I have been moderating the WiZiQ conversations for some time. I love the experience because I learn so much. One of my favorite topics of conversation is blended learning. In fact, I was so impressed with the process of blended learning that I conducted a research study on blended learning for my doctoral dissertation. Blended learning combines face-to-face and online or e-learning.
Instructor Experiences Implementing Technology in Blended Learning Courses in Higher Education
Teaching with technology at most educational institutions is challenging for teachers and students. One of the challenges is deciding on the blended. How much time should be spent online and how much time should be in the classroom? The idea behind blending the face-to-face traditional class and the online class for many organizations is to save time. The trend for most universities is for students and teachers to go online as much as possible in order to save time, money, and space. Fully online classes require a great deal of support and the human face-to-face element. That’s where blended online learning comes in.
Blended Online Learning
Blended Online Learning (BOL) are fully online courses that combine asynchronous (not dependent on time) with the synchronous (time dependent) classes. The asynchronous classes include course and learning management systems, blogs, wikis, discussion forums while the synchronous classes include live online classes or as they are also called webinars. WizIQ live class is an example of a synchronous class. I have been using blended and blended online learning formats in the K-12 and higher education for over 10 years. I can’t see effective learning without the blend or completely face-to-face. However, the debate goes on as to what is the best system for learning; blended or blended online learning. What is your opinion?
On June 22, Pete Sharma will join WizIQ Conversation to discuss blended learning and what he does to promote it worldwide. After doing his Master’s in English from University of Cambridge, Pete Sharma started teaching, which became his lifelong love and passion. He is a veteran in the field of education with more than 30 years of teaching experience in various prestigious Universities and Colleges in Europe. At present he is working as a “Director of Training” at Pete Sharma Associates and “Pre-sessional/ in-sessional lecturer, EAP” at University of Warwick. Pete Sharma is sometimes described as donning four different hats, depending on the work/role he undertakes, which are:
- Teacher: His 23 years of teaching business took him all over Europe, Middle East and Far East. Along with teaching language, he has also been running different courses on interpersonal skills and IT.
- Trainer: He is a highly competent and charismatic “teacher trainer”. He provides insights to the teachers of different countries into the area of teacher education and teacher development. He is also the Training and Development Manager for Linguarama.
- Author: He is an incredible author. In the search of a book on CD- ROM, he ended up writing it himself. He has been acknowledged with the Duke of Edinburgh Award in Buckingham Palace for his book, “The Internet and Business English”. In addition, he is the co-author of “Blended Learning: using technology in and beyond the language classroom” and “400 Ideas for Interactive Whiteboards.”
- Reviewer: He reviews books and software for the International English Book Center, in the EL Gazette.
Pete Sharma is also a consultant who founded Pete Sharma Associates Ltd. to provide blended learning and teacher training in 2008. The rationale behind the initiative was that language teaching is most effective when it offers ‘face-to-face’ teaching with technology-enhanced support. The organization also runs courses and conferences worldwide on how to successfully integrate educational technology with language courses, and advise institutions on hardware and software for language teaching.
Learning from Others
The best way to learn is to teach, but where do we get the content or information to share and to teach others? The conversations on WizIQ are a great place to interact and learn first hand from experts. Pete Sharma is an expert on blended learning. I suggest you read the book he co-authored with Barney Barrett called Blended Learning: Using Technology in and Beyond the Language Classroom by Macmillan Books for Teachers. You are invited to join the conversation with Pete Sharma on June 22, 2012 at 11.30 London time. Please check the time zone for the exact time in your area.