Digital Classrooms vs. Blended Learning vs. Flipped Classrooms

I think we can agree that a whole lot more than money and technological devices to strong education. In the field of ESL the use of technology both in and outside of the classroom varies widely. Some schools have smartboards, projectors and computer labs, others not even a chalkboard. The relationship between teacher beliefs and technology integration in the classroom varies depending on who you talk to. For the purposes of this post, we will look at

Here is an infographic showing digital classroom through to 2025. In 2015, the use of gadgets in the classroom increased productivity 65% compared to 2012. As technology continues to develop, as will its use in the classroom. To see what classrooms in the future will look like, here is an infographic produced by Big Think followed by a video by Dr. Madhav Chavan, CEO of Pratham, explaining that technology is not an automatic advantage.

Types of integrating technology into the classroom is through blended learning or in a flipped class. In a class that uses blended learning, you will spend time in a physical classroom listening to lectures, doing assignments, participating in discussions and classroom activities, etc., and then return home to do the same types of activities in an online environment. The portion of the course that is taught in class may be towards separate learning objectives/goals than the parts that are taught online. The online component is usually used to supplement the in-class portion. For example, the in-person component achieves Goals A, B, and C and the online component achieves Goals D, E, and F. To assist in the design of a blended learning course, Blackboard has released a free version of their platform for the individual instructor available at

In a flipped class, the format is reversed from above: you might watch a video of a lecture at home, and then go to class to work on problems, case studies, have discussions, etc. The work that is completed online builds on the work that is completed in person, together helping students achieve a learning goal/objective. An example of this is watching the class lecture video at home, and then doing a group discussion in class achieving Goal A. I have never had a flipped classroom experience, but I hope to plan some flipped lesson plan templates for the college instructors I work with using this checklist to validate flipped lessons and class-activities-and-assessment-for-flipped-classroom

In order to have effective technology integration, it is essential that teacher beliefs include a belief in learning new ways of seeing and doing things. In order to promote this belief, it will only be through sustained professional development and ongoing collaboration that teacher culture will change and technology use in the classroom will thrive.


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