The education system sometimes fails some students who struggle because not enough time is taken to define their specific learning styles. But, according to an article in the Huffington Post written by Ace Parsi and Maria Moser, two experts in learning and teaching techniques, personalized learning is becoming a new trend in education. Indeed, many smart advocates are highlighting it as a potential game changer in accessible and equitable educational discussions. But, before this concept of individualizing education becomes a reality, some issues need to be addressed, such as:
· Educator Capacity: Are teachers prepared in these personalized learning systems? Are they able to support students with disabilities or those whose first language may not be English?
· Resources: Do all students have access to digital learning in the classroom and at home? Is technology helping the learning situation or simply replacing a bland experience in a virtual platform?
· Support Systems: Are they adequate to support students and their families if they do not have online access?
· Accountability: Do we hold ourselves accountable to ensure ALL students, no matter what their ability, are successful?
· Parent and Community Engagement: Are we engaging the parents in the process?
Parsi and Moser suggest revamping the system from the bottom up, rather than trying to make existing systems fit the new personalized model. These educators encourage school boards and educators to put certain things in place so that all learners are successful by including the following:
· Start with an inclusive vision: Create common expectations of the abilities and knowledge skills of the learners.
· Support educators: Train teachers in Universal Design concepts for learning.
· Engage families and communities: Engage families from the start and find out what their expectations are around education. Ensure a two-way communication system is open and schedule regular meetings to check in and readjust the strategies if necessary.
· Collaborate with trusted brokers: Find local community agencies that have a proven track record in working with families of children with disabilities in an effort to build bridges with the education institution and find solutions and strategies for learning.
For more information about ensuring Personalized Learning, click here.