With adaptive-learning software, student’s learning journeys are customized and supported with resources based on their interest and excitement around particular subtopics while at the same time allowing teachers to make data-driven educational decisions. Open-ended creation tools such as movie maker, website creator, and eBook tools provide opportunities for students to create concrete or tangible unit projects showing what they have learned.
How to expand personalized learning outward
Educational leaders need to model what a personalized learning environment looks like so that personalized learning happens more widely in classrooms, throughout buildings, and across the district. Customizing professional development based on educators’ interests and needs and providing more flexibility for PLCs establishes norms and a culture that honors the personal experience that school leaders want for students. It is vital for school leaders to allow educators to have time to explore, plan, and reflect on the curation of resources and the redesign of classroom activities that honor student voice and choice. Along with modeling, school leaders need to support personalization by making sure that the school community has the resources necessary to support every individual student.
Burns advised school leaders and classroom teachers that there are multiple ways to infuse personalized learning without feeling overwhelmed by the process. By “chunking it down” into daily, weekly, and monthly goals, finding partners in tech and keeping tool belts light, the school community can focus on one or two areas that feel manageable right now. She also advises leaders and teachers to share their personalized learning journey through social media and connect with other districts and teachers doing the same work.
About the Presenter
Dr. Monica Burns is a curriculum and educational technology consultant, Apple Distinguished Educator, and founder of ClassTechTips.com. As a classroom teacher, Dr. Burns used one-to-one technology to create engaging, standards-based lessons for students. She has presented to teachers, administrators, and tech enthusiasts at numerous national and international conferences including SXSWedu, ISTE, FETC, and EduTECH. She is the author of several books including Tasks Before Apps: Designing Rigorous Learning in a Tech-Rich Classroom (ASCD). She visits schools across the country to work with preK-20 teachers to make technology integration meaningful and purposeful. You can find out more about working with Dr. Burns and her books and resources by visiting ClassTechTips.com.
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Ignite Digital Learning is a free professional learning community on edWeb.net where educators, librarians, and administrators can explore strategies and tactics for getting every child to be a better thinker, better reader, and better writer through the use of digital resources.
[Editor’s note: This piece is original content produced by edWeb.net. View more edWeb.net events here.]
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