Leaders of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning have been advocating that personalized learning is an alternative to many methods of teaching which currently prevail in many classrooms.
In a speech to the annual West Virginia Education Summit, NACOL president and CEO Susan Patrick spoke of the widening focus of personalized learning beyond online applications.
“[The organization] started with a focus on how online courses could expand access to subjects and teachers,” Patrick said. These include foreign language, math, science and Advanced Placement courses. Ten years ago, the organization was more centered on fully online education.
“We’re much more focused right now on the future of education as a whole and how education systems can support that change, and the question is what is the appropriate role of online learning,” Patrick said.
According to Patrick, personalized instruction can happen when online learning is “in the hands of really great teachers.”
“We’re really focused on this evolution from online learning to blended learning models,” she said. Blended learning refers to education combining online and classroom learning. She says that the focus now is on “rethinking within schools how we redesign learning environments both in person and in the community to give students the knowledge and skills they need.”