Personalized Learning 101: Designing Your Classroom

August 18th, 2014

Category: Student-Centered Learning

Earlier this summer, I shared about the Personalized Learning 101 course sponsored by the Delaware Department of Education’s eLearning Delaware. The course has explored the various elements of personalized learning, and the class activities have been interactive and engaging, including this “Design Your Classroom” exercise created by Ed Tech Leaders Online.

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Using the different menus for “Technology,” “Furniture,” and “Wall Items,” designers can create a classroom that will best serve the needs of their students, including areas for group work, individual work, and teacher-led instruction. The options for what the redesigned classroom can look like are endless, and the exercise can build an understanding of how the “traditional” classroom might be reimagined in order to enable personalized learning for all students.

For example, here is a quick sketch of how many classrooms are set up for whole-class instruction:

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This setup steers student attention to the front of the classroom, and could make it difficult for other types of instruction and learning to take place simultaneously.

By contrast, one option for a personalized learning classroom design could be the following:

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In this classroom, there are different work areas for students focused on different learning activities—teacher-led instruction, individual instruction, and group work. Providing different areas for student work and activities allows teachers to facilitate learning experiences tailored to the specific needs of each student. Teachers lead students through different activities based on their specific needs and interests, and students rotate through different types of settings throughout the school day or class period. This is just one type of personalized learning classroom design, so go ahead and use the “Design Your Classroom” feature to visualize how personalized learning could change the setup of your classroom for your students!

Rachel Wiggans Chan

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