Personalized learning is a student-centered pedagogy and curriculum that is focused on the individual students’ needs, interests, struggles, and aspirations. Personalized learning is just that, learning that is personalized for the students. However, this type of learning is not necessarily a one-to-one ratio of teachers to students. Personalized learning can happen in the regular school classroom setting. This type of learning is important because it is focused on the strengths, struggles, and needs of all the students. The teacher can customize the curriculum so that all their students learn in a way they can understand. This is extremely important so that the students can get the most out of their education. One article I found on personalized learning explained that:
“personalized learning is intended to facilitate the academic success of each student by first determining the learning needs, interests, and aspirations of individual students, and them provide learning experiences that are customized for each student.”
This explains that personalized learning is very customized for each student. The classrooms that use personalized learning sometimes look like every other classroom: kids at their desks, listening to the teacher, but then there can be sessions or lessons that are in small groups working on individual topics. Some students could have to be taught a lesson again, or take more time to understand lessons, while other students are working ahead or on supplementary assignments. Another way the classroom could be set up is with stations or different areas that the students could learn at depending on their needs and interests. Technology can also play a big role in the learning process in personalized learning. Classroom time is spend on lessons and activities that are tailored toward the students’ needs and interests. A personalized learning classroom is usually messy or busy. children doing different things at different times. I think a teacher would decide to use this approach because it better customizes learning for each student and their needs. In this course we have discussed how all students learn differently and at their own pace. This approach better facilitates learning for students of all abilities levels. I think that is also a major advantage of personalized learning. A disadvantage is that one teacher can only be in one spot at a time. It could be a challenge to personalize their lessons so everyone learns best in the time allotted on one subject. How do you teach several different ways to twenty different students in an hour and make sure everyone understands?
While researching personalized learning I found some examples of classrooms that use personalized learning. I also found several professional teachers on twitter that discuss personalized learning. These include Bryony Kinnear, who teaches Middle School Math in San Diego, Dee Gambardella, a Reading Specialist, and Hilary Lundgren, a 5th grade ESL teacher.
Another resource I found useful when learning about this approach is the blog Personalize Learning. This has great thoughts on this subject.
Finally, I found a video on Personalized learning to be very useful.