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Blended Learning

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“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.” 

— The Rise of K–12 Blended Learning  By Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker

Thesis: The demand for individualized instruction could be met by customizable online computer-based instruction

"Provocatively titled, Disrupting Class is just what America's K-12 education system needs--a well thought-through proposal for using technology to better serve students and bring our schools into the 21st Century. Unlike so many education 'reforms,' this is not small-bore stuff. For that reason alone, it's likely to be resisted by defenders of the status quo, even though it's necessary and right for our kids. We owe it to them to make sure this book isn't merely a terrific read; it must become a blueprint for educational transformation.“

— Joel Klein, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education

  • In Disrupting Class the authors project that by 2019, 50 percent of all high school courses will be delivered online
  • The Rise of K-12 Blended Learning reports that:
    • In 2000 roughly 45,000 K-12 students took an online course
    • In 2009 this number rose to more than 3 million K-12 students
    • Distance-learning is being replaced by school-based blended learning environments     whereby students learn online in an adult-supervised setting
    • This model offers a more personalized, individualized approach to learning
  • States are beginning to make completion of an online course a graduation requirement: Alabama, Michigan (proposed legislation in other states)
  • Domestic and international private schools beginning to consider a similar graduation requirement to prepare students for 21st century learning and work environments

Blended Learning: Best of Both Worlds

To truly be successful, blended learning should be approached as not only a temporal construct, but rather as a fundamental redesign of the instructional model with the following characteristics:

  • A shift from lecture- to student-centered instruction where students become interactive learners in the entire course including face-to-face sessions
  • Increases in interaction between student-instructor, student-student, student-content, and student-outside resources
  • Integrated formative and summative assessment mechanisms for student and instructor


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