According to a report by the nonprofit KnowledgeWorks, personalized learning is a critical component of most states’ accountability plans submitted under ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act). Personalized learning was mentioned in 39 states’ plans. The questions being addressed were “How do we build learning-centered or student-centered systems?” and “How do we advance policies focused on what each individual student needs?”
As this conversation goes on at the state level, teachers grapple with how to implement a personalized learning approach in their classrooms. Their goal is to avoid the one-learning-fits-all recipe and to put together instructional models that meet the needs of individual students. The power of personalized learning is in students taking ownership of their learning, with the teacher facilitating and enriching their course of study. Personalized learning puts the focus on what, how, and why students learn so that the learning is deep and connected.
As the student population in the United States has grown more diverse, educators have looked for more effective ways to handle the growing diversity in the academic and language needs of their students. Personalized learning —tailoring instruction to each student’s unique needs and learning preferences —is one approach that is getting a lot of attention.
Since 2012, 15 states have implemented policies to support personalized learning, ranging from waiving regulations to setting up innovation zones. But how have schools implemented personalized learning?
In its implementation, personalized learning has taken a multitude of forms. Schools are taking very different approaches in how the curricular materials are used, how the classrooms are organized, how the data are used to group students, and how “mastery” of subject matter is defined.
The Benefits of Personalized Learning
The common elements shared by personalized-learning models are a greater focus on meeting individual student needs and, to a lesser extent, keeping students on pace with grade-level standards. The benefits of focusing on the individual student are:
- Students can work at their own pace on different subjects in the same classroom without impacting the learning of their peers. This allows a student to take the time to fully review and master a concept before moving on.
- Learning gaps can be closed between students when each student gets customized instruction. All students now have the ability to work at their highest personal level of achievement.
- Teachers and students are more fully engaged in the learning process. Students’ self-directed, independent learning allows teachers to have more one-on-one interactions with students. Teachers can take the time to talk with students, determine where they are academically, and tweak their learning plans so they can achieve maximum results.
As EdTech trends continue to evolve, learning companies are looking to develop additional tools and platforms that extend and emphasize personalized learning. Personalized learning products tailor instruction to each student’s unique needs and learning preferences through face-to-face teaching, technology-assisted instruction, and collaboration.
Victory builds successful personalized learning programs because we share the same goal as you: to help each and every student learn. Clients come to us with a range of technology projects, including:
• Immersive UI/UX design
• Mobile and web apps
• Online courses
• Platform development
• Web services integration
• Software maintenance
Creating personalized learning products is not an easy task. To develop successful personalized learning programs, Victory assembles teams that are proficient in instructional design and in integrating appropriate technology tools matched to each subject area. Our goal is to develop products that meet customer needs and improve both the user experience and the overall program effectiveness.
Educational technology trends change at a rapid pace. This affects both the tools students use, how they use tools, and how educational needs are met. When you look at the ISTE timeline for the adoption of educational technology in schools, 2016 marked the transition from using technology to learn to transformative learning with technology.
How has it been going? Are we there yet? To find out, we studied our Top 3 EdTech Trends for 2017 and evaluated them for 2018:
- Student-Centered Focus—EdTech enables students to transform their own learning.
- Thoughtful Integration by Teachers—Teachers are a dynamic force for change when supported by ongoing professional development on technology integration.
- Informed Decisions by Leadership—A recipe for success includes a clear, bold vision, along with investment in teams, empowerment of teachers, and effective communication to get stakeholder buy-in.
Let’s take a deeper dive on each of these key trends.
In this video, I share some thoughts on EdTech and personalized learning. If your preferred mode is reading, the transcript is below the video.