2. MOOCs AND BLENDED LEARNING FLOURISH
Perhaps the most-covered trend in 2012 is the MOOC movement — Massively Open Online Courses in higher education — so pervasive it is now also getting noticed at K-12-focused events. Investors and media are paying close attention to Coursera, edX, Udacity, and other major players. But the attention paid to the newest MOOCs seemed to overshadow awareness of the progress being made in another online instructional area: K-12 web-only and blended learning.
When it comes to blended learning, one of the biggest challenges this year echoed at ed-tech conferences was agreeing on a clear definition. The Innosight Institute in 2012 simplified its original 40 blended learning profiles to a more manageable number — four models. Perhaps symptomatic of the need for clarity, at one event a representative of a well-known education company claimed it had “invented” blended learning because its reading intervention software existed on computers years ago.