Transitioning to Blended (In-School/Remote) Learning


What does blended learning look like in the era of #COVID19? Schools are offering both in-school and online learning as well as full-time online options. Students may be separated into two or more groups to reduce in-person class size and each group attends class on alternate days of the week.

Many teachers have experienced feeling isolated due to remote learning. COVID 19 has affected everyone; disrupted the lives of students, teachers and parents. It needs a community response. No one can succeed alone. This school year must be kept in perspective; seeing opportunities to improve education for the future rather than lamenting the role coronavirus has played in changing how we educate children. Isolation can lead to loneliness. Teachers should make an effort to intentionally keep connected with colleagues, family and friends. Self-care and maintaining mental health should be a priority.

What strategies can be employed to engage reluctant remote learners? Before attempting to engage reluctant remote learners, educators need to address why a student has chosen to disengage. Similar to engaging students in the classroom, building relationships is the first step to engagement. It is also the beginning of individualizing and personalizing learning for the student. Relationships should go beyond teacher-student relationships and consider the importance of strong peer-relationships which will ultimately draw students in to participate more fully in class discussions and projects.

Unlike the disruptions that result from natural disasters or calls for social change, the unique challenge of a national health emergency requires specific initiatives directly related to the public health of students and staff. Response to the coronavirus requires a two-pronged approach directed at both the physical (social distancing, PPE, school nurses) and mental health (school psychologists, school counselors, social workers). It is of the upmost importance that schools take measures to deep-clean classrooms and all facilities on a periodic basis. Such things as ventilation systems and aging school buildings must be addressed.

The social-emotional needs of GT students during the era of #COVID19 can and must be given serious consideration. In many cases, it may even be easier than it was prior to the current crisis. Remote learning has actually been a better ‘fit’ for many GT students. It has become easier to interact with intellectual peers; provided time to work on passion projects; and opened opportunities to connect with mentors. Acceptance of asynchronous learning can boost a GT student’s ability to become a self-directed learner; to forego the boredom from tedious hours in a classroom that didn’t meet their academic needs.

Blended learning provides a flexible framework of differentiation for GT students. Instruction can be individualized, new material can be processed independently, and real academic growth can be assessed through mastery. Differentiation strategies can involve project-based learning, self-directed learning, and mastery-based learning.

A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:


Additional Online/Tech Resources:

Learning Management Systems:

Google Classroom




Classcraft (supports gamification)


Video Conferencing:


Microsoft Teams

Google Meet

Video Recording:




Teach from Anywhere





Blended Learning in the Age of COVID-19 | EdWeek

What Does Blended Learning Look Like in a Distance Learning Environment? | EdWeek

12 Of The Most Common Types Of Blended Learning

How to Make Teaching Online Feel Less Isolating | Edutopia

Connecting with Reluctant Remote Learners | Edutopia

What are the effects of remote, blended learning on kids?

How to Teach Online/Blended Learning – Grab & Go Resources | Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Finding Success in a Blended Learning Environment

8 Teachers Reflect on the Start of the New School Year | Edutopia

Creating Moments of Genuine Connection Online | Cult of Pedagogy

Distance Education: A Systems View 2nd Edition (book)

The Indicators of Instructor Presence that are Important to Students in Online Courses | Journal of Online Learning and Teaching

The Difference Between Emergency Remote Teaching and Online Learning

Award-Winning Faculty Online Teaching Practices: Elements of Award-Winning Courses | Online Learning Journal

Designing Digital Teaching Media for Millennial Teachers: Trends and Sense | Research Gate

K-12 Crowdsourced Resources (pdf)

Preface: Reflections on the Waves of Emerging Learning Technologies | Educational Technology Research and Development

3 Ways to Deepen Student Engagement in Online Discussions | Edutopia

5 Ways to Build Connections with Students Online | Edutopia

What is Blended Learning?

Cybraryman’s Blended/Hybrid Learning Page

Cybraryman’s SEL and More Page

Cybraryman’s Differentiation Page 


Photo courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Posted on September 15, 2020, in curriculum, Differentiation, Education, gifted education, Social Emotional, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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