Personalized Learning: Teaching to the Students in the Back Row

do you worry about the students in your class who you just can't seem to reach the ones who look bored are confused or lost maybe somebody is stuck on one small but important concept it needs a different explanation to help her get unstuck or maybe she hasn't been able to make it to office hours for that little bit of attention that she needs maybe a class is going too fast for somebody or a little too slow maybe somebody thinks this subject isn't interesting or has distractions at work or home that make it difficult to concentrate there are all kinds of reasons why students struggle but it can be hard to tell the difference when you're looking at the class from the front of the room you can see the students in the back row but you might not know how to reach them if only you could give them a little more of your individual attention a little more time you could probably help them as classes get larger and more diverse and as your professional responsibilities grow larger every year being the kind of teacher that you want to be gets harder and harder personalized learning is a set of ideas for solving this problem you may have heard this term before but sometimes people use it in different and confusing ways personalized learning is just a collection of methods for reclaiming some quality time so you can get to know your students with the help of a little technology it might allow you to see at a glance which students are struggling or help them come to class better prepared so that you can spend less time lecturing and more time engaging them less time managing and more time teaching less time calculating students grades and more time changing their lives

4 thoughts on “Personalized Learning: Teaching to the Students in the Back Row”

  1. Technology in a middle school science classroom is a great way to safely explore materials and chemicals before working with the "real thing". There are also many great interactive online resources that allow a type of hands- on learning for the students.

  2. Technology in the classroom, when used appropriately, will allow the student to make an easier correlation between the past and the present. Especially for a History teacher.

  3. Standing at the front and lecturing isn't teaching it's transmission. Adding technology to an outdated pedagogy is replication not transformation. This type of "teaching" ignores the fact that content and "expertise is ubiquitous – found in an instant on their device. The role has changed from content owner/deliverer to co-learner. The students at the back are just showing you what many, many other rows of students (who successfully "play the game of school") are thinking but not showing. Personalized learning is based on student driven learning and co-construction of that learning. It's designing for variability and providing multiple options for accessing, processing and demonstrating understanding. It gives students voice. And in the best of all possible worlds it moves towards assessment for and as learning, recognizing extrinsic grades do little but ensure compliance.

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