Personalized learning is something that educators have talked about for a long time, but I am really struggling with the term. I have talked about the idea and differences between “individualized and personalized” learning before, but really, all learning is personal.
Think about this scenario…
I recently spoke to approximately 200 school leaders (at all levels) over a three day period. Each group had people in similar positions, but from different schools, programs, etc.. After about 35-40 minutes of talking to each group using the same slides and ideas, I asked them to reflect in a google form about what they wanted to learn and their takeaways. Although the talk was the same over the three days, their responses were so different from one another. We have to realize that this is the norm, not the exception, but why is it the norm?
Here are three reasons that struck me upon reflection of this experience.
- Each individual has their own experiences and acquired knowledge. (Past)
- Each person creates their own connections to content based on the reason mentioned above. (Present)
- What interests each person biases what they are interested in learning moving forward. (Future)
Doesn’t this to apply to all teaching and learning whether it is from the curriculum, delivered in a workshop, or watching it on a YouTube video?
We should focus less on all people learning the same thing, and more on all people learning forward. There is a difference.