What is blended learning? Apps for the perfect blended course

Education is so broad and every teacher teaches in a different way. Luckily, otherwise it would be boring. Think about flipped learning, mastery learning, microlearning, etc.

In this blog post I’ll talk about another way of teaching: blended learning. I’ll also show you some apps you can use to give a blended course.

The meaning of blended learning

Blended learning is also often called hybrid learning or mixed-mode learning. It’s a mix between the traditional teaching in class and e-learning.

In a blended learning course, students are attending a class taught by the teacher AND they are also completing online components of the course outside the classroom.

So does this mean, students have less in-class time? That depends. The online part can be a supplement to the traditional teaching, but it can also replace in-class time by online learning experiences.

Take for example the flipped classroom. Flipped learning is an offspring of blended learning. Here students learn about the topic and the theory at home, so there’s more time for the teacher to do exercises on the matter in class and help the students where needed. You could say that students actually do their homework in class.

3 Parts of blended learning

Blended learning doesn’t have a fixed definition, but there is a general agreement among education innovators that blended learning has three important components.

  1. There must be in-person classroom teaching by a trained educator or legitimate teacher.
  2. Online learning material (mostly videos), often include pre-recorded lectures given by that same teacher.
  3. There must be structured independent study time guided by the material in the lectures and skills must be developed during the classroom experience.

Finally a teachers’ time and intentions are divided for the sake of the students. A blended course teacher uses the classroom time for activities that benefit the most from direct interaction. INTERACTION. No more boring and long lectures, but real interaction. It also keeps students motivated to go to your classes or to go to school in general.

Why should you use blended learning in your classroom?

the benefits of blended learning in the classroom

These three core benefits of blended learning must really convince you to use it in your classroom. Take a look:

The interactive time in the classroom is meant to answer students’ questions and to interactively work with them on the matter. When a student doesn’t understand how things work, the teacher’s core goal is to help that student. Because students have already learned about the topic at home, students discover their problems much quicker. This way, the teacher can address students needs better and quicker.

Some students can have difficulties with a certain topic or need more time to take in the lesson material. The online part has got this covered. Because you are making videos or other online material, the student can pause everything he wants and learn at his own pace. Blended learning is a solution for differentiation.

With BookWidgets you can make personalized exercises for your students in just minutes. Students can even test their learnings of the online session. Therefore, you can see who needs more face-to-face help. Blended learning also provides you with data and knowledge for instructional decision making.

Of course, blended learning has more benefits than those three. There’s more flexibility for students and teachers, blended learning offers varied ways for students to engage and demonstrate their leaning, teachers and students get the opportunity to develop their technology skills and some technologies facilitate a specific kind of learning activity that might not be possible without the technology.

Apps for blended learning

apps for blended learning

Take a look at this post about video apps in the classroom. You can use almost every app in this list for blended learning or in the flipped classroom. My top 5 apps to teach blended courses are:

1. BookWidgets

Bookwidgets released the Video Quiz widget in January 2023. With this new widget, teachers can insert questions into a video at various stopping points. With the wide variety of 36 question types to choose from, a Video Quiz activity will transform your traditional lessons to ultimate blended lesson. Check out this blog post with 10 blended learning lesson ideas with a Video Quiz. We also wrote a blog post with the best YouTube channels for your video quiz lessons.

2. Explain Everything

Explain Everything is the leading interactive digital whiteboard platform for teaching. They have a huge amount to offer. You can create interactive presentations, record whiteboard videos & tutorials, collaborative projects with your students and many more! Check out this tutorial where everything is explained in a short 4 minutes. If you want to learn more about Explain Everything, we wrote another blog post: 20 fun lesson ideas with Explain Everything.

3. Knovio

Knovio makes creating and using video and online presentations super fast and super easy. It’s the ideal platform for organizing, sharing, and tracking video knowledge, from onboarding and training to all manner of communications. Don’t forget to check out this product tour where you learn more about Knovio!

4. Simpleshow

Simpleshow has been making complex things simple since its inception in 2008. They give you the power to create simple and engaging videos with an easy-to-use, AI-powered video maker platform. It’s a platform for everyone. They have a lot of video examples to help you get started!

5. Adobe Express

Start creating stunning videos for free with Adobe Express. Build your teacher brand on social media, level up your slideshow videos, and create unique personal projects with the all-in-one video editor. There is no experience required. Check this tutorial video to start your professional video editing project. Bonus, it’s free! This means that your students can also use it in their classroom projects.

Wrap up

Of course, there are many more apps you can use for innovative blended learning, but I would start trying out these top-rated few. I’m sure they cover everything you need for a successful blended lesson. Do you know more apps we forgot to mention? Share them in our Facebook Teacher Community or mention us on X.

And me? I’m Lucie from BookWidgets. I’m happy to connect with you personally on X or LinkedIn.

Lucie Renard

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BookWidgets enables teachers to create fun and interactive lessons for tablets, smartphones, and computers.

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