Personalized instruction, sometimes called Personalized learning, is a powerful new approach to education. It emphasizes students’ autonomy in their own education. It lets them choose what they learn, and at what pace. It’s a well-documented approach to education that is picking up momentum around the world. This approach is complemented by a similar approach called “differentiation”.
In the words of ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), “Differentiation is a type of learning where instruction is tailored to meet the learning needs, preferences and goals of individual students.”
In other words, in the differentiated instruction model, the teacher adapts instruction to meet the needs of different groups of students.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, “Learning goals are the same for all students, but the method or approach of instruction varies according to the preferences of each student or what research has found works best for students like them. Personalized Instruction takes differentiation a step further, by placing the focus of the personalization on the learner and letting them be an active participant in the design of their education”.
Standardized tests have always been the norm in modern-day schools. Their efficacy, however, is questionable: The more research that goes into standardized testing, the more that two points become obvious.
- Not all students prove their knowledge best on tests. Some may do better with essays, presentations, or creative projects.
- Standardized tests create incentives for teachers to “teach to the test.” This means that they don’t go beyond the basic curriculum, and force all students to think exactly alike.
Personalized instruction sidesteps these problems. When students are allowed to choose how to prove their learning, they may choose an alternative method. For example, they could make a presentation or creative project. Also, where there is no single test, there is no teaching to the test. This method is a great first step in testing students’ knowledge and not just their ability to “parrot” information.
Personalized Instruction is an effective means of preparing students for the modern workplace. The new economy developing in the 21st century is not a “one-size-fits-all” economy. While in the past people had successful careers in a single company, it is now very common for people to move around a lot in their career. The old metaphor was the “career ladder”; now, people talk about the “career jungle gym.” In order to fit into the needs of the new economy, workers have to be prepared to forge their own paths. This is exactly what personalized instruction encourages. Students in a personalized instruction setting will learn how to assess their own strengths and weaknesses to decide their own path.
Personalized Instruction is an exciting approach to education, but it can be difficult to implement without the right tools in place. This is a technique that is largely made possible by the advances made in education technology, such as those “assistive technologies” we covered in our earlier UDL blog. By giving students the ability to choose their learning path, personalized learning supports stronger engagement.
Ways to facilitate Personalized Instruction
A robust communications and collaboration solution can facilitate personalized learning. This approach can be difficult to manage with a large class of students. Fortunately, new edtech is making it easier. Communications platforms are helping make personalized learning more popular. With most classrooms being equipped with smartboards, and most students using their own devices in class, personalized instruction has never been more possible!
Voice and Video Commenting
When setting a reading or a task, it’s important to recognize that each learner will engage with the curriculum material differently. It’s not always possible to take each student aside and converse with them in real time. Luckily, there is a solution designed by Kami! All you need to do is leave a voice or video comment and voilá! You have personalized instruction ready to go, whenever your students access the course material. This approach is especially helpful for blended learning or larger numbers of students. If you need a refresher on how-to-Kami, stop by the Kami Academy for a refresher course.
We know all too well how easily we have to shift to remote work. It would be naive to assume that blended and remote learning environments are behind us. But even without global pandemics, there are plenty of reasons to equip classrooms with audio and video equipment. Universities have been recording lectures for quite a while now; meaning that missing a lecture doesn’t mean missing out on education. Middle and high schools are following the same route, recording each lesson and uploading them so that sick or absent students can access them at a time that suits them. High-quality cameras are being sold for well under $100 USD these days. No, really! Check out the C270 HD Webcam or the C920e Webcam.
Headsets are an easy way to ensure that your voice is heard, every time. Not only that, but it means that students can work at different paces, while engaging with various forms of educational media without disrupting one another. A good quality headset, such as the ones listed here can improve your oration as well. Built-in voice filters make your voice clearer and sharper over video calls or while recording your voice comments.
Personalized Instruction is a powerful new approach to education. It prepares students to flourish in the modern economy. It teaches them valuable technology, social, and self-reflective skills. Headsets are an easy way to ensure that your voice is heard, every time. Not only that, but it means that students can work at different paces, while engaging with various forms of educational media without disrupting one another. For educators, a good quality headset such as the Zone Vibe 125 can improve your oration as well. Headsets with noise-cancelling mics reduce background sounds to ensure your voice is voice clearer and sharper over video calls or while recording your voice comments.
By combining powerful edtech such as Kami and Logitech, teachers can easily manage a classroom of personalized learners.