For an in depth look at what personalized learning is and why it matters, imagine the choice between learning at your own pace and choosing curriculum that interests you or taking courses that are required of you.
Which would you prefer and which choice do you think results in the most student success?
This article is part one of three.
Smarter Squared: How to Use Personalized Learning to Master School Faster and Create the Future You Want, by Pat Wyman, M.A. and a group of learning experts throughout the world, is one of the leading-edge books that provides information on what personalized learning is and why it matters. This article is a partial excerpt from that book
Dr. Devin Vokicka, Superintendent of Schools in Vista, CA says this about personalized learning and Smarter Squared:
Personalized learning dramatically accelerates the progress and grades of our students. In fact, we are one of only 10 winners who received a $10 million grant from XQ to continue our work creating the high school of the future.
All future-oriented educators should be immersing themselves in personalized learning. It has genuinely transformed learning in the Vista Unified School District. Building on student strengths, leveraging powerful digital tools, providing for student choice, transforming learning environments, and shifting to competency-based models are all components of personalized learning that improves student engagement and empowers our kids to become drivers for life-long learning and achievement.
We are grateful that Smarter Squared includes the information for students to empower themselves and advocate for the use of Personalized Learning to maximize their potential for a lifetime.
- Have you ever taken a required class and wondered whether it was
related to the real world outside your classroom?
• Did you ever wish that you could have more input over what you are
learning and still meet your school’s requirements?
• Do you feel that you learn better in certain ways such as listening,
reading, or doing hands-on activities – alone or in groups, and want to
apply these preferences as you learn?
• Do you wish more subjects you are interested in could be part of the
• Do you wish you could learn at your own pace?
• Are you curious about how to make what you learn more relevant to
If you answered yes to at least two of these questions, then you definitely want your learning to be more personal! That is why it is important to know what personalized learning is and why it matters.
You want to use personalized learning because it gives you more ownership of and responsibility for your education and it incorporates all the benefits listed within the questions above.
Want to find out more? This article is in three parts.
This is part 1.
So What Is Personalized Learning?
Personalized learning is learner-driven education that is custom-tailored to your interests, your strengths and your passions.
It allows you to “own” your education. You have more choice and responsibility for your learning and you set learning targets that are directly connected to the future you want in the workplace or as an entrepreneur.
The education model you may be most familiar with isgenerally known as a one-size-fits all environment where the teacher delivers information to all students at the same time and in the same way.
However, personalized learning transforms your learning into a relevant, empowering, and ongoing journey.
In short, it helps you become a life-long learner, learn how to make a difference and leave a legacy.
How? Read on…
Jobs and technology are changing so rapidly that you need knowledge and skills that prepare you for both a certain future and one that is less certain.
That is what makes personalized learning so valuable and all-encompassing – it is student/learner-driven and as flexible and adaptable as you’d like it to be.
As you learn, you can quickly and easily map out your dream destination (your future) and determine whether you are developing the skills you need for that future.
Why Am I Just Now Hearing About Personalized Learning?
The short answer is that personalized learning has crossed a “tipping point.” Best-selling author Malcom Gladwell defines a tipping point as “that magic moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips and spreads like wildfire.”
And that’s what you are witnessing—and being a part of—the spread of personalized learning!
Personalized learning isn’t recent and it isn’t a passing fad.
Teachers have known how to personalize learning for well over 30 years but the added boost that technology can provide, featuring a personalized
Learner Profile and detailed Plan with instant feedback on progress, was not available until the past few years or so.
Today, enough educators have seen the benefits of personalized learning in their students to create that “tipping point.”
Now educators all over the world understand that the traditional model of education—the “one-size-fits-all” model—simply does not adequately prepare you for your future.
They are working hard and revitalizing education to make learning more relevant, more engaging, and more aligned with their students’ future.
They no longer see themselves as “depositors of facts” but as mentors and facilitators for their students.
And now you, too, are part of this wave of change! You know what personalized learning is and why it matters.
Stay tuned for Part 2: What are the Benefits of Personalized Learning
related articles on personalized learning