personalized learning

Lingering Fears from Outdated Screen Time Recommendations Stunt Parent Buy-In

Admittedly, as an educator I’ve popped my students in front of a movie in moments of chaos, and as a parent, I’ve found myself leaning on the not-so-educational show to calm my toddler during the witching hour. I know what screen time can look like when it is not optimized for learning. But over the past two years, as our district has rolled out our 1:1 device initiative to an increasing number of grade levels, I have also witnessed the benefits that some types of screen time can have on learners.

If This Is the End of Average, What Comes Next?

Personalized learning—the notion that children’s educational experiences should be tailored to their interests and abilities—has a long history, but the digital age has brought new promise to the idea. Computers are cheaper and more powerful than ever, and learning algorithms are more sophisticated, promising better tuning of lessons to students’ passion and performance. Both the Gates Foundation and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative have committed significant resources to developing personalized learning.

Voice and Choice Is Important—but Sometimes It’s Not Enough

During my first year of teaching in 2002, I walked into my government class on the first day of school to a group of comedic, socially confident seniors. A flashback from the 80’s movie “Summer School” with Mark Harmon ensued. Most of the students acknowledged my entrance by reluctantly quieting down and taking their seats, but one boy, Jack, remained standing, even as I started to introduce myself. I asked him to take his seat.“Where should I take it?” he asked, with a mischievous grin.

Students Step up to Lead Tech Implementation at Their Elementary School

As Maggie opened the door, a pair of first graders yelled “duck!” and luckily she did. The 7-year-olds had just launched a flying saucer and it was headed straight towards her. Maggie moved cautiously, sidestepping to avoid two students chasing down a runaway Sphero and was approached by a student about becoming a guest star in her latest stop motion movie, which was currently in production. Finally, she made it to the charging station and her shift at the learning resource center (LRC) officially started.

Four Classroom-Ready Tips to Boost Reading Engagement and Drive Learning

What leads to reading success? In my view, success with reading doesn’t follow from drill and kill practices that stifle interest and motivation. Rather, it follows from nurturing a love of reading and closing the reading engagement gap—the discrepancy between how students engage with modern digital content and how they engage with traditional texts in school.

Strong Conferencing Practices Help Kindergarteners Learn to Advocate for Themselves

As I turned the page of the big book, I glanced over at Peter and could see he was lost. I was conducting a choral reading activity with a small group of students and Peter’s mouth had stopped moving; his eyes were glazed over. He had started kindergarten slightly below grade level in literacy, but after a few months of foundational work, he was able to decode CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words like “cat.” Peter was getting hung up on words that didn’t follow that pattern—he couldn’t apply what he had learned to new words on the fly.

How My Teaching and Technology Almost Failed One of My Students

I am a tech innovator, and my students are just like those kids in the Microsoft commercial—you know the one starring the rapping teacher in the bright blue vest with perfect hair, in the classroom where everyone looks happy and enthusiasm is exploding. Except that isn’t real, at least not in my experience.

Million-Dollar Advice: The High Cost and Limited Return on Personalized Learning Consulting

Follow education technology-reform projects, and you’ll find mixed academic outcomes and expensive consultants.

How to Support Teacher Innovation Within a Strict State Accountability System

For children who can stomach school through twelfth grade, the experience culminates with a walk across the graduating stage, and in far too many cases, we place in their hands a diploma not worth the cheap paper it’s printed on. This is the reality of my ever-abiding frustration with our outdated model of public schooling.

Here’s What Happens When Every Student Gets a Personalized Learning Plan

High school sophomore Olivia Surdam thought she wanted to have a career in healthcare as a doctor or nurse, but after recognizing that her sensitive stomach would cause barriers for a career path in patient care, Surdam started considering other options with her advisory teacher.

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