Personalized Learning is getting a lot of attention along with 21st Century skills as part of the latest education reform movement. Individualizing and customizing learning isn’t new. We have been differentiating instruction, creating individual learning plans and IEPs for years. Yet, these are different than personalized learning where the focus is all on the learner. Learning is tailored to the individual needs of each learner instead of by age or grade level. It is more than just moving to student-centered learning and changing instruction.
So why Personalized Learning Now?
Personalized Learning takes a holistic view of the individual, their learning styles, skill levels, interests, strengths and weaknesses, and prior knowledge. Now with the rise of the use of technology, social media, and mobile apps, learners are taking control of what they want to learn when they want to learn it.
Education is changing because it has to. After years of teaching “one size fits all,” learners are demanding to meet their needs. Each person is unique and different. They are leaving traditional school environments for online courses, home schools, and/or dropping out. Schools are closing. Teachers are being laid off. Communities are suffering. Change will happen if learners have anything to say about it.
A personalized learning environment is more competency-based where students progress at their own pace instead of by grade levels. No more “mandated” seat time. The learner has their own learning path with multiple strategies to meet their different learning styles. This more than changes the teacher role. It changes the whole learning environment. School doesn’t look like traditional school anymore.
Three examples of personalized learning environments:
I’m going to be interviewing leaders, teachers and students in future posts. If you have some ideas or examples about personalized learning to share, please add a comment or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org