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What do you know about Hybrid Learning?

Posted by Ken Zimmerman

Thu, Jan 14, 2016

What does Hybrid Learning mean to you? In Education today, the word hybrid is being used in many different contexts usually referring to mixing or blending models/strategies/practices together in some way.  Just like when we think about a hybrid vehicle, we think about a car that has a gasoline engine and an electric motor, both which can be utilized to make the car run. In Education, we may use the term hybrid or blended classes to refer to some classes via brick and mortar (traditional classes on site in a building) and some classes entirely online (cyber education).  In this case, a student may experience a hybrid of traditional courses and cyber courses (fully online) Students may attend school for some traditional classes and then go online to attend virtual courses.  These are all the things I thought of when I was first introduced to Hybrid Learning in 2012. Since then, Hybrid Learning has taken on a whole new meaning!


My journey with hybrid learning began in 2012 while serving as a Technology Integration Coach for a local district. I became the project manager for a new initiative we were pursuing in order to carry through the original Classrooms for the Future vision we started so many years ago - to personalize learning through transforming teaching and learning.  I soon learned that this form of hybrid learning is the classroom rotation model of blended learning. Through this form of teaching and learning, both worlds (teacher delivered instruction & online instruction) are meshed together targeting 3 distinct modalities of learning:

  1. Direct Instruction: A small group dialogue with the teacher learning and reinforcing content.
  2. Independent: Learning through rich, interactive media online at my pace (on my own) promoting self discovery, problem solving, and critical thinking skills.
  3. Collaborative: Learning with and from peers, building, creating, and interacting with authentic project/inquiry/problem based learning experiences.

The class is divided up into specific groups by data outcomes, perceptions, learning styles, and/or interests all while spending time at each one of these stations interacting with these three modalities of learning. 

In the past few years I have moved from my original role in that district to providing professional development and coaching to other educators across PA and NJ. Through working with many teachers and classes at all levels, I am thoroughly convinced that Hybrid Learning - The Rotation Model - is an excellent and productive strategy which promotes teaching and learning transformations when executed with fidelity.  Recently, the past two years, I have had the pleasure now to experience Hybrid Learning from a parent's point-of-view with my elementary age children who are both in hybrid classrooms on a daily basis greatly benefiting from these three modalities of learning. Hybrid has become so much more than what I had originally thought. What is Hybrid Learning to me?  


What does this form of hybrid learning mean to you?  Post your thoughts in the comments section below.

Topics: e-Learning, Hybrid Learning