4 Ways to bridge the home-classroom gap

By: | March 23, 2021

Across the country, educators are working hard to support students learning in hybrid contexts, where students are attending school both online and in person. In many schools, staff availability to teach, attendance policies and a desire to have students working with teachers for as much time as possible mean many districts are pursuing a simultaneous learning approach (known in various circles as concurrent learning, Zoom-in-room or and hyflex instruction), where teachers work with all students, regardless of location, at the same time.

However, despite hard work and good intentions, full-time, simultaneous learning is not a best practice. Meta analysis finds online models are least effective when teachers are trying to engage learners from a distance while managing an in-person classroom in real time. Anecdotally, teachers say making this work well can be a challenge of epic proportions.

To be clear, hybrid schooling does not need to default to a simultaneous approach. In schools where all students have access to resources for learning, simultaneous time can be used alongside other strategies for specific goals and purposes and kept to a minimum. Teachers, and the leaders setting up ground rules for teaching, should consider which tasks, activities and means of access (be they synchronous or asynchronous, in-person or online) are best suited for students working in different environments at which times.

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