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Personalised Learning: Teaching in the Age of Technology

Teaching today is a very different practice to what it was just a decade ago. Kindergarden to year 12 teachers have needed to keep up with a rapidly changing world to ensure their students are prepared for it. Like many other institutions, education has turned to technology to bring teaching into the 21st century.

With technology, the classroom has become an immersive learning space, and teachers are now better able to support the personal needs of their students.

What is personalised learning?

Personalised leaning is a teaching method that tailors instruction to students’ individual requirements. It involves using digital resources to promote student autonomy and enhance learning.

With personalised learning, students are better able to:

  • be actively involved in their education
  • establish individual learning goals and outcomes
  • clearly identify the correlation between the importance of education and their personal and professional growth.

Personalised learning isn’t a new idea – teachers have long aimed to design lesson plans to meet each student’s needs, but this can prove difficult with larger classroom numbers or when multiple students require assistance.

The advent of new technologies provides students with more options to learn at their own skill level and pace. This approach means fewer students require assistance, and provides the teacher with a clear indication of the learning status of their pupils.

These practices are not intended to phase out teachers, but rather make the teaching process more collaborative, and transform the teacher-student relationship. When teachers adopt the role of facilitator rather than lecturer, it encourages students to take control of their own learning, and thus become more motivated to succeed.

Using data to build student profiles

A key component of personalised learning is using data technologies to better understand students. Teachers can only begin to tailor their instruction when they have a clear snapshot of each student, including who they are, and their learning methods and interests.

Once this data is collated, analytical tools can be used to monitor and update a students’ profiles, keeping teachers constantly informed of their learning.

Why is personalised learning important?

Students start school with vast differences in educational abilities. It has become increasingly clear that traditional teaching methods do not readily accommodate these differences.

It’s important that students who don’t understand don’t fall behind, not just in the interests of grades or school reputation, but in the interests of parents, who want the best education and wellbeing for their children, in the interest of the wider community in which the students will participate, and in the interest of the students themselves, to ensure they reach their full potential as individuals.

Discover how you can use personalised learning to give your students the best chance to succeed by enrolling in Analytics for the Classroom Teacher, a free online course by Curtin University.