“Fair doesn’t mean giving every child the same thing, it means giving every child what they need.” These words of Rick Lavoie perfectly communicate the essence of what the antiquated, traditional teaching methods lacked and what the modern classrooms of today, equipped with the innovations of the digital age are trying to accomplish. Every student is different. Their behavior, temperament, learning styles and even their cognitive functions are different from other students, qualitatively and quantitatively. In an ideal world, the most productive way to teach every student would be complete individualized attention and tailor-made learning programs.
Personalized learning is far from being a novel concept, yet most of us have only witnessed the idea of personalized learning gaining traction in recent years. The reason is simply that due to the emergence of new classroom technologies and online teaching apps, it has become pretty easy for online teachers to develop and disseminate such individualized and student-centric content. So, the popularity of personalized learning can be invariably linked to the rise of online teaching, the demand for which as we all know shot-up considerably, especially since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic which caused schools and college campuses to be shut down across the entire nation, locking millions of students and teachers out of the classroom. In this article we take a look at why personalized learning corroborated by online teaching technology is the future of our education system.
Increases Student Engagement
The instruction-based teaching approach employed in the traditional classroom setup often causes students to feel disconnected with the subject material. Moreover, it promotes learning by rote-memorization rather than active participation of students and encouraging them to figure out the whys and wherefores of the concept being taught. Also, different students learn at different pace and many students might be lagging behind in their studies while others might be well ahead of the course and getting virtually no output for their time spent in class.
A personalized learning model is perfectly suited to help educators and students in this area as it takes into account the variable learning needs of different students, their learning abilities, interests and likewise to create more dynamic, and engaging courses which help in increasing the student learning outcome. In fact, several case studies done on the efficacy of personalized learning have found that inculcating technology in classrooms to develop individualized teaching plans increases student learning outcomes and improves their scores on assessment tests by a mean value of 30%.
Collaboration and Team Work
Personalized learning model advocates the inclusion of peer-to-peer learning and group activities. Peers know each other at personal level therefore group activities help students to get more individualized attention. Personalized learning allows students to explore various ideas and acquire practical knowledge. Moreover, technology based personalized learning models also allow students to participate in the learning process at a level which simply isn’t possible with traditional offline education. It often provides students the opportunity to create their own content too.
Better Human Resource Development
To take a cliched example, imagine if Sachin Tendulkar was trained to become a singer, or if Lata Mangeshkar was trained to become a cricketer, perhaps we would not have had the privilege of being witness to such great personalities with such profound talent in their art. Similarly, personalized learning helps each student learn in a manner which celebrates his uniqueness and helps in making him well educated, not well trained.
Active Learning Environment
Personalized learning courses via technology, utilize various teaching styles to support every student. Individualized attention is provided to each student which ensures that he develops his intellectual faculty. An active learning environment places students at the center of the learning process thereby providing them the much needed intellectual stimulation to prevent them from getting bored and disconnected from the study material, which helps in increasing the student learning outcomes. Technology driven personalized courses are the perfect way of achieving an active learning environment in the classroom.
Therefore, it is certain that personalized learning is highly advantageous to student achievement in the classroom. As more and more classroom across the nation go online, we shall see an even more rapid progression of the development and distribution of personalized content to each student. Personalized learning rightly deserves the acclaim it has received across the globe.