Personalized learning is a broadly-defined term that is moving to the forefront of educational reform efforts across Canada and around the world. In Alberta, the Ministry of Education’s 2010-2013 Business Plan describes the intent to “support a flexible approach to enable learning any time, any place and at any pace, facilitated by increased access to learning technologies (p. 70).” In the recommendations from Inspiring Action on Education (2010), personalized learning means that…”students have access to a greater variety of learning experiences that include and extend beyond traditional education settings and benefit from increased community involvement in their learning (p. 14)”.
Personalizing learning is not really new to the skilled practice of teaching. Teachers who use instructional strategies related to assessment for learning and differentiated instruction already are tailoring instruction to individual students’ learning needs, interests and learning styles. But when strategies are paced to learning needs and coupled with technology as a means of providing more flexible learning opportunities, the learning becomes even more personalized. This flexible, student-centered approach may include teacher advisors and multiple teachers for each student, non-graded levels, online learning, blended learning, project-based learning, community involvement, competency-based assessment, and other elements.
Explore related Education and Government initiatives and resources:
- Action on Inclusion
- Career and Technology Studies
- Emerge One-to-One Laptop Learning
- High School Flexibility Enhancement Project
- Inclusive Education: Support for Implementation
- Online Learning Programs
Resources related to Personalized Learning from National Organizations:
- Alberta Teachers Association (ATA)
The Impact of Digital Technologies on Teachers (2011)
Politics of Personalization in the 21st Century (2010)
- Canadian Coalition of Self Directed Learning
This is an organization of secondary schools throughout Canada that are dedicated to the personalization of learning. Although each school is unique, student self-directed learning is a common fundamental practice. Here is the link to their web site.
Resources related to Personalized Learning from International Organizations:
- Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)
Free full text of articles published in Educational Leadership on the theme of Personalized Learning are available on this site. Examples include:
Innovate to Educate: system [Re]Design for Personalized Learning (2010)
Personalized Learning (1999)
No Two are Quite Alike (1999)
- Australasian Journal of Educational Technology
The following is a referred journal article on the topic of personal learning environments:
The Networked Student Model for Construction of Personal Learning Environments: Balancing Teacher Control and Student Autonomy (2010)
- National Middle School Association (NMSA)
The following are free full-text articles published in Middle Ground which focus on the theme of Literacy.
Digital Storytelling: A Tool for Teaching and Learning in the YouTube Generation (2011)