Virtual School Meanderings

May 9, 2012

Classifying K-12 Blended Learning

And a final one from yesterday’s inbox for today (but still not caught up).

Dear Michael,

When organizations are trying to innovate, a common language is critical. Without one, “it’s kind of like people  . . . are sitting around the base of the Tower of Babel, and they can’t talk to each other, let alone come up with any answers,” Professor Clayton Christensen said in speaking about the health care industry. His concern extends to the education field as well. Too often education innovators struggle to make headway because they lack a shared language to advance ideas.

Today Innosight Institute released a white paper by our Senior Research Fellow Heather Staker and Executive Director Michael B. Horn to clarify language and definitions for the emerging phenomenon of blended learning. The paper refines the definitions and models they introduced last year in “The rise of K-12 blended learning” and “The rise of K-12 blended learning: Profiles of emerging models.”

The new white paper, “Classifying K-12 blended learning,” distills feedback the authors collected for over a year from roughly 100 education experts and 80 organizations to arrive on an updated blended-learning taxonomy. The new taxonomy includes an improved definition of blended learning. It identifies four models of blended learning, down from the six they introduced originally, and highlights four new sub-models. It also diagrams several education practices that are sometimes mistaken for blended learning. Our hope is that advancing a common language will help educators frame the issues and not talk past each other. Language should not be the bottleneck to innovation. You can download the full white paper here.


Michael B. Horn
Executive Director, Education
Innosight Institute

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Innosight Institute
100 W. El Camino Real #74B
Mountain View, California 94040


  1. […] background-position: 50% 0px ; background-color:#222222; background-repeat : no-repeat; } – Today, 8:31 […]

    Pingback by Classifying K-12 Blended Learning | K12 Blended Learning | — May 10, 2012 @ 9:31 am | Reply

  2. […] background-position: 50% 0px ; background-color:#222222; background-repeat : no-repeat; } – Today, 3:34 […]

    Pingback by Classifying K-12 Blended Learning | BYOD iPads | — May 18, 2012 @ 4:34 pm | Reply

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