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Should Your School Be Planning for Long-Term Hybrid Learning?

There wasn’t a school out there that didn’t get disrupted by the pandemic in big ways. Specifically, though the challenges of remote learning were steep at first, few realized that “going back to normal” would ultimately still include an online learning component.

But after recognizing the long-term value, educators and caregivers alike are preparing for hybrid learning to have a permanent place in schools.

According to a Future of Schools Report from At&t, 9 in 10 teachers are open to hybrid learning and more than 70% of parents support the idea – with the right tools and resources.

Hybrid Learning 101

Why are hybrid classes such an effective way to learn? “A hybrid class combines traditional face-to-face learning in the classroom with online learning that students complete outside of the classroom. The work that students complete online complements the information that is covered in the classroom,” explains Goodwin University.

Here’s why the entire educational ecosystem stands to benefit from a well-resourced hybrid learning program.

Teachers Can Better Address Learning Loss

Be it in-person, over video conferencing, or a combination of both, educators know how to engage. Their primary motivator is to keep kids from falling further behind, something more than half of public school teachers say their classrooms experienced as a result of COVID-19.

Hybrid learning ensures that students who can’t attend class in person, for whatever reason, can still stay current. Again, AT&T’s* 2021 Future of School Report:

  • 94% of teachers are open to the idea of hybrid learning with the proper resources, curriculum and support
  • 71% of teachers support virtual days for inclement weather
  • 78% of teachers are in favor of virtual tutoring sessions or enrichment programs
  • 60% of teachers are open to livestreaming their classrooms for students who are homesick

Schools Are Able to Focus on Social-Emotional Learning

Even educational institutions have learning curves. Case in point: the sudden, unprecedented switch to remote learning.

In the early days of the pandemic, there were few examples of how to transition from learning in a classroom setting to an online learning environment. Now that schools have had two years to work out the kinks, they can focus on bigger challenges like prioritizing the social-emotional wellbeing of their teachers and students. Since they’re no longer putting out fires, administrators are free to find, vet, and implement social-emotional learning tools that support the entire school.

Parents Appreciate Flexible Learning Options

Families got used to being together during the course of the pandemic. It’s time many are reluctant to give up now that the world is attempting to fully reopen.

Think about what the past two years have meant for parents: less rushing to grab kids from the pick up line or attend parent-teacher conferences after a long day of work. Less driving them to after school tutoring sessions or to work on group projects. Less fear that their kids will fall behind in their work because of inclement weather or a new outbreak of the virus. When learning is flexible, caregivers don’t have to think twice about keeping their kids home from school because of an illness, further protecting the rest of the student body from avoidable health scares.

Students’ Needs Can Be Accommodated

Anyone who works in the school system understands the myriad learning styles and preferences that exist.

For example, some students are able to more fully engage with new material in quiet, familiar environments like the home. Others need to work to support their families, so a hybrid approach is best for balancing school with their real world responsibilities.

Breaking out of a five day a week, classroom-only routine wasn’t easy. But now that we have, there’s no going back. Again, this all assumes schools have the right tools and technology needed to facilitate a location-agnostic learning day. Once they do, the options are endless.