BLENDED LEARNING, FLIPPED CLASSROOM AND VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY STUDENTS

R. Capone1, P. De Caterina2, G.A.G. Mazza2

1University of Salerno (ITALY)
2Guacci High School Benevento (ITALY)
Although the terms ‘Blended Learning’ and ‘Flipped Learning’ are presented with different meanings, they actually have much in common. Blended learning is an educational strategy which combines the traditional classroom with on-line activities and finds its best application in the Flipped classroom where the responsibility for the teaching process is in a way ‘transferred’ to that of the students who have direct access to the contents of the lesson before going to school. In this context, the teacher will become a supporter and facilitator and will help students in the transition process from knowledge to the acquisition of skills and competences. This paper explores these two E-learning approaches with the different theoretical and pedagogical implications they have. It also illustrates how some activities have been implemented and organized considering these methodologies both in the English language on topics of everyday life and in literary teaching in high school classes through the digital environment. These classroom practices and approaches have been helpful for other school subject such as Mathematics, Physics and Art that have experimented Blended and Flipped learning to teach CLIL more easily. Furthermore, the most appropriate way to carry out Flipped teaching has been to create virtual classes on social media such as Facebook or Edmodo, which are also useful as a sort of on-line repository of lessons and as a discussion forum between the teacher and his/her students. In this new perspective, students have experienced new techniques and strategies through cooperative learning, that is a teaching/learning mode which allows them to work together in small groups to achieve the same goals. Students have created digital products and posted them on the Net, thereby attaining great results. All the activities have been planned to take into account critical thinking, different learning styles, multiple intelligences and with a view to obtain examples of the digital literacy standards required for the 21st - century students