Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 Year in Review: 10 Top Posts from Personalize Learning

1. Choice is More than a Menu of Options

The continuum of choice was developed to provide a guide and strategies for teachers and learners who follow this process. When you move to learner-centered and eventually learn-driven environments, learners take more responsibility for their learning. The more choices learners make on their own will challenge them to advocate for what they believe is their purpose for learning. Visual from @sylviaduckworth

2. Creating Personalized Learning for Everyone

Katherine Prince @katprince from  @KnowledgeWorks believes that every child deserves high-quality personalized learning that adapts to his or her needs and interests. But there’s a significant risk that the expanding learning ecosystem could fracture, leaving even more children behind than the education system does today.  “Innovating toward Vibrant Learning Ecosystems: Ten Pathways for Transforming Learning” highlights education stakeholders’ tremendous opportunity to reinvent learning for a new era and to create new systemic structures that can help all learners succeed.

3. Focus on the Learner Not Technology

Technology in the form of adaptive learning systems and most test prep programs put the focus on performance. In a personalized learning environment, learners actively participate in their learning. They have a voice in what they are learning based on how they learn best. Learners have a choice in how they demonstrate what they know, what paths they take to learn, and provide evidence of their learning.

4.  Discover EPiC - Re-Imagine Education

EPiC Elementary in Liberty Public Schools, Missouri is an innovative, personalized, project-based learning community infused with technology designed to inspire learners to be creative and think big! Learners use real tools and real materials to collaboratively construct real world applications of their knowledge. Guest post by Michelle Schmitz @mschmitz_1 and Susan Maynor @shmaynor from @epicelementary

5. Why is Change and Transforming Education So Complex?

Changing or transforming any system especially in education is not an easy thing to do. If you are part of a system that most of us grew up in and are used to, it doesn't take much to keep your school or district from moving to a successful Personalized Learning System. The change process is so complex that even if you agree and are working on transforming the system, there may be one piece of the puzzle that is missing that keeps change from happening. Visual from @sylviaduckworth

6. Personalize Learning in a High School Math Class

Rik Rowe @RoweRikW shares how learners start building a strong culture of learning (#COLchat) in the #1st5Days that enables them to respect each other, depend on each other, challenge each other and value each other’s contributions. "We also aim to develop skills like prioritizing, scheduling, public speaking, coping, exhibiting confidence and working through vulnerabilities. ."

7. The Story Behind My Passion to Personalize Learning

http://www.personalizelearning.com/2014/12/access-engage-and-express-lens-for.htmlKathleen McClaskey, @khmmc, writes about her passion to discover the learner in every child. "I look back now on this experience with my son and know that he is one of virtually millions of children who stop seeing themselves as learners and who often feel stupid in school. So how do we begin to discover the learner in every child? Most importantly, how do we have every learner understand how they learn best? You decide. With labels or through UDL lens of Access, Engage and Express?"

8. Learning Can and Should be Natural and Engaging

Jackie Gerstein, @jackiegerstein, shares that the more you can apply what you're learning to your every day, the more it'll stick in your head. The reason is simple. When you're learning by doing, you're implementing everything that makes our memory work. When you're able to connect what you're learning with a real world task, that forms the bonds in your brain, and subsequently the skills you're learning will stick around. We learn best when we have context, and that applies to new skills as much as it does random facts in school. 

9. Put the "Person" in "Personalization

It's not about technology. It's not about the tests or improving test scores. It's really not about school. It's all about the learner, how they learn best and that what they learn is meaningful and for a purpose. It is all about the relationships that learners make and need to support their learning. It is also about the teacher - a valuable person in the relationship. Barbara Bray, @bbray27, first wrote this post on Rethinking Learning and cross-posted it on our site. We also decided we needed to bring back the phrase that Elliot Washor, @Elliot_Washor, coined in April 2014 and use it as the title of this post.

10. Learner Agency: The Missing Link

This was the first blog in the collaborative blog series by Personalize Learning, LLC and the Institute for Personalized Learning of six posts. Learner agency often gets missed in conversations on transforming the educational system. We have a sense of ‘agency’ when we feel in control of things that happen around us; when we feel that we can influence events. We would like to thank Jim Rickabaugh,  @drrickabaugh, Jean Garrity, @jeangarrity, and the team @Institute4PL for collaborating with us on this series.

Even though our post 10 Trends to Personalized Learning in 2016 was just released, it already has had enough hits to be one of the top posts of 2015. So keep checking in with us. 2016 will be The Year of Learner Agency so look for posts around each of the trends, guest posts from awesome educators, and #plearnchat around the trends.

Happy New Year!

Barbara @bbray27   •  Kathleen @khmmc   •   Pam @prlowe91  •  Linda @Linda_Ullah