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How to Fix Your Students’ Broken Hybrid Learning Model Right Now

There is a simple solution that works with existing equipment without breaking the bank for your school district.
By Greg Klausa, Aspire’s VP for Digital Architectures, Aspire Technology Partners

As schoolteachers and administrators, you know there is nothing “normal” about how our kids are going to school right now. If you’re also a parent of school-age children, you get to see both sides of the equation. Home-schooling and getting the young ones to attend class-streaming probably makes you want to scream.

You have probably heard from the parents, especially those with K-12 students, their concerns that the students who have been remote learning for many months now are not receiving the same quality education as in a classroom setting.

“My son, who is in fifth grade, is very attentive during the first few minutes of class, but he becomes distracted and uninterested the rest of the time,” according to one woman, a mom of three. “At the same time, my daughter in third grade is not getting enough attention and is now delayed in her lessons.”

The return to school in a hybrid mode brought some sense of normalcy to teaching and learning, but, because of the rising infections, many schools and school districts, like yours, have been forced to close again for a number of weeks, bringing the teachers and students back to 100% remote learning.

Class-streaming Scenarios

From the parents’ perspective, this is what a typical day looks like for their children: Their children get up in the morning, eat breakfast, and get ready for their school day. If their “cohort” or “pool” has an in-classroom day, they go to school and sit at their desks with about half of their classmates. The other cohort is attending school from home and remotely-learning via their computers. The teacher sits at the front of the class, looking directly at a monitor to teach her remote-learning students, and peering over the monitor to teach the children in-classroom.

When the teacher gets up to go to the white board, or to come to the assistance of a student in the classroom, the remote-learning students can’t see what she’s doing and they can’t hear what she’s saying, so they tend to tune out. When she is answering a specific remote-learning student on her desktop monitor, the in-classroom students can’t see what she’s doing, and they can’t hear what she’s saying, so they tend to tune out.

Whether you call it hybrid learning, or classroom streaming, or the fancier synchronous lecture experience, you are doing all that you can, but it does not appear to be working. These students are getting half a learning experience (at best) and your teachers are quickly getting burned out.

Hybrid Learning or Remote Learning using the SANE Learning Approach

Does this scenario sound familiar? It does not have to be this way. In fact, we believe we have a great solution for making sure your students and teachers enjoy a more natural, focused, and enriching school experience that does not require ripping out the classroom equipment you have put in place today–and without breaking the bank. Hybrid learning, whether in-classroom or remote-learning, does not have to feel like different experiences.

The solution, which we call School As Normal Experience (SANE) Learning, is simple. Here’s how it works: Provide classroom teachers and their students with an adapted classroom, similar to the way many businesses have set up their video conference rooms. At one end of the room is a large monitor and below it is a special camera with a wide field of view that sees the whole classroom. This system connects via the cloud – just like everything else today – to the system your school already has in place, whether it’s Zoom, Microsoft or the more secure Webex.

Remote-learning students connect just like they do today, but now they can see the whole classroom, and the in-classroom students can see the remote students as well. The teacher can see and teach to everyone all at once. If she wants to share material with everyone, she can put it up on screen or you can connect a smart whiteboard to the system. The result is a better, more natural education model, with happier, more engaged, and participative students, and less burned-out teaching staff.

The really great thing about the SANE Learning approach is that your school can use it even when kids change classrooms, like in middle school and high school. The system can automatically switch the remote students and place them into the new classroom where they can join their in-classroom peers. The only difference is one group gets to stop by their lockers.

This a scalable system that can grow with the needs of your students, teachers, and schools. We have successfully put these SANE Learning environments in place in several school districts and universities and parents are seeing a huge difference for their students.

Want to Learn More?

Now that it looks like hybrid learning is here to stay, at least for an extended time,  you can help your school and school district provide your students and their teachers with a more natural and productive teaching experience – a SANE Learning environment! Get a Demo of the SANE Learning system and see how it works at https://aspiretransforms.com/education.

Aspire Technology Partners is a Cisco Gold Certified Partner engrained in solution pillars that set us apart as a true Cisco solutions provider. We are committed to the continuous improvement of expertise and skillsets around Cisco initiatives that enable us to help and guide customers in the adoption and management of technology architectures designed to transform their organization. We hold Cisco Master Specializations in Collaboration, Security, Cloud & Managed Services and is one of only 25 partners in the US to receive the Cisco Advanced Customer Experience Specialization.

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