I love the idea of Personalized Learning, but I admit I see potential problems. The idea that we can just scrap everything we’ve done in the past and switch over to something untried, untested and brand new is not really wise, practical, or frankly possible.
Most of our infrastructure is built around the idea of large group education. I can’t see us switching over whole-scale any time soon. However, the benefits to using personalized learning are immense- more engagement for students, more explorations and enquiries, more curiosity fulfilled, more students met at the point of their need. Combining the old with the new seems like the best way to access the potential of personalized learning while valuing the benefits of our present learning system.
Tanana Middle School is using personalized learning in a really interesting way. They have a time frame three days a week where students were allowed to come up with an idea they were interested in exploring. To explore their interest they had to find a teacher sponsor who could direct and guide their exploration. I know one student is building a 3D Printer, another is working on digital animation. Students are engaged in active learning and seeking information about subjects that really interest them.
An interesting article I found had many examples of personalized learning that works: