Classes implement blended learning

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A new concept to North, blended learning, is being piloted in two classes: Human Anatomy and Physiology and Public Service Practicum.
These two classes, A&P and PSP, are the first in the district to have blended learning implemented in classrooms. Blended learning is an education program that combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods, requiring physical presence of both teacher and students. Some elements allow students to have control over time, place and pace with their assignments.
For Human A&P, students with good academic standings are given flexibility and freedom to choose what activities they wish to do and where they feel comfortable completing them. These days are referred to as blended days.
“Students build their own schedule, manage their learning, and essentially get to choose how best they should be using their time. This also allows teachers to focus on what learning is most essential for their classes. It has given me a new perspective for teaching and learning. I have a deeper focus on the time I do see my students and the activities or lessons we complete together. Those face to face meetings are meant for deeper understandings and application of the content,” said Human A&P teacher Nathania Busse.
Junior Cole Johnson takes Busse’s A&P class. It’s his first year taking a blended learning class and he believes it is benefitting him in his learning.
“The class benefits me because I’m in more in control of what to do with my time and how I get to use it,” Johnson said.
The weekly schedule for a blended learning class depends on what the students are learning. Typically, students will receive two or three blended days where they are able to go to the lunchroom or library or other work space to work on an assignment. The teachers expect that when students return to class after blended days, all their work assigned is completed. Classes like these put a lot of responsibility on the students, as they must use their time wisely on days where they are not in the classroom.
“My favorite part of the class is the sense of independence that you can do whatever you want with your time. It’s just kind of hard if you don’t understand something about the assignment,” Johnson said.
Blended learning mimics what most classes will look like in college. They are a great way to prepare students for higher education. It teaches independence inside and outside of the classroom.
“Students are learning a lot more about soft skills of success throughout this blended learning course. It helps to teach them time management and how to prioritize their time. Because the class is built on mastery learning, students are not only asked to know something, they are constantly asked to apply it. I like to give students chances to show their creativity and to demonstrate their learning through projects, labs, and the creation of models. Blended learning gives us the room to do that,” Busse said
Junior Rachel Monahan takes PSP, a class that works around serving the surrounding community. This is the other class that has implemented blended learning in their classroom.
“I like how PSP allows for blended learning because it teaches us how to be more independent and social. It teaches us life skills that we aren’t able to learn in other classes, and it sets us up fore the real world after,” Monahan said.

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