Technology and Personalized Learning

The digital-age classroom allows us to integrate technology into our teaching and learning. I will share some of the ways technology can be an aid or an accelerator or learning in the context of personalized learning.

Step 1- Before even thinking of the “Hows”, it starts with knowing our students. Check out this very interesting video that recaps what is Personalized learning (compared to individualised or to differentiated learning) and explain how we might know our students and use this data to engage in Personalized Learning in meaningful ways:

Step 2- Make a spreadsheet to gather learner profiles and keep your resources ready (slides here, here and here).

Step 3- Have a 1:1 conversation with each child (or ask them to record a video (using Flipgrid or Seesaw for instance) to set up goals and how the student might track their own data. As you think about the nature of the goal, find what functions those goals called for. Check Marzano’s new taxonomy:

Step 4- Track data and monitor progress. This is when the teacher needs to ensure that he/she is present (you can use the “notice and release” and other practices of the inquiry teacher, by Kath Murdoch) and intervene with agility (at the right time, with purpose, with a scaffolded  comment or question).

Step 5- When the student is ready, he/she will demonstrate his/her competency and this, again, can be chosen by the learner. When proficiency is reached, the learner can move on to his/her next goal. Assessments should be designed in such a way that we can really assess a competency, not something that was memorised but learning that is retained.

Systems to track data

Some of the tools that can be used to track personalized learning data might be:

Seesaw: very simple but the skill option allows teachers to tag a skill with 1 to 4 stars. The problem is that the students cannot do this or see it so it’s not transparent but this is to avoid that students see each other’s scores.

Empower SIS: Allows to track CBE by setting up pre-defined standards and tracking the data.

MasteryTrack: Seems best for Math teachers. It has resources attached to each skill.

My personal opinion is that a Spreadsheet is more valuable because it allows more customisation, however ideally, a system created and designed for the needs of a school is the best.

Find out more about creating your own spreadsheet with data using this ThingLink from one of my sessions on collecting and analysing student data: