Good recommendations for those moving to blended learning.
Forget About Blended Learning Best Practices
In the first installment in our new monthly column, blended learning experts Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker advise schools to skip the "best practices" and instead seek innovations that work in their unique circumstances.
- By Michael Horn, Heather Staker
Blended learning is increasingly dominating education conversations, and it's no wonder why. Online learning's growth remains rapid, with Ambient Insight predicting an annual increase of nearly 10 percent over the next five years, and much of that growth is in blended-learning environments, where students engage in online learning in supervised brick-and-mortar schools instead of from a distance.
As public schools move to this new reality, they are clamoring for templates to follow and for "best practices." Over the course of the year we will be writing a series of articles on blended learning offering our tips and insights, but with one caveat.
Simply following the guidance of best practices won't help schools get the best results for their students. The reason is simple.
Best practices take the attributes of what good organizations do and assume that they are the causal reason for their success. But what works well in one circumstance might not work in another. For example, centuries ago, would-be aviators observed that most animals that flew well had wings and feathers.