Do you still remember those conventional school teaching methods? Sitting in ordered rows with your mates, learning the same lessons each day and doing the same assignments together; there’s no doubt that it was fun. But can you consider that teaching model flawless? Well, there are many flaws associated with it. An example scenario should clear this thing up.
Say for example, a student has a special interest in painting and he’s unnaturally good at it at the same time. What should we do? Isn’t it our responsibility to channelize the talent into the right track, more specifically into a student’s field of interest? Conventional learning methods don’t serve this purpose effectively. And henceforth, there’s a necessity to go for a change.
Learning should get more personal to suit the demands of each and every student separately. Therefore, personalized learning can definitely be considered the future of school education.
What is personalized learning?
You can use several other terms such as student-centered learning or personalization to define personalized learning.
Personalized learning refers to the different ways through which education is tailor-made to suit the purposes of different students individually.
This novel model is slowly gaining popularity among students and teachers which is definitely good from the point of view of education. Schools are trying new ways to target curriculum as well as lesson plans to accept that universal idea which says that “every student is unique.”
The beautiful thing about personalized learning is that the need of students, however unique it might be is always given the first priority. Such a learning experience can definitely be considered pretty gratifying and enlightening.
Technology definitely matters
Advanced technology is one of the primary features of personalized learning that has made it so popular.
One of the key features of personalized learning is the incorporation of advanced technology in classrooms where it was not there before.
Certain apps and games can do the purpose of personalized learning effectively. Several social media platforms can also promote personalized learning among students if sued in the right way under proper guidance.
The positive results of personalized learning in school classrooms
According to a 2015 study done by the Gates Foundation, it’s said that the adoption of personalized learning has strong positive effects on school classrooms. These are mainly:
- Students improved drastically in mathematics as well as reading.
- The greater the exposure of personalized learning, the greater is their potential in achievement.
Personalized learning has a number of key benefits. A few of them are:
- It’s mainly “learner focused.” This means it provides a number of customizable and thorough learning opportunities to the learner on basis of their needs, interests and strengths.
- The learner would be able to progress at his/her own speed on basis of competency.
- The learner would be able to take an entire ownership of his/her own learning. The personalized learning platform would also be able to adjust dynamically to the curiosity, skills as well as goals of the learner.
Tools used in personalized learning
Like it’s said before, technology always plays the major in an effective personal learning environment. Some of its major tools are:
- Multimedia: Certain tech tools have made learning more fun and more engaging. They provide students with a hand-on form of education which is more effective and more gratifying; far better than the traditional abstract form of education. Tools like video clippings, games, animations, interactive whiteboards etc. are some of the most unique ways of developing a unique personalized learning environment for students.
- Educational apps: Several innovative educational apps are available on the app market for iOS and Android devices that can be downloaded free of charge or at a nominal price. These ones add a unique as well as personalized touch to class lessons that the students find more enjoyable and more enjoying. After all, we all know that these bits and pieces of technologies are quite “cool” and thus, the awe factor comes into play on a positive note.
- Palpable games and puzzles: Even a pen and paper game is enough to teach you basic operational arithmetic effectively. A student who is facing difficulty in comprehending the techniques of basic operational arithmetic can indulge himself in such games for an effective hands-on learning experience. These games can be anything ranging from board games (such as Monopoly, Scotland Yard) to card games (such as Set) to even pen and paper games (such as Sink that Ship, Aggression). Oh! Did we forget the Rubik’s Cube?
So is it the future?
It certainly is but that doesn’t mean that the implementation of personalized learning is going to demean the human touch in education. Teachers had always played a significant role in education and will continue to do so. Personalized learning is just a tool; a handy tool to move forward to a better future. So is it still the future? Absolutely!
Justin Goh is a former teacher and prolific writer, penning blogs to help the parents, students and the educators alike. Regularly contributing articles for MyPrivateTutor Malaysia, he prefers to write on varying aspects of education ranging from learning strategies and preparation tips to the ways to reach out to the students better.