Today’s educational system was designed over 150 years ago during the industrial revolution. The teacher centered method of lecturing identically to each student leaves the student passive, often bored and mostly over or under challenged to his abilities. Thus, the teacher does not fulfill his potential as a formative educational figure that personally knows and directs his students. The changes that have taken place in the world have led to the understanding that in order to prepare students for today’s world, the education system must change significantly. One of the most promising ways to make this change and prepare students for tomorrow’s reality is personalized learning.
Personalized learning is an educational approach according to which teachers are able to tailor the learning pathways to each and every one of their students according to their needs – Interests, progress, strengths, etc. A learning program that is suited to each student can challenge them in a level that is right for the student, allowing them to grow into their full potential and reach the highest level of expertise in the subject learned. The student learns to take responsibility over the learning process and accumulates important skills for today’s world, such as learning how to learn, facing obstacles, and taking responsibility.
Personalization has produced breakthrough results in parallel industries such as high-tech, medicine, commerce and marketing. Moreover, studies around the world show evidence that personalized learning has significantly improved the quality of learning for all students, a higher improvement was seen among lower level students, and especially in mathematics. Thus, global industry leaders around the world have already identified the challenge and harnessed the principles of personalization to the field of education- Google’s personalization VP founded AltSchool, Mark Zuckerburg and Bill & Milinda Gates Foundation helped build personalized schools and tools worldwide such as Summit Public School.
The key values underlying a personal solution:
1.Diagnosis – Looking at the students current position in regards to their learning pathway and goals. Checking what learning characteristics are best suited to the student. Diagnosis can relate to progress, pace, strength, interest, attention, group size, habits etc.
2.Tailor a personal learning pathway– Once the student has been diagnosed, the teacher can use the solution and adjust the learning pathway individually to each student.
3.Teacher and student feedback– Frequent feedback to the teacher and the student to understand the student’s progress in relation to the personal learning pathway designed for him. Thus, Allowing the learning pathway to adjust to the student’s needs.
4.Flexible and changing – As the student changes and develops throughout the learning process, the learning pathway should to be flexible and re-adjust itself to the student.
5.Scalable– The ability to replicate and expand the solution in order to implement the solution in a significant large number of classrooms with sustainable cost effective resources.
Today there is vast agreement on the approach of Personalized Learning in the educational world, However, There is much ambiguity and confusion around the definition.
What is not a personalized learning solution?
Personalized learning does not necessarily mean that the student will study alone in front of a computer, that there are no external goals to be met (such as matriculation), and that the teacher will be replaced and is irrelevant.
So what is personalized learning?
A personalized learning solution is a tool for the teacher. It provides the necessary information and support for the teacher so that they can tailor a learning pathway to each and every one of their students. The teacher directs over the learning process of the student- shapes the learning environment; matches personalized learning programs along side the student and adapts the appropriate learning, assessment and measurement methods.
For more in-depth reading, we have prepared a literature review about personalized learning for you.
Read the review here.