Service-Learning BLENDS into VIRTUALLY Everything!
Guest Blog by Beth Smith, Consultant, Inspire3
Virtual instruction and blended learning have become leading strategies for content delivery and response. As schools look to increase and improve their scope and delivery of content through virtual and blended learning formats, concerns arise regarding student engagement, social interaction, and efficacy. One way to promote engagement, social interaction, and effective content delivery is through service-learning delivered via the virtual/ blended format. Because students interact with content in a real-world application and discover that they have the power to be civically engaged and make a difference, they are more engaged in the content, and the content is more likely to be acquired for long-term use. Virtual service-learning IS Blended Learning because it involves instruction, inquiry, problem-solving, self-reflection, collaboration, communication, and demonstration both virtually and in-person. Students can apply service to their content while actively working to affect positive change.
Effective service- learning instructional approaches include:
Promoting content real world application and reflection, giving instruction authenticity
Working collaboratively with peers, adults, and community members to effectively solve problems
Integrating and facilitating research, self-reflection, and action through technology
Secondary skills students develop include interacting in meaningful ways in a virtual and blended learning environment, collaborating with others to achieve shared goals, and communicating using various media.
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