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Blended Learning

So I'm about halfway through this online Cert IBET course and it's been great so far. One of the keys to it is the concept of Blended Learning* which is mixing teaching with technology. Blended Learning can come in many forms, including but not limited to:

  • Using YouTube clips in the classroom

    Setting up Wikis or blogs for your students

  • Setting up Skype sessions for follow-up outside the classroom

  • Going totally online for distance learning

It's all very cool. I think for language learning nothing beats the F2F (that's face-to-face, you know), but having the ability to do follow-up from afar is genius. And if you're stuck in Kazakhstan with nothing but broadband, a horse meat sandwich (yeah, they eat horse there) and a burning desire to learn English, then this here's your ticket.

And it's not just for language learning. One of my MA colleagues just set us all up on Ning this morning, which is ostensibly a social networking site, but will allow us to have a dedicated website (complete with forums, blogs, chatroom, et al) to post comments on readings, writings, speakers, etc. It'll be an excellent tool for keeping in touch once the classroom work ends and the actual novel writing begins.

Ain't technology grand?

What do y'all think? Have you used any type of blended learning? Would you have liked it if it was available to you when you were in school (back in my day, we barely had electricity to light the caves, let alone computers)? Would you use it as a teacher?

* I was initially intrigued because I thought it was Blender Learning, and I was hoping to get new and improved recipes for frozen drinks and milkshakes, but alas, I was sorely mistaken.