Blended learning is a combination of online education materials and traditional classroom teaching.
Proponents of this approach say the traditional classroom model of schooling as in need of a revolution. They argue that to better engage students and to provide them with the skills needed for the future, we should harness the power of modern digital technology.
Blended learning is a broad concept. It encompasses using technologies such as Google Classroom to create learning experiences to radically different classroom models.
Four of those new classroom models are as follows:
Lab-rotation: a class moving as one from a traditional to a digital classroom setup (computer room/work on tablets) during a lesson.
Class rotation: children working in small groups and switching between traditional activities and those using computers - i.e. a carousel.
Flexible model: children moving between synchronous digital and traditional classes.
Pod: where schools work in huge groups with all children using a digital device. In this setup, teachers would take on specific roles: behaviour manager, team instructor or advisor for example. This is a radically different model currently used by relatively few schools.
As children complete some of the key learning on a computer, this allows the teacher to concentrate on the depth of learning - the application of skills and the developing of higher-order thinking skills.
Blended learning is linked very closely with 'flipped learning' - which also promotes the idea that digital technology can allow teachers to concentrate on teaching 'higher-order' thinking skills.