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The Future of Education: Blending Learning

The COVID-19 pandemic forced most US schools to make a quick transition to remote learning. Some districts were ready to make this move, others struggled. But all gained a new perspective on remote learning as an element of the overall learning environment.

Looking forward, it’s clear that education as usual isn’t going to return anytime soon. Schools of all levels and sizes are evolving rapidly as the new normal becomes more normal. They’re recognizing the potential of blended learning, which combines traditional on-site and online components.

Here are just some of the reasons why blended learning is expected to continue to take hold in the post-COVID 19 era:

1. Schools get the best of both worlds. Blended learning offers a middle-ground option that many education experts see as a clear path forward. Some subjects or projects are best taught live, in person. Others are more suited for an online approach. With blended learning, educators can pick the approach that matches the needs of the students and the specific subject matter—versus moving exclusively to an all-online environment. Read more

2. Blended learning keeps schools prepared to move online again, if necessary. No one thinks that COVID-19 represents an isolated event. At some point in the future, a new health, environmental, or other issue will require a fast transition to online learning. By keeping one foot in the online world with blended learning, schools can transition nimbly to an all-online approach to education if and when they have to make that move. As a recent article from the John Hopkins School of Education put it, “…districts will have to assume that immediate, lasting disruptions will become more commonplace. In response, districts will have to plan for and develop blended learning plans in which schools can seamlessly transition between face-to-face classroom instruction and online environments when disruptions occur.”

3. Schools need to stay modern and competitive. In a recent Forbes article, education innovator Enrique Dans highlighted blended learning as a competitive advantage and the choice for the future. “Online teaching will no longer simply be an option,” he wrote. “Next year, institutions that are unable to offer a blended methodology that seamlessly integrates face-to-face and online teaching will increasingly find themselves left behind, until they are simply out of the race.”

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