ABCs to ATMs - The Case for Paying Students to Learn

Chapter 8: Blended Learning and Behavioral Change

Work lives are blended for many people. It can mean more work or less work. It can mean the flexibility of where you work. It can include unlimited time off as long as the job gets done. Gigs play an important role as well in this blended work ecosystem.  Need some extra cash? Pick up a few gigs driving people around or dog sitting.

Why are these principles not being applied the exact same way to school?  They can be.

The Intersection of Learning Models

Blended learning combines traditional classroom instruction with online education, allowing students to partially control the time, pace, and place of their learning. This approach has gained traction in many educational settings, offering a balanced mix of social interaction and focused, individual study time. In this chapter, we’ll explore how blended learning fits into our new educational model, particularly with respect to its impact on student behavior and the overall learning environment.

Defining Blended Learning

Blended learning is an educational approach that integrates face-to-face classroom methods with computer-mediated activities. This provides students with more control over their learning experience, allowing for a more personalized and flexible education. The blend of traditional, project-based, and digital learning offers a rich tapestry of opportunities for students to engage with the material and with each other.

Behavioral Transformation: A Central Pillar 

One of the unique features of blended learning in this new model is the focus on behavior as a qualifying factor for participation in group projects. Gone are the days of suspensions and detentions as primary disciplinary measures. Instead, students who misbehave may find themselves relegated to the digital side of blended learning, participating remotely until they demonstrate the maturity and responsibility needed for in-person collaboration. Students who are digital only would be removed from collaborating with friends, and have a harder time demonstrating that they are ready for assessments. Taking away access to peers and to a source of income while still providing full access to the learning materials is a game changer.

Incentivizing Good Behavior

The prospect of earning financial rewards through learning gigs provides an additional layer of behavioral incentive. Students quickly realize that mature, responsible behavior is not just socially right but also financially rewarding. This dual incentive system has the potential to revolutionize classroom dynamics, promoting a more respectful and focused learning environment.

Supporting Parents in the Blended Model

A common concern regarding blended learning is the issue of childcare. Parents who work may find it challenging to accommodate a model where students might be learning from home part of the time. To address this, our model includes comprehensive parent training modules aimed at helping families support their children’s educational journey. For those students who struggle with behavioral norms, alternative educational settings can be provided, although these would not offer access to financially incentivized learning gigs.

Our recommended morning and evening shifts for school, which cut administrative costs also give families the opportunity to know their child is safe even if they are working evenings. This improves the experience for families if the students can work well with others and come to school ready to learn.

A Sea Change in Education and Behavior

It would be lovely if everyone got a great, engaging education and loved to do it for the love and appreciation of learning. But let’s be honest. Times up. That does not work for a majority of people, and especially not for people who are underprivileged. Families are frustrated. Students are frustrated. Teachers are frustrated. There needs to be a change.

Blended learning is not just a logistical adjustment; it’s a cultural shift. By integrating financial incentives and making behavior a cornerstone of educational progress, this new model offers a transformative approach to teaching and learning. It promises not just academic growth, but also the development of social skills and personal responsibility, equipping students for the complexities of the real world.

Applying the gig mentality to education makes education make sense to modern students.

Ron McDaniel

Founder, Outstanda

You are reading

Click Here to See Chapters
or Download the Full Book

This book is free.

If you like it, please consider
donating to our nonprofit here.

Need a speaker, or podcast guest,
or have a media request?

Ron McDaniel
Author of “ABCs to ATMs”
[email protected]