Today I am beginning my journey through this fabulous book, Learning Personalized, The Evolution of the Contemporary Classroom, written by Allison Zmuda, Greg Curtis, and Diane Ullman. I will be reading sections of this book at a time and posting about what I have learned, both as a reflective journal for myself and also as a way to create more awareness (and hopefully discussion) about the awesome power that lies in the creation of personalized learning (which I call adaptive learning) environments for learners.
I am getting close (about 9 hours) to completing my coursework towards my doctorate in Instruction & Curriculum Leadership with an emphasis on Instructional Design & Technology. I have found the topic I am passionate about - Adaptive Learning - and am planning to complete my dissertation on AL. It is my hope that those who are interested will sign up for the RSS Feed and/or will keep up with my work via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
Heidi Hayes Jacobs, an educational consultant, writes an exciting Forward to this book. Heidi expresses our need for new approaches to teaching and learning in a day where there is lots of digital media readily available to improve our instruction. She explains that "our learners have already made the transition and in many ways are actually waiting for school to catch up with them" (p. xi). She prepares the reader for the wonderfully new emerging pedagogy that these authors will share with us - "day-in-the-life" narratives as Jacobs calls them.
In this book, the authors will demonstrate how to transition to a learner-centered, learner-led type of learning environment where learners are "directly engage learners in determining demonstration of their own learning." This type of learning model requires a major shift at every level, including teacher, school, system (district).
I am excited to read this wonder book and hope it will add to my body of work on adaptive learning - a revolution that will impact education in much the same way, if not more than the invention of the textbook being placed in the hands of individual learners did in the early 1900s.
Come join me on this journey as we navigate the development of learning that is truly personalized and is designed to meet each and every, not most, learner's need right when they need it and at just the right amount.
Zmuda, A., Ullman, D., & Curtis, G. (2015). Learning Personalized: The Evolution of the
Contemporary Classroom. John Wiley & Sons.
The University of Maryland University College has aggregated some outstanding literature on adaptive learning. Click on the link for more information.
University of Maryland University College Research Overview
I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the WCET Summit on Adaptive Learning June 9-10, 2015 in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was a fabulous conference centered around the question, "What is Adaptive Learning?" That is the exact question I had walking into this conference and the very question I hoped to obtain clarity.
In the months leading up to this conference, I had been reading everything I could get my hands on relating to Adaptive Learning (AL). The more I read, the more confused I became. Is AL and Personalized Learning the same thing? Is AL programmed instruction? Machine learning? Artificial Intelligence? Technology-enhanced learning? Adaptive Hypermedia something-or-another? I was hopeful that all of my questions would be answered at this much anticipated conference focused solely on AL.
Unfortunately, I walked away with many questions still unanswered and the main one being the opening question - "What is Adaptive Learning?" What was clear, however, was none of the leaders in our industry could agree on one standard definition of Adaptive Learning. Some referred to it as tailored instruction while others insisted on it being called personalized instruction. About the only aspects of AL everyone did seem to agree upon was the use of technology to deliver the instruction and the use of algorithms to effectively adapt the content, support, etc. to the individual learner's needs.
Although many questions remained unanswered, I did somehow better understand what AL is and that my second question, "Is Adaptive Learning effective in improving student outcomes," could be answered with hard data. Yes, Adaptive Learning is an effective method for improving student outcomes and many colleges and universities shared the data to prove it.
All-in-all, I can say I walked away from that conference enlightened and with a vigor to learn more. Adaptive learning is causing the greatest revolution our country's educational system has experienced since the invention of the classroom textbook. Unlike many of the technological advances over the last 100 years many proclaimed would revolutionize education, AL will make an everlasting impact by bringing personalized learning to everyone.