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New Directions in Teaching: 'Blending'

A growing number of public schools are blending traditional, face-to-face teaching with online learning environments, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. The article focuses on New York City, which this year is spending some $7.2 million on "technology-based learning programs" (compared to $300,000 last year).

While the long-term benefits of online curricula are still unclear, some educators say the interactivity of the programs help keep students engaged and interested. They also point to the ability of such programs to individualize instruction and adapt to each student's pace.

"We are shifting from a whole-group mentality to an individual-child mentality," said John White, a deputy chancellor with the New York City Department of Education. In the blended environment, he added, teachers "can spend more time with each individual child over the course of the day."

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