One of the great advantages of our district is the continued ability to be able to attend professional development conferences to witness first hand the trends and best practices in education. What we bring back from our PD conferences is shared with our staff and I will use this blog to share as well.
Recently I spent a few days at the Mid Atlantic Conference on Personalized Learning. There was a time when this simply meant that students may have some differentiation in the content, process or product of a lesson within a classroom of their grade level peers. Today it means so much more.
I was definitely intrigued to hear what some school districts have done with personalized learning. Personalized learning has evolved into more about creating playlists of courses based on pathways of learning constructed around student voice and interest. It is likely that your grade level becomes less important as you are working within cohorts of students whose interests are the same or similar to yours. The teacher becomes the facilitator of different cohorts and the playlists dictate the projects, assignments and assessments that students participate in. To go even deeper, the work is based on each individual’s pre~assessments so that the content can be personally prescribed for each learner. Important to note is that this is not learning solely via technology- i.e. online learning. Personalized learning platforms should also incorporate the strategies of collaboration, cooperative learning, peer research, direct instruction etc. It is likely that upon graduation, high school students could not only have high school diplomas but depending on the cohort they have chosen, there is a potential to earn certificates in various areas as well ~ what a great way to set apart a transcript!
Personalized learning can also be utilized on a smaller scale for remedial type programs as well as a replacement and/or supplement to code of conduct consequences. There are also opportunities for incorporating social emotional lessons into existing curriculum.
Some companies out there with websites on personalized learning may offer some additional information if you are interested in learning more- here’s one to start your journey…
We will continue to explore new and innovative trends in education to provide our students with the best possible educational experience!