The past year of navigating the pandemic has accelerated many educational trends that had already been gaining speed. One of the most important to the future is blended learning.
Blended learning combines face-to-face teaching and online instruction. It’s supported by a technology framework that helps teachers organize course content, communication and common workflows. Perhaps most importantly, it builds on the strengths of both approaches — in person and online — ideally offering the flexibility of remote learning with the engagement of face-to-face interactions.
COVID-19 was the catalyst for propelling many types of everyday activities into a solely remote realm. Now as we create a blueprint for the “new normal” of many essential functions like school, adopting a consistent approach to technology-enhanced learning across the entire college or university is critical to addressing the next wave of challenges facing education.
The Emergence of the Continuous Learner
Over the past decade higher education in North America has been battling a troubling trend — decreasing enrollment. As a result we’ve seen school closures, leaner budgets, and a growing discourse on what steps higher ed should take to turn the tide.
This is where amidst all the stress and uncertainty the pandemic has created some bright spots; it’s created opportunities for us to support learners in new and evolving ways. For example, there is currently a surge in demand to upskill and reskill adult learners. Over the past fourteen months many have decided or been forced to decide to change career paths, and doing so often doesn’t necessitate obtaining a traditional two- or four-year degree. For many, such programs are simply too resource- or time-intensive.
That means we must build new avenues for adult learners to cultivate the job and life skills required to shift their career paths, and that work is happening right now in companies and educational institutions

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