When it comes to education, we have so many myths to speculate about. We tend to take education for granted in many ways. Since we deal with education on a daily basis, we seem to know a lot about it. However, due to many factors, misconceptions are prevalent and become myths. In this article, I will discuss the topic “How to Promote Personalized Learning”. Some people may not be familiar with personalized learning, but it is so important to our modern education. I will discuss in detail how to facilitate the development of personalized learning.
1. What is Personalized Learning?
There are many definitions of “personalized learning”. Common elements of personalized learning include the following ones. 1) Teaching is based on the student’s personality and interests. This is a key part of personalized learning because if we don’t have a clear picture of what our students need, it’s difficult to teach them correctly. In other words, as personalized learning, we need to tailor our pedagogy to the needs of individual students. 2) Make students the masters of their own learning. This concept has been discussed for many years. It is not easy to make students the masters of learning, but it requires that we have the ability to make it happen by giving them more power and opportunities to take the initiative in learning. 3) Use technology to help students learn based on their interests. Interest is the king of learning, and if interest is reduced, then it is impossible to motivate students to learn and succeed. In addition to the three elements of personalized learning mentioned here, there are many more, but they will not be discussed in this article.
2. Teachers Need to Strategically Engage Students in Personalized Learning
Teachers have an important role to play in helping students succeed in personalized learning. In order to achieve this goal, they should have a well-informed knowledge of personalized learning. This requires a qualified and high-quality pedagogical training as a teacher. This is a solid foundation for their success in teaching. Being a teacher not only requires good training, but they also need to learn a lot about what they are actually teaching. This means that they need to update and improve their pedagogy in different ways, such as self-study, online discussion and sharing using educational social networking sites such as PEDAGOGISM.COM, regular participation in pedagogical workshops, and communication with other teachers. Through self-improvement, teachers are able to be competent enough to deal with various challenges. In addition, it is important for them to know more about their students and become familiar with their needs and problems. Therefore, they need to communicate frequently with the parents of their students in order to get the latest information about their students and the problems they are facing in their studies. From numerous studies, good communication between parents and teachers is the key to student success. Parenting is an integral part of the education system. In other words, if parents know how to educate their children, they will be good help for teachers because parents and schools have a complementary relationship. As well, teachers need to customize learning plans for different students. In the school system, teachers are expected to know how to help students develop individualized learning plans, which is not only crucial to their academic success but also a way to guide them in how to become well-organized. Finally, teachers should foster collaboration by creating a positive environment and climate for their students. When it comes to personalized learning, we mistakenly think of it as a personal approach to learning. However, the reality is quite the opposite: students need to have strong collaborative skills and spirit in order to work with others and become competent and responsible members of society.
3. The Need for Schools to Create a Friendly Teaching and Learning Environment
Apart from teachers, schools play an unparalleled role in education, not only because they provide material support, but they also create space for learning. Around the world, if you compare learning spaces, then you will find a strong connection between academic success and spatial success. The concept of successful spaces refers to the spaces that schools create in order for teachers to feel comfortable teaching and students to feel comfortable learning. What kind of space meets such criteria? The learning space must be flexible and free of pressure. In other words, if learning spaces are too rigorous, they tend to create stress for students. Therefore, schools, teachers and students need to work together to design learning spaces that reflect everyone’s ideas and voices. Most students spend their time in school before they start working, in other words, they live in a school space for most of our time. A good learning space is like an amazing home design, it can be enjoyable to live in and therefore have a full sense of happiness. Obviously, finding a great designer is also an important step in making a friendly and stress-free learning space. Customized and friendly learning spaces are only the first step to successful personalized learning, as schools need to invest heavily in technology, teaching equipment, and more. In a modern, technologically advanced society, personalized learning maintains a close relationship with technology. Some people criticize the negativity that comes with technology because technology can easily get students addicted to it, devoting a lot of time and energy to entertainment rather than learning. However, I don’t think the technology itself is the problem, but rather the humans themselves. Because technology is a tool, but humans are the masters. If we become slaves to technology, then we lose our independence. This is why schools need to teach students how to use technology properly. In addition to the mentioned above, schools need to provide more support and feedback to teachers and care about their needs in promoting personalized learning. This is important because the partnership between schools and teachers is critical to the success of teaching and learning.
4. Use a Variety of Technology Tools to Promote Personalized Learning
We live in an age dominated by technology. However, we cannot be manipulated by it, which means we should know how to use it as part of our lives and to help us achieve rather than lose something important. This applies to personalized learning. Almost every day some new tech tool or app is invented and published online, whether it’s free or paid. It tells us something that we can’t take technology for granted and that we need to know how to use it properly and intelligently. Through an analysis of the available tools, I would like to share some of the tools that are helpful for personalized learning, such as Choice Boards, Tiered Learning Targets, Reflex by Explore Learning, Smart Sparrow, and more. In using them, I think it’s important to know how to use them. Teachers first need to be trained on how to use the tools to maximize their functionality and then apply them to their students. After being used by students, it is crucial for schools and teachers to listen to feedback from students in order to improve the use of the tools and teaching methods. The quality of different tools varies. Therefore, schools and teachers must be smart in choosing the most appropriate tools for their students.
Personalized learning is a current trend in education, and not only teachers but society as a whole need to focus on it. In this process, various problems are bound to arise, but I believe that joint efforts are the key to overcome all difficulties.