Balancing the “What” of Learning with the “How”
As young people mature throughout their academic career, educators need to balance what students learn with how they learn. In this way, budding scholars not only master subjects, but become confident, empowered and excited in their ability to learn.
Statistics from the United States show that there’s a bigger problem than just getting students to make the grade. About 30 percent of young people drop out of high school. Nearly 40 percent of those who graduate don’t have the right skills to be hired for an entry-level job. And almost a third of students in community colleges need help to keep pace in their first year. From an educator’s standpoint, these are major red flags. Because despite how much time and resources we commit, our mass-production approach is failing. We’re turning out students ill-equipped to succeed after they leave high school. We’re checking the boxes and making sure that we move students through the system. But we’re doing that at the expense of creating great learners.
As an educational community, our challenge is to move beyond the basics of education and look at the path to student learning success – personalization.
What is personalized learning? The National Educational Technology Plan, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Education, defines personalized learning as an environment that adjusts the pace (individualization) and the approach (differentiation) of learning, and connects with the student’s interests and experiences. It gives people choices about what they learn, when and how. Of course, educational targets still have to be met, but personalized learning gives students the opportunity to learn in ways that make sense for their individual learning style.
The secret to creating personalized learning experiences is to understand the dynamics of the environments in which students learn, and then tap technology to each person’s unique needs. There’s no single element of student learning that guarantees success. What we teach shouldn’t just be topics. In fact, we increase the chances of better a lifetime performance when we personalize learning.
To create a true understanding of student learning success, it’s time that we take a closer look at personalized learning and how technology fits into the picture. It’s not simply applying digital tools that magically bring all of the elements of education together. It’s about creating an environment that’s consistent with student’s expectations of learning in a digital world, and then creating personalized experiences based on how people learn.
How can you create a better educational experience through personalized learning?
About Mohamed Saeed
Mohamed’s passion for improving students' lives is what motivates him to grow a community that’s equally passionate about making it better. Growing up in a country with a 63% literacy rate, he knows what the lack of basic tools means - even more so in a fast-paced, digital world.
He’s proudest of having built a center for capacity development for 1000+ orphans and re-structuring its management so that the orphanage is well positioned to make its mission come to life. With Mentorina, Mohamed plans and implements marketing strategies, digging deep to understand what matters most to key stakeholders and refining the brand’s message to continually elevate Mentorina's purpose.