We went back to the post and webinar from Elliot Washor (@elliot_washor) on April 2014 about this concept of putting the "Person" in "Personalization."
"There is a great deal of discussion and a strong ramp up of what is called “personalized learning” in schools both with and without technology.” Where is the person in personalization? What are the expectations that students have for deep productive learning?"We decided we need to bring back this idea that Elliot shared and expand on this discussion. We need to focus on our learners and learning and take semantics out of the conversations.
When we put the focus on each learner and how they can own and drive their learning, then we see engaged, self-directed learners with agency. They become the ones responsible for the learning. Isn't that what we want?
Our traditional education system was designed to create compliant workers who follow orders. That's why it looks like a factory model. This isn't working anymore for today's kids, but that's all we know and how most of us were taught. Teachers also think they have to teach like a champion because they are the ones responsible for the learning. Don't you think that this is backwards? Teachers are an integral piece of the puzzle, but the focus has been on curriculum, teaching to the test, and teaching subjects instead of kids. When we focus on learning and not on curriculum, teachers roles change. We still can teach to standards but let's involve learners in the process and give them a voice so they own the learning.
The system is changing now because it has to change. Our future depends on it. Consider this quote from John Dewey:
"If we teach as we taught yesterday,we rob our children of tomorrow.”
It is our children's future, not our past. So what that means is that what we know about school will have to change and change is scary. That's why we understand the discourse about the terms. There are companies that frame "personalized learning" as adaptive learning systems using algorithms to choose the right path for learning. So we're going to end this blog emphasizing learners need to be the ones who choose their path with their teacher guiding the process. It is about encouraging learners to have a voice and choice in their learning. It's happening now all over the world.
We'll be sharing more and more stories of learners being empowered and teachers who are excited about how engagement and motivation has changed the landscape of learning. This is just the beginning of a new world of learning and it's time to put the "Person" back in "Personalization."
Cross-posted on Rethinking Learning: Put the "Person" Back in "Personalization"