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What Are The Top EdTech Tools For Personalized Learning?

Bob Nilsson Published 7 Oct 2015

 

Personalized learning is an ambitious concept that engages students of different backgrounds, interests, and ability levels to champion their educational success. Without educational technology ranging from digital content to adaptive learning software it would be difficult and extremely resource-intensive to implement. We have been conducting a survey to learn the best practices of schools around the world as they implement personalized learning programs.

One of the areas that the survey probes is technology for personalized learning. Results are still coming in, but we took an early peek at the data to help those planning to get started or even in the early stages of their personal learning implementations.

Please share your thoughts and experiences of personalized learning by taking our short survey. You’ll automatically be entered in a raffle to win an iPad mini. Whether or not you have direct experience with personalized learning, your responses are important to us. Answer the survey now.

At the core of personalized learning are a range of digital content and the personal devices that display and interact with it. The content comes in the form of digital textbooks, video lectures, performances, and recorded experiments or field trips. Personal devices include e-readers, tablets, notebooks, and personal computers. The popular versions of these devices are Kindles, iPads, Chromebooks (which continue taking education by storm), Macs, and PCs.

Network infrastructure is critical to fluidly connect all these devices without interruption. A well-functioning network provides all students access to the materials and enables educators to monitor and understand student behavior. According to our early survey returns, more than 99% feel that reliable Wi-Fi is important to their success with personalized learning and over 91% feel the same way about network analytics.

We asked about the personalized learning tools that are currently in use or planned for use, and these are the results that have come back so far:

Learning Management Systems

Personalized Learning Platforms and Content Sources

 

Some great resources for finding the latest personalized learning tools include: Open Educational Resources, Google Apps for Education, iPad apps, and ITunes University. Learning Management Systems (LMS) help keep track of all the personalized moving parts and one new platform that got attention within our survey base is itslearning. In general, LMS platforms offer openness, customizability, flexibility of pedagogy, and support securely and reliably. A good LMS makes it easier for students to collaborate and share resources, so that course management is easier for educators.

New adaptive learning and competency-based education platforms have emerged specifically for personalized learning. One of these, Knewton, “uses adaptive learning technology to identify each student’s particular strengths and weaknesses.” Educators log in to Knewton to create adaptive lessons that fit their students’ needs. Another adaptive learning vendor, Education Elements, offers Highlight, a cloud-based personalized learning platform (PLP) that tracks student progress across multiple content providers.

Game software also has a role in personalized learning. Minecraft is an example that balances subject matter with gameplay. Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology lets teachers see how students think, react, and therefore, learn.

We’ll be publishing all the results of our Personalized Learning Survey shortly. If you haven’t yet taken our short survey, please be sure to do so. Maybe you’ll be the lucky winner of a new iPad!

This blog was written by Bob Nilsson with help from Christen Palange.

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