Hybrid Education Models Gain Attention As Coronavirus Grips the Country
While we're still very much in the midst of the pandemic, it's evident that one of the areas that will be impacted the most by the Coronavirus is education. In the past month, the work and progress made by educators in this country has been nothing short of remarkable. These professionals of all ages have embraced the use of technology in education and, without much notice, have completely shifted their teaching styles to reach their students. Even formerly not-so-tech-savvy teachers are posting online lessons and are out there Zooming away with their students on a daily basis. With so much uncertainty, one thing has become clear: the response to this pandemic will inevitably result in long-term changes in education - models previously considered nontraditional such as hybrid and online learning may become more widely accepted and commonplace.
At Oxford Virtual Academy in southeast Michigan, instruction has taken place online since 2011, so teachers and students have continued working during the pandemic without missing a beat. While students can temporarily no longer drop into the onsite learning labs, they know their teachers are still there to support them every step of the way. Even the "hybrid" students who typically meet together in-person several days per week and work online the remaining days were well-prepared for the transition to a fully-online model. While hybrid learning programs are relatively new, they are starting to gain more attention as a possible wave of the future in education.
In the article, "Coronavirus School Closures Show The Value Of Hybrid Homeschools," Eric Wearne, associate professor of education at Georgia Gwinnett College, states that "To thrive during this challenge requires conventional schools to look to a relatively new form of schooling designed to operate in just such an environment: 'hybrid homeschools,' where students toggle between learning in school and learning at home." Within the article, Wearne outlines some possible lessons that have emerged from examining hybrid homeschools in light of this pandemic:
1. Hybrid homeschools teach students flexibility.
2. Hybrid homeschools can produce academic quality in their lessons.
3. Flexibility and family time are of great value.
4. Parents really can produce quality academic results.
5. Small is beautiful.
Oxford Community Schools, through Oxford Virtual Academy, has been operating hybrid programs for a number of years. These programs offer students a unique pathway that fuses homeschooling with the best parts of traditional education. The tuition-free hybrid pathway combines in-person, online, and at-home learning that is teacher mentored and parent facilitated. For more information on the specifics of Oxford's hybrid program, please visit https://www.oxfordvirtualacademy.org/hybrid.
Wearne, Eric. "Coronavirus School Closures Show The Value Of Hybrid Homeschools." 8 Apr. 2020. thefederalist.com,https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/08/coronavirus-school-closures-show-the-value-of-hybrid-homeschools/.