Classroom Technology Opinion

Ready to Implement Blended Learning?

By Tom Vander Ark — February 06, 2013 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

By Tom Vander Ark and Carri Schneider

Districts across the country are starting to see the blended learning light. We’re encouraged by the growing number of forward-thinking leaders who are
past the point of needing to be convinced about the potential of blended learning; and are now ready to get serious about implementation.

In honor of Digital Learning Day today, Digital Learning Now! (DLN) released “The Blended Learning
Implementation Guide,” the fifth DLN Smart Series paper, for leaders who are ready seize
the opportunity and shift to blended learning.

The guide is co-authored by Scott Ellis, the CEO of The Learning Accelerator. The Learning Accelerator is a
new nonprofit organization supporting the implementation of blended learning in school districts and

recent recipient of a $750,000 Gates grant

that plans to mobilize $100 million over the next five years to accelerate blended learning implementation.

The guide walks school and district leaders through a series of implementation issues around strategy, models, platforms, devices, and more. The authors
all agree that the shift to blended learning should be driven by the desire to personalize and extend learning opportunities, rather than “tech for tech’s
sake” or potential cost savings. If blended learning implementation is seen as “just another district initiative,” it’s destined for failure.

The guide is organized according to four sections:

  1. Create Conditions for Success

  2. Plan

  3. Implement; and

  4. Improve.

Following this format, leaders can walk through the guide for full implementation advice on topics ranging from initially building support all the way
through measuring impact and cultivating future innovation.

While shifting to blended learning might seem like a daunting task, “The Blended Learning Implementation Guide” will help leaders through the big decisions
related to faculty roles, classroom structures, staffing patterns, school budgets, professional development, dedicated program management, and more.

We’ve heard that many of you are eager for a guide like this one. We’re hoping you’ll take it and run with it. Kick its tires and let us know what you
think. We’ve subtitled it Version 1.0 because we’d love to capture your feedback and continue to build out the guide so it works for you. Please feel free
to email your comments to SmartSeries@GettingSmart.com. You can also submit your feedback as comments on
this article or engage with the authors through our websites, blogs, and social media.

The DLN Smart Series illuminates critical implementation topics at the intersection of the shift to personal digital learning and Common Core State
Standards (CCSS). The Blended Learning Implementation Guide and the other DLN Smart Series papers and infographics are available for download at:


Related Tags:

The opinions expressed in Vander Ark on Innovation are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Classroom Technology The Future of Blended Learning: What Educators Need to Know
More than two-thirds of educators expect their use of blended learning to increase during the 2021-22 school year.
8 min read
onsr edtech blended
Classroom Technology Why School Districts Are Unprepared for COVID-19 Disruptions, Again
Bad state policy, misplaced optimism, and a focus on full-time virtual schools left districts scrambling to educate quarantined students.
11 min read
onsr edtech hybrid
Classroom Technology Opinion Some Teachers Are New to Laptop Integration. Here’s How to Manage It
Let students help set expectations and make sure both you and they know how to use the tools are just a couple suggestions educators offer.
15 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
Classroom Technology Opinion 20 Suggestions About Teaching in a Class Where All Students Have Laptops
One tip from experienced teachers: Working in a one-to-one classroom is more about a shift in teaching and learning than the use of devices.
11 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."