|From the Innosight Institute|
In our district-level discussions, we've tried to bring blended learning into the conversation whenever possible. Our long-term goal is to have time, place, and age-agnostic learning for all students and teachers. That can happen, if we start to look at the brick & mortal school as one part of an overall "learning station."
The school "learning station" idea plays into the student control aspect and is where we have to take a close look at our own practice. We have had technology-rich environments for some time (with either labs, carts, or learning stations), but rarely have I seen situations where students control any of those elements (time, place, path, and/or pace). This part of the definition could assist in explaining how to transform a technology-rich learning environment into an environment that is approaching or fully implementing a blending learning model.
Identifying levels of student control over those elements might also help us figure out some thoughtful ways to measure impact on their learning. What happens when there is control solely over time? place? path? pace? Which of those are key for different learners? Which elements need to remain under teacher direction for specific learners? Do students who need credit recovery benefit more than others with control over place or path? Does path help us get away from putting students into certain classes based purely on age? How do these help us get to time, place, and age-agnostic learning? How can the school become 1 learning station in a much broader and varied learning process?
Because teachers may be familiar with the idea of learning stations, starting to ask how we can make the physical classroom or school only 1 part of a learning station might push the view of learning experiences and teacher/learner roles into a different light. If we truly want time, place, and age-agnostic learning, we need to think about being a critical part of the learning process but certainly not the only part.