An article on Blended Learning from the Smithsonian Magazine discusses the gains from blended learning, including significant improvement in math competence, for a school in Washington, D.C.
“At Stanton, students in grades 3-5 spend 45 minutes a day on an iPad or a Dell laptop working on ST Math, an online math program that challenges each student based on his or her skill level. For example, one student could tackle multiplication tables, while someone in the next row completes double-digit addition problems. Some do all their work by typing and touch-screening their way through problems and solutions, while others swivel between scouring the screen and scribbling on scrap paper. Teachers rotate through the room, helping students when they stumble on a given problem.”
In his recent blog, Andrew Miller writes “Blended learning is not simply technology integration! At the same time, there are many implementation methods for blended learning…It is important that we venture down the path of blended learning, that we’re actually doing blended learning, that we’re clear in our model, and that we share common language.”
Definition of Blended Learning
The definition of true blended learning is a little more subtle than indicated in the image above. The Christensen Institute has provided a definition of blended learning as a program “in which a student learns at least in part through online delivery of content and instruction with some element of student control over time, place, path and/or pace” together with supervised instruction in a physical location away from home.
Traditional instruction enhanced with technology may be an improvement, but it is not blended learning. Blended learning adds the flexibility of online instruction with one or more aspects controlled by the student. Blended learning methods promote competency-based, individualized learning, and thus naturally require the incorporation of a wider range of curricular resources, from online sources. In order to remain within budgetary constraints, access to free open educational resources (OER) is highly desirable.
Why Curriki supports Blended Learning
Curriki supports blended learning approaches because we have extensive experience with the growing wealth of OER curricular content, that is supportive of blended learning methodologies. This content is available to be incorporated into blended learning models across a range of subjects and at various K-12 grade levels. Anyone can access and utilize over 50,000 instructional resources available on Curriki at no cost. We encourage you to use these free resources to support your blended learning lesson plans, and also to contribute resources for others in the blended learning community to utilize.