Personalized learning can be accompanied with benefits and challenges. To start off I’d like to discuss the difficulties teachers face when using personalized learning. The first major problem is that personalized learning isn’t used in every classroom and it can be hard for students to adapt to different learning environments. The other issue that comes with this is that if personalized learning becomes the expectation how will teachers react? Some may have trouble molding to the new method since they lack the rigid guidelines they once had. Also a teacher would have to be prepared to make sure their curriculum can be fit with their method of personalized teaching. Once you have a clear idea of how and what you will teach your class you have to implement it. The challenge with this may be that the school itself could have pre-existing conditions that make your style difficult to employ. Be prepared to navigate carefully.
Some benefits to this is that you can cover different content with different students. A more personal approach can enable you to ensure that students won’t get left behind. Being more able to deal with individual needs can go a long way for students who struggle in the traditional classroom. The other advantage of this style is it gives your advanced students to work on material their speed, and students who are having issues to work with other material they are ready to tackle.
This idea of personalization is very interesting, there are many aspects that I like and a few I dislike. The problem I see the most with this method is that it would take a lot of your time. Trying to meet the needs of an entire classroom on a individual level poses a huge challenge when you only see students for an hour a day. It can be really hard to get the meaningful interactions you need to employ personalized learning. That being said I don’t think it is impossible.
I think that if people could really hammer out a definition of “Personalized Learning” then it could be implemented in steps. The important part is that some people need structure to be successful. Teachers won’t be able to make this change overnight and we have to have a clear goal of what everyone wants in their classroom.
I think a personalized classroom would be an excellent environment and something that I could work with if given the opportunity. Discussion among students and allowing them to participate at their own level of learning sounds fantastic!
The best example I can think of for personalized learning is not from my observations but from my high school experience. I took an IB Early American history course and the teacher assigned projects with a wide range of topics for us to choose. It gave people the chance to explore and learn on their own without the guidance of teacher, a lot of times the research would spark excellent in-class discussion. These projects were assigned every other week and were by far the best part of the class because every student moved at their pace.
This link covers the aspect of homework and I think is a really important thing to consider that the other article left out. I think the discussion of personalizing your teaching in the classroom and at home is very important.