Trends of Blended Learning in K-12 Schools: Challenges and Possibilities

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Book Chapter

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Blended learning is a well-known and successful instructional model used in higher education and K-12 schools (International Association for K-12 Online Learning, 2012; Watson, 2012). It is estimated that about 37 percent of school districts in the United States had students enrolled in technology-supported distance education courses during the 2004/2005 school year (Zandberg & Lewis, 2008). An increased student population, coupled with the need to reduce educational costs, has led to a high demand for virtual instruction (Watson, 2010). One strongly supported method is blended learning (Watson, 2010). Blended learning is a hybrid of traditional face-to-face and online learning in which instruction occurs through both classroom and online formats, with the online component being a natural extension of traditional classroom learning (Colis & Moonen, 2001). As such, the process may involve a combination of instructional technology formats (e.g., videotape, CD-ROM, Web-based training, film) and face-to-face instructor-led instruction (Driscoll, 2002). Despite its hybrid nature and the potential it holds for transforming classroom instruction, to date, little research exists that examines trends in blended learning and the challenges and possibilities of utilizing this method of instructional delivery at the K-12 level. Further, even less is known about best practices in K-12 blended learning and instruction (Ferdig, et al., 2009). Given these considerations, in this chapter, the authors first explore trends in blended learning in K-12 schools. Subsequently, they examine the benefits and challenges of K-12 blended learning. In the final phases of the chapter, the authors highlight possible solutions to the challenges, discuss recommendation, and identify directions for future research.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Trends of Blended Learning in K-12 Schools: Challenges and Possibilities, in L. Kyei- Blankson & E. Ntuli (Eds.), Practical Applications and Experiences in K-20 Blended Learning Environments, IGI Global, p. 1-17