Friday, May 22, 2015

Personalized Learning: From "Trending" to "It's just the way we do it"

 A Google search defines:
Trend: a general direction in which something is developing or changing.  

I first read the article 10 Trends to Personalize Learning in 2015 around Christmas time 2014. I reread it again just recently and joined in on a webinar about the article with a couple of my teachers. It prompted me to think about these things...

      At what point does a trend become sustained long enough for people to stop calling it a trend, or a movement, or an initiative, or a pilot? When does it become our culture, or our method, or our strategy, or our "it's just the way we do it" kind of thing?

    The journey from vaguely being aware of what personalized learning is or isn't, to how to actually make it come alive in a classroom setting or school is a mysterious one. You wouldn't think it would be such a daunting thing since the entire "accomplished" side of the current teacher evaluation system in Ohio is heavily laden with adjectives such as "individualized" and "personalized." And since there looks to be many teachers earning the accomplished ratings, you would think that we would see many classrooms engaged in personalized learning environments. We would see PLPs (personalized learning plans), assessments "as" learning along with "for" and "of" learning assessments. We would see students involved in goal setting and peer feedback. We would see more multiage classrooms or small group settings because don't we all agree that time is the variable, not the learning? We would see teacher teams co-teaching and forming skill groups based on collective data. We would see teachers building student relationships over multiple years. We would see students and parents excited about schools. We would see more emphasis on learning, less on "grades."

 According to this comparison, many of our teachers continue to do business in a traditional classroom.

 You can decide for yourself which stage your teachers are in by considering the following:

    We are a long way from where we think we would like to eventually be and we will need to spend time with the Belief Systems stage. I do think that if we reach out to the schools, teachers, and organizations that have similar experiences and expertise, that we can begin to make inroads to changing what is currently a "predicted trend" to "our way of doing business."

If you would like to join us on our journey you can connect with us here:
@RVCprincipal on Twitter

For sites of interest on this topic:
#plearnchat on Twitter