The proliferation of social media and technology has changed the way educators teach, students learn, and teachers and students communicate. In a blended world that blurs the lines between physical and digital, students can, in part, control the time, pace, and place of their learning. They can ingest passive rote material at home, and free up classroom time for in-depth discussion. They can interact with peers and teachers instantly - and work more collaboratively. And teachers can use the abundance of data that is collected when learning takes place online to measure student performance, and respond rapidly to their changing needs.

But, while savvy schools and colleges have been enjoying the success of blended learning, and less digitally literate institutions struggle to catch up, the discussion has already moved on. In a world where paradigms like  'personalised' or 'flipped' learning are becoming commonplace, any type of physical and digital divide already feels anachronistic. It should no longer be seen as innovative to combine class time with online learning - but the norm.  Instead, true ‘blended learning’ has taken on a new meaning entirely - how different of types of content can work together to deliver more engaging and compelling learning, all within a digital world.

A blended approach now calls for teachers to use a variety of text, video, audio and interactive services, all online, to power a multi-faceted learning. But creating, or curating, and containing this wealth of content is an insurmountable challenge for educators alone.  The publishing industry must sit up and take notice of this changing market - responding to educators’ demand by optimising a blend of digital content - text, stills, video and interactivity - for a seamless and compelling user experience.

The way the publishing and education industries alike approach lesson delivery is critical to motivating, inspiring and challenging students. If young people are rethinking the way they want to learn, calling for a multimedia experience, it’s time we all caught up - and rebooted the idea of blended learning.

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