Genius Hour 2: Research for Personalized Learning

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 9.21.32 AM

In our EDIT 2000 class on Tuesday, we learned how to accurately research reliable information online. The main source to use for the rest of my Genius Hour blogs is Galileo and the various databases within that. After using ERIC specifically, the main Department of Education database, and choosing “Advanced Search,” I decided to narrow my topic to just elementary school level education rather than all of k12 because my future involves teaching Early Childhood.

Things to remember about these research strategies include how to use chat by being able to ask a UGA librarian any question that stands in the way of my research. Next, when I pick the database I decide to use, I can limit my search my educational level, publication date, and source time in order to find the exact articles I am looking for. For my topic specifically, I selected all the Early Childhood grades, 2005-2015, maybe even sooner as I dig deeper into my research, and all sources such as magazines and journals. After browsing through and finding the most supportive articles for my overall question, I can then save the articles by creating a folder and emailing all items to myself at the end of my research period. All of these will be important while conducting the rest of my Genius Hour posts this semester.

After learning about Galileo, I now went through the process of refining my overall question. This helped me narrow down the grade level and use synonyms and keywords to find more articles about personalized learning. For example, I can type in effective ways, as well as successful methods. Even typing in the keywords “Personalized learning” brings up over 100 articles and then I can pick ones based on their description in the title. It also helped me personally shy away from Google research like I’ve always done, which can have unreliable or biased information for my posts. I’m excited to effectively use these strategies and tips for all of my posts from now on.

As I was browsing through these different databases, I found that most of the articles for personalized learning link to technology, such as computer games or activities that are used to individualize learning for younger students. This also helped me reform my overall question, now changing it to “How does using technology guide Early Childhood teachers to personalized learning for students?”

Here are some articles I found for further research throughout this semester:

(1) http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=04028235-46af-4ede-84c2-e4d411a7efee%40sessionmgr4003&vid=7&hid=4204

(2) http://web.b.ebscohost.com.proxy-remote.galib.uga.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=851a6d5b-aef5-4edc-ba9b-cea9c1439c18%40sessionmgr198&vid=6&hid=125

(3) http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=fc905b37-d38c-4f77-b94c-022f9e90fd18%40sessionmgr4001&vid=5&hid=4206

Intro to Personalized Learning

personal

Q: How can K12 school systems make personalized learning for each student possible?

I chose personalized learning because I believe that each student learns differently and that schools should try to teach each student in a way that they can comprehend knowledge best. Of course, this is a very problematic goal in a class of over twenty students with one teacher, but there must be various ways to individualize learning as best as K12 school systems can.

In high school, I was a peer leader for a Kindergarten classroom, and I thought the teacher used an efficient method in order to help each student learn. At the time, I wasn’t really sure what personalized learning even was, but I worked with some of the students that had trouble learning certain subjects and it made me realized that learning is different for each student. The teacher set up guided small groups to do the same activity. One group was contained the students that tested higher on the pretest, in which they were giving an activity and could complete it easier than some. The other groups struggled in certain areas, and the teacher could personally help them through it for a better understanding of the material, as well as a better pace. I’m planning on being an Elementary school teacher, and this topic is at interest to me because I want to not only learn more about personalized learning, but also be able to use what I learn in my future classroom. It is important that I can do everything I can to help each student succeed academically. Therefore, the research for this genius hour topic will contribute to my future.

Personalized learning is relevant to all of K12 education because how you learn in just one class can put you ahead, on track, or behind for the rest of your education up until college. Teachers must find a way for each student to absorb and use the information taught no matter the difficulty to achieve such goals. I believe all teachers will benefit from my investigation on several ways to personalize learning, both effective, creative, and new. Parents of children will benefit from my research as well because of a better success rate and an overall goal of individual learning and curiosity for what is being taught within the classroom besides just standardized tests. Also, education and the advancements of methods and technology in schools positively affect a community as a whole.

In the K12 Horizon Report, “the goal of personalized learning is to create possibilities for learners to determine the strategy and pace at which they learn” (1, p 26). This Genius Hour topic has been a difficult, but significant encounter to the school system today. There are many ideas in mind, but also barriers standing in the way of a simple answer to my overall question above. As I research this topic throughout the semester, it is likely that most answers to my question will be through guided activities, groups, technology, and teaching innovation, but I am hoping to know more in depth about each method.

(1) http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2015-nmc-horizon-report-k12-EN.pdf