Distributed Learning for K12 Part 1: What is distributed learning?

What is distributed learning? What does it mean for K12?

With the rapid development of technology both inside and outside of education it has become easier for students and teachers to learn outside of traditional learning enviornments, such as a physical classroom and learning methods, such as face-to-face with an instructor. 

Because of this shift we have now become more familiar with what is known as Distributed Learning. (We also outlined it ourselves here.)

In a nutshell, distributed learning is another way of saying that learning happens everywhere.

Your district and it's schools might have this type of instructional model already set up, if the blend of your instruction has a combination of face-to-face time and online activities. 

Again, this is likely old news to you. (If it is, that's OK. Welcome to the club!)

How does distributed learning impact K12 education?

Because of the adoption of technology within the classroom we have the capability to capture some learning data on our students and teachers. 

However, as we stated earlier, that same technology allows a lot of learning to take place outside of the classroom. And that learning is not being collected and analyzed. 

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We know, (because of the 70:20:10 model) that only 10% of a student or teachers learning experience happens within a formal learning environment. Which means that, currently, we're only capturing a small fraction of our students and teachers learning habits.

In other words, much more data is being "left on the table", than is being collected.  

How are we supposed to adapt and personalize an individuals learning experience if we don't know and understand the vast majority of their learning habits?

It's impossible!

So we're left with a problem...

  1. Students and teachers have the majority of their learning experiences outside of formal learning environments and
  2. We aren't collecting that data to help personalize their learning experiences

What can we do? 

In this blog series we'll explore the steps you can take to collect all of that data that is currently being generated informally and how you can ultimately set your teachers and students up for success like never before. 

If you're curious and want to talk to someone about this...

Get in touch with us


In part 2 of our Distributed Learning series, we'll cover the first best practice for utilizing distributed learning in your school/district: Determining what you want to measure. 

Full disclosure, we got the idea for this blog series from our Franklin, TN neighbors, Watershed LRS. Full credit goes to them for their pioneering work in the Learning & Development space. We adapted their idea to be our own because the Watershed folks focus more on corporate learning, while our focus is (and always will be) on K-12 education. 



Matt Phillip Senior Marketing Manager at Thrivist, LLC