Today’s students live and work in a world that is rapidly changing, especially in terms of technology. Schools have a responsibility to their students to instill in them the confidence and skills to use technology responsibly and effectively. Jewish day schools must keep up with the growing trends in the field to educate 21st century learners. Meaningful implementation of educational technology and teaching digital citizenship are among the ways to meet this need. However schools choose to integrate technology, it’s important to remember that it must be driven by learning needs. A tech plan isn’t really a tech plan; it’s a curriculum plan for aligning technology with instruction and learning.
Blended learning is a “best of both worlds” approach to personalizing learning for students. Teachers “blend” face-to-face instruction with online content, as part of an integrated learning experience, to engage students and help them become strong, independent learners. Assessment data collected online is used by teachers to inform and differentiate instruction, and by students to help them drive their own learning.
There is ample evidence to support the use of blended learning and educational technologies in the classroom. Studies show that personalization, data-informed decision making, and student-centered instruction all contribute to greater learning outcomes. When teachers differentiate and personalize learning, they are also able to work more closely with students, both in small groups and one-to-one. There are more opportunities for project-based learning and other types of student collaboration. Students are more easily able to work at their own paces, and have more agency over how, where, and when they learn. Ongoing formative assessment helps ensure that students, teachers, and even parents are up to speed with student progress. Blended learning is a natural path to personalization, and a way to bring these important pieces together in a classroom. Click here to learn more about some of the positive learning outcomes from blended learning and educational technology, or watch the videos below.