Blended learning refers to the blend of online learning and brick-and-mortar schooling. Blended learning takes place when students learn at least in part online, with some element of student control over the time, place, path, and/or pace of their learning, while also enjoying the benefits that come with education at a physical school (Christensen Institute).
Any fair look at education technology in U.S. K–12 schools must acknowledge that the nation has spent over $100 billion on computers in the past few decades with very little to show for it in the way of results.
Blended learning is critically different from—but easily confused with—the much broader trend of equipping classrooms with devices and software. We believe that for Texas to lead the world in student achievement, our schools must be wise enough to look beyond the technology trap and, instead, pursue a more strategic and focused blended learning strategy.
Blended learning has three components. First, blended learning is a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace. Some element of student control is critical. The technology used for the online learning must shift content and instruction to the control of the student in at least some way for it to qualify as blended learning from the student’s perspective, rather than just the use of digital tools from the classroom teacher’s perspective.