Mar 05, 2021

Encouraging Voice & Choice | Grant Wood A E A Saturday Snippet

Encouraging Voice and Choice

March will focus on Blended/Personalized learning through the lens of gifted education and school improvement. Erikka Vosmek is a Grant Wood Area Education Agency school improvement consultant who is a former teacher and served as a principal at the elementary level. Laura Musser is a Grant Wood AEA science consultant who taught middle school science and K-12 gifted education. 

Just to Recap...Blended/Personalized...What is it?

Blended Learning is using technology as part of an integrated learning experience that is learner centered and includes learner voice and choice of path, pace and place in a brick & mortar building. (Adapted from Christensen Institute)

Three student questions illustrate an important focus of blended/ personalized learning. 

In a classroom where learning is made visible, students will be able to answer these questions during a lesson.
What am I learning today?
Why am I learning this?
How will I know I learned it?

        Three student questions: What am I learning today? Why am I learning this? How will I know I learned it?

With those questions in mind, Laura and Erikka remind educators that personalized learning starts with the learner. Encouraging learner voice and choice is the key difference of differentiation and individualization:

  • Individualization: Teacher provides instruction for and to ONE learner at a time.
  • Differentiation: Teacher provides instruction for and to a SMALL GROUP of learners at a time.
  • Personalization: Learner drives and co-plans learning with the teacher.
    (Adapted from How to Personalize Learning, Bray & McClaskey)

This concept is best illustrated from this teacher's tweet as she evaluated the progression of her questioning:

Two years ago I was saying, “Do you have any questions?” Last year I switched to “What questions do you have?” Today I tried “Ask me two questions?” They did! And these questions led to more questions. She has found that this made a difference, “The littlest things have the biggest impact."
(Andre Sasser @MrsSasser)

We hope you enjoyed this week's Saturday Snippet, and check back next week as Erikka and Laura build on this idea further. (Don't forget you can find all Snippets Archived here for future reference!)

Category: The Linker