Personalized Learning

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Dan Buckley

Student centered personalisation is at the core of Dan’s philosophy for education. He has gained international recognition for his work in the field of school transformation, envisioning and assessment which is founded in student centered personalisation. He has provided keynotes and workshops in over 30 countries on large scale change management.

Does personalized learning develop deeper learning experiences?

In this topic area, we take a look at these essential dimensions to achieving success in personalized learning:

  • Deeper Learning
  • Deeper Support
  • Deeper Leadership
  • Deeper Experience

Learning where student voice and choice are top priorities; where education is more responsive to students’ needs, interests and aspirations; where they’re given the skills and experiences vital to learning in the 21st Century.

Using the ‘deeps’ you’ll find routes to achieving personalized learning for your students – let them help you design educational activities and take greater responsibility for their learning.

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Dan Buckley
Personalized Learning Using Bloom's Taxonomy Bloom edited the work of numerous educationalists over fifty years ago and suggested that learning has levels of complexity. Knowing factual content is the lowest form, then understanding that content, then applying it into a different context. After these three the next three are called 'higher order thinking skills or HOTS'. There is some debate about their order but they are essentially about evaluating, analysing and creating new ideas. Hundreds of resources exist on the web to use with ...
Paige Woodard
Personalized Learning Personalized Education: It's Not For Everyone As I quickly learned while in my Innovations class during my senior year of high school, personalized education is not meant for every student. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, our class was modeled after Google’s 20% time and many of my classmates caved under the pressure of picking their own learning path for the entire school year. As I concluded in my last post, this was due to learned helplessness. Why is learned helplessness an issue in schools today? As a high school senior, I can ...
Dan Buckley
Personalized Learning Self Directed Learning and Student Leadership In an earlier post I provided practical ways for teachers to build up the essential skills required by all students. (See ) Employers, however, are much less keen on employees who need a teacher to set up their learning for them. In the information age, learners need to be able to navigate their own path through the maze of opportunities and media on the web. They need to be excellent in all of the skills that computers can't yet offer such as creativity, innovation, collaboration, reflection, ...
Jim Bowler
Personalized Learning Personalized Learning: No Longer A Future Vision I've been to a lot of conferences recently and it's hard not to hear the word “adaptive” mentioned everywhere. I do admit that I may have more selective hearing for that word than most people since that's the name of our company, Adaptive Curriculum, but it’s more common now than I can remember. It's clear that schools and teachers are no longer looking for solutions where one size fits all, but instead are seeking solutions that can be personalized for each learner. Here at Adaptive Curriculum ...
Jon Bergmann
Personalized Learning Flipped Learning: technological tool or pedagogical solution. Is flipped learning a technological tool or a pedagogical framework? The answer lies in which definition is used. A fairly common explanation of the flipped classroom involves using video to deliver lectures or direct instruction outside of class and utilizing class time for what was formerly assigned as homework. Another definition, recently released by the Flipped Learning Network, states that “Flipped Learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning...
Paige Woodard
Personalized Learning Exploration of Personal Interests and Learning How to Fail Beautifully When students are provided the freedom to personalize their education, many are confused. After enough time enrolled in the education system, countless students develop learned helplessness and are therefore too afraid to move forward with the newfound freedom that works in conjunction with personalized learning. I witnessed this firsthand when I enrolled in a class based on Google’s 20% time model my senior year of high school. In this class, we were encouraged to explore our interests, choose ...
Dan Buckley
Personalized Learning Teaching and Assessing Essential Skills Please download and share the attached file with any teacher who wishes to improve personalisation in their classroom. Please note that you need to sign in to this PiL network to leave comments or download the file. The basic idea behind personalisation is to meet the varied needs of every student in every lesson. This is a simple idea in theory but the practice is harder because if you have classes of greater than 5 students, the research strongly suggests you will find it hard to do this ...
Eric Patnoudes
Personalized Learning Boosting Intrinsic Motivation with... Extrinsic Motivation? The Educational Challenge "If we teach today’s students, like we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow,” said John Dewey, the American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. Today’s education landscape, driven by high stakes assessment and school performance, has lost sight of the genuine purpose of education in my opinion. Jeanie Fulbright said it best in this quote, “If the purpose of learning is to score well ...
Dan Buckley
Personalized Learning Personalized Learning Hot Topics Discussion at the World Forum This panel discussion was attended by a large audience on the Wednesday of the Global Forum. The discussion was focused around questions from the host, Scott Kinney and questions from the audience. Jim Wynn (Promethean), Jon Phillips (Dell), Helen Hosinett (Pearson) and Val Karaitiana (Community School Principal) each shared their answers to these questions with the audience. Question 1 - What is personalized learning Scott’s view was inspired by reading Carolyn Tomlinson book on differentiation...
Dan Buckley
Personalized Learning Understanding the Value of Student Data This week we discovered that Manchester City football club employs 11 statisticians and a professor of physics to analyse “every step each player takes” generating over 1500 statistics for each player in each match. When you look at the combination of all this data and compare it to the price paid for each player, the information is clearly highly valuable to football clubs and to the players themselves who are even now wearing devices that tell them when their performance in any aspect is ...
Jackie Baptist
Personalized Learning Understanding the Value of Student Data. Mar 12th at 3:30pm, room 111/112 @ the Microsoft Global Forum in Barcelona. To learn more about the forum please use this link Leaders, educators and students all need access to data in order to make informed decisions in regard to student needs and learning opportunities. With personalized learning systems, an experience can be self-initiated as well as self-directed to further enhance discovery and drive an increase in student outcomes. In this panel discussion, speakers will discuss effective uses of personalized learning, highlight leading solutions, as well as ...
Dan Buckley
Personalized Learning Five Ways to Make Feedback and Marking More Effective Context The average teacher spends 3 hours a week marking student work. For the UK alone this represents almost one billion dollars a year of investment into what is, essentially, one of the most personalised strategies currently in use. John Hattie recently collected together the work of numerous researchers who found that, when done well, this feedback has the most significant impact on improving learning. Black, William and others found that when done badly it can actually reduce the ...
Trenton Goble
Personalized Learning Using Technology to Create Impactful Learning Environments Our outdated educational system falls woefully short when it comes to facilitating genuine learning and understanding. The widely-practiced assembly-line approach to education means that many students must complete rote curriculum modules that have little impact on overall thought development. In contrast, students in a mastery-based educational setting must demonstrate understanding of a concept in order to progress. So why hasn’t this style of learning been adopted on a broad scale? It is not...
Dan Buckley
Personalized Learning Research Verses Gut Feeling The speed with which events happen in schools is incredible. A typical teacher has five hours of inspiration to deliver day in day out. Occasionally in the week they are driven by the buzz of an excellent lesson as they see it reflected back in the eyes of their students but most of the time it is a high adrenaline juggling act in which the same lesson can go really well with one group and be way off the mark with another. There is often little time to reflect before the next challenge. It is not...
Donna Adams Román
Personalized Learning What is Personalized Learning? As a curator for the Personalized Learning strand for the this past October, I noticed some reoccurring questions and discussions throughout. With all of the student-responsive platforms hitting the market, many are wondering: Is Personalized Learning about data tracking and informed, responsive instruction as some suggest? What about interest, engagement, motivation, and learner voice? Who is in charge of the learning? What does it mean to personalize learning? Is it “personal” or “...
Dan Buckley
Personalized Learning Challenge Based Personalisation The majority of teachers I have observed in countries all over the world regularly sharing an objective with their class at the start of each lesson and then check which students have achieved this objective by the end of the lesson. For example, if you are teaching a lesson about the human eye then by the end of the lesson you may want students to be able to label a diagram and name at least three parts correctly. Once teachers have developed such practice, it is easier for them to extend this ...
Dan Buckley
Personalized Learning 84% of Education Leaders Call for Radical Transformation at WISE 2013 Each year for the past five years, the occurs in Qatar. The aim of the event is to bring together leading thinkers, actors and decision makers to address the main issues facing education globally. This year’s summit was the best so far and here are the top three reasons why. The bus journeys!! No honestly I’m being serious. WISE is fundamentally different from most conferences I attend in that each participant has been selected based on what they have done rather than the corporation or ...
Eric Lerum
Personalized Learning Using Policy to Expand Personalized Learning: Part 3 - Accountability Lots of folks are talking excitedly about the potential opportunities opened up to educators and students through increased flexibility and a transition to competency-based progression, and with good reason. There is also considerable concern, however, with the role of profit and how it interacts with personalized learning. By decentralizing the way content is provided in the personalized learning world, there is broader access to the significant public resources being invested in education. That...
Christina Yu
Personalized Learning Case study: understanding the power of personalized learning in action Teachers have for decades understood the importance of “differentiated instruction” – the process of tailoring instruction to meet individual learners’ needs. Thanks to advances in data science and machine learning techniques, as well as the shift of educational materials from print to digital, it is now possible to provide every student in a classroom with a more personalized learning experience. Continuously adaptive learning systems can analyze each student’s performance and activity in real ...
Eric Lerum
Personalized Learning Using Policy to Expand Personalized Learning: Part 2 - Competency-based Progression What if we gave every teenager a driver’s license just for turning 16, without requiring them to demonstrate their knowledge of the road rules on a written test or prove their ability to safely maneuver a car? If age alone determined when teenagers could start driving, the road would be a pretty dangerous place. Although this might seem like an extreme comparison, our education system often treats students in the same way by advancing students through school based on the number of birthdays ...
Eric Lerum
Personalized Learning Using Policy to Expand Personalized Learning (Part 1) Spurred by advances in technology and a growing entrepreneurial spirit among educators, boundaries related to student learning previously believed to be permanent are expanding and in some cases, disappearing, faster than ever before. The greatest advances are coming in the form of personalized learning. Personalized learning enables students to learn at their own pace and to chart their own course. This kind of learning model has the potential to rapidly increase student learning, while ...
Dan Buckley
Personalized Learning Are Mutual Respect and Dignity the Foundations of Personalisation? One of the many schools around the world that have inspired me and caused me to think more deeply about how we achieve personalisation is the Daanish School Chishtian Boys Campus which is part of an innovative education project started in 2011 by the Government of Punjab in Pakistan The school describes itself as a ‘Heaven for Underpriviledged and Unrecognised’. It accepts students from a wide catchment on the basis of need. Every student is there through an individual and fairly unique set ...
Dan Buckley
Personalized Learning Seven Tipping Points in Education A question often asked is “if there are better ways of educating people then ‘traditional schooling’ why does the same model exist almost everywhere in the world?” Will educational practice continue to develop at a frustratingly slow pace or are we due for the next ‘Tipping Point’? Before there was formal education Of course we learn throughout our lives and some argue that all effective learning is ‘informal’. Ivan Illich described the power of these informal learning communities and suggested...
Graham Reed
Personalized Learning Big Data: How vital is it for the classroom? Big Data. As business buzz-words go, it is up there with paradigm shifting and strategic synergy. Like these, it is often used liberally without an accurate context, and anyone remotely interested in IT or data management will be bored to tears with hearing the term. And yet it seems to be thrown around in the business world as a dark art solution to the continued seesaw economic depression. When one analyses the traditional definition of Big Data, it is harder still to understand how it can be ...
Dan Buckley
Personalized Learning What impact could wearable technologies have on personalisation? I observed a class investigating the question “What concentration of sugar is lowest you can taste?” During the investigation it becomes clear that one student is having difficulty with the task because they believe the sugar “disappears” when placed in water. They are standing by the weighing scales getting agitated because every time they add sugar to the water the weight shown on the scales is increasing but they know they need to keep the amount of water the same so that it is a ‘fair test...
David Muya
Personalized Learning Teachers on Strike … Minimizing the impact through personalized learning. Low wages and repression from many governments are some of the principal reasons why teachers in many countries are going on strike. The teachers are very right to fight for better wages. In Kenya for instance,this came in a time when the government was planning to deploy the one laptop per child program in all the public primary schools. Teachers even threatened to sabotage this noble project. When everything had been done and teachers agreed to go back to class, there were immense damages done ...
Dan Buckley
Personalized Learning New classes, new opportunities: Planning personalised learning For most schools in the Northern Hemisphere, September is the month of new beginnings. Teachers begin work with new classes, students change schools. A mixture of optimism, determination and more than a little anxiety generally results in positive energetic efforts by everyone. Given that the OECD and others have cited this ‘bottom up’ energy as the main driver for improving schools, it seems a good idea to look at how students, teachers, school leaders and policy makers could use this energy...
Kristen Vogt
Personalized Learning Inspiration, Innovation, and Inquiry: What It Takes to Design for Personalized, Competency-based, Blended Learning When was the last time you thought about something in a fundamentally different way than you always have? It’s not an easy task to get rid of your current mindset and start with a completely blank slate. But when it comes to rethinking school and learning, it is that right mix of imagination grounded in local reality that is needed to make school work better for more students—especially for those who haven’t been served well by the current school model. There is a small but growing number of ...
Kevin Hoang
Personalized Learning Two Types Dan Buckley- Partners in learning school coach - There are two types of personalize learning, the first one, also known as individualize learning is when the teacher/system have to create a customize curriculum for each child. The second type, also known as student sector is about giving students the skills they need to help and collaborate with one another. In order to have personalized learning, questions about relationships, environment, opportunities, resources, distribution of leadership,...
Jackie Baptist
Personalized Learning Personalized Learning in Colombia This video showcases a school in Colombia that using Microsoft technology in creating a Personalized learning system for students and teachers to use so that students drive their own learning. ...
Beverley Cripps
Personalized Learning Personalised Learning at Ashfield Girls' High School (Northern Ireland) Whilst in Prague at the Partners In Learning Global Forum, I attended both Dan and Chris’ sessions on Personalised Learning. This enthused and encouraged me to look at our existing practices at and find ways to build upon them. I decided to research the different models of personalised learning, which built upon the REORDER idea and found a useful document which was issued to schools in England. There was a particularly interesting model (page 4) which enabled me to assess the progress that...
Kelly  Walsh
Personalized Learning The Flipped Classroom Enables Personalized Learning I passionately believe in the potential of the flipped classroom, and want to share a few insights from some education technology thought leaders about how it can facilitate personalized learning. I hope this piques your interest, and leaves you thinking about taking a little time over the summer to create some flipped content so you can give ‘the flip’ a try in the fall! Aaron Sams and John Bergmann’s book Flip Your Class: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day is a great introduction to...
Dan Buckley
Personalized Learning 4 Steps to Personalisation A personalised school should ensure that every student and teacher is both challenged and supported in just the right balance to ensure that they continuously grow in ability and confidence. If you accept this definition the next step is action. How do we move closer to this definition? In the previous post I gave an outline of steps that could be taken. Here I have used REORDER to make these more direct Step one starts with a school with absolutely no history of personalisation. The first ...
Dan Buckley
Personalized Learning Can a Personalization Project bring about improvements in only 7 weeks? The most important step in continuous improvement is when we stop planning and start doing. Michael Fullan describes initial planning to meet your main purpose as 'getting ready' then he suggests moving to implementation as soon as possible so that real learning can take place. He summarises this as "Ready, Fire, Aim". Learning through doing is definitely highly effective, especially when landscapes are changing quickly as they are in the field of new technology. It was with this in mind that I ...
Dan Buckley
Personalized Learning Personalization Project: Week 5 Twenty student leaders (2 teams of 4 and 2 teams of 6) have now completed their training and are about to receive their certificates. Each have demonstrated they possess the following skills The ability to configure and set up their windows 8 tablet PC from out of the box The ability to post a concern directly to our e-safety team anonymously if they hear of any student using the computers inappropriately The ability to post regular chat and questions on our internal social network site. We ...
Dan Buckley
Personalized Learning Building a Personalization Project from Scratch: Week 3 Whilst I was at the BETT show this week, the team at saltash.net did an excellent job of training the four to eight students from each class that make up the 'Tech Research Teams' Adam Ledger, head of the ICT support team organised a session for the students to be out of one lesson and in this time the whole ICT support team worked alongside the students to help train them. The leaders of each team worked with Adam. The students with the role of COACH for their team worked with Kellie Alders. ...
Dan Buckley
Personalized Learning Building a Personalization Project from Scratch: Week 2 Our task this week was to think of a personalization project that could help students build self confidence, help them set and achieve personal goals and help them improve their team working skills. Building in the comments that students should take a lead role in the design and implementation. Our constraints are that we have enough money for 4:1 student:device and a time scale of mid July to complete. There are 230 students in year 7 at saltash.net so if we gave each one the use of a device ...
Tom Vander Ark
Personalized Learning 6 Vectors Advancing Personalized Learning By Tom Vander Ark Personalized learning will significantly improve achievement levels, boosting completion rates in both K-12 and postsecondary education. That claim is based on six recent developments: Adaptive instruction: The most promising aspect of personalized learning is smart content that uses adaptive assessment to quickly diagnose learning levels and deliver the right unit of instruction. Examples include Dreambox, a K-5 math product; i-Ready from Curriculum Associates, with K-6 reading and math ...
Dan Buckley
Personalized Learning Building a Personalization Project from Scratch: Week 1 Let's start with a state school in the UK which is average in terms of deprivation indicators and budget, below average in terms of the condition of the buildings, but which has been recognised internationally for successful innovation despite these starting points. The school is Saltash.net Community School in Cornwall and over the next few months we will be designing and implementing a large scale personalisation project from scratch. Each week I will add our progress as a blog post and ask ...