Trend: Personalized learning environments
The 21st century has seen the emergence of a number of education trends, not the least of which is the introduction of personalized learning environments. Designed with two purposes in mind, personalized learning enables student to work at their own pace while also exposing them to technology that will prepare them to be successful members of the modern workforce.
According to the not-for-profit New Media Consortium, personalized learning environments are one of the trends in K-12 to education to watch in the near future because of their immense capacity for customization and flexibility based upon individual students’ needs.
Although personalized learning environments take many forms, in general they are designed to support and promote both self-directed learning and group-based learning. The focus is very much on each student, and on ensuring that they receive access to the technology and the attention that is most compatible with their learning style and will help them achieve academically.
This may sound like an impossible task in an era of shrinking education budgets and expanding class sizes, but that is not necessarily the case. All students need is access to some sort of technology device, whether it be the computers they use at school or the tablets their parents have at home, and a plan that will relate their education to their personal interests and experiences.
According to Forbes, this shift toward the use of mobile technology in the classroom is likely to continue because innovations in technology give students the opportunities to learn anytime and anywhere they want.
Adaptive and Personalized Learning:
Adaptive learning technology is another innovation contributing to the personalized learning trend by providing teachers with a means to tailor content to each individual student’s academic skill level.
Although this trend is relatively new, school districts that have focused on implementing personalized learning environments are already seeing results. In Atlanta, for example, where the public school district has historically struggled with low high school graduation rates, the number of students receiving diplomas is skyrocketing.
According to Atlanta NBC affiliate WXIA, the amount of Atlanta public high school graduates has increased from 50 percent to 68 percent in the last year. The secret to their success?
“There really is no secret,” Sherry Powell, principal of Therrell High School in Atlanta told WXIA. “We personalized the learning environment for each and every child.”