Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What Personalized Learning Means to Me

When starting this blog post, I decided to google the term "Personalized Learning."  The following is what I found and has been taken from Wikipedia.  

Personalized Learning is the tailoring of pedagogycurriculum and learning environments to meet the needs and aspirations of individual learners, often with extensive use of technology in the process. It is an emerging trend in K-12 education, popular among educators due to the ways in which personalized learning environments can support the shift from curriculum-focused education to learner-focused education.

The definition above immediately caused a bunch of questions to arise in my head.  First, why wouldn't an educator use Personalized  Learning to guide instruction?  We all have a curriculum to drive our instructions in each of classrooms - and for many students, it works.  But what about those students who need extra support or those who need enrichment and therefore the curriculum does not work for them?  How do we teach those students?  

Second, the students entering our classrooms nowadays are not the same type of students who were entering the classroom twenty years ago.  So, how can we expect to successfully educate our students the same way that we were educated twenty years ago?  It's just not going to work.  Something has go to change in our instruction.

Third, our students are surrounded by various types of technology.  Whether it's video games, mobile devices, computers, technology is a part of life and there is no point of denying that.  I do not know any child who has not been motivated by Educational Technology.  Educational Technology allows the user (i.e the student) the ability to control it, to be engaged with it, and to interact with it.  In addition, it is very easy to modify the settings of Educational Technology in order to meet the needs of diverse learners.  So why not use Educational Technology to drive our instruction and personalize the learning for our students?  

Personalized Learning enables us to create lesson content that suit our students - not our curriculum.  In order for any student to learn and internalize content and/or skill, the student must be able to connect with the content and make meaning out of the content.  When developing lessons for our students, we are going to be more successful in our instruction if the content takes into account the interests and motivations of our students.  There is a much greater chance that our students will enjoy learning the material and will internalize what is being taught.  

Personalized Learning will definitely benefit our students in the long, what about delivering Personalized Assessments?  

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