In the wake of COVID-19, parents and teachers need to prepare for a new style of education. In our Tenney School Summer Session, we are already implementing a HyFlex approach. HyFlex (or Hybrid-Flexible) uses a combination of in-person learning and online learning. The classroom is set up with video conferencing capabilities, allowing students to be present although they are physically distant. The biggest challenge of the HyFlex model of education is to provide rich, interactive learning to students who are not physically in the classroom while also teaching students who are in the classroom. We don’t want the online students to only be watching a class.
How Teachers Meet the Challenges of HyFlex Education
There’s going to be a learning curve for every teacher trying out a new model of education. Teachers need to be able to see and address each student, whether that student is in the same room or on a video screen. How can this be accomplished? There are different scenarios possible. A teacher could divide the class into two groups: a physically-present group and an online group. During a lecture, both groups can easily listen. During a discussion, it might be easier for the teacher to only address one group at a time, perhaps allowing the other group to work on an in-class assignment.
A different scenario allows every student to have some face-to-face, in-class learning. Again, the class is divided, and this time the teacher rotates between teaching online and teaching in a physical class. For example, the teacher might teach the online half of the class at 9:00 and the physical half of the class at 10:00. This limits the number of students in the classroom by half, and it gives a fair amount of in-class time to each student.
What Parents and Students Can Do to Prepare
Parents and students should be prepared to be flexible as we all navigate our new educational challenges. It’s a good idea to get access to high-speed internet at your home, as well as learn how to set up your computer for video conferencing.
We encourage you to view any type of classroom as a real classroom. Just because your child may be at home during a history class doesn’t mean it is less important. Have your child dressed appropriately for school. Make sure your child has regular, healthy meals, and try to keep a regular schedule. All these things help your child form good habits, so learning can come more naturally, no matter how it is presented.
Be on time for all your classes, whether they are online or at school. Participation is important, so encourage your child by asking questions. Indeed, being curious about what he or she is learning, and checking homework occasionally. Education has never been solely in the hands of the schools and teachers. Parents are vital to the education of any child. At the Tenney School, we encourage active parenting. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.
How a HyFlex Experience Can Help Meet Our Educational Needs
The hybrid component of this educational experience allows students to practice social distancing more often. It also decreases the number of students in the classroom at a time. If a student is tested positive for COVID-19 but is not feeling sick, he or she can still participate safely through online learning. This model even allows teachers to teach from a distance, if that is necessary. Instead of decreasing the amount of quality education to our students, or keeping the best type of education for only the people who can be in the classroom, HyFlex gives us the flexibility to reach more people safely. If the educational system faces more changes in the future, the HyFlex model already has built-in flexibility, so changes can be made smoothly and efficiently.
Please contact us to learn more about how The Tenney School is using the HyFlex approach to education.