in mind. We believe classroom technology should be intuitive, simple to use but uncompromising. It must work because teachers count on these tools more and more as hybrid learning becomes the norm.
If your technology doesn’t allow teachers to reach students, then it’s not serving its purpose — which is to expand access, remove barriers, and promote communication. We can help.
Learn more about our Apollo Technology Room Kit classroom solution here.