Of course, there are benefits to personalized learning, but definitely consequences. The benefits I see are the ability to allow students to progress at their own pace, meeting them right where they are whether that is ahead of other students or behind them. I love the idea of tailoring education to fit each specific student so that it is not a “one size fits all” approach. Most of the US education system is built around the middle road and getting everyone to walk along that road together. The consequences are that it is SO MUCH work for the teacher… Meeting every single student and finding the right road for them? I can’t even begin to imagine trying to do that for every student in a 30 person class, much less a 300 student school!
I can give one example of a successful program for a specific student- Tanana Middle school is trying a program called Synergy. For two days a week and about 3 hours each day their students work on a project they have dreamed up on their own. While some students had no idea what they wanted to do, my daughter knew exactly her interests and goal. She is working on learning how to use a computer animation program coupled with a WACOMM tablet. The tablet allows her to directly draw into the computer program so she is moving her own characters and creating short animation videos. They are amazing- first steps in what I expect to be a long process for her. She has struggled with making them do exactly what she wants, and she loves the struggle. Last year she hated school and fought us every morning. Now she goes even if she feels bad.
So, I can’t say that recreating every aspect of school to create an entire personalized learning education for every student would be the right choice. However, I can say that adding elements can harness the creativity and energy and interests of my student. I like that it has been introduced slowly, and not taken over the entire curriculum.
I thought this article had some good ideas: https://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/high_school_and_beyond/2016/05/personalized_learning_more_than_technology.html