Education News

Teachers, Plus Tech: A Closer Look At Blended Learning

More schools in Houston and around the country are combining traditional teaching with new technology.

Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart, at Houston A+ Challenge speaker series


Imagine a teacher whose students play online games in the classroom to practice reading.

Vander Ark
Tom Vander Ark

That kind of blended approach to education is happening in more schools.

It combines traditional teaching, like instructors and books, with technology, like apps and online games.

But critics of blended learning question how much this educational trend actually helps students.

Tom Vander Ark is trying to convert those skeptics.

He’s the CEO of Getting Smart, an education advocacy firm. He’s also a partner in a venture capital firm that invests in “ed tech” start-ups. He previously was the executive director of education for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has funded blended learning programs.

Vander Ark recently visited Houston as part of the Houston A+ Challenge speaker series. He sat down with News 88.7 Education reporter Laura Isensee.

Listen to their conversation above.


Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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