Blended learning is a formal education program in which students learn at least in part through digital delivery of content and instruction with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace.  Delivery can be made through the Internet, if available, or through the use of some physical storage device.  Teachers who use some form of this teaching technique are said to be, connected.

     When the learning is usually digital and at home, and then discussed in the classroom after the video lesson, the technique is referred to as a flipped classroom.  Meaning that the teaching is done at home via some method of video delivery and the discussion and work in the textbook are done in the classroom.

     It is certain that future high school and college students will be using technology for learning when they are enrolled in institutions of higher learning.  We already have the technology needed to be able to take advantage of the blended learning and flipped classroom styles of learning.  Our current students are techno-natives making them prime candidates to begin learning outside of the classroom.

     The Academy had the foresight to invest heavily in 21st Century technology and now we are positioned to be able to take advantage of it by implementing the concept of flipped classrooms and Blended learning.  We are not implementing these practices simply because we have the technology, but because it is pedagogically sound, and educationally advantageous for our students.  It is incumbent upon us to know as much as possible about what is happening in education in general and in our subject areas in particular, and to implement the most up to date ideas that will benefit our students and the Academy.

     Many of the ideas that are presented to educators as the newest ways to help children learn turn out to be less effective than first thought and are quickly kicked to the curb, which is the reason that conservative and discriminating schools/teachers don't embrace every new idea.  However, blended learning is a concept whose time has come and should become a part of every school's repertoire of teaching and learning techniques.

     Nothing can replace an effective, dedicated teacher who views teaching as his calling, not just his job.  However, embracing technology as an aide to student learning should be a priority.  As with any innovation we are at the very beginning of using technology in the classroom so communicating with other professionals who are doing the same thing is essential.  As we go along we will learn what works, and what is not effective enough to use in the future.  In the end we will have a curriculum that takes advantage of the best that technology has to offer our students.

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