For a number of years, educators in both district and charter settings around the country have been leveraging advances in online-learning technologies to move toward blended-learning environments in their brick-and-mortar classrooms and schools to improve the educational opportunities for all children. An ongoing lawsuit in New Jersey, however, is attempting to reverse this trend by shutting down blended-learning programs in two charter schools, Newark Prep and Merit Prep.
The move to blended learning matters because learning science has long told us that students learn at different paces, have different working memory capacities, and possess different background knowledge—or long-term memory—when they enter a learning experience. Our current education system, however, operates on a factory-based model that treats all students the same. As technology improves rapidly, blended learning holds the promise to personalize our education system to individual students’ needs and interests.