Will Blended Learning Fulfill its Disruptive Potential?

In this opinion piece, Thomas Arenett explores blended learning and the concept of disruptive innovation, a theory of change and the central theme of research at the Christensen Institute. Researchers there hope disruptive innovations can end the cycle of fads in education reform, in which new approaches enter the landscape with promise but fizzle out quickly. Through disruptive innovation changes occur, not through deliberate reforms from the top, but through organic transformation in which an unmet need or job is filled using a primitive solution. Over time if the solution proves better than the traditional approach, it is refined and improved as it is adopted by more users.

The Christensen Institute hopes blended learning is this type of disruptive innovation and will prove a lasting change because it puts tools and resources that better meet needs directly into the hands of teachers and learners themselves. Thus, the author asserts, that like other disruptive innovations, increased adoption of blended learning will likely occur through educators trying, adapting, and sharing; rather than through policy mandates.

This article could serve as an interesting conversation starter for educators, researchers, or others in the field of education reform considering how to implement lasting change over time.

Source Organization: Christensen Institute

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