Ever wonder if enrolling your child in a school offering a blended learning model might benefit your student? As new technology is increasingly integrated into education methods, learning models centered around an online curriculum are gaining popularity among students and parents. Coupled with face-to-face instruction, "blended" or "hybrid" learning has become an education option for many students. Below is a brief introduction to blended learning and a few of its advantages.

What is blended learning?

Blended learning, by definition, refers to using a combination, or blend, of learning techniques that yields an integrated learning experience for the student. In today's classroom, blended learning often refers to a combination of online curriculum and face-to-face instruction. At schools like Colorado's HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op, the entire school curriculum is based on this innovative academic model. Students attend community learning centers where they receive face-to-face instruction and offline lessons on a daily basis, which complement their online curriculum.

What type of student benefits from blended learning?

Many students who have struggled in the traditional learning environment find success when enrolled in a blended learning school. Remedial students who need more individualized attention, gifted students who desire a challenge, and students whose parents work full-time or are otherwise unable to supervise their children's online learning are often excellent candidates for blended learning.

What are the advantages of blended learning?

Since the blended learning model integrates both online curriculum and face-to-face instruction, students enjoy many advantages. One of the main benefits is the opportunity for students to follow an individualized learning plan. This is particularly helpful to students who need to dedicate more time to understanding a specific topic area, at-risk students who need a specialized plan to get back on track to graduate or advanced students who need an quicker pace to remain fully engaged. . Individualized learning plans create an educational path for students that address their specific needs and prepare them for graduation and success beyond high school.

Another benefit to the blended learning model is individualized, in-person instruction for students. Face-to-face instruction provides students with extra support from teachers and community mentors that students may not otherwise receive. Unlike online-only education models, this academic model affords students who have working parents the opportunity to benefit from online education supervised by classroom teachers and mentors while still surrounded by their peers.

To illustrate how blended learning can be a fit for different types of students, HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op recently released three new videos highlighting student success stories on its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/HOPEOnlineLearning). From the story of Natalia, a gifted 3rd grade student taking on new challenges through blended learning, to the story of Brandon, a 11th grade students who was falling behind without parental support at his traditional school, the videos demonstrate how blended learning can be a fit for many types of students. 


For more information on the blended learning model and HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op, please visit hopeonline.org.

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