Personal Learning

Foundations

Personal learning is rooted in the human need for autonomy, mastery, and purpose.  In order for learning to be more personal, learners must also be self-directed; the ability to design and coordinate learning that is meaningful to oneself.  Since our current educational system is a structure that goes against most of these principles, it may seem difficult to imagine how they can be implemented at all.  The most significant and lasting changes happen with both momentum from those in the trenches and support from those on the top.  Teachers can and have been working to implement project-based, standards-based, blended, and flipped learning as well as many other techniques that lend themselves to personal learning.  These techniques and many others allow for student choice, flexible pacing, deep learning, and development of real purposes.  All of these efforts are steps in the direction of personal learning at the classroom level.  State legislatures are drafting policy changes that encourage proficiency-based graduation requirements and multiple pathways for meeting those requirements.  These two forces in conjunction could lead to lasting change for the public school system.

 

General Resources

PersonalizedLearning.com offers a variety of resources including information, tools, webinars and services for schools getting started with personalized learning.  Barbara Bray also has a blog with a wealth of information.  Like their Facebook page which is also active.

The US Department of Education is beginning to compile some of the models being used by states.

Edsurge is a thorough website that curates many technology and open source resources that assist in implementing personalized learning.

Open Educational Resources (OER) offers some amazing free resources to assist all of us in implementing personalized learning in all settings.

SelfDirectedLearning is an amazing website full of tons of information relating to self-directed learning.  What it does really well is provide many tools and ideas for scaffolding self-directed learning.

Amazon has just launched a resource for open education resources called Inspired

Classroom Strategies That Promote Personal Learning

Project-Based Learning (PBL) allows students to work on meaningful tasks addressing the need for purpose.  They allow for deep rather than superficial learning working toward the need for mastery.  If students are given some choice in the project, the need for autonomy can also be addressed.

The Buck Institute (BIE) for Learning offers many tools and services with a mission of helping teachings implement quality PBL.

This article on the ASCD site does a nice job of using an example to illustrate the necessary elements for effective PBL.

Edutopia also provides a discussion forum on the topic of PBL with video examples as well.

The Creative Educator provides some really solid resources for teachers who may just be getting started.