The term “personalised learning” is becoming increasingly popular in the education sector. It refers to a range of approaches to learning that are typically institutionally driven. Personalised learning involves students having control over their learning and becoming active content creators, through collaboration and connectivity through mobile applications.
This means that students will not only have control over when they learn, but will also be expected to contribute to their education through discussion and collaboration, generating content in the process. This student-centric approach to learning necessitates that schools and universities must create learning programs that recognise that students are looking for this kind of personalized learning experience.
Personalised learning is a term used to describe a wide range of educational programmes, learning experiences, educational approaches and academic support strategies designed to meet the individual learning needs, interests and aspirations or cultural backgrounds of each student.
It is often used as an alternative to the ‘one size fits all’ approach to schooling, where teachers may provide the same kind of instruction, assignments and assessments to all students in a course with little or no variation from one student to another.
Student-centered learning may also be referred to as personalised learning, as the aim is to make the individual learning needs the main focus of educational and instructional decisions rather than what may be preferred, easier or more convenient for teachers and schools.
In a student centred classroom, the main focus of activity is on the student. Students are encouraged to engage in a variety of activities, such as speaking, listening and writing, and collaborating with other students.
Student-centered learning encourages students to be active participants in their learning rather than passively copying from a textbook or passively listening to a teacher. Student-centered learning can help students to be more engaged and motivated in class. Sounds good?
Student-centered learning is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of educational approaches, learning programs, and learning experiences. It also includes instructional approaches, academic support strategies, and more.
A student-centered approach is designed to meet the individual, group, or cultural learning needs and interests of a student or group of students.
To achieve this, a school, teacher, adviser, or other educational professional may use a variety of educational approaches, from changing classroom assignments and instructional approaches to completely redesigning the way students are grouped in a school and taught.
Due to the wide scope of ‘student-centered learning,’ and the fact that the term can refer to a wide range of instructional approaches and academic programmes, it can be hard to know exactly what you’re talking about when you’re using the term without qualifications, examples, or further context.
In some situations, the term can have a very technical meaning, while in others, it can be vague, undecipherable buzzwords. For instance, some educators use it synonymously with the term ‘personalised learning’ (and related terms) while others view personalised learning as an aspect of the student-centered learning approach, but not a synonym term or concept.
For these reasons, it’s important to understand exactly how the term is used and what it means in a particular educational context. See figure below.
A Personal Learning Backpack might include a tablet or other device, camera, websites and other resources. The mobile device could eature a customised set of apps to support the learner with various activities, such as:
· Reading: Good Reader, Voice Dream, Speak Selection
· Brainstorming: Popplet, SimpleMind, IdeaSketch, Inspiration
· Writing: Storykit, Dragon Dictation, Book Creator, Toontastic
· Collaborating: Skype, Screenchomp, GoDocs
· Organizing: DropBox,iHomework,Toodledo
· Note-taking: Notability, Audio Note, Evernote
· Researching: Dragon Go, Qwiki, WolframAlpha
Presenting: Prezi, iMovie, Keynote, Educreations
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