Giving Compass' Take:

The author stipulates that the secret element of blended learning's key to success are teachers.

Although technology incorporates efficiency into classroom learning, teachers are the ones who can control it. Teachers can provide a sense of purpose, while technology just provides the tools.

Read another article that explains why the dichotomy between teachers and technology does not have to exist, and instead both entities should be working together towards the greater goal of successful learning.

By definition, online learning is part of any blended learning classroom. It is the key innovation for enabling student-centered learning at scale. Given this fact, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking of technology—devices and software—as blended learnings’ core, defining feature.

Yet the most powerful and important element in blended learning doesn’t have a touch screen, fancy graphics, or artificial intelligence; it isn’t built by engineers or computer scientists; and you can’t buy it online. The most important element in blended learning is one that’s been in classrooms for centuries.

That element is teachers.

Pure technology, however, isn’t the only way to influence student learning within a blended model. Online learning also gives teachers new options for how they group students, provide feedback, and use instructional time. In other words, the real potential of online learning comes not from the tools themselves, but from what the teacher’s can do using their toolbelt.

Yet despite the false dichotomy often drawn between improving schools through excellent teaching and improving schools through technology, teacher quality and online learning are not isolated and independent variables. Rather, they are complementary components of an effective blended learning system.

While technology facilitates differentiated instruction, accelerates real-time feedback, and enables mastery-based learning, teachers often help students find their “why.” Teachers have the power to motivate and inspire students to engage deeply with educational content; they can provide students with the expert feedback to validate the meaning of their achievements; and they can show students that someone cares about their success.

Read the full article about secret element of blended learning by Thomas Arnett at Christensen Institute