Personalized learning has become one of the main objectives in western educational establishments.
Having appreciated the benefits of this learning approach educators try to implement it in the classroom as efficiently as possible. Looking for the most effective ways of its use it becomes apparent that it is impossible to do without technology. At the same time, the technological progress goes forward incredibly quickly and many modern devices can be very helpful in the classroom with personalized learning. So being aware of the trends that will define personalized learning in the nearest future is a necessity for every educator.
Creation of personalized learning platforms
As the purpose of personalized learning is to allow pupils to learn at their own pace and unify educational curriculum many platforms for such learning have already appeared. Some of them are developed by schools, the others have been created in partnership with popular social networks. Their functionality can be different:
- Gooru offers teachers content curation and provides access to real-time data;
- Knewton recommends students material in accordance with their learning style;
- Cerego can create the optimal learning schedule etc.
These and other platforms contribute to the learning process making it more personalized.
Significant changes in the classroom design
Customary for us classrooms with desks and chairs placed in rows are old-fashioned. Today students should be given a right to choose what position to choose at the lesson. It is recommended to add natural light to the classroom and divide it into sections for students to move around the classroom and work in groups, work independently or face-to-face with a teacher. Use of modern technological devices is also a necessity.
Teacher role is to be learning facilitators
Teacher role of reading lectures to children went out-of-date long ago. Modern students are not ready to listen to a monotonous voice and writing conspects. Today teachers should only assist their learners in finding a right solution to one or another problem. They should also be aware of the new classroom management strategies and engage students into learning instead of forcing them. This is a more complicated and challenging role that requires hard work on yourself.
Time-based education is replaced by competence-based one
Every person knows that his child will study every new semester for a particular number of years to obtain the education. But this time-based approach has already lost its significance as personalized learning aims at achieving certain competences at students’ own pace. That means that students who master one or another discipline better can have extra tasks or spend their time helping others. Moreover, they can choose time and place to study.
A focus on projects
It was proved by teachers that project-based learning is an important element of personalized one. Interesting and well-designed projects are not only engaging but also allow students to feel free learning one or another topic. That also gives an opportunity to follow student’s curiosity and share it with others. No wonder, projects are considered ones of the most engaging and exciting learning methods.
Revival of the Universal Design for Learning
UDL originates since the 1990s when the first its principles were laid. UDL is a framework for learning and teaching improvement and optimization that is focused on the process and insights into how humans learn. It aims at giving equal learning opportunities to every student and provides flexible approaches to learning that can be customized to the individual necessities of every student. This design consists of three networks: recognition, strategic and affective ones and its principles are intertwined with personalized learning.
Creation of individual learning plans
Another way to let every student study in accordance with his personal skills and abilities is the creation of individual learning plans. Of course, this is a time-consuming process as many classes have too many children, but it sticks to the standards of personalized learning very closely. Such plans are a result of collaborative work of not only teachers but also parents, students, supporting personnel etc. It gives an opportunity to consider all possible peculiarities and learning needs of every student as well as outlines their life and career goals. Such plans must be regularly updated to correspond with student’s personality.
Implementation of the adaptive learning principles
Personalized learning has much in common with adaptive learning, where all the goals, tasks, materials are adapted to the learner’s needs. That allows getting better learning results and acquire knowledge that meets the student expectations and goals. The difference between adaptive and personalized learning is in the ways they are conducted. The first one is held only online or on the computer, so the implementation of modern devices in the personalized learning is highly useful too.
Taking advantage of online learning
Another way to make learning more personalized is domination of online learning: using tools, materials, sources that correspond with the knowledge level of every student and can be accessed anytime and anywhere. Such learning allows teachers to save time at the lessons and provide practical assignments to students in advance. In addition, the variety of tools and software makes it easier to find suitable material and allows students to choose the learning methods suitable personally for them.
Assessment is entrusted to technology
We got used that students have to complete tests at the end of each topic in the classroom for a teacher to assess their knowledge. Personalized learning makes a great shift in this process and entrusts technology with this responsible task. It not only makes assessment easier for teachers but also excludes any cases of unfair grades. Teachers, parents, and students can follow pupils’ progress thanks to modern tools and their diversity helps students to overcome nerves they might have had writing a customary test in the classroom.Despite the fact that educators have already suggested the principles of personalized learning the reality and technological process make their own corrections in its meaning. There are numerous factors that impact on the education and personalized learning in particular. The trends mentioned above set the pace only for a couple of the following years, while with time they will undergo changes and many new approaches will be invented too.
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Also published on Medium.