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The Pros and Cons When It Comes To Taking a Blended Learning Class at Fhn

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Credit to Cherry Clark
Students are seen in the FHN parking lot leaving due to blended learning classes.

This year, FHN offered a new type of class for students to take which they have never offered before in previous years. This class type is called blended learning, which is essentially a mix of in-person learning and at-home learning that allows students to leave school early seventh hour, or come to school late first hour depending on the day. However, this type of class was only applied to English IV, Algebra III, AP Statistics, AP English Lit and Comp, Honors French IV and V, Honors Spanish IV, Foundations of Wellness, AP Government and Politics, and Personal Finance for this year.

When it comes to taking a blended learning class, it definitely can have its pros and cons depending on the student.

An advantage to taking a blended learning class is the flex days, which are days students can leave early or come to campus late. This allows things like sports, jobs, and other activities after school that students participate in to easily fit into their schedule. Plus, it can even allow sleeping in a couple of extra minutes in the morning.

“If you want to sleep in or do whatever else, eat a nice breakfast, then you can always work on homework later on,” senior Savanna Degenhardt said. “You just have to make sure you get it done.”

Blended classes can also teach students a lot of valuable skills that are needed beyond high school such as time management and responsibility, but it can even further prepare a student for what they might experience in college.

“[Students] get to learn how to manage their time,” math teacher Amy Murray said. “They can really figure out what it means to be a college student because that’s what they’ll have to do in college.”

Lastly, for the pros, blended learning allows students to work at their own pace, and can grant teachers the ability to help kids who might be struggling without the hassle of handling an entire class.

“[Students] can have an appointment during class and be able to get one-on-one attention that they couldn’t get,” English teacher Amy Stoker said. “There will be times when I can pull in a group of kids that are struggling and be able to have an intervention that I couldn’t have when I’m trying to keep a complex curriculum going.”

On the other hand, there can be some disadvantages when taking blended learning. If a student is taking a blended course as a senior, “senioritis” can play a very big role in the lack of motivation and focus in the class. A student’s mind may be more focused on being able to leave early than actually paying attention and learning in the class itself.

“Well, seventh hour, it can get tricky,” Stoker said. “If you want to leave early, is your mind fully invested in the class when we are here during seventh hour?”

Even though blended learning may have a lot of pros, some can double as cons such as learning to manage time effectively and being able to direct yourself when it comes to classwork. If a student doesn’t know how to manage time effectively, this can be a big downfall and can lead to a pile-up of work.

“Some people may have difficulties with having this amount of freedom,” Degenhardt said. “With these [classes], you really have to be responsible. You have to know how to manage your time. It’s easy to forget about the homework until a lot later if you are sleeping in and you don’t have the dedicated time.”

Whether or not students relate more with the pros or cons of blended learning, taking these courses surely grants more freedom than the average high school class.

“I would like to say that I definitely do suggest trying out a blended learning class, or like heavily thinking about it,” Degenhardt said. “Because it really does add a lot of flexibility, and it’s really nice to be able to have some more free time.”

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