The Blended Learning Implementation Guide recently released by Digital Learning Now (DLN) is designed to guide school and district leaders through the process of successfully shifting to a blended learning model with a strategic and comprehensive plan.
A couple of key drivers behind this shift are (a) the developments in technology that are enabling far greater reach in terms of where and when learning occurs, and (b) the increasing focus on personalisation of the learning experience.
The guide uses a simple four-stage process to provide practical support and guidance for schools wanting to move in this direction, from creating the conditions for success through to continuous improvement.
As the introduction to the guide points out, blended learning isn't just another initiative to add to all the other things we have to contend with, rather, it is a fundamental re-design in the way we think about and provide for the education of learners in our schools. It involves rethinking the organisation of our schools and classes, how time is used, and how limited resources are allocated. It involves new roles for teachers and learners, and embraces parents and caregivers in new types of relationships as part of the learning process. It also relies heavily on robust technological infrastructure and services to support it all.
Looking past the very US-centric context for which this guide is written, it's among the best I've come across so far for providing a 'big picture', yet very practical outline to guide what a school might do to embrace a blended learning methodology.
For those interested, my friend Nancy White today published an interesting post on her FullCircle blog titled The Value of Hybrid/Blended learning in which she argues for the benefits of blended learning in a variety of contexts in which she is or has been working. I particularly like the graphic at the head of her post which provides a useful way of thinking about the various forms a blended approach may take.