The concept of personalized learning has been around since the 1880s when a Colorado school system allowed students to move through lessons at their own pace. For over a century, schools have repeatedly tried and failed to implement permanent personalized learning programs. In the past it has proven too labor intensive and time consuming for schools to maintain. However, with the introduction of edtech in many school systems, some think that the time is coming for personalized learning.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, personalized learning is achieved in 3 ways:
Changing the instructional approach when needed
Changing the pace of the lessons when needed
Involving students in their learning plan
Gene Kerns at eSchool News believes that the main issue preventing teachers from taking these 3 steps is the planning time needed to personalize each lesson. Teachers already spend 8-10 hours a week planning, meaning they do not have enough time to personalize their curriculum for each individual student in the class. Kerns said that the solution to this problem is creating an effective planning software for teachers that will streamline the planning process, allowing teachers to focus on personalized learning.
Once there are more planning resources available to teachers, Kerns believes that creating an open network of edtech resources will be the next step in creating a long-lasting personalized learning school system. Early literacy tests could show teachers both what a student needs to work on, and what resource that student should be using to improve their skill set with that subject.
Although the edtech required for a fully integrated personalized learning curriculum is not yet available, new innovations are being released every day, meaning that personalized learning could still be the system of the future.
Story via eSchool News