Blended Learning as Disruptive and Innovative

“Disruptive innovations bring accessibility, affordability, and customization to sectors that before were complicated, expensive, and standardized. Blended learning could bring a much more personalized, student-focused experience to brick-and-mortar classrooms across America,” according to Heather Staker. She continues:

In Disrupting Class, the authors introduce a more comprehensive understanding of innovation in the education sector and explain how education organizations can predictably succeed in innovation. The foundation of disruptive innovation theory is the idea that not all advancements are the same. In fact, innovation can be divided into two very different varieties. We call innovations that lead to performance improvement in the established market sustaining innovations. Airplanes that fly farther, computers that process faster, and cell phone batteries that last longer are all examples of sustaining innovations. In the education sector, calculators, overhead projectors, electronic white boards, digital textbooks, and charter schools are all sustaining innovations. They offer intriguing add-on to the established classroom system, but they do not transform it.

The second type of innovation is disruptive innovation. This is an innovation that transforms an existing sector–or creates a new one–by introducing simplicity, convenience, accessibility, reliability, and affordability, where before the product or service was complicated, expensive, and inaccessible. It is initially formed in a narrow foothold market or niche that appears unattractive or inconsequential to industry incumbents. Examples of disruptive innovations are the personal computer, which disrupted the mainframe and minicomputers, as well as Toyota automobiles, which disrupted those of Ford and General Motors.

In education online learning appears to be a classic disruptive innovation. It has the potential to transform the factory-like, monolithic structure that has dominated America’s schools into a new model that is student-centric, highly personalized for each learner, and more productive.

Heather Staker

Read the entire article here

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