Category Archives: Personalized Learning

“In times of fake news, the understanding of statistics is not only a mathematical competence, it is a political one.” – Torsten Traub, Germany



Torsten Traub
Middle School Teacher, MIE Expert
Realschule Neureut
Karlsruhe, Germany

Working as a teacher in Singapore was a career-defining experience for Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert Torsten Traub.

“I learned a lot by talking and working with great educators from all over the world and from a lot of different cultural and educational backgrounds,” he explains. “I started to read teacher’s blogs, I watched great TED Talks, and I began studying again.”

Since returning to Germany, Traub has used Twitter to build – and tap into – his Personal Learning Network.… Visit the author's original post

“The biggest challenge is parents believing in the school’s vision of digital transformation.” – Paramjeet Kaur Dhillon, India

Paramjeet Kaur Dhillon
Head Teacher
Kamla Nehru Public School
Punjab, India

It’s been one year since Paramjeet Kaur Dhillon’s school decided to implement 1:1 learning, and while it’s been a huge success for the students and teachers, the road to 1:1 was anything but easy. And the main reason was the hesitancy on the part of parents.

“Regular meetings had been held with the parents regarding digital transformation in the school,” shares Dhillon, a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert and Trainer.… Visit the author's original post

“I am focused on each student’s growth. If each student can come away with knowledge that will enhance their personal or professional life, then we have both succeeded.” – Pamela Orbison, computer science teacher, USA

Pamela Orbison

Business, Finance, IT and Computer Science Teacher; Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert

Rowan Salisbury Schools in Salisbury, North Carolina, USA
Pam Orbison (@CLMS_CTE on Twitter

How one teacher manages testing pressure

“It seems that a score on a test determines the current educational measure of success.  I have had students in my class crying because they feel so much pressure to meet a certain standard (even on pre-tests). I realized that these scores have the potential to cause students to define themselves according to their score.… Visit the author's original post

Bringing diverse students together with technology — Classroom technology eases transition for refugees

Olivier Dijkmans
Elementary School Teacher
Stedelijke Basisschool Omnimundo
Antwerp, Belgium

Olivier Dijkmans’ school is on the front lines when it comes to adapting to a diverse student body, including many refugees who have never attended school, and don’t know how to read, calculate or write.

Olivier DijkmansOlivier, a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, uses everything from green screens to Legos to engage his class that represents different lands of origin, different religions and different education levels.

“This is not an easy challenge,” Olivier tells us, “but it has to be taken, because good education is the key to success for the future of our community and society.… Visit the author's original post

“The best opportunity for innovation will happen if we allow and expect innovation and personalization in every classroom by harnessing the power of teachers and students. I believe the ‘on the same page’ movement can stifle innovation and in fact, is stifling it. Learning should be personal and powerful and push every student to reach a little further. It isn’t a ‘no child left behind’ world but should be an ‘every child move ahead’ scenario.”

Vicki Davis


Westwood Schools Camilla, Georgia, USA Read more from Vicki Davis, at her “Cool Cat Teacher” blog, including her 163 Cool Tools for Schools Handout.

About Vicki Davis

  • Education background: BS in Management, Georgia Institute of Technology, first in class and named “outstanding management major”, teaching assistant and research assistant, President of Executive Round Table. Since my curriculum director convinced me that my destiny was in teaching, I’ve taken over 150 hours of education courses.
  • Person who inspires me most: My husband, Kip Davis.
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Personalized Learning with Digital Experiences

Schools that can promote happiness are key to ensuring better well-being, health, and achievement, as well as success in life…calling for education systems to shift away from traditional measures and to instead embrace a diversity of talents and intelligences by recognizing values, strengths, and competencies that contribute to enhancing happiness.

UNESCO, Happy Schools: A Framework for Learner Well-being, 2016

No one is average…. Today we have the ability to understand individuals and their talents on a level that was not possible before.Visit the author's original post

The Five Tenets of Personalized Learning

Cross-posted from the Corwin Connect Blog.

I did not know what I was doing when I decided to change the way I taught. I did not know that somewhere out in the education world there was already a term floating around for some of the ideas I had for change, a term that would capture so many of my ideas in one. It was not until a few years of blogging about the changes I had made that someone left a comment on my blog suggesting I learn more about personalizing learning because it seemed like that is what I was talking about. … Visit the author's original post

Passive users or critical thinkers? Developing critical and creative thinking skills with technology

Passive users or critical thinkers?

Developing critical and creative thinking skills with technology

Had enough with your students using their tablets or mobile devices to play games for non-thinking users? Project based learning with the aid of technology can be used creatively to stimulate students interest and develop their critical and creative thinking skills. This post is about activities and tools that can help students use their creative and critical abilities while learning.

A brief intro
Technology has often been accused of creating passive learners, who rely heavily on visuals and are used to a superficial approach to learning, rather than developing their creative and critical thinking skills.Visit the author's original post

So It Turns Out I Am a Terrible Teacher

It turns out I owe everyone an apology.  Or at least a great big “I am sorry” to all of the people who have ever been inspired by this blog to change the way they teach.  It turns out I don’t know what I am doing, at least not if you look at our test scores.  You see, my students took our district standardized test, the one they take three times a year, and it turns out that at least for some all of my crazy ideas have apparently ruined their English skills.  … Visit the author's original post

Kelli Etheredge: Personalized Learning for Global Citizens (White Paper Interviews)

by Kelli Etheredge
Expert Educator Columnist, USA

Personalized Learning is a hot topic in education.  As with many buzzwords in education, however, depending upon who are you listening to, sometimes, it is hard to quantify what personalized learning really means and what value it adds to learning environments.  Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to read the whitepaper Personalized Learning for Global Citizens and then interview its authors, Kathryn Kennedy, Joseph R. Freidhoff, and Kristen DeBruler from the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute. Visit the author's original post

January EduCast Recap: Educators Share Insights into Flipped Classrooms

In today’s classroom, students and educators are rarely out of reach of a digital device—from smartphones to tablets and laptops—opening the doors to new instructional methods that instill a deeper understanding of course content than ever before.

The popularity of the “flipped classroom” model has paralleled both the proliferation of personal digital devices and the movement toward more personalized learning experiences tailored for the diverse needs of students. In principle, the model is straightforward. By moving the delivery of core principles to digital media, such as video lectures, valuable time in class can be used for exercises that instill a deeper, contextual understanding of the material.… Visit the author's original post

“What Are You Proud Of?” – Using Letter Grades For Good

I was exhausted to say the least.  Voice raw, thoughts muddled, and a lead brain.  I felt like I had worked days without sleep as I dragged myself home.  All day Thursday, I conferred with almost all of my students.  100+ kids and I sat down, one on one, and spoke about scores, grades,  goals, growth and most importantly what they are proud of.  And I was exhausted.

I hadn’t intended to have a day of conferring.  I had thought we would have a read-in party, I would hand them back their grade slips with my grades for them, the ones they had first decided and I then had added my input to.  … Visit the author's original post

Why Book Clubs Suck And We Need to Talk About

image from icanread

I had meticulously made my lists.  I had thoughts of habits, tastes, personalities, reading preferences, pace and yes, even their assessment data.  I had scoured the book room, gone book shopping spending my own money and used most of my Scholastic points.  More than 50 choices awaited my students, I couldn’t wait to start book clubs.

So when I announced that today was the day they would know their book club groups, I had not planned for the groan of disapproval that met me.  … Visit the author's original post

9 Barriers to Personalized Learning And How We May Work Around Them

image from icanread

I didn’t know I was doing personalized learning when I first changed the way I taught.  It wasn’t until I wrote about it in a blog post and someone gave me the name and description that it clicked.  It made sense really; I wanted students to have a voice, have choice, and to be re-ignited passionate learners within my classroom, all tenets of the personalized learning philosophy.  For me it was a no brainer; why not teach in a such a way that students would want to be part of the learning?  … Visit the author's original post

Applying personalized learning: Every learner is unique!!!

Applying personalized learning: Every learner is unique!!!

Some practical activities towards personalizing learning

Learning is a complex process that we have been trying to unravel for at least 4.000 years.
There are a lot of uncertainties and many scientific discoveries every now and then  overturn long established beliefs. One of the few certainties though, is that we learn in many different ways and no student is identical. Luckily,  for the school I work at,  Doukas, every student is regarded as a unique personality and technology is used to accommodate personalized learning to the learner's benefit.Visit the author's original post

Introducing and implementing innovation successfully

Introducing and implementing innovation successfully

A time of crisis and a time of opportunities...

Flying to Barcelona, on my way to the Microsoft Global Forum and can't help noticing my fellow passengers reading about the economic and social crisis that's spread globally like the Plague.  I bet most of them would raise their eyebrows in disbelief if they heard that a school from Greece - a country devastated by the austerity measures imposed in the past four years- is a World Tour, Mentor school, one of the 35 schools from all over the globe, chosen to share their best practices and pioneering spirit.
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