Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools

by Michael B. Horn , Heather Staker

Number of pages: 336

Publisher: Jossey-Bass

BBB Library: Education

ISBN: 978-1118955154

About the Authors

Michael B. Horn : Michael Horn speaks and writes about the future of education and


Heather Staker : Heather is the author and coauthor of multiple books, white papers,


Editorial Review

Online learning has improved dramatically since its arrival. Online content is becoming more engaging. And most students now have an internet device within reach, whether as a laptop, a tablet, or a mobile smartphone. Furthermore, an increasing number of students are experiencing online learning while continuing to attend their traditional brick-and-mortar schools – a phenomenon called ‘‘blended learning.’’ This summary focuses on the rise of blended learning in K–12 schools and on the striking implications for students, educators, and schools as it gains momentum.

Book Reviews

"Leaders, teachers, and other stakeholders will gain valuable insight into the process of using online learning, benefitting students and teachers alike, while avoiding missteps and potential pitfalls."— Blended Learning Organization

"Blended is a book for school officials in the process of change. They feel the pressures of digital innovation, uncertain funding, and stalled student performance, but they haven’t the techno-knowledge and managerial expertise to proceed sagely. "— Education Next

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Wisdom to Share

Just because two children are the same age, it does not mean that they learn at the same pace and have the same needs.

The most common mistake schools make with technology is to fall in love with the technology itself.

To maximize the impact of blended learning, start by identifying the problem to solve or the goal to achieve.

The simplest type of problem is called a functional problem. These are problems that deal with improving just one part of a product or one step of a process.

Getting the design right for teachers may be the single most important determinant of whether the rise of blended learning will net out as a win overall.

The instinct to work together toward common goals is not formed overnight. It develops gradually over time as people in an organization work together to solve problems and get things done.

Blended learning holds enormous potential to transform our factory-model education system into a student-centered design that captures the benefits of personalization, equity and access, and cost control.

Blended learning is a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online learning with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace.

School can be a place where students find joy in learning. The key is to crawl into the learners’ skin and see their circumstances – including their anxieties, immediate problems, and innate motivations – from their point of view.

Leaders can secure support and protect resources for disruptive innovation by first framing non-consumption problems as threats and then helping the implementation team reframe them as bright opportunities.