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Its about the learning and teaching, not just the technology

  • Public
By Greg Carroll

This is a great post about personalising learning.  A quote:

Personalized Learning requires that teachers should:

1) Know their students: Teachers should know their students ' interests, know their learning styles, and know their ability levels.

In Personalized Learning, the teacher needs to be personable to the students. Teachers who already do this will be prepared for that shift; teachers that do not have this knowledge may not see the value in the technology. In order to "leverage student interests, one must first know the interests of their students and know how to act on it.

2) Know their pedagogy and content: Teachers should be able to implement multiple paths to knowledge- having a variety of ways to help a diverse group of students learn rigorous standards. This means having more than one resource or activity to teach a lesson and meet a goal or objective. This means teachers should be able to differentiate instruction, find all opportunities for remediation to help struggling learners, and understand how to provide enrichment to challenge the advanced student.

Simply giving a teacher an iPad will not guarantee this level of expertise.

3) Manage student learning: As teachers will now have classrooms where multiple activities may be occurring at the same time, this requires a level of classroom management, data keeping, and use of a variety of assessments. Not to stereotype, but elementary school teachers are more familiar with managing a classroom with lots of movement and activities going on- those teachers who rely on lecture only may need additional resources and support, as well as seeing other teachers in their subject and grade level who have this level of flexibility.

4) Access available resources
These can be tremendous challenges if teachers work alone. There is no need for teachers to reinvent the wheel. A teacher should not have multiple preps for a single class period.

As Mathew suggested in his presentation, teachers should beg, borrow, and steal the great lessons whenever possible.

In this regard, district and schools will have to provide curriculum support and ensure that all teachers have the resources to focus on student learning.

The US seems to treat this stuff like it is a revelation, but we do need to keep reminding ourselves the obvious as well.  Teachers knowledge of:

  • Their kids
  • Their content
  • Their stuff (pedagogy)

are all equally important if we are going to positively impact learning.  After all the most important technology in the classroom is the teacher.  Without effective teaching technoligies are just an expensive way to run an average (or worse) programme; and without effective skills (by the kids and the teacher) UFB is just more crap faster.

My 2c worth .....