Blended learning will bring big changes

Prediction: the rise of blended learning (classes taught partially online, partially in-person) is going to mean big changes for K-12 teachers and students.

Teachers:

  1. There will be fewer of you- schools will save money by reducing teacher headcount (many charter schools piloting blended learning models are quite up-front about the cost-savings they are realizing by doing this).
  2. Consequently, class sizes will be significantly larger than before.
  3. You will have unprecedented abilities to collect and analyze student data, and to monitor student progress and adjust instruction appropriately.

Students:

  1. A blended class is likely to be more boring than a high-quality traditional class, and the quality of instruction is likely to be lower (see: Khan Academy).
  2. Being self-motivated will be a bigger advantage than ever before (for example, see the last part of this article: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/01/25/arizona-st-and-knewtons-grand-experiment-adaptive-learning)
  3. Learning will be much more at your own pace and customized to your needs.

Number three on each list is what has the potential to make blended learning truly revolutionary for both teachers and students.

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3 Responses to Blended learning will bring big changes

  1. Andrew says:

    Forgive me if this seems obtuse, but are is this post promoting blended learning? Or downing it? Statements like “Students a blended class will likely be more boring…” make it sound like something to be avoided.

    Adjusting to student needs sounds like a good thing… so, I’m trying to read your tone a bit. Perhaps you deliberately left me to draw my own conclusion. Either way, the post was engaging.

    • adampercival says:

      Hi Andrew,

      Glad that you found this interesting- thanks for the comment!

      I’d say blended learning (like most things) has positives and negatives… so I wasn’t trying to promote it or down it, but rather to point out some of the major changes I see coming. I think the extent to which blended learning will be a net positive or negative in the long run will depend on to what extent we take advantage of its powerful strengths (teacher access to data, personalized learning) and mitigate its drawbacks (impact on teachers, disengaged students “falling through the cracks”).

  2. Pingback: The Mixed Bag of Blended Learning « thegeometryteacher

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