Is Linear the Right Approach?


I think about this often especially as it pertains to blended learning. It is my belief that blended learning is just another example of differentiated instruction in the classroom. Something that for some students is an excellent way to learn and for others may not be the modality or way. I fear sometimes that blended learning gets used sometimes as something that I describe as “blended lazy”. Now recognize I am not painting all people who use blended learning with this brush because many use it really effectively but when blended learning gives a teacher a chance to steer the learners to a computer and away from themselves I worry that it is missing the mark. Good blended learning can mix up the diversity of tasks in the classroom. Blended learning can free up the teacher to work with students who struggle more. Blended learning can help us engage students and extend learning but if it is delivered with the teacher sitting at the front of the class and all the student just working linearly through modules day after day I think it has missed it’s mark.


Many of our conversations around eLearning in Ontario involve the idea of online course “content”.  As schools make plans for online learning next year, teachers want to know, “Is there a course?”.

Years ago, when I was teaching full time online, my principal often said, “We are not in the business of content delivery, we are in the business of learning!”.

In one conversation about content this year, a teacher said to me, “Well, wouldn’t you just have the students build their own content?”.

This article in my zite feed caught my attention this morning:

Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 9.53.12 AM

As we think about how our students learn, how does it impact our thinking about what online learning should look like?

Shared by Donna Miller Fry (@fryed)

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