Mar 17, 2017
To take a different perspective, one thing to consider when aligning best practices to personalized learning is how some best instructional practices are not necessarily enhanced, or are outright undermined, with well-intentioned blended and personalized learning.For example, if developing student academic discourse is a focus for a teacher or school, one needs to think carefully about whether or not certain blended and personalized approaches help or hinder the practice. Often times the individual pacing and broad choice provided via technology results in rooms of students plugged into head phones not speaking with each other. Carefully planning ways to preserve academic discourse with specific tasks and structures are necessary to guard against this. An additional challenge to depth of learning comes with students moving at their own pace. For any topic, there is often a minimum number of students necessary to produce a rich range of approaches, understandings, and misunderstandings. Teachers draw upon this variety to expertly push thinking and help students add depth to their learning. Students moving at their own pace are often on different topics, potentially limiting access to the different approaches and understandings students see from their peers.In other words, sometimes the best way to align best instructional practices with personalized learning is either to refrain from blending or personalizing them or by thinking carefully how to protect them by balancing what makes them effective with other benefits from personalized initiatives.