The pandemic has brought about major changes in traditional teaching models. The situation imposed by the COVID forced at first to move all classes and evaluation systems to the online environment. During this last academic year we have experienced a return to scalable classrooms combined with online methods. This hybrid learning system has been supported by educational tools, cloud solutions and new training resources. But, in addition to the right technology, this drive needs a new mindset and the consolidation of a digital culture.
Hybrid learning is a new educational scenario and, as such, it faces challenges and offers opportunities. One of the main challenges is for teachers who will have to combine two communication channels in their classes, face-to-face and online, with the specific needs of each of them (especially in the case of online for younger students). In many ways it is a complete readaptation of teachers who will have to adapt their content according to the face-to-face or online mode. It also requires an initial investment by the centers and a commitment by the institutions to offer the necessary means to guarantee equality among students.
But, as we pointed out, it also offers new opportunities. It fosters inclusion, especially in the use of technology, thus improving student equality. Another of the opportunities it offers is to deepen individual learning. This model has a greater capacity to adapt to the needs of each student. For example, in the online reading or review of syllabi, each student can dedicate the time he/she needs to a subject and in the face-to-face mode, doubts can be reviewed and points can be shared on the basis of a more equitable understanding.
Tools for the hybrid educational environment
Microsoft 365 and Teams have adapted to the needs of classrooms in their respective education versions to provide an integrated virtual classroom environment and means of sharing content, completing assignments and accessing content. In Teams, you can even set up rooms for more informal meetings as a break between classes.
On the other hand, Microsoft Educator Community has established itself as a worldwide educational community that brings together knowledge and training for teachers around the world.