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Personalized Learning at its Best is a guest blog post, written by Kathleen Sabo, Cofounder of www.UpliftingEducation.net 

The graphic above is  A Model of Learning, Powered by Technology — from http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010/learning-engage-and-empower

Although many teachers and parents have integrated 21st Century technology skills, many still follow the one-size-fits-all textbook based curriculum. It’s time to incorporate personalized learning that allows the students to become self–motivated, self-directed, and engaged learners. Personalized learning is more than just individualized or differentiated learning. It is a total shift in culture that requires a new paradigm of cooperation between teacher/parent and student. The development of technology sets the stage for tailor-made learning programs while personalizing learning activities offer balanced educational goals so that all students’ needs, interests, uniqueness, and qualifications are treasured and valued. The teacher’s (parent’s) role is to guide students’ efforts toward discovering the power of education motivated from within rather than being spoon feed from a textbook based curriculum.

The National Education Technology Plan proposes a model of personalized learning where students are at the center of  their learning and have a variety of resources to learn from including teachers, parents, mentors, and online resources and guided courses. The manner and options to learn can be tailored to each student’s needs whether it be from small or large groups, online games, parents or mentors. The point is to allow for students to have the freedom and support to make their individual goals based on their needs and interests.

The Personalized Learning model is standing on the foundation of years of research concerning how students learn best. Personalized learning is distinctively different from the traditional classroom of the last century.

The Personalized Learning model requires a shift in assessments from teachers measuring learning to  a student evaluating and regulating his/her own learning. There are many forms of assessments available: beginning or prior knowledge, what a student is learning presently, a student’s end of course review etc. The key to assessments is not only what a student knows but purpose: what are the goals of each student, where does studying lead, how does the student want to use his learning, what does the student want to improve, can the student communicate well in a group setting, should something be added to the study plan, is the material or activity effective in learning etc. However, the most influential assessments are done by the student while the student is learning in order to tweak the goals, add activities, or improve the standards based on what the student is  presently doing. In other words, as a student learns, the student often gets inspired or finds new ways of discovery  so taking personal assessments during the course is more effective than finding out how much the student has learned at the end.

Changing from the present system of education to the Personalized Learning model will take renewed dedication and time but it is worth the investment in our children and the future. Students will need to get accustomed to taking responsibility for their learning.

At UpliftingEducation.net, our combination of engaging digital curriculum and resources can inspire students to apply, deepen, and extend their learning while encouraging their personal motivation. We strive to create an uplifting educational experience that caters to the student’s abilities and interests as well as supporting the parents as the primary educators of their children. Our hope is that all students can develop their natural talents and become valuable contributors to society

 

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