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How to make sense of so many blended learning models


Posted on Jun 15, 2012

Bryan Dykman

Innosight Institute released Classifying K-12 Blended Learning last month. It serves as an addendum to The Rise of K-12 Blended Learning, which Innosight released in May of last year. If you haven’t read Rise, it’s one of the most detailed overviews of blended learning and examples that I’ve seen to date.

Classifying K-12 revisits Innosight’s definition of blended learning, how blended learning is different from fully online and tech-rich learning, and categorizes blended learning programs within four models. The first page of the report explains why they are releasing an entire white paper on definitions and model clarification:

Definitions are important because they create a shared language that enables people to talk about the new phenomena.

This idea was reinforced recently when I was sitting in on an iNACOL webinar. The speaker was a director of Student Online Learning, and she praised Innosight for helping to set the standards for how to talk about blended learning across districts and state lines.

The report is rich is graphic organizers that illustrate each of the four models. If you’re a visual learner, you’ll love studying the full-colored models. You might even be inspired to open up Illustrator or Photoshop.

Rise previously used a six model approach to classifying blended learning, and the rationale for cutting two models is explained in Classifying K-12’s appendix. Of course, I’m hoping for a 2012 update to Rise with even more examples of blended learning in practice, but in the meantime, I’ll be kept busy studying the illustrated blending learning models that the experts at Innosight have provided.

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