Showing posts from June, 2012

Personalization in Education - Part 2

The first part of this series looked at what it mans to personalize learning and some of the key beliefs one must have to do successfully switch in a new direction. What I want to start to get into is how we do this in our classrooms. We are busy in schools gathering a lot of data. The problem is that we are gathering the wrong kind. Personalization starts with PERSON. We need to gather more information about the students we serve. We have to gather real data on who they are, what makes them work, how they learn, what they care about, their challenges, their successes, and all of the important DATA. Nobody really wants to learn from a teacher that doesn't care about them and doesn't show interest in them as an individual. We need to understand students as a person first and a learner second. We have whole child initiatives out there and lots of big thinkers saying we need to drop standardized test data and become more personal. However, very few are telling how. It can h

Personalization in Education - Part 1

It has been great to attend ISTE12 and finally begin to hear some honest buy in and acceptance to the philosophy of personalization of education for each student. I know this has been floating around in the ether for quite a while, I believe it can be tied back to Nel Noddings work on the ethic of care in the classroom (and probably before that). I was researching this in the early 2000's while working on my dissertation and am glad to see the rest of the community grab on and embrace the concept. Here is the general idea behind personalized learning: the teacher finds a way to know about each individual student to be responsive to their needs just at the right time they need to be guided in the right direction. As Yong Zhao  has pointed out, we have made the mistake in education (actually by policymakers around education) to believe that this can be accomplished by standardized testing. NCLB was quick to prove that the type of data we were gathering was not adequate to cause ch

Retire the "21st Century" in "21st Century Learning"

At the start of ISTE12 I tossed out a concept through twitter that was discussed in the School CIO conference preceding ISTE. I proposed that we should retire "21st Century Learning" and start calling it "Learning". It has caused quite a discussion in twitter and I have had some great intellectual exchanges over it. I wanted to take this venue as a place to put my thoughts on the concept together. Here is the general idea: words matter All of the discussion on PLC's show us that a common vocabulary means something when working with groups of people. Over the course of the past 15 years 21st Century Learning has developed as a term to prepare educators for what was coming when technology became a common and essential part of society, children, families, and learning. So let's just admit what happened. The 21st Century came and we were not ready. Some screamed for change and some resisted - others just rode the wave.   The 21st Century started a dozen ye