Will It Blend?

It seems that the Educational “Meme of the Month” is blended learning.  Thanks to plugs from NBC’s Education Nation event and high-profile articles in the Huffington Post, Grand Rapids Press, and other news outlets, blended education is seriously “trending”.

As an educator, I see great promise in an education system that mixes self-paced online education with classroom instruction.  I recognize the potential for loosening the chains on our high-performing students, giving them the freedom to learn in an accelerated way.  I see the opportunity for more attention to be placed on the lowest achieving students as a teacher’s workload is diminished (by those advanced students “teaching themselves”).

I witness all of this and I wonder: Will this change ever really come to public education?

I have every right to be skeptical.  I’ve seen my share of doomed initiatives and watered-down reforms fail miserably.  I’ve gotten excited about upcoming changes, only to see those changes derailed and postponed and eventually cancelled due to lack of funding.  It’s ridiculously depressing and it has led me to be uncharacteristically jaded about new ideas in education.

And, that’s why–for now–I’m going to keep my head down, keep my feet on the ground, and avoid gazing up at those sparkly lights in the sky.  I’ll just have to wait and see.

Am I being too cynical?