Day 95 (of 186) personalized learning…..aka thanks @gcouros

Day 95 (of 186) personalized learning…..aka thanks @gcouros

I’ve been very happy with the push I have given to personalized learning- in particular the comment I have shared with many parents of my students: it’s like each child is on an IEP (individual education plan – traditionally reserved for “student service clients” – but in my UDL mindset, what is good for the individual may be good for all….) where each student has their own goal they are moving forward with.

So while “we” as a class may be working on Science Fiction stories, some students are working on using quotation marks, others are working on when to use a period and capital and others are refining their “authors voice” – which gets shared through their efolio – “rough” to finished copies – with a rubric to show how they ‘achieved’ (not ‘scored’)

And while inspiring other educators, @gcouros shared an article about the ‘mainstreaming’ (?) of personalized learning:

and I love it when media “catches up” to what is cool in education!

The metric of “how is my kid compared to the others” is a nice relic of the past…but education needs to evolve – and with technology being the best tool for differentiation in history, we should be taking advantage of this.

My dares:

save “testing” for when it matters – typically for identifying challenges/giftedness – based on set standards (norm referenced and known margins of error)

enable homework to be what kids want to learn outside of school – not ‘busy’ work or work that further separates students – even my youngest daughter observes that she is lucky to have many people at home to ask questions to – but many of her friends don’t….and they continue to be frustrated with math…

embrace “free time”: whether it is 20%/Geniushour time or free choice activities in the gym or ambitious initiatives – you may be surprised how few students know what to do when they are asked to do whatever they want – too many are used to “this or that” – or a take on Henry Ford – you can do any after school activity you want as long as it is soccer or karate!

Can you personalize the learning:

• instead of whole-class novels; small group literature circles (reading at independent level but answering at grade strategic level)

• Instead of everyone writing the same thing – can they choose topics….chose formats…focus on specific skills that ‘they’ need….ie mixing lessons to everyone about dialogue with specific feedback for students as needed!

• Have different entry and exit points for coding and art

• Use different ways to assess what students know – might be multiple choice for some learners, but conversations or presentations of multi media can also show if students worked hard to memorize data or if the learning was deep (I keep circling around to concepts we worked on early in the year to refresh and remind learners why we did what we did!

Can personalized learning work? Well – seems like High Tech High (not about the technology though!) continues to make strides forward:

As @tweetsomemoore would say, if it works for the “outside pins” (Love her bowling analogy) it will also connect with all the pins/learners!!

Big challenge:

Start by giving up something. A PE unit (let kids create a dance to practice a known dance to share to the group (or just the teacher) perhaps. Creative time with paint (use tarps – tried it this year and it makes for a much cleaner classroom!) – or try geniushour —> a thing I used to call “embracing chaos”but over time have shifted to “trusting the process” – especially as I explored @sugatam work on “school in the cloud” and Self Organized Learning Environments

So much great work on personalized learning….the next big change agent? A disruption coming?


About technolandy

Educator in BCs Sunny Shuswap Pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Utilizing ePortfolios & Descriptive Feedback
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