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Education Elements has been privileged to work with schools from coast to coast that have fundamentally changed the student experience by shifting to a model that enables personalized learning. These schools have transformed learning by leveraging technology and blending learning to better meet students needs. Blended school models couple adaptive digital curriculum with powerful data-driven teaching to better address the varied needs of learners in schools today. Blended learning too frequently has been seen as simply adding computers to learning. Through our work with hundreds of schools, we’ve seen time and time again that skillfully employing blended learning models to begin to personalize learning requires thoughtful shifts in pedagogy.

Online learning offers a break from the factory model and a path to personalization for students and for teachers. As online learning opportunities grow, so too does the body of evidence that replaces outdated myths with a more realistic picture of student and teacher experiences with online learning.

The U.S. Department of Education’s National Education Technology Plan calls for “an alternative to the one-size-fits-all model of teaching and learning.” Championing personalized learning, the report goes on to explain, “Personalization refers to instruction that is paced to learning needs [i.e., individualized], tailored to learning preferences [i.e., differentiated], and tailored to the specific interests of different learners. In an environment that is fully personalized, the learning objectives and content as well as the method and pace may all vary.”1 From classrooms to legislatures, advocates for personalized learning are recognizing that online learning has the potential to advance educational opportunities for all students and to deliver on the  promise of personalization — at scale.

As technologies and broadband become more widely available and as the focus on integrating technology into learning increases, interest in Flipped Learning will likely continue to grow. In recognition of this interest, the Flipped Learning Network, with the support of Pearson Education and researchers at George Mason University, undertook a comprehensive review of relevant research.

In this review, we define and describe the Flipped Learning model, briefly note its historical foundations and address common misconceptions. We discuss learning theories that underlie the model and describe current, although limited empirical research findings. We also describe concerns that have been raised.