Canyon Lake Elementary, a public school located in Rapid City, South Dakota, is always looking to adjust to the times.
Since the 1980s, the institution has embraced technology and forward-thinking systems, thus the delivery of education to their students has ongoingly changed, drastically. Most recently, Canyon Lake Elementary will be first to adopt the educational philosophy, Mass Customized Learning (MCL) or Personalized Learning.
MCL is an information age learning-based system, which endeavors to connect students with experts from around the world. Contrarily, most public schools within the U.S. utilize the antiquated Industrial Age model, where teachers focus on a particular subject, classroom, or schedule. The newer model offers children choices. They have a decided role in the what they will learn, and they’re able to choose from a catalog of options, with regards to group size, collaboration, and independent, innovative technology.
Canyon Lake Elementary received a $90,000 grant to launch the pilot program. The new teaching method will be able to curate a personalized “playlist” of learning experiences while being supported by teachers. The grant will fund new learning tools, teacher training and development, and access to virtual education, which all goes to create customizable learning spaces that will beneficial to students.
Each member of the staff participates in implementing the MCL program, which is expected to be a reality for all students at Canyon Lake Elementary by the end of 2018. It’s expected that other schools in the district will adopt MCL programming. MCL caters to highly diverse students with learning needs that are equally diverse. According to Education Dive, “it typically focuses on pedagogical opportunities and technologies that modularize, tailor, and pace learning experiences at scale within and across student cohorts. Personalized learning, therefore, contrasts sharply with traditional “one-size-fits-all,” “sink-or-swim” approaches, which often fail to reflect individual student needs.”
The concept of MCL was developed through the understanding that the industrial age learning method yields an assembly line education, rather than a universal notion of the information age, where students can learn anything, from anyone, from anyone, from any time. In a world where coffee and home pages can be customizable, many believe that customizable learning can present information to children in a way that’s desirable. More than that MCL is said to meet children at his or her learning level, granting students relevant skills and concepts and providing opportunities through technology that enables educational success.
If you’re interested in learning more about personalized learning, consider reaching out to schools that implemented the educational style in their classrooms, and seek out presents who offer a variety of information on the benefits of blended and personalized education. While some worry that the transition will be a difficult one, others realize that adopting MCL requires that you embrace the idea of not knowing, co-design educational experiences with students, cultivate early innovators, communicate an open door policy, rethink traditional roles, and make time seek out creative ways for adopting new tools and new techniques.
Check out the report published by the Clayton Christensen Institute, “From the Frontlines: Takeaways from the 2016 Blended and Personalized Learning Conference.”