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Personalized Learning Blog

B.Y.O.T Bring Your Own Thoughts

The latest on personalized learning, blended learning, CBE and all things innovation in K-12 education. We answer questions before you think to ask them.

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Learner Profiles  |  Personalized Learning  |  Students  |  Surveys  |  Teachers

The First Step to Personalize Learning is Knowing Your Students

As a teacher, I always loved and dreaded the start of a school year. I loved meeting my new class and forming a bond with my students, but feared forgetting a name, failing to connect with a student, or tanking a lesson. Every year, I sprinted to learn each student’s name, interests, food tastes, and strengths on the first day. Back then I relied heavily on paper surveys to help me gain a quick sense of student’s home life and favorite tv shows, subjects, and food. I’d use these surveys to tailor the projects students worked on and the books I recommended for independent reading time. But after the first few days, I tossed the surveys in the wastebin and never formally checked back with students to see if their interests or strengths had changed. I think one of my biggest failings as a teacher was never explicitly teaching my students to reflect on how they liked to learn, how they learned best, or why certain ways of learning might be better for one student over another. Luckily, one of benefits of my role now working as a consultant at Education Elements with hundreds of schools around the country is getting to meet and observe teachers whose expertise as instructors far exceed my own. One of the practices I’ve been most excited by this year is teachers use of learner profiles to personalize learning. Instead of stopping at a “get to know you” surveys, teachers are creating detailed and flexible learner profiles in collaboration with their students.  I wanted to share what I have seen so far!

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