Group One Wiki Notes: Personalized Learning

88514759_cbe81239ab_t.jpg Personalized learning, and learning standards that work across borders.
Learners have an unprecedented level of control over the content they work with. They are no longer limited to handpicked resources presented by teachers; instead, a world of information is available to them, both online and off. Learners are quite able to select materials in a variety of formats, including audio and video, to meet their needs. That being the case, what kinds of standards can be set forth that allow for the flexibility of personalized learning, yet still ensure enough consistency among informal or local programs?

Please consider any five of the following questions as you explore the theme of personalized learning and learning standards that work across borders.


1. What is the difference between informal learning and personalized learning?

Unstructured in the first case, but cognitive and metacognitive emphases for personalized learnings, with structures generated by the learner. Personalized learning is more organized, more assessible. Cf. going to the gym ... going for health and well being generally vs. working with a personal coach or identifying a training regimen. Intrinsic motivation is key here. The drive to learn matched with input from expert coaches.

In Italy, individualization vs. personalization; choice of how to, say, communicate vs. differentiation between students as to learning strengths, curricular experience, etc.


2. In what areas are standards required? In what areas are standards perhaps not necessary?

Process of establishing standards should be open and democratic with participation by experts and students. Standards should allow for learners to carry activities, marks, grades, earned credit from one institution to another easily. How can we develop standards for the organization to support personalized learning, such as schedules for classes, etc. What of interdisciplinary studies? Challenge-based learning. "Not school" bringing excluded students back into the community. How to frame personalization in ways that focus activity on needs or wants, and developing curriculum around these desires? Cf. Montessori education. Student identifies learning path. Role of the mentor in coaching students in choosing and reflecting on learning paths will be key--"guides" in the Montessori structure.
Lumiar schools in Brazil.
Over 24 sites in MideastYouth.com. In the States, a global studies class in Philadelphia engages with this in Skype and other ways in which MEY.com is used as a resource, and this also lets MEY understand the stereotypes our culture has of theirs. A University teacher in Kuwait is trying hard to put Skype into the classroom as a way of communicating with citizens of these cultures themselves, not just with what's written about them.



3. Who should develop and maintain such standards?

Do we need an organization to put these standards together? Can the network automagically develop and maintain these standards? Do we have a robust model that might suggest best practices?
Talent development in the arts in universities--is the idea of a portfolio and the exhibition of same a way to scale the idea of standards and assessment in personalized learning?
Bachelor of University Studies--student makes a selection of courses with a rationale based on what they want to be able to accomplish.
Standards mean others can recognize and understand what it is you have done.


4. How can programs be assessed for compliance?

Accrediting bodies? International accrediting bodies?


5. What are the unique implications for the K-12 level? the postsecondary level? for lifelong or independent learners?

Personalized learning should spur engagement, but it isn't equal to the idea of personalized curriculum in every case. To what extent can open universities leave curriculum open to the learner? There is a desire for a more personalized curriculum, perhaps within a structure that allows for specific choices. Perhaps low-hanging fruit will be making individual classroom setting more dynamic and engaging, but then getting eventually to the idea of collaborating on more open and individualized curricular choices. "New seeds being dropped rather than growing new olive trees." But another experience: opportunities within structure of schools, depending on the teacher, for personalization and blending of different grade levels.

Complete difference around 12-13 in shift of focus from student to subject. Compliance models have been driving down innovation.


6. What are the policy implications?

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7. What are some promising examples? (please list URLs if possible)

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8. What are some of the roadblocks?

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Action Steps

List the top three to five action steps that could be taken right now towards implementing this idea. Which people or organization(s) might be able to take each action?

1. Sequence or stage learner's progress from personalizing learning environments and information architecture to full-on collaboration with experts in crafting personalized curriculum.
2. Standards are important for transporting accomplishments across institutional borders, but these standards should be determined by all constituents: faculty, staff, and students.
3. Emphasize the ways personalized learning inevitably changes relationships between expert/mentor and student; the relationship will itself become more personal, less transactional/institutional.