- The latest report from the Foundation for Blended and Online Learning (FBOL) and the Evergreen Education Group, "Teaching with Technology: Educators’ Perspectives and Recommendations for Successful Blended Instructional Strategies," based on a survey of teachers from a variety of school models in 38 states, identifies time, thoughtful planning, support and relevant professional development as critical to success.
- The report suggests that teachers appreciate the differentiation that digital tools and resources allow in both instruction and content creation, and that educators can't take for granted that students are already comfortable with or completely ready to use computers.
- Additionally, the report advises educators to choose a specific strategy to support and to stick with it to account for the fast pace of tech advancement, and to factor in teachers' individual personalities and pedagogical approaches to help them adjust to blended learning in ways that account for their strengths and weaknesses.
Blended learning models offer significant potential for improving education, but as reports like this continue to highlight, strategy and planning are keys to success. Administrators considering the implementation of more active learning models must have a well-defined strategy in place to guarantee that benefits are maximized, as tech will never be a "magic bullet" solution that automatically improves outcomes by virtue of simply being placed in the classroom.
Educators must have adequate professional development opportunities that show how to best incorporate new devices and resources into instruction, and administrators must account for the additional time commitments demanded by active learning models to prevent burnout.
Approached with a carefully thought-out strategy in place, blended learning can serve as a great step toward more meaningful, personalized learning opportunities.