Word of the week

Word of the week: blended

“Blended” has been used for many years to describe an approach to learning that incorporates instructor-led teaching and instruction through other media (online or, historically, other digital resources like DVDs and CD-ROMs). The instructor-led part of the process works best for me: I prefer to be taught things by people rather than through some digital delivery system.

I have used the word “blended” a few times on this Blog to describe my approach to reading, to listening to music and to travelling around London. Earlier today I finished reading “Vanity Fair” and my approach to it was even more blended than usual. As well as reading the Kindle edition (accessed on five different devices – Kindle, netbook, Mac Book Pro, Windows Phone and new Windows 10 PC), an old hardback copy (mentioned here) and a new paperback edition, I also listened to several chapters as Audio files (through librivox.org, a new discovery for me).

30 years ago I listened to music mostly on audio-cassette, at home, in the car and very occasionally on a Walkman. These days we use whatever is to hand: Spotify or YouTube or downloaded content on PC, Mac Book Pro, tablet or phone; MP3s on standalone hard drives, CDs, portable ION turntable for vinyl and, occasionally, those 30-year-old cassettes too (we have three tape players that still work). In the car we are restricted to CD but otherwise the way we play music is decidedly blended.

30 years ago the only thing that we described as blended was whiskey, to distinguish brands like Teacher’s and Bell’s from pure malts like Glenmorangie. I generally avoid blended and malt whiskeys these days. Like the parts of a “blended learning” system that are delivered digitally they don’t really work for me.


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