Special Report
Classroom Technology

Report Summary: Breaking Down Barriers to Blended Learning

By The Editors — April 13, 2015 1 min read

“Blended Learning: Breaking Down Barriers” examines some of the most intractable challenges schools face in trying to use technology to improve teaching and learning—and how K-12 systems are attempting to clear those hurdles.

In simple terms, blended learning is a strategy to combine technology-based instruction with traditional, teacher-to-student lessons. And it exists everywhere in school districts these days.

Yet many schools find there’s a gap between what they aspire to accomplish with technology and what they can actually make happen. It’s a disconnect fueled by myriad factors, including students’ lack of Internet access away from school, teachers’ lack of confidence in using digital tools, and a murky research base for blended learning. The stories in this report explore schools’ efforts to find a way forward.

The report profiles districts’ attempts to extend Web access to students’ homes and communities. It offers examples of schools helping teachers master technology through peer coaching, and efforts to change the roles of librarians to meet schools’ digital needs.

Other stories debate the merits of giving individual schools greater autonomy to make their own ed-tech purchasing decisions—or leaving that power in the hands of districts’ central offices. The report examines a Chicago charter school designed from the ground up with blended learning in mind. And it dissects what the research says about blended learning—and the prevailing uncertainty about how to interpret the evidence that does exist.

Education Week’s hope is that these stories inform readers’ understanding of the vision and reality of blended learning, and offer ideas on how to resolve the questions schools confront every day.

Coverage of trends in K-12 innovation and efforts to put these new ideas and approaches into practice in schools, districts, and classrooms is supported in part by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York at www.carnegie.org. Coverage of “deeper learning” that will prepare students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in a rapidly changing world is supported in part by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, at www.hewlett.org. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.
A version of this article appeared in the April 15, 2015 edition of Education Week as About This Report

Events

Student Well-Being Webinar Boosting Teacher and Student Motivation During the Pandemic: What It Takes
Join Alyson Klein and her expert guests for practical tips and discussion on how to keep students and teachers motivated as the pandemic drags on.
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.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Holistic Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Register to learn about the components and benefits of holistically implemented SEL.
Content provided by Committee for Children
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.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
How Principals Can Support Student Well-Being During COVID
Join this webinar for tips on how to support and prioritize student health and well-being during COVID.
Content provided by Unruly Studios

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Interdisciplinary STEAM Specialist
Smyrna, Georgia
St. Benedict's Episcopal School
Interdisciplinary STEAM Specialist
Smyrna, Georgia
St. Benedict's Episcopal School
Arizona School Data Analyst - (AZVA)
Arizona, United States
K12 Inc.
Software Engineer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association

Read Next

Classroom Technology Spotlight Spotlight on Instructional Tech
In this Spotlight, evaluate if current usage of EdTech is working and more.
Classroom Technology Low-Income Children Less Likely to Experience 'Live' Contact With Teachers, Analysis Finds
Children from lower-income families are less likely to have internet access, limiting their interactions with educators.
2 min read
Image of a student working on a computer from home.
iStock/Getty
Classroom Technology Opinion Outschool CEO on How to Engage Half a Million Virtual Learners
Amir Nathoo, CEO of Outschool, discusses how offering classes on topics like Minecraft and Harry Potter can engage students in learning.
10 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Classroom Technology See the Cities Best (and Worst) Positioned for Virtual Learning
Seattle leads a list of cities best prepared to tackle virtual learning, according to a recent analysis.
1 min read
Image of Seattle skyline
Getty