Thursday, September 4, 2014

So what does Personalized Learning really mean?

After writing the post Who's Framed Personalized Learning? and receiving so much feedback, we realized we needed to go back to what is the meaning of personalized learning. So we wanted to clarify from all of the research we have been doing for our book, Make Learning Personal, why personalized learning starts with the learner. 

We refer to "students" as "learners" where...

  • Learning starts with the learner.
  • Universal Design for Learning is the framework for personalized learning.
  • Teachers universally-design lessons and projects that encourage voice and choice.
  • Learners understand how they learn best.
  • Learners take responsibility for their learning.
  • Learners own and drive their learning along their learning path.
  • Teachers and learners roles change.
  • Teachers and learners are partners in learning who design authentic learning activities.
  • Learners demonstrate mastery in a competency-based system and progress at their own pace.




Personalized Learning is not just a term. It is not about the semantics behind the words; it is about the perception of what it means to be a learner. It is really about ownership of learning that we wrote about in an earlier post with Chris Watkins, Making Sense of Learning. Shelley Wright also shared how important ownership is to learning in her post, Ownership as a Framework for Learning. Shelley shared three questions that every learner in the class needed to answer as their framework to own their learning:
  1. What are you going to learn?
  2. How are you going to learn it?
  3. How are you going to show me your learning?
Consider these questions with all learners all ages. Even you as a learner can use these questions to own and drive your learning.