Few innovations in education today offer as much potential to improve the quality of learning for all students as the emergence of blended learning—the combination of personalized, online instruction with high-quality, in-person teaching. While still very much in its infancy, blended learning is demonstrating promising results, driving a flurry of entrepreneurial activity, and increasing enthusiasm among educators for new ways of teaching and learning.
This poses a challenge for philanthropists. Opportunities for savvy donors to transform schools through blended learning are numerous, but so too are pitfalls. Blended learning done well provides adaptive, rigorous, mastery-based learning for any student, anywhere. Done poorly, it becomes one more example of how the promises of technology can fail to materialize in our schools. It is with the goal of supporting philanthropic excellence in this crucial new field that we publish this guidebook by Laura Vanderkam.