Personalized Learning in KPBSD

Where do you want your learning to take you and how can KPBSD help you get there? #PLinKPBSD

Tag: KPBSD

Considering the Core Four

As we begin the final stretch of the semester, it is a great opportunity to consider The Core Four. The Core Four are the areas that we focus on when building personalized learning in our educational practice. Using them as a focus is both a methodical way of reflecting on our teaching and administrative practices, as well as, planning new strategies to implement. As the waves of schools go through the personalized learning transition, the PL teams from each school are working with their staffs to determine, for their school, which of the Core Four they are particularly strong in and which ones are going to be an area to focus efforts. So, what are they exactly?

Flexible Content and ToolsFlexible Content and Tools means that we have a wide variety of content and learning tool options that are both adaptable and responsive to student needs. It also means that the options provide opportunities to create, remediate, introduce material and practice, that the content is curated (selected) by teachers, and that students have the opportunity to contribute content.

Student Reflection and OwnershipStudent Reflection and Ownership means that we are continually asking students to reflect on their learning and take active ownership for their educational choices. Additionally, it means that students are learning to think more about their choices, that we are offer them opportunity for choice in their learning, and that student designed goals and direction are supported.

Targeted InstructionTargeted Instruction means that we align instruction to specific student needs and learning goals. Further, it means that we focus on small groups of students or 1-1 conferencing, that we use data to identify those groups, and that we vary instruction based on group needs.

Data Driven DecisionsData Driven Decisions means that we frequently collect data to inform instructional decisions and student groupings. It also means that we use data purposefully, both at the student and teacher level, that we use formative (as you go) assessments to inform our decisions, and that we are developing a culture of openness toward use of data and feedback.

Building each of these four areas more deeply into our practices is an ongoing process and looks more like a spectrum of growth than a set point of achievement. There is always room to grow! Check out what examples of what the spectrum looks like for each of the areas here. For more in-depth information about the Core Four, check out the Ed Elements White Paper.

What is Personalized Learning?

 

PL Core Four graphic 2017

The most commonly accepted definition, from International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), is:

Personalized Learning (PL) is tailoring learning for each student’s strengths, needs and interests—including enabling student voice and choice in what, how, when, and where they learn—to provide flexibility and supports to ensure mastery at the highest standards possible.

Personalized learning is the structuring schools, classrooms, and instruction so we can better respond to the individual needs of students, instead of expecting students to fit the current mold or adapt to structures that may not be successful for them. Many of our teachers implement elements of personalized learning in their classrooms right now. Key elements include:

  • Flexible Content and Tools: Instructional materials allow for differentiated path, pace, and performance tasks
  • Targeted Instruction: Instruction aligns to specific student needs and learning goals
  • Data Driven Decisions: Frequent data collection informs instructional decisions and groupings
  • Student Reflection and Ownership: Ongoing student reflection promotes ownership of learning

Personalized learning is about continuing and improving our shift away from the one-size-fits-all, factory model of education to better prepare students for the jobs and needs of their future. We want to directly connect students to rigorous learning that is relevant and prepares them for life, college, and careers they will encounter after high school, and create a system that supports this approach.

“The modern concept of personalized learning leverages technology tools, classroom organization, student ownership, and redefines the terms teaching and learning to help teachers truly meet the individual needs of students in their classrooms. Through this process, we create new classroom environments that allow students to do some work at their own pace, path and place, and some work directly with small group instruction from the teacher, which allows teachers to better focus instruction and target student needs.” –Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

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