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Let’s Get Personal: Why Personalized Learning Matters

Written by Haley Ruman

Everything can be personalized now…from vitamins to fitness programs to a morning latte. Why should education be any different? 

Students all come from different backgrounds and have different strengths, abilities, and interests. A one-size-fits-all approach is not only outdated, but ineffective. Schools cannot expect students from widely varying backgrounds to learn the same way. Rather, learning should be personalized to fit the unique needs of each learner. 

A classroom based on personalized learning won’t look or feel like a traditional classroom. Teachers won’t be found lecturing at chalkboards while students take notes; rather, students will be actively engaged in their own individualized learning activities that have been thoughtfully and carefully designed based on students’ interests, strengths, and needs. 

Personalized Learning through PBL 

The project-based learning approach allows teachers to customize curriculum to meet the needs of each learner. SmartLab helps schools implement STEM-based PBL in a way that’s engaging, relevant, and student-centered. Project-based learning encourages learners to identify and define real-world problems and design and plan solutions. 

As students complete individualized tasks, they explore STEM concepts and build critical background knowledge. Students also learn to develop personalized project objectives and reflect on their learning experiences. Multiple challenge levels provide opportunities for students to shape and expand learning around their own interests, abilities, and learning preferences. 

Most teachers agree that personalized learning sounds great, but it also sounds like a lot of work. That’s not the case with SmartLab. Our partnership process allows teachers to focus on the most important task: facilitating and supporting student learning. The process provides teachers with more opportunities to support the needs of individual students and provide them with a personalized learning experience. 

The partnership process consists of: 

  1. Collecting requirements – SmartLab partners build a customized solution to meet learning initiatives
  2. Managing the Process – Partners design the environment, select the skills development, and plan the schedule. 
  3. Installing the solution – Partners implement the environment, engage the community, and transform learning.
  4. Professional development and long-term support – Partners train educators, align pedagogy and curriculum, and provide sustainability

Benefits of Personalized Learning 

When learning experiences are customized to accommodate each students’ unique needs, they benefit in many ways, including: 

  • Increased engagement: Students feel excited about learning when learning is personalized to fit their backgrounds, interests, and abilities. 
  • Increased academic performance: When students have access to personalized instruction, their academic performance naturally improves as they receive customized support that addresses their specific strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Development of twenty-first century skills: Personalized learning through PBL fosters the development of skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and technology literacy as students work together to solve real-world problems. 
  • Improved social-emotional skills: Students in personalized PBL classrooms develop important interpersonal skills, such as listening skills, empathy, and how to both give and receive feedback as they collaborate to meet learning targets and solve problems. 

Personalized Learning: the key to success 

Every student comes to the classroom with different backgrounds, experiences, interests, and ability levels that impact how they learn and interact with others. Schools can no longer teach the same information using the same strategies and expect all learners to succeed. 

Through personalized, project-based learning such as SmartLab, teachers can meet the unique needs of every student and accommodate all types of learners. Personalized learning values students’ individuality and allows them to play a significant role in their learning, setting them up for a lifetime of success. 

SmartLab can help you build personalized STEM/STEAM learning for all students. Let us show you how.

Haley Ruman
Haley Ruman
Sr. Educational Training Specialist

Haley Ruman is a Sr. Educational Training Specialist at Creative Learning Systems. She holds a Bachelor's of Science in Childhood and Early Adolescent Education and a Master's of Education in learning and technology. Her passion for innovative teaching practices and high-quality tech integration led her to Creative Learning Systems where she works with educators across the country to implement student-led, project-based learning.

Case Study

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