Special Report
Classroom Technology

Report Summary: Breaking Down Barriers to Blended Learning

By The Editors — April 13, 2015 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

“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 “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

School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Get a Strong Start to the New School Year
Get insights and actions from Education Week journalists and expert guests on how to start the new school year on strong footing.
Reading & Literacy Webinar A Roadmap to Multisensory Early Literacy Instruction: Accelerate Growth for All Students 
How can you develop key literacy skills with a diverse range of learners? Explore best practices and tips to meet the needs of all students. 
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
College & Workforce Readiness Webinar
Supporting 21st Century Skills with a Whole-Child Focus
What skills do students need to succeed in the 21st century? Explore the latest strategies to best prepare students for college, career, and life.
Content provided by Panorama Education

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 Big Numbers of Teens Are on TikTok 'Almost Constantly.' What Should Teachers Do?
A Pew Research Center report confirms what most middle and high school teachers already know: Teens are spending way too much time online.
3 min read
Image of a group of teens using their mobile devices.
iStock/Getty
Classroom Technology Software That Monitors Students May Hurt Some It's Meant to Help
Instead of referring kids to counseling services, the software is often used for discipline purposes, a tech policy group says.
2 min read
Students using computers.
E+/Getty
Classroom Technology Q&A Superintendent: Recruit More Black Male Educators, Get Tech in the Hands of All Students
Middletown, Ohio, school district chief Marlon Styles Jr. is the first Black superintendent of that school system.
9 min read
Middletown City School District Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr. speaks at the 2022 ISTE Leadership Exchange in New Orleans on June 26, 2022.
Marlon Styles Jr., the superintendent of the Middletown City School District in Ohio, speaks at the 2022 ISTE Leadership Exchange in New Orleans on June 26. The session was part of the International Society for Technology in Education's national conference.
Courtesy of Marlon Styles Jr.
Classroom Technology This Technology Can Write Student Essays: Is There Any Educational Benefit?
Educators don't yet know what to make of GPT-3, an artificial intelligence application that generates text on command.
6 min read
Blue artificial intelligence woman made up of dots with sound waves coming from her mouth.
iStock/Getty Images Plus