It’s no secret that there’s a recruitment crisis in education at the moment. Fewer new teachers are joining, and those already here and leaving in ever-greater numbers. A recent survey found that 90% of headteachers were struggling to fill vacancies in their schools. Naturally, fewer teachers means the potential for less learning by students – no matter how dedicated or skilled those remaining are, they’re competing with high workloads and difficult conditions.
The Association of School and College Leaders have argued that the solution here lies in flexible working for teachers, and, in a manner of speaking, we’d be inclined to agree. What this situation shows, we think, is where a blended learning strategy can really come into its own. By utilising elearning, educators and their students can learn to do more with fewer (physical) resources.
A VLE, with its self-marking quizzes, learning analytics and endless customisation options, can prove invaluable in automating much of the drudgery and admin problems that so-plague the teaching profession. This leaves the teachers themselves free to improve their lesson plans and provide better tuition to their charges.
Additionally, with the heavy focus on one-to-one teaching – something which can’t be achieved with diminishing staff numbers – a VLE with integrated social platforms can prove a real boon. Give every pupil the option to engage directly with their teachers, and in turn give the teachers the option to give quick, easy and detailed personalised feedback.
Too often a VLE is seen as a “needless luxury”, something which takes time away from more pressing matters. We think this is missing out on a lot of the positives. While it’s true that getting used to a VLE can take some time, with a few advocates and the right attitude we know that one can work in any environment, joining up learning and facilitating ever-greater growth.