4 Ways Personalized Learning Positively Impacts Students

In a classroom, every student learns in a different way at a different pace. The concept of personalized learning is not a new practice in the school system. It is, however, a practice that is quickly evolving and changing not only the way students learn, but also the way educators teach. Personalized learning takes instruction and tailors it to each student’s individual abilities, pace, and interests.

According to Digital Promise Global, “Personalized learning offers a path to effectively support the growing diversity of the population of students by understanding how individual learners learn best and actively engage, motivate, and inspire them with the right resources at the right time, in the right medium, and at the right pace.”

The current technological landscape has changed the way teachers and students engage with personalized learning. It provides new mediums, new ways of understanding students’ needs, and unique opportunities for advancement. Personalized learning can positively impact students by increasing engagement, encouraging collaboration, and promoting independence. With the incorporation of technology into personalized learning, students are able to use interactive software and programs to grasp concepts and explore creative ways to execute assignments and projects.

Here are four ways personalized learning through technology positively impacts students:

1. Personalized learning can incorporate project-based learning

Personalized learning and project-based learning can often go hand-in-hand. Project-based learning encourages students to engage in real world problem-solving in order to better understand the complex issues behind the topic at hand. In other words, students conduct research and execute projects surrounding the concepts they are studying, as opposed to simply reading about topics and taking tests.

According to Barbara Kurshan, a contributor for Forbes, personalized learning “promotes student agency and empowerment by providing students with choices for learning based on how they learn best, what motivates them to learn and their academic goals.” In this way, personalized learning and project-based learning are somewhat similar. They both aspire to place the learning and the motivation behind it directly into students’ hands.

With that said, there are many ways to use technology to propel personalized and project-based learning. Having technological resources in their hands provides students with a new world of gathering, transforming, and presenting information that they wouldn’t have access to if not for advances in the fields of education and technology. For example, project-based learning encourages students to think outside the box. With the incorporation of technology, students are given new mediums for gathering this real world experience in problem-solving and personalizing their learning to their specific needs.

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2. Personalized learning can increase student engagement

An issue educators often encounter in the classroom is a disconnect between their students and classroom material. If students don’t feel they understand concepts or don’t feel they’re relevant to their lives, they can withdraw from the subject. In these situations, incorporating technology can greatly impact the experience of the student. As previously stated, personalized learning recognizes each individual student and their needs; therefore, students are likely to feel more included and capable of tackling the class.

Case studies have shown that incorporating technology into the classroom setting helps create a personalized experience for students, increases student engagement and achievement, and can boost test scores by 30 percent. When teaching lessons and assigning projects, technology allows teachers to include:

  • Interactive games

  • Engaging presentations

  • Thought-provoking videos.

If students feel challenged and have fun learning, engagement with concepts can skyrocket.

3. Student collaboration can be encouraged with personalized learning

Before technology burst into the education scene, one of the only ways to communicate with other students on homework or projects was to meet in person. With the incorporation of technology into classrooms, the way students can communicate with each other, and even with teachers, has vastly changed.

There are many platforms that students can use to collaborate with other students—sometimes in real-time. When given a group project, students can now use the technology they have at their disposal to better plan a product. Students no longer have to work on a group project at the exact same time as other group members. (However, it is still important to have group meetings.)

If students are able to streamline how they communicate with classmates and teachers through technology, it improves their learning experience. Essentially, it allows students to take their work into their own hands. Incorporating technology also allows students to more easily communicate with their teacher about any questions they may have on homework, projects, or tests.

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4. Personalized learning promotes independent work skills

Personalizing learning can prompt students to work alone and to self-motivate in order to complete assignments. At first, this might sound like a challenge. It can, however, teach students very important life skills. If students understand the importance of learning independent work skills, they may have a better chance of getting excited about taking their education into their own hands. Showing students how great taking ownership of projects and concepts they are learning about can be can help them get even more out of their education.

Students should understand that just because independent work skills are encouraged doesn't mean the teacher won’t still be there to answer any questions. Reassure your student that the teacher is always accessible, even if they encourage students to practice independent work skills. Remind your student that independent learning has a positive influence on their educational experience.

At the end of the day, individualized education helps students feel capable and empowered to take ownership of their educational journey. Encourage students to take advantage of any opportunities to incorporate technology into their learning experience. Students can gain many skills through the combination of technology and personalized learning, including independence and teamwork.

“Each person... learns in various ways, and the ability to use technology and learning science to truly personalize learning has never been greater,” according to Digital Promise Global. It is important to remember this when understanding the positive impact personalized learning through technology can have on a student’s education.

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