Let’s get connected through personalized learning.

Apr 28 2022

Key Takeaway:  The reflections from students, teachers, and parents in this study show how the personalized learning experience not only produced expert learners but connected members of the learning community, which proved to be a meaningful and valuable experience to all involved. —Nika Espinosa

Summary: Suzanne Porath (Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS) and Dana Hagerman (College of Education and Professional Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Whitewater, WI) ask the question:

“In what ways, if any, can a personalized, learner-centered environment, as implemented at Rolling Hills Middle School, develop the principles of connected learning?”

According to Porath and Hagerman,

“Connected learning is a form of personalized learning that can renew classrooms and schools to not only focus on the needs and interests of the learner but can support learners in making connections with their experiences, peers and teachers, content standards, multiple disciplines, and the community.”

In their study, 55 8th grade students were provided with two, 2-hour classes. The first of two classes was a STEM class with a combination of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology, and the second class was a humanities class incorporating social studies and literacies. The students spent the remainder of the day taking their specialist classes.

Feedback from students, parents, and teachers was analyzed by organizing comments into categories. In the first cycle of data analysis, a few categories emerged as most prevalent: family/community, peers, standards/learning, projects, student interests, and connections.

Key takeaways are focused on the principles and design of connected learning that relate to Wolfe and Poon’s Personalized Learning:1

Article Summarized:

Porath, S., & Hagerman, D. (2021). Becoming connected learners through personalized learning. Middle School Journal, 52(2), 26-37.

Summary By: Nika Espinosa – Nika believes that personalized learning is at the heart of special education and strives to collaborate with educators in providing a holistic, personalized approach to supporting all learners through the MARIO Framework.

Additional References:

  1. Wolfe, R. E., & Poon, J. D. (2015). Educator Competencies for Personalized, Learner-Centered Teaching. Jobs For the Future.
  2. Ito, M., Gutiérrez, K., Livingstone, S., Penuel, B., Rhodes, J., Salen, K., … & Watkins, S. C. (2013). Connected learning: An agenda for research and design. Digital Media and Learning Research Hub.

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