Blended learning refers to any time a student learns, at least in part, at a brick-and-mortar facility and through online delivery with student control over time, place, path, or pace. [source: infographic] This sounds like personalizing learning to me. Yet, something’s happening how schools are using the blended learning approach.
Blended learning environments are growing especially in the charter school movement. According to Michael Horn and Heather Staker on Innosight:
Online learning is sweeping across America. In the year 2000, roughly 45,000 K–12 students took an online course. In 2009, more than 3 million K–12 students did. What was originally a distance- learning phenomenon no longer is. Most of the growth is occurring in blended-learning environments, in which students learn online in an adult-supervised environment at least part of the time. As this happens, online learning has the potential to transform America’s education system by serving as the backbone of a system that offers more personalized learning approaches for all students.
They continue with a concern about the numbers of students who will have access to o online learning opportunities. There is a limit, however, to the number of students in America who have the ability to be home-schooled or attend a full-time virtual school. The same analysis that shows that 50 percent of all high school courses will be delivered online by 2019 reveals that home schooling and full-time virtual schooling will not substitute for mainstream schooling, as their rapid growth flattens out at around 10 percent of the K–12 schooling population.
There is a limit, however, to the number of students in America who have the ability to be home-schooled or attend a full-time virtual school. The same analysis that shows that 50 percent of all high school courses will be delivered online by 2019 reveals that home schooling and full-time virtual schooling will not substitute for mainstream schooling, as their rapid growth flattens out at around 10 percent of the K–12 schooling population.
Blended learning means something different to different groups depending on the ages of students, access to resources, teacher support and training, integrating digital literacy, assessment strategies, and amount of collaborative planning time.
Allison Littlejohn, director of the Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University wrote 20 Tips and Resources for using Technology in Higher Education where she shared about blended learning:
Blended learning should transform learning, not just replicate teaching: Companies want graduates who can source, filter and use existing knowledge to create new knowledge, and the university is key to equipping students with these skills. Yet we seldom see technology tools being used in radically new ways in Higher Ed. They are usually used to replicate lectures – think of websites or podcasts – rather than enabling students to learn in new ways.
Teachers should not be the hardest working people in the classroom.
How about changing the word “Student” to “Learner?” Student implies that they can only learn from a teacher. Learner implies a different role for teacher and learner. The learning starts with the learner. The learner drives and owns their learning. How about re-evaluating how the learner learns and using that information to design their personal learning path or personal journey?
- interactive games
- small groups
- appropriate resources
- personal journeys
- flipping the classroom
- inquiry and critical thinking
- and so much more…
- learners are able to determine how they learn best?
- teachers are co-designers of blended learning environments with learners?
- learners have a voice and choice in the way they learn?
- there are a variety of opportunities of blended learning approaches to choose from?