Five Top Tips to Empower Personalized Learning
Classrooms are more diverse than they’ve ever been. But with each a melting pot of students with different strengths, challenges, as well as language and numeracy abilities, it can be difficult for teachers to cater to every student’s needs. That’s where personalized learning can really come into its own, helping students take ownership of their learning while allowing teachers to confidently support different learning styles.
But where to begin?
1. Recognize the potential for personalized learning
Every student is unique with differing backgrounds and their own strengths and abilities. Some students may struggle with learning difficulties, or have English as an additional language. Some may struggle with numeracy simply because they do not have the literacy skills to read the materials being presented to them. Others may require a challenge to enable them to grow. In a whole classroom situation, this diversity calls for a personalized learning strategy that can support every kind of learner.
2. Differentiation vs. personalized learning
While both are about providing learning experiences that are considerate of the diverse nature of learners that make up classrooms, differentiation is teacher-led, while personalized learning is very much student-led and is often supported by technology options, whether that’s software, gamification, or more tactile means of expression for reading, writing, fluency, and numeracy.
3. Time for tech
While no technology can take the place of an educator’s expertise and good teaching practice, it can effectively step up to be a “digital assistant” in the classroom. Place the right technology in the hands of students and they are then empowered to take on personalizing their own learning experience. Our own Read&Write is used by nearly 20 million students worldwide and gives the literacy support features teachers need to deliver a personalized learning experience to all students, while helping every student meet their full potential.
4. Students are the masters of their own learning
Self-selecting the tools they need to access teaching and learning materials, and going on to successfully show what they know, significantly boosts their self-confidence in the process without adding to the existing teacher workload. By giving learners access to tools which enable student voice and choice in the classroom, teachers’ time spent on non-productive tasks is significantly reduced, freeing time to spend it more productively actively motivating, encouraging and inspiring learners. In other words … being a great teacher!
5. Assess the impact
Edmonton Public Schools wanted to find a scalable solution that would provide students with genuinely impactful assistive technology solutions to improve reading and writing confidence. Aiming to become a 1:1 device system, by rolling out Read&Write to over 90,000 students, they found that it:
- Increased learner confidence and instilled a new independence in students
- Increased student comfort with devices and allowed students and teachers to collaborate in real time
Following deployment of Read&Write, Will Rice, Educational Technology Planning at Edmonton Public Schools said "For us, Texthelp’s Read&Write is a Personalized Learning tool. We have changed the conversation from inclusive learning with a few kids to working with 100,000 users. Read&Write is not just for special education children, it is for all students.”
If you’re ready to take a deep-dive into the potential that personalised learning has to offer your classroom, join us for a live webinar as we talk powerful tools to help you get started.