I have a confession to make. It’s a shameful, dark secret that I fear may be common to many adults around the world. And, when I was teaching, it was certainly one that I saw shared by many students I came into contact with.
"A while ago, I created this poster A Tale of Two Classrooms. It wasn't meant as a statement of Classroom B is best. It wasn't even meant as a statement of Classroom A is awful. It was meant as a representation of Classroom A and B."
Krissy Venosdale revised her Classroom A and Classroom B poster recently to represent "What does Learning Look Like". Some of these Classroom B descriptors indicate a learner-centered environment. What are some other descriptions that you would include?
Here are some of Krissy's thoughts behind Learning:
"Learning is a journey. Our kids change. The world changes. We change as teachers. This morning, I made a revised version of Classroom A versus Classroom B. As someone pointed out, it’s not a black and white issue. There is so much grey and so much individual choice. I’m not saying A or B is better for everyone. I’m saying you’ve gotta think and really understand what you want learning to look like in your classroom."
When you create an environment where learning is personal for each learner, your role as a teacher changes.
So what does personalized learning really mean?
Personalized learning means it starts with learners having a voice and choice in how they learn. They create their Personal Learner Profile using the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) lens determining how they learn best indicating their strengths, challenges, aspirations, interests, and talents.
It is not about teaching subjects, curriculum, or standards. It is about learners learning how to learn -- how to think for themselves -- to problem solve. The teachers we talk to who are letting go and encouraging learner voice and choice have changed their learning environment and role as teacher. They see and share how learners are taking responsibilities and ownership for their learning. These teachers are finding that they will never go back to traditional teaching methods.
A school finds out about a cool new technology, buys a class set of it, then struggles to figure out what to do with it. Sound familiar? Luckily we’ve got a lot of very innovative people in our system, so it’s not especially common, but it’s definitely something to think about. The purchase of any technology should always be prefaced by some thorough reflection and planning: what exactly do we want our students to learn? What do our students want to learn? This article argues that innovative technology doesn’t mean there’s innovative teaching going on. That the technology must be used in a meaningful and transformative way. We would love to hear of some examples where this is happening. Suggested by Shaun Haidon - Lake Tuggeranong College @shaunhaidon
What will Personalized Learning look like in 2013? The main change that will happen in teaching and learning in 2013 will be about empowerment. Teachers and learners will be more empowered to take charge of their learning. We will see this through the evidence they share as they learn.
Personalized Learning is the umbrella connects the dots of all initiatives and programs.
Stephen Gwilliam's insight:
The term "Personalized Learning" is confusing. Personalized learning is all about the learner and starts with the learner. It is about the learner self-directing and driving their own learning.
A teacher can flip the classroom, provide 1:1 mobile devices for each learner and this can still not be characterized as personalizing learning. If the class is still teacher-centered and learners have no voice and choice how they learn, it is not personalizing learning.
If learners are using mobile devices with adaptive curriculum, the technology is personalizing learning for the learner. There is no stake in learning for the learner. Adaptive curriculum can support a personalized learning path, but it is not personalizing learning for the learner.
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