5 Tips For Personalized Learning via Technology
Personalized learning is all about creating a tailored learning experience that matches the requirements of the individual student. Back in the day this could be quite the challenge, as resources could be scarce and there were few aids to individualization within an educational context.
5 Tips For Personalized Learning
Luckily, today that is a situation that is rapidly changing and it technology that is leading this change. If this is an area that interests you too, then here are 5 tips on how to make technology work for you in the sphere of personalized learning.
1. Make use of all the Media
One of the key roles for the teacher is to impart information. For centuries the tools to give information have been few, and their adaptabilities have been limited.
Whereas in the past information would be written up on a chalkboard, now it can be projected onto a surface. Whereas students would be given still slides to look at, now moving images, even short films, can be incorporated in any displays and be used to illustrate key information or ideas.
Some kids respond well to the written word, some are better with visual examples. The wide range of media available in the modern classroom means that information can truly be tailored to meet the needs of the class.
2. Instant feedback
How do we know that a student understands their lessons? We test them. Traditionally this would take the form of written exams given out during class or taken away by the student as homework.
This delay creates an unnecessary time barrier between the lessons itself and ensuring it has been understood. Often by the time the text is completed and marked, 24 even 48 hours has elapsed. If the tests reveal some students have not understood the concepts, it can often be too late to go back and cover old ground.
In today’s schools, remote response systems – simple hand held clickers with colored buttons – can be deployed during lessons. Teachers asks questions, the child responds with their answer via the clicker connected wirelessly to a laptop – and you have the ability to set real time quizzes, and see exactly which students are keeping up and who may need a little extra help.
3. Further Testing Options
It’s worth noting that technology provides other resources when it comes to managing a student’s progress. It may not be necessary to set classroom-based tests all the time to see if students understand their lessons.
With the range of personal media creation software today you could set a project to create a PowerPoint presentation, a comic book – even make a short film. Some very intelligent students simply do not respond well to traditional testing methods. Technology provides the ability for them to demonstrate their knowledge in other ways.
4. Put the Planning in the Kids Hands
Detailed lesson planning is a standard for every good teacher – but sometimes we can push to heavily on the planning part and risk stifling creativity.
Consider using technology to allow for more “Organic” lesson plans. Of course, set the overall learning framework for the class, but to allow for a more personalized learning experience, consider putting some of the planning onto the children – and then let them use technology to achieve this.
Again, the students are provided a learning experience tailored to them. So the kid who is a great reader but to shy to stand at the front and deliver an oral book report could instead film themselves giving the report, and play it back for the class.
5. Bring In Outside Sources
Finally, a great way to utilize technology is by using it to open windows for your students into other sources of information. Bringing in an expert in a field your class is studying could really help to make the lessons come alive.
Technology allows for you to bring in experts from all over the world in real time. If a history class is studying World War 2 for example, you set up a Skype call with a veteran and have the children ask them questions about their experiences. This kind of real life teaching can really bring about lessons that the children will love, and that they will keep with them.
You could also technology to bring in external sources to help individual or small groups of students. Take Math as an example. In the past if a student really struggled with the concepts of math they would have to catch up by themselves or you could give them additional tutoring – either in your own time or eating into class time.
With today’s technology though, you can bring in outside help here too – perhaps you could consider organizing online courses with a math tutor. These could help the students who fall behind the class or the ones who are too far ahead to stay engaged, providing a personalized learning experience without affecting the bulk of the class. Many parents are interested in additional tutor hours, and this could be a good way for them to split the costs perhaps.
Technology after all has primarily grown as a means to share information, so don’t be ashamed of taking advantage of it!
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