Friday, August 26, 2016

Personalized learning: corporate reform hijacks another perfectly good idea | Parents Across America

Personalized learning: corporate reform hijacks another perfectly good idea | Parents Across America:

Personalized learning: corporate reform hijacks another perfectly good idea 

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Everyone loves choice — it’s so all-American. And we cheer the idea of student-centered learning because it’s so clearly all about the children. And, of course, ALL parents want personalized learning because every parent knows that their child is unique and has special academic needs and interests.
At our parent leadership conference in July, we asked participants what they think of when they hear “personalized learning.” Here’s what they said:
“It’s personal to your child.”
“It is tailored to your child’s needs and interests, like you tailor a garment.”
“It involves one-on-one work with a teacher.”
“IEPs – an individualized learning program required under special education laws to be written and followed for every child identified as having special needs.”
“Relates to every child’s needs and strengths.”
“For the teacher, what does he or she know about the child that can help in teaching that child?”
Well, bad news. That is not what the corporate reformers mean when they say personalized learning. Yes, when the opt out movement checked the reformers’ high-stakes testing strategy, they made a strategic turn toward what their taxpayer-funded* five-star PR firms told them to call “personalized learning,” but which is only personalized like the ads for stuff you just bought that start to pop up on your Facebook or Google search page.
Our “EdTech buzzwords” piece unpacks more of this corporate reform-speak. For example:

Blended learning: Your child will no longer spend his or her day with a caring adult. They will be tied to a digital screen which will replace large chunks of human interaction with prepackaged programming. It’s blended in the same way as Star Trek’s Data was blended – you know, he cried that one time.
Competency-based learning: Competent means efficient and capable but not outstanding, and in this context Personalized learning: corporate reform hijacks another perfectly good idea | Parents Across America:


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