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Personalized learning

Personalizing learning is a key to success for all learners.

How can we personalize learning for students? For educators?

What are you doing now to personalize learning? What would you like to do in the future?

Use the Post Comment link to share your thoughts. Also, if you attend any of the live events below, feel free to post yoru reflections here.

Additional resources and activities related to this topic:

(Feel free to add to this list by clicking Edit at the top of this page.)



Web resources


Task Discussion

  • Trish Loeblein   Aug. 26, 2012, 1:33 p.m.

    I was told about this site by a colleague.  . Our school has a goal to help students improve writing and self-analysis. I wonder if anyone here has tried this site?

    Also, we use as part of our school wide goal for students to reference information that get from others. My school district had found it to be a very useful tool for several years. It is not open-source; does anyone have ideas for similar sites that are Open?

    PS: this comment could also apply to the OER resource task, but I chose to put my ideas in this section since both my thoughts are about enabling students to self-reflect which I think is an important component of individualized learning - putting some of the responsibility on the learner. 

  • Tellio   Aug. 14, 2012, 9:52 a.m.

    Are personalize and customize the same thing?  It seems that to personalize is to be your own agent in your learning--an autodidact.  Customizing is something someone else does like modding a computer case or a course lesson.   The former requires that we create environments in which learners can recover/uncover/discover their identity and their agency within that identity.  The latter requires that we make our time in the classroom 'clothing' fit their identity.  Frankly, that is nigh on impossible; however, that is the nature of an ideal and a credo.  It is (as they might have said in "The Princess Bride"), only mostly impossible. 

  • karen   Aug. 14, 2012, 5:46 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Tellio   Aug. 14, 2012, 9:52 a.m.

    Interesting distinction. I've been puzzling too over how or whether differentiated instruction is different from personalize learning.

  • karen   Aug. 7, 2012, 11:34 a.m.

    I believe deeply in personalized learning. This month, I've been taking IDEO's course "Design Thinking for Educators."

    Here are some thoughts on how this relates to personalized learning. Would love to hear what you all think.

    design thinking process diagram

    Credit: Stanford K-12 Lab, CC BY SA

  • Emese Molnar-Kovacs   Aug. 7, 2012, 1:46 p.m.
    In Reply To:   karen   Aug. 7, 2012, 11:34 a.m.
    Thanks for your message, I'm in that course, too. I already completed first weeks tasks, and I'm thinking about the second one. Emese Molnar
  • Tellio   Aug. 7, 2012, 2:20 p.m.
    In Reply To:   karen   Aug. 7, 2012, 11:34 a.m.

    I responded on your blog.  I hope it is not too bleak.  The system that we have in my neck of the woods is not sustainable fiscally, emotionally, spiritually, or practically.  And the greatest of these is the spiritual bankruptcy of the system where I live.  This is not to say that a system cannot grow out of  the dungheap of the old, it might be able to.  This is where the iteration and prototyping might just get us out, but not before the system that is sucking all the resources out of the room gives up some of those resources.  Will that happen?  Has it happened elsewhere?  (And please don't say charter schools).  I am sure it has especially in other countries where they are bootstrapping.  Maybe we should look to the developing world to lead us out of the curricular maelstrom that is dragging us somewhere very bad indeed.  Too dark?

    Love the graphic.

  • karen   Aug. 7, 2012, 3:17 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Tellio   Aug. 7, 2012, 2:20 p.m.

    It's a rare day indeed when I am the optimistic one in the room! :)

    Thanks for your response. I responded on the blog as well.

    I do think there are some places that this kind of thing is starting to be done. (My experience with developing world education is that it is mostly not happening there though.)

    Re: the resource question, to me, one key to this being possible is the plethora of free resources that could make this happen. We really just need the WILL and bravery to do it. What if we all took over the asylum?

  • Tracy   Aug. 7, 2012, 4:49 p.m.
    In Reply To:   karen   Aug. 7, 2012, 3:17 p.m.

    No Karen - you are not the only optimistic one in the room.  I remain so despite some of the comments that I hear, some from those that are suppose to be leading this very movement.

    "I agree with everything you say, from death and taxes to the importance of interinstitutional inspiration.  I think this is the best time, ever, to be a learner.

    But the politics around K-12 are just awful.  There's a bipartisan consensus about reforming schools, which means bypassing if not breaking unions (Steve Jobs liked this).  There's the budget crisis.  And also a lack of public faith in schools - worse than I've ever experienced."
    Another had told me, "You have everything you need but it won't ever happen.  The system is to embedded in steel to change."
    And the teacher reasons for not becoming involved are placed at the feet of the assessments, AYP, they can't handle doing anything more, ....
    We have the technology, we have the educational resources, we have the foundation to build on, and we are beginning to get international educators interested in designing.  
    We can create the tool that will address the budget crisis by lowering the cost of teaching materials.  We have the ability to allow students to work at their own pace and at the academic level thus eliminating 95% of the behavior problems that plague our classrooms.  Teachers thinking of leaving the field frustrated and burn-out can once again find enjoyment in their job - and success  will be experienced by all.
    And it wouldn't be adding more of a work load but giving them the opportunity to design them differently to be used not only by their students but by students around the world.  I would think being part of a global movement towards making changes for our 21st century learners to much more productive then finding excuses to do nothing.
    Harry Blake and P2PU are collaborators with K12 Next Generation.  It would seem like this month of "Connecting Educators" a perfect time to unite.
  • Tracy   Aug. 7, 2012, 5:51 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Tellio   Aug. 7, 2012, 2:20 p.m.

    Yes - you do paint a bleak picture.  It unfortunately is not a unique one.  But it could become obsolete faster then you think.  All  you need is the will to make a few changes, the strength to take a little risk, and the tool to pull it all together.  And that is what K12 Next Generation is all about!   Take a minute and visit the site.  Get involved  - get others involved and we will be the ones  to lead us out of the curricular maelstrom that is dragging us somewhere very bad indeed. "


    K12 Next Generation