The term blended learning first emerged in the late 1990s with the advent of the internet (Friesen, 2012). There are a myriad of frameworks, models and theories surrounding the concept but at its most basic level blended learning refers to the practice of using both online and in-person learning experiences when teaching students (Abbott, 2014).
The initial adoption of computing and internet based technology in education was what I would describe as a practice of transference, text books were accessed on the computer, assignments were typed instead of written, overhead projectors we replaced with AV projectors. All these potentially revolutionary changes were afoot but teaching and learning practices were not changing dramatically. As the online experience has evolved and developed so have the opportunities for blended learning.
The move from transference to all out revolution is unfolding before our eyes. From makerspaces and project based learning to flipped classrooms, there are a variety of innovative approaches and learning modalities that have emerged and while these are well documented in academic literature there is a lack of formal training occurring in Australia.
When adopting a new method of teaching or learning we all know the key is good planning, it pays to be deliberate and strategic. If you are interested exploring opportunities to employ blended learning pedagogies within the Australian Curriculum Syba Academy is partnering with Yarra Plenty Regional Library to deliver a seven week online learning course that will achieve just that!
If you’re not quite sure or just want to find out a bit more about blended learning have a look at some of these resources:
This site is very US-centric but it provides a good grounding overview.
This blog is dedicated to exploring the many facets of blended learning.
16 of the best blended learning resources from Edudemic.
37 Blended learning resources you can use tomorrow, from Teach Thought
"Blended Learning Definition." The Glossary of Education Reform. N.p., 15 May 2013. Web. 14 Apr. 2015.
Friesen, Norm. "Defining Blended Learning." Report: Defining Blended Learning August (2012): 1-10. Web. 15 Apr. 2015.
Staker, Heather, and Michael B. Horn. "Classifying K-12 Blended Learning." Innosight Institutute May (2012): 1-21. May 2012. Web. 15 Apr. 2015.