This year, Singapore is reopening its schools partially to help students get used to the new normal in education.
In order to safely implement it, a blended learning method will be applied for students from secondary and junior schools, as well as students from Millennia Institute starting Term 3. The official announcement was made on December 29 by Ministry of Education Minister Lawrence Wong during an event.
But what exactly will happen in blended learning, and how can students prepare for it?
Here is a short FAQ on what students and parents should know about this new learning method:
What Is Blended Learning?
Blended learning is simply the mix of both home-based and in-school learning. Students will then have certain days to do their schoolwork at home via online classes, and they will have supplemental classes in school in between.
What Is the Difference Between Blended and Home-Based Learning?
In full home-based learning, students will learn everything they need to know online, and they will not visit the school throughout the term.
On the other hand, in blended learning, students will be able to return to school once or twice a week. They will be able to study the concepts they have learnt from online classes with a teacher in a more targeted and in-depth manner.
How Can Students Prepare for Blended Learning?
According to experts and the MOE, blended learning can help students and even parents to adapt quickly to changes in learning modes should any disruptions occur. It will also help students become self-learners and control the way and the pace of their learning experience.
Of course, students must be ready to embrace blended learning and parents should be able to assist them by ensuring that they can properly adapt to it.
Here are some ways on how parents can help students to prepare for blended learning:
- Prepare a Conducive Environment for Home-Based Learning
It is undeniable that homes are not usually conducive for academic learning. Many HDB homes may not have an extra room for study purposes. However, to successfully prepare for blended learning, students will need to have a safe learning space to be able to study and focus well.
If there is an extra room or area in the house, parents should ensure that there are no distractions in the surroundings that may disrupt their children’s study time. The learning space must also have some essential things that can make them more comfortable while studying. For example, a study lamp to provide students with enough light, a comfortable yet ergonomic chair for long sitting hours, and a spacious study table so they could write notes while doing their online classes.
If students do not have adequate room while doing home-based learning, then you can try to reach out to their schools for help. Some schools may recommend community spaces where students can study, while others may allow some students to do their classes in school.
- Have a Set of Rules as a Guide for Blended Learning
Since students will mostly spend their time at home for online classes, there should be rules on managing their studies. Students can make these rules by themselves or with the help of their parents.
For home-based learning, students must have a clear plan for their learning goals. They should also know where to find the resources they need and revise what was previously taught after classes.
Moreover, students must create their own system to remember the lessons from their online classes and accomplish all the necessary assignments to avoid forgetting anything during the in-school classes.
- Regular Consultation with Parents
Parents can also assist their children during this time by regularly discussing with them to understand how their studies are doing. They don’t necessarily have to stand in as teachers for their children, but they can guide them when they are facing difficulties in keeping up with their classes.
This period can also be used by parents to assess their children’s performance. This way, they can help them find ways to boost their strengths or manage their weak areas.
Moreover, parents can also reach out to TCHER Online if they want to explore other ways to help their child to adapt better to blended learning. We run free workshops to help parents cope with common parenting issues and how to better motivate their children in their studies.
- Know What Learning Devices are Available and Learn to Use Them Properly
According to the new directive for blended learning, the MOE will be providing every secondary student with a learning device by the end of 2021.
These personal learning devices will use a specification set by the MOE. The devices will have access to the Student Learning Space, which is a resource website for students to use throughout their class.
Each distributed device will also have a device management application software to ensure that it is only used for studies and not for other purposes. This application will let the schools and teachers to easily monitor the students’ activities during classes.
Students, with their parents’ guidance, should take their time to understand how these devices work. They should remember how to use it properly, especially during their online classes. In addition, the Ministry announced that they will provide a special curriculum to help students cope properly with online spaces.
If the students are planning to use their own devices for classes, these must pass the requirements set by the school. Students must also allow the school to install the device management application on their devices, similar to those distributed devices by the MOE.
Blended learning is the new normal for many students. Do take some time to guide your children during this period as they will need to adjust and adapt to this new normal. With the best blend of both traditional and digital learning, your child will achieve his or her maximum potential in their studies.
If you are worried whether blended learning is sufficient for your child, check out our article here: