A technology-rich classroom is not a blended classroom, according to Heather Staker, Senior Research Fellow at the Innosight Institute, speaking at a recent professional development session for the DuPage County Regional Office of Education. (A recording and slides from her presentation are available here.) Ms. Staker states that data continues to support the predictions made by Clayton Christensen in Disrupting Class that 50% of all high school courses will be online by the end of the decade. She estimates that approximately 3-5 million students are in at least one digital course this year with 10.5 million predicted by 2014.
In the models of disruptive innovation, Dr. Christensen foresees that classes will be disrupted not entire schools and so the issue of blended learning: Digital content that is available online in combination with students attending school in a brick and mortar setting.
As the slides in the presentation, referenced above, indicate, Ms. Staker states that the types of blended learning are as varied as schools and local contexts. The power lies in customizing courses for local needs and individual students.