Hybrid and Blended Learning: The Next Sentence in the Conversation

March 15, 2011

Hybrid schooling, and its close cousin blended learning, come up quickly and often in education reform conversations. The question is, what’s the third or fourth sentence in the conversation?

There’s plenty of interest in the idea of blending face-to-face learning—what most of us of voting age know simply as “school”—with online education. (This is more sophisticated than mere online course-taking, which millions of kids are doing—it’s actually integrating online content into a school’s teacher-driven learning process.) The potential of hybrid, and blended, learning is exciting—offering opportunities for teachers to personalize learning, while at the same time helping schools increase efficiency in a time of draconian budget choices.

Yet, for all the talk and promise, the actual examples of schools doing this work well are few. That’s why Debbie McGriff and I were enthusiastic about the invitation we got from Education Next to write in detail about some of the best work we’ve seen throughout the country. The article that came out of that effort, called Future Schools, is now up on the Ed Next website; we hope you’ll take a look.