• Blog
  • »
  • For schools
  • »
  • What is blended learning? A guide to how it works and what it is

What is blended learning? A guide to how it works and what it is

/ Dr. Nathan Lang-Raad

kids in classroomWeVideo acknowledges the challenges and opportunities that educators are facing right now. There is a need to rapidly shift instruction and engagement strategies to be effective in both remote and in-person environments. By using a blended learning approach, educators are able to create unit plans, lesson plans, and learning goals that are personalized, flexible, and promote student ownership.  We are committed to supporting educators with the tools needed to engage students in learning inside of a blended environment.

Why blended learning?

Blended learning is an approach well suited to address our current circumstances, whether students are learning face-to-face in a brick and mortar school or from a distance, in an online environment.

What is blended learning?

Blended Learning goes beyond one-to-one initiatives and/or the use of the latest and shiniest new tech tools. Using The Christensen Institute’s definition (and in keeping with blended learning definitions from iNACOL, ISTE, & Getting Smart), blended learning involves leveraging the Internet to afford each student a more personalized learning experience, including increased student control over the time, place, path, or pace of learning.

In a blended learning environment a student learns:  at least in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace; at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home; and the modalities along each student’s learning path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience. This means that students use learning resources and tools to work through their learning paths;  hitting the learning targets through different means. They also control the pace of learning; when they are ready, they show they have gained mastery through an assessment.

Two blended learning models that would work well in our current circumstances are enhanced virtual and flipped classroom models. In an Enhanced Virtual classroom,  students complete the majority of coursework online at home or outside of school but attend school for required face-to-face learning sessions with a teacher a few times a week.

In a Flipped Classroom, students participate in online learning off-site in place of traditional homework and then attend the brick-and-mortar school for face-to-face, teacher-guided practice or projects. The primary delivery of content and instruction is online, which differentiates a Flipped Classroom from students who are merely doing homework practice online at night.

How to implement blended learning?

Blended learning can create a positive culture of self-directed and authentic learning because it gives students more control and flexibility. What are the essential elements of a blended learning approach and how do we strategically plan for it?  We’ve created a guide to help create this vision for blended learning, and have provided questions to consider when transforming your learning environment.

Where does WeVideo fit?

When planning instruction, we sequentially identify the learning outcomes, assessments that will measure success, instructional strategies to help engage all students, and then the appropriate technology tool is chosen. This technology tool must enhance the learning process, and it's even better if the tool is the catalyst for learning.

With WeVideo, teachers can deliver core instruction in a blended environment through the creation of engaging instructional videos, and students can apply their thinking in visible and meaningful ways through the creation of sharable video created products.

Here are some examples of ways teachers and students are using WeVideo inside of a blended learning approach.

Mini-Lesson/Instructional videos

Teachers can create engaging instructional videos for students easily with the mini-lesson template in WeVideo. The template provides inspiration for question and reflection prompts. It also has built a place for your learning objectives and your exit-ticket/closure.

Read Alouds

The read-aloud template is designed to support teachers as they create opportunities to engage their students in meaningful book conversations, model the internal dialogue that happens while reading, deepen understanding and creativity and foster a love of books and learning.

Morning Meeting

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is deeply important for all students and teachers. It is essential for human flourishing, positive relationships, teamwork, emotional maturity, empathy, and fulfilling our collective potential for growth. Teachers use the morning meeting template to check in with their students, develop their social-emotional skills, and prepare them for the learning ahead.

Blended Learning experiences and opportunities for students to be their most creative selves:

Book Report

This template is designed to support students in structuring the elements of a book report (setting, characters, tone, reflection) into a video while simultaneously encouraging them to develop their communication skills through storytelling with music, and timing elements to create the right mood and impact. The template includes embedded tips to guide students through the process.

Mathematical reasoning with screencasting

Students show what they're learning by recording their screen, webcam, and voice at the same time. The Word Problem template supports students in making their thinking visible. One example is by solving the word problem on a digital whiteboard then using the screencasting feature in WeVideo to show a student’s solution path.

Explainer Videos

Students think at a higher cognitive level when they show others how they solved a problem or share new learning around a concept.

Stop motion

Stop motion is a video art form that allows students to manipulate physical objects to create an animation. It’s a great way to creatively express thinking and individuality.

Capturing student voice with podcasting

Amplify student voice with podcasting! Any video recorded can be turned into a podcast with the press of a button. This is a great choice for students wishing to reflect on their learning, debate, or share a new concept.

Science/STEM Lab Reports

The scientific method template was designed to give students the ability to show the process and results of their experiments in a powerful way through interweaving text, images, video, voice, and music.

Book Trailers

Reading becomes more fun and engaging when they create “movie trailers” about the book they’re reading.

Virtual Field Trips

Time for a Virtual Field Trip! Your students get to be world travelers and creative storytellers with WeVideo and Google Earth

WeVideo is here to support your blended learning blueprint as you design core instruction and provide opportunities for students to create meaningful products that allow them to learn deeper through creative processes and make an impact on the world with their voice.