Monday, September 28, 2015

Learners NOT Technology

Are you confused about what is Personalized Learning? It means different things to different people depending on where and how it is referenced. Some believe it is about promoting software programs or apps that personalize learning for you. Our focus is on the learner first.

So we decided to shake things up with a controversial topic about focusing on learners NOT technology. Some of the conversations started shifting to adaptive software and then back to learners connecting and discovering on their own.

Some amazing educators jumped in at different times and just blew us away with their comments and questions. Here's the questions we asked:

For your information, all of us on our team are educational technologists and have taught how to use the tools. After years and years of teaching the tools, we just saw the light. Kids could figure them out and could teach us how to use them. Yet, they were losing critical thinking skills and spending too much time memorizing what was going to be on the tests. We realized that changing the focus to the learner instead of the tools would give them more responsibility for their learning. They just needed to learn how to take control, self-direct their learning so they build agency. 

We discussed that sometimes we have to put in questions that stir up the discussions. The conversations were really jumping that we had trouble keeping up. So the conversations at this #plearnchat were very exciting for us. Here's a few of the tweets that stood out:

Angelo Truglio @a_truglio
"Learners shouldn't expect prescribed steps that can lead to desired goals. In real world, they need to feel capable and self-direct."

Tom Perran @tperran
"Give learners choice of topics, ensure that questions asked require them to dig deeper and seek outside input. "

Tsisana Palmer @TechTeacherCent
"I wonder if tech can put focus on anything? Would not it depend on those who use tech? Or those who design tasks?"

Mike Peck @EdTechPeck"
If you can Google it, wh
y teach it.. take the learning deeper.. more authentic."

Here are a few resources we shared in the chat:


Congratulations to Lisa Murray @LMurray_ who won our book, Make Learning Personal

Lisa Murray (@LMurray_) is a Technology Integration Specialist at Vermillion Local Schools in Ohio who is always looking for ways to improve teaching and learning. She leads the implementation of blended learning where she trains, coaches, and supports teachers responsible for blended learning instruction.

Lisa is also a teacher at Vermillion Elementary School and lead a group to adopt intervention program for struggling readers and served on the Universal Design for Learning team to implement principles in the classrooms. She received the Martha Holden Jennings Scholar to honor outstanding classroom educators.

Lisa's tweet from plearnchat: "Model expectations, procedures, routines. Take time to build the culture of the classroom. Build on successes."

Next #plearnchat is in 2 weeks on October 12th, 7pm ET 
Topic: Connected Learners, Connected Ed


Below is the archive of #plearnchat Learners NOT Technology