Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.
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6 Digital Tools and Platforms to Implement Personalized Learning

6 Digital Tools and Platforms to Implement Personalized Learning

By Jessica Sanders

Adaptability and flexibility: two skills that teachers need to possess to harness the power of personalized learning in their classroom. To make their efforts most effective, teachers need to pair these skills with technology, with which they can ensure a core tenet of personalized learning is fulfilled: 24-hour learning opportunities, in the classroom and out.

“Mobile devices allow students to gather, access, and process information outside the classroom. ­They can encourage learning in a real-world context and help bridge school, after school, and home environments, resulting in true ‘anywhere/anytime’ learning,” say to the authors of Personalized Learning: A Guide for Engaging Students With Technology.

If the “T” word makes you a little nervous, don’t worry, you don’t need expensive and confusing technology to make personalized learning work for your students. Something as familiar as a cell phone can be valuable. Consider how the following options can make personalized learning a reality in your classroom.

personalized learning_2

1. A Digital Camera

This may seem like an unusual tool for the classroom, yet it’s an effective way to let students see the lesson through their own eyes—literally.

Forest Lake Elementary School in South Carolina gave digital cameras to younger students who were learning shapes, and sent them out to uncover those shapes around the school, according to Edutopia.com. This helps them put the lesson into a perspective that they understand.

2. AnatomyArcade.com

If you’re teaching anatomy, this website is a simple and free way to personalize the lesson.

Students can choose from a variety of games like Poke-A-Muscle and Whack-A-Bone to practice what they’ve learned in a way that’s interesting and fun for them.

3. Online Reading Log

Put down the paper and pencil and get on your computer. An online reading log ensures that you have accurate information and access to real-time data and analytics. This makes it easy to track every student’s specific reading level and suggest books that are truly catered to their classroom experience and learning style. Some programs to try include:

4. Microsoft Office Suite

The full Microsoft suite gives you access to Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point, all of which provide different ways for students to complete homework or a project. Give one assignment—What assumptions can you make about the main character based on what you read in chapter three—but let your students decide how they want to demonstrate that knowledge.

5. Active Instruction

Attempting to be a “Wikipedia for teachers,” Active Instruction hosts resources—videos, reading, worksheets, animations and more—and makes it easy for teachers to share these with coworkers, students and parents. You can create a collection, or playlist, for your whole class or specific students. For example, you can provide a variety of resources for one lesson allowing students to choose the ones that help them the most.

6. Blogs

Whether you use WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr, blogging provides endless opportunities for personalized learning because writing is such a versatile method for showing and sharing knowledge. Use a prompt or specific assignment, or let them express their knowledge in their own way—maybe with a poem or a collection of photos. The students’ use of tools within the platform can provide insight on their level of understanding and you can use the comment section to give feedback.

These tools and platforms help make your classroom experience more effective—for both you and the students. Use them as a starting off point; as you become more familiar with the personalized learning concept, you can search for the tools that are best for your classroom.

Combine Personalized Learning With a Fundraising Read-A-Thon at Learn2Earn.

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