Blending Classroom and Distance Learning

We’re about to enter our Eleventh week of distance learning, the quarter-way point to the end of this academic year. From last 2 years We have been thinking about the future of education and LHPS, one of the important question was integrating the digital realm into students’ educational journeys. You could say ‘be careful what you wish for’, but LHPS has been thrust into distance learning in a way that no one could have envisaged before the outbreak of the pandemic.


It’s been a learning curve for all of us, teachers, students and parents alike, and I want to thank those of you who could join us for the online classes. I welcomed the opportunity to hear what’s been working well for you and your children, as well as some of the challenges you have been facing. One question a number of parents asked was why the digital learning experience can’t more closely mirror the usual School timetable, with students having five to six synchronous lessons each day.“The educational experience has evolved over hundreds of years to be classroom-centric, but that doesn’t necessarily mean classrooms are in themselves the optimum learning environment. What they are is a highly effective compromise between imparting knowledge, eliciting skills, and maintaining the attention of groups of students.”One clear challenge with that is our students, do not have right technology available at their disposal. Running the usual timetable would effectively either exclude many of them from learning , or force them into working very unsustainable hours. But while this is an important consideration when developing our approach to distance learning, there is a far more important one – that overuse of Class learning has been shown to be a very inefficient way of delivering education in an online environment.What doesn’t work is trying to recreate the classroom over the internet. In her article in Edutopia,  Why Learning at Home Should Be More Self-Directed—and Less Structured, Simone Kern argues that some parents are struggling to implement schedules that replicate school timetables because “the tightly structured, time-in-seat approach of traditional schools often has more to do with crowd control than optimizing learning”.Hence the LHPS community is trying every single thing which it can do. Many of the facilities the community is providing includes online classes as well as recorded lectures, Doubt Session classes, activity classes etc. I appreciate the irony that these are many of the things that students are missing about LHPS while confined at home; but the skills and attitude they have developed beyond the classroom should be helping them during this period of lockdown.

“As students adapt they will be learning valuable skills in balancing freedom, choice and responsibility which will stand them in good stead for the future.”

Much of what happens in the classroom is an inefficient use of time in a distance learning environment. Too much time over video conferencing can take its toll on any of us, and so moving elements such as planning and setting tasks and deadlines can be moved to the distance learning to make the best use of teachers and students’ time together. When students have to review and comprehend content such as a video or written case study, it can make sense for them to do this during the lesson in a classroom environment, but is
an unproductive use of time to do so during a class lesson when distance learning. Being able to ingest content asynchronously means students can move at their own pace, taking as much time as they need to absorb the knowledge.