Big tech investment not a necessity for personalized learning
- Chicago-based 3rd grade teacher Paul France writes for Edutopia that massive investments in technology aren't necessary to effectively personalize learning.
- Instead of placing too much focus on technology's role in the process, France says educators should start with mindsets and practices that personalize with students rather than for them.
- In the approach to implementing personalized learning, France suggests teaching students social and emotional skills to build their autonomy, creating a standards-aligned curriculum focused on student choice, and developing feedback and assessment structures.
As technology has become more entrenched in classrooms over the past decade-plus, many administrators and educators have cautioned that tech should be approached as a tool students can use to arrive at solutions rather than the solution to problems itself. Others have discovered the more difficult way that any tech introduced to the classroom requires more thoughtful preparation.
Per Scott McLeod, an associate professor of educational leadership at the University of Colorado Denver and the founder of CASTLE, the most important question administrators should consider during the ed tech purchasing process is how it will empower students to do things that will make a difference. As he told us, "I get a lot of puffery but rarely an answer that causes me to lean in and ask more rather than raise a skeptical eyebrow."
While today's students will certainly need to use these tools to solve problems and complete tasks in their daily professional and personal lives in the future, teaching them not to over-rely on them for all problems may be the more difficult task at hand now.
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