The new darling of education is personalized learning. There is a lot of crowded conversation around it, mainly because it is a broad term and education is still getting their head around what a successful use case looks like. Likening personalized learning to the introduction of cloud networks to the IT crowd, there is a lot of anxiety on what impact it will have on humans teaching and teaching jobs in general.
Just like our IT friends found out, it is highly likely that personalized learning will have any negative impact on the teaching profession or jobs available at all.
There are reasons job security for teaching professionals is ensured. First of all, no laptop, tablet, or computer terminal could ever do for a student what a teacher with a personal relationship with them can do.
There isn’t a piece of software or robot out there that can take the place of what needs to be in place for good learning experiences to happen; positive relationships between teacher and student. There are ways that students in a given class can feel more confident that what they are being taught is actually taking root in their growing brains; personalized learning.
Personalized Learning Lets Students Learn From Their Own Perspective But There Are Challenges
One of the great things about personalized learning is the student’s ability to focus more on the skills they need to develop and not so much time on the skills they don’t. The not-so-great thing about it is the ability for the student to deconstruct a lesson, focus on what they want to, and then forget about the rest of it. Such an approach to learning, for the personalized learning critics, is that the student fails to grasp the entire concept of what is being taught.
Another perspective on personalized learning is that students have more of an opportunity to work autonomously, with personalized learning proponents heralding a greater engagement on the part of the student because they can focus their time in the places they want to.
Does this style of learning actually create better results ? The jury is still out on this one as the research on personalized learning models has yet to mature. But you can see why autonomous styles of learning would be more appealing to a student.
Other critical statements made about personalized learning are that with so many varying learning paces on a given subject, how is the teacher supposed to be effective in helping a classroom full of students be engaged, stay on task, and get to the next step in the lesson plans on time?
This concern does bring pause. How can teachers prove their students are ready to move on and that they are confident in the students’ abilities through a personalized learning experience?
Hybrid Models Of Personalized Learning With Collaborative Results Reporting Is Needed
We can all agree that a teacher is always needed in the classroom. What education will have to embrace going forward is a blended approach to both the teacher-led instruction model and the personalized learning model.
With blended approach, teachers get to focus on the students who need extra help in ways they never could before and students get to move on in a lesson, not sit there at their desk disengaged because they are learning ahead of the curve.
The hybrid model brings both worlds together, allowing for more time on instruction where it is need and to whom it needs to be given without a student feeling insecure about needing extra help.
How will educators prove that everyone is learning with the hybrid model and that students with IEPs and 504 plans are keeping up (or not)? In order for the hybrid model of personalized learning to truly take hold, a collaborative educational approach is what is needed.
For teachers to be able to report back to administration and also the vendors of these personalized learning solutions to prove their effectiveness, a collaboration tool will need to be in place in order to record what any learning solution can’t, the soft data on how the student is interacting and grasping concepts that are then able to be utilized outside of a digital space.
Collaborative learning takes a solution that compiles the soft data about a student’s learning experience that hard data and reports on time spent on modules and times to completion can’t. How could we marry the two to form an accurate picture?
eCare Vault was created to do just that. Create a way for teachers, specialists and administrators to collaborate on the educational components of a student’s progress that fall outside of a report tool attached to a digitized learning solution. How will that work for your school district? Find out more today.