This summer I took a course to help me better understand technology in the classroom. This class inspired me to do something I never thought I’d ever do; create a twitter account. I made a professional account where I could build relationships and link up with other educators, both new and experienced! Having a Twitter account opened up a lot of wormholes for me. I would get very sucked into different educational articles and resources; personalized education was the hot topic this summer. I have read many articles that really sold me on the idea of personalized education and meeting the student where they are at and allowing their inspirations drive their education. While it seemed like a no-brainer, this article has definitely helped me to put everything into perspective and have a better idea of the whole-picture perspective.
The benefits of personalized education include enabling students to let their curiosity and enthusiasm drive their learning. Students will always see the value in what they’re learning and feel a sincere connection to their content. All students will be actively engaged in their education, regardless of background knowledge. Students will be in the driver’s seat!
The downside of personalized education comes with the logistics; how will this be done? How do you get educators on board without mandating it — what does that look like? What supports will be available to teachers? How do principals and other educational leaders lead this initiative? Where do parents fit into this new mold? What does a personalized education actually look like? How long is it intended to last?
This article has definitely got me thinking of the real-life implications of implementing such a program; not to say it’s either good or bad, but rather somewhere in between. If I had to choose a ‘side’ I would err to say I am for personalized education but would have to do a lot more investigating on the logistics of such a significant change before truly committing to one side or another.
In my current school I see a lot of teachers adapting their lessons projects to fit the needs of their students. It is often very difficult and time consuming for the teacher but without question has a profound impact on the students. It turns unobtainable barriers into successful pillars of knowledge to build from. While these adaptations are currently at work and going great, I don’t think they are sustainable long-term solutions. Teachers are asked to do too much with too little; time being the biggest barrier. If teacher work loads were lightened, it would be much more realistic for teachers to be able to meet the needs of all their students.