Frequently Asked Questions
Personalized Learning is
Personalized Learning is NOT
How will my child's experience be different in a Personalized Learning classroom than a traditional one?
Traditional classrooms often teach, assess, and advance every student in the same way and at the same time. While classrooms will still work to learn the same skills, the PL model allows for students to take different learning paths to achieve mastery. These different learning paths may mean that students are working on different assignments at any given time, but allows students to take more ownership of their education - teaching them not only the specific curriculum, but also about strategies for their success.
How can students be expected to design their own learning plan?
Students are not expected to design a learning plan on their own. In a Personalized Learning model, they are brought into the process alongside a teacher, so that decisions can be made together about how each student will achieve success. Instead of a "one size fits all" model, this approach enables teachers to identify the appropriate resources and provide tailored instruction to fit each student's learning speed and style.
Is Personalized Learning just about putting technology programs and devices in the classrooms?
No. Classrooms using the PL model will often have access to new devices and programs, but these do not replace the methods used in traditional classrooms. Instead, bringing 21st century technology into our classrooms will bolster and expand traditional methods, allowing for a wider variety and customizing of lesson plans. Additionally, the use of technology helps provide real-time data about student progress and helps teachers identify and organize the appropriate steps to keep students moving along their learning path. Ultimately however, any benefits from the use of additional technology still rely on strong teacher instruction and student relationships.
If a student learns best from traditional, lecture-style instruction, will Personalized Learning be detrimental to him or her?
Direct, teacher-led instruction is still a component of personalized learning, but it is one of many methods at a teacher's disposal. Teachers often utilize whole-group, small-group, individualized, and independent instruction based on the needs of students. Personalized Learning actually allows every student - whether they are slightly behind, slightly ahead, or right on grade-level - to engage with work at the level of rigor most appropriate for their skill level and learning style. Additionally, exposing students to a variety of learning methods and allowing them choice in their pace and path helps build critical skills needed for success in the 21st century, such as collaboration, self-motivation, and self-direction.