What is Blended Learning?

Blended learning is a new educational practice that involves traditional teaching mixed with new forms of technology. Some studies found that this type of learning has positive benefits on students as young as elementary school and can offer some benefits for older students in college too. These programs combine different teaching methods that can improve the tech skills that students have and help them retain more of the knowledge they learn too. Many schools across the country now offer these programs for students of all ages.

How it Works

The way it works is fairly simple. These courses usually have one computer set up for each student in the class and at least one teacher on hand to help those students. As the students enter, they learn which computer is theirs for the day. The teacher will launch a computer program after each student arrives that goes over the basic lesson for the day or the class. Students will hear a lecture from the computer and then have the chance to work on the assignment. Teachers and teaching assistants will walk around the room to talk with students, offer assistance as needed and ensure that everyone completes the work.


Though it may sound like something from the future, this type of learning has a number of benefits and advantages. It is actually more affordable for many school districts. Instead of paying for a large number of textbooks and supplies, they can invest in computers that current and future students will use. All the learning materials they need are available via those computers. This is a type of adaptive learning that can help students in the future. They will learn how to use computer programs and software at a young age that they may use in college or on the job later.


According to William Huntsberry, a common complaint against this type of learning is that is focuses too much on standardized testing. Instead of learning how to think outside of the box, these classes teach students how to think in a standard way. While that might help them when taking the SAT and similar tests, they do not learn how to think for themselves.

Huntsberry also points out that some students become bored with the repetition of these programs too. After going over the same material several times, there is a risk that some students may grow bored as they are ready to move on while other students fall behind.

Future Outlook

The future outlook for blended learning is quite high. School districts often face budget cuts and need to eliminate arts and music programs to pay for textbooks, teacher salaries and supplies. These new programs let schools spend less money on supplies, which may leave more money on hand for special programs and projects. Blended educational opportunities also provide students with some of the top in demand skills. They may learn all the necessary computer skills that employers look for in the future.

While blended teaching is still a relatively new teaching method, it showed some success when implemented in schools across the country. Students learn knowledge from computer programs and have teachers standing by to help them when needed. As more schools implement these programs, blended learning may become a standard method of teaching students.

See also: How Has Technology Changed in Schools?