Every time I work with a school district, I hope that they learn from me because I learn from them. Recently, in Del Mar Schools, Laura Spencer shared their idea of “personalization” of learning. Before she started speaking, I was skeptical because I have seen the idea of “personalized” learning happening in many schools where a student jumped on a computer and based on the information they share, the technology creates a pathway for that student. Although the technology is impressive, it doesn’t mean that it is good. Seeing a student completely zone out in front of a screen and letting the computer lead the learning is not where I hope education is moving.
Laura presented the idea of “personalization of learning,” meaning more in how does the teacher understand the student, build on their interests, and create learning opportunities for the student. I can get behind this idea.
The personalization of learning creates the opportunity for more depth and authenticity, whereas “personalized learning” seems to be more about knowing the “stuff”.
I wrote the post, “Five Questions to Ask You Students To Start the School Year“, and these are the questions I suggested:
The point of the post was for learning to be personalized, not for “personalized learning”.
Let’s just remember that in “personalization” is the word “person.” Technology is powerful and creates opportunities that I couldn’t even imagine as a student, and we would be crazy not to embrace and build upon what is in front of us. But if it dehumanizes our schools, then we have forgotten that we are not only there to develop learners, but people as well.
Don’t forget the person in the word “personalized.”