3 steps to blended-learning success

Kristy Lundström

Starting out as a Mathematics and Computer science teacher, Kristy Lundström understands the impact effective technology and systematic thinking can have on learning. She has worked as a Head of School for more than 10 years in Sweden, Belgium and the US. In every school, she seeks to empower teachers, support students and build communities. Her philosophy can be summed up by her favourite hashtag:  #unleashpotential

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Images courtesy of author. Images courtesy of author.

Question: How are teachers ensuring results in an environment where no one size fits all? We talk with educators far and wide to share amazing (and often strange) innovations for creatively bringing teaching and learning to life.

We all want our students to be motivated through meaningful tasks that feel real and relevant to them - every week. We all want our students to be challenged at just the right level - not too hard, not too easy. Also, we all want our students to feel seen and supported by their peers and the adults around them. So, now that we have the goals clear, how do we follow up on every student’s progress?

The reality is many teachers carry a course-load of 100 - 120 different students every week. Is it realistic to think that they can actually reach every student every week?

We believe it is! The ‘HOW’ means using a blended-learning approach powered by technology. We do not use the edtech to show more “bells and whistles” in the classroom. We use it to lower the cognitive overload of teachers and students by streamlining a structure for the learning environment, as well as to ease the organisational administration needed to see, talk to, coach and follow up every student and their individual progress.

Here is an example:

In a lesson, students study the geometry theorems in maths class.

Here is where the technology comes in:

Gone is the time when teachers have to control that every student is doing the same task because otherwise the class would be too rowdy. Gone is the time when teachers have to wait to give feedback because they have to grade the papers this afternoon, sort and analyse results and then give feedback. Gone is the time when face-to-face is the only relevant form of delivery. Gone is also the time when teachers don’t have time to talk to every student.

We believe that teachers are the key to helping our students learn - that’s not new. We just don’t think we have equipped them in the right way before. It is my job - both as principal and as director of schools - to provide training, inspiration and, yes, the tools to make it possible for them to make personal learning a reality for every student, every week.

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