Years ago, Anthony Kim, CEO of Education Elements, remarked to me that “Blended learning accelerates a good culture and makes it great, but it will also accelerate a bad culture and make it terrible.”
As I’ve thought about his observation over the years, it rings truer with time. When I’ve seen great blended-learning models in action, the culture in the classroom—and often the school—is crisp and clear. When I’ve seen poor or uninspired blended models, it is nearly always because the learning environment is littered with inconsistent practices.
The implication? Implementing blended learning won’t work without a positive and systematic culture to support it. Culture is especially useful—or toxic—in blended programs because blended learning goes hand in hand with giving students more control and flexibility. If students lack the processes and cultural norms to handle that, the shift toward a personalized environment can backfire.
So what is culture? And how do you create a strong culture conducive to student learning?