Personalised learning

Read a great article yesterday on personalised learning – what it is, why we want it and how to get it!  Below are some selcted quotes from the article that I think will be benefitial to have a read over.

  • The Personalized Learning Foundation says attributes of a personalized learning model include “a strong emphasis on parental involvement, smaller class sizes, more one-on-one teacher and student interaction, attention to differences in learning styles, student-driven participation in developing the learning process, technology access, varied learning environments, teacher and parent development programs, and choices in curriculum programs.”
  • In any personalized learning model, the student–not the teacher–is the central figure.
  • “Personalized learning can look different from hour to hour and from class to class, but there are some common threads. There are always high levels of engagement, high levels of differentiation, lots of opportunities for students to expand their personal interests through school projects, and a lot of collaboration.”
  • “The student, using technology, is better able to personalize their learning than a teacher is,” he says. “Teachers don’t have time to sit down and study each student, each day, in each course to figure out what they’re going to do differently with them. Teacher-driven personalization ends up being very weak, with very few factors, whereas if the students are leading their personalization via technology, then their instruction can be personalized based on a hundred variables instead of one or two.”
  • Ideally, tech-driven personalization combines the best of individualized learning–self-paced, diagnostic-driven–with the ability to adapt to a student’s specific learning styles, interests, and backgrounds.
  • Learning management systems. “The learning management system has a tremendous ability to personalize,” explains Greaves, “because they provide the framework that supports several different personalization functions without adding a lot of extra work for the teacher. In fact, it’s difficult to have a robust personalization system in place without a well-implemented learning management system.”

If you are about to try out My-learning…

Added to the resources page today are the following 2 doccuments that could be helpful if you want to start My-learning:

Guidelines for implementing My-learning – These will be used this year to assist teachers in implementing My-learning as well as to help me tailor P.D to the needs of our teachers.

Skills for My-Learning – I developed these to help teachers focus their teaching of skills children must have in order for My-learning to be successful. It’s not an exhaustive list but should (hopefully) help in getting children ready for the demands of a system that involves a whole different way of learning to what they are used to.

New Furniture!

Well it’s all rather exciting at the moment as I have new furniture in my classroom!

After much consulting with children, other schools and the purse string holder we decided on a range of furniture of different styles, heights and shapes. The idea behind this was to have a piece of furniture to suit every conceivable learning style, task and child. And I think we’ve nailed it!

A rather empty looking classroom at the moment but pretty good looking furniture!

Going back to 2010, I was lucky enough to hear Stephen Heppell speak about “modern learning environments”. This inspired me to think about how these learning environments could be complimented by pedagogy. Hence “My-learning” was born. So, working backwards a little, I now am lucky enough to be able to match the pedagogy with the environment and I’m really looking forward to testing it out on my new class next week.

This is worth a look, by Stephen Heppell on environments:

Long overdue P.D

Thanks to this less than summery weather, it feels almost OK to be doing rather dull readings in the summer holidays!

Here is a summary of the important bits (to me anyway) and my thoughts on the Horizon Report:

  • It reinforced the importance of teaching children how to collaborate effectively.
  • E-Books – the opportunities for collaboration between readers is what seems really exciting to me. Kind of redefines reading from what is/was a hugely passive activity… If you haven’t already, take a look at Inanimate Alice, an intriguing way to read using a multimedia approach.
  • Mobiles – the importance of learning being accessible anywhere and NOW is not lost on me.
  • Augmented reality – give me time to mull this one over…
  • Game based learning – I’m not sure about this. I can understand the importance of games and fun in learning but some of this seems to be a bit of a gimmick to me. However, the report does say “the greatest potential of games for learning lies in their ability to foster collaboration, problem-solving, and procedural thinking.” Food for thought. It does also add the caveat “for a variety of reasons, the realization of this potential is still two to three years away” though. From the Committed Sardine blog –
    • “We have recently shown that playing first-person point of view action video games affects several aspects of perception, attention, and cognition,” said Bavelier.
      Skills that are enhanced by action video game training, Bavelier said, include low-level vision owing to enhanced contrast sensitivity function; various aspects of attention, such as monitoring several objects at once or searching through a cluttered scene; more complex task constructs such as multi-tasking and task-switching; and a general speeding up of perceptual processing. (Whole article)
    • Gesture based computing – how silly are we going to look?!
    • Learning analytics – note to self – must look into Google Analytics

I also had a proper look at the latest video Simon Breakspear has put on his site. Well worth a look. He talks, amongst other things, about the need to assess children’s needs, motivations, aspirations and what is relevant to them. Perhaps too often we only assess their needs… He also mentions personalising learning though kids helping each other. I have found the children’s individual blogs assist with this, but must make a bigger effort to encourage this behaviour this coming year. Exciting stuff.

Lastly, after a bit of a potter around, I discovered this blog – What Ed Said – which had some rather interesting bits and pieces to read on it.