“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” By Stephen Covey
Personalized Learning (PL) looks different in every school and in every classroom but the foundation to me is that it is student-driven. Often times when working with teachers and different school districts I get asked, “What do you look for in a Personalized Learning Classroom/School?” Below are some common PL “look for’s” – these are examples and is not an all-inclusive list by any means.
- Coach: Teachers are adapting to the students learning according to their specific needs. (See previous blog post The Shift of the Role of the Teacher)
- Small Group Instruction: Teachers are not doing whole group instruction but small group direct instruction based on students needs.
- Creating Playlists and Pathways: Teachers are not creating lesson plans but creating playlists and pathways focusing on what the students are doing verse what they are doing.
- Ownership: Students are consistently self-evaluating, self-regulating and self-motivating their learning through goal setting, reflection and having voice and choice in their learning.
- Monitoring: Students are monitoring their data, growth and behavior through data trackers etc.
- Dispositions: Students are practicing soft skills/habits of mind daily such as collaboration, being flexible and adaptable.
- Safe Learning Environment: The classroom needs to have clear rules and expectations. (I highly suggest making these together as a class in the beginning of the year verse dictating them)
- Furniture: The classroom needs to be flexible with places for students to have a quiet spot to think or a place that is conducive for collaboration etc. (Learn more from my previous blog posts: Tips and Tricks for Creating Learning Spaces and Multi-Functional Learning Spaces in Classrooms)
- Technology: The classroom should have technology that is seamlessly integrated as technology is only a tool to help the learning environment just like books and pencils. I am a believer that classrooms should have all different devices from iPads to Chromebooks so students can become device agnostic.