As blended learning implementation managers, we feel the same anxiety as a sprinter on the starting block. We know that once upright with our legs under us, we will have the opportunity to realize an accelerated learning experience, greater efficiency, and teacher and student empowerment. At the same time, we are acutely aware that the stumble of a defunct login credential--or worse, Internet outage--can sap enough teacher buy-in from our blended programs to kill their momentum. As with any new system, a strong start is critical to every blended program’s success. Here are some of the common stumbling blocks and how to avoid them.
Above all, be open and honest. While we believe in and have seen the power and promise of blended learning, it is critical to communicate to teachers that there will be hurdles beyond the starting blocks: the Internet will go down, computers will need repair, and at times they will feel frustrated. Find a space for a regular open discussion of challenges and solutions so that you continually empower your teachers to innovate and move ever closer to the next great blended classroom.
Will Eden is the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Alpha Public Schools. Previously, he served as a blended learning consultant at Education Elements and taught high school English.
Jin-Soo Huh is the Director of Technology at KIPP Chicago. Previously, he taught high school and middle school math.