Key to creating blended learning is the student's control over time, place, path, or pace at which educational content is delivered. This is creating new challenges for states and local school districts, not only because it represents a paradigm shift in the way students are educated, but also because of the difficulty in shifting from funding models based on traditional brick-and-mortar schools and a school year founded on an agrarian society that doesn't exist any more.
Companies like K12.com and ConnectionsAcademy.com offer free online school from home. How can they afford to do that? Both offer a public school education and have met state standards (in the states where they operate). Both are also accredited. By following the rules for states in which they operate, these businesses are able to receive state funding set aside for funding public schools.
This gets a little tricky. Attendance criteria can be a major stumbling block for any online school. Assessment is another challenge. There are reports across the country of higher dropout rates among students enrolled in online schools as opposed to brick-and-mortar schools. Many states are finding students enrolled in online schools are not doing as well on state assessment tests, either.
The question becomes, "Why?" As we embrace blended learning K-12, we need to ask, "If our school is going to engage in blended learning, how can we do that us a way that insures students are really learning?" The info-graphic below gives an overview of ways in which blended learning is being implemented.