One topic that often comes up and is on everyone’s mind is the importance of personalized learning. Educational institutions across the country, whether public, private, or charter schools, are experimenting with new ways and approaches to customize education and are looking for the best strategies to suit the needs of every student.
Now that the world is facing a pandemic, a lot of activities are being limited. Sadly, for the good of everyone else, going to school is one activity that is limited. Now that we have more tools at our disposal, we can adhere to quarantine guidelines and not risk infection while our children learn.
With the latest innovations in technology, creating a custom-fit learning style has become both a blessing and a challenge, forcing schools to combine good teaching methods and the tools that speed it up.
By going through prior studies and research by practitioners, educators, and researchers in the field, I have gathered here a list of the trends that have shaped the space of personalized learning.
Redefined Teacher Roles
Gone are the days when teachers were reading lectures to their students. Most students nowadays aren’t that excited to listen to long and mind-numbing talks given by their teacher. They prefer that their teachers just assist them with looking for the right solution to a problem.
Before, teachers stood in the classroom all day, spoon-feeding knowledge to their students. Today, their roles have changed from providers of knowledge to facilitators of learning. Students do not only passively receive the content, but they engage themselves in searching for new knowledge.
Tools like grammar, spelling, and plagiarism checkers can help with students learning. Some schools even use character counters, headline editors, and many other tools to make learning easier and more fun.
The Appeal of Competency-Based Education
Instead of completing each semester for a specific number of years to get a diploma, personalized learning helps students to progress through a curriculum at their own pace. This means shifting away from time-based to competency-based education.
A student who fares better at and masters a particular discipline can move to a new subject, do extra tasks, or spend his or her spare time helping fellow students. With competency-based education, students can choose their time and place of study.
Personalized Learning Platforms
As the aims of personalized learning are to allow students to learn at their own pace and competency and to unify the educational curriculum, there is a steady rise of platforms, traditional or online, that cater to this purpose.
Of course, the minds behind these platforms have designed them to make personalized instruction simple for teachers, parents, and students. These platforms provide teachers with access to real-time data and curation of content, and make educational materials per student’s learning style, and create an optimal study schedule.
Speaking of optimal study schedules, one great tool that people can use to effectively optimize their schedule is a pomodoro timer, which breaks down work into intervals and allows people to finish their work on time, and also allows them to rest.
The Quality of Learning Focus on Projects
Many teachers will attest that project-based approaches are an essential element in personalized learning. By developing interesting and well-designed projects, students will have the freedom to study topics that pique their interests. It will also give them the opportunity to share their projects with others.
Personalized learning goes beyond the purpose of assisting learning progress at a student’s learning pace, and it also makes the content suited to a student’s desire to learn a particular topic. No wonder doing projects are the most exciting and engaging learning methods a student will encounter.
Changes in Classroom Designs
With the significant changes in the methods and approaches of education, particularly in personalized learning, it is important to note that the traditional classroom, with its pre-arranged rows of chairs and desks, isn’t effective anymore.
Most Campuses are redesigning classrooms so that students can choose what sitting position is preferable or conducive to their learning. Classes now have different types of chairs so students can decide whether to sit, lounge, stand, or sprawl out on the floor as they do their schoolwork.
Schools also let natural light into the classroom and teachers organize it so students can conveniently move around for small-group activities, individual work, and one-on-one lessons with their teacher. This change instills in students the importance of respect for individuals and their personal spaces.
It is undeniable that personalized learning has become a hot topic in education recently. The world is quickly changing because of the latest innovations in technology.
Technology affects many aspects of our life, including the landscape of learning. Many trends have been proven to encourage us to strive for new ways and approaches to better education. Now that the world is limiting face-to-face education setups, it is high time that we take advantage of this change.
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