We now have the second of our personalized learning explainer videos out. As a reminder, here's the first one, which reframes personalized learning as a set of approaches for addressing the teaching problems of reaching hard-to-reach students:
The new one starts to talk about the how, giving flipped class, learning analytics, and adaptive learning as examples of tools or approaches that can help teachers reach those hard-to-reach students:
Some folks continue to be confused about just how these things are supposed to help. We described some of our thinking in our original post on the first explainer and our recent piece in Inside Higher Ed. We are well aware of a number of hard limits on what we can accomplish, including but not limited to the following:
- A couple of 3-minute videos are not going to change the world all by themselves.
- The levers and barriers for change are different at different institutions.
- Vendors are going to be out selling, the press is going to be out hyping, and institutional stakeholders are going to be looking for silver bullets no matter what.
But we also find ourselves in the fortunate position of having some credibility with academic administrators, ed tech advocates, and vendors. If we can help our readers to nudge the inevitable and already ongoing conversations about courseware products in a more healthy direction, away from robot tutors in the sky and toward enabling teaching practices that reach more students, that would be a good thing. We're creating these explainers as tools that can be used by any of the parties to those conversations to reframe the discussion. If we're lucky, we'll influence the ways in which the vendors pitch these products in the first place while also preparing educators to take advantage of the different pitch to ask more educationally relevant questions and nudge the procurement process in a healthier direction. We won't always be so lucky. But we won't always be unlucky either. A lot comes down to each of you and what you can accomplish in your respective contexts. We're just trying to give you a few more tools to work with. You're the change agents.