8. Use Technology, Space + Time as Resources
In traditional education models, space, technology and time are typically viewed as structures that place boundaries on learning. In the personalized learning experience model, they are resources that can flex and adapt to serve individual learner needs, giving students greater agency over how and where they spend their time to accomplish academic goals.
Designate large blocks of time for students to go at their own pace and have freedom to figure out the best use of their time to accomplish their goals.
Use technology to support exploration and help learners meet their short- and long-term goals.
Create a variety of spaces to offer different experiences based on student needs.
Story from the Field
How do other educators use time and space as resources? In one elementary school teacher’s classroom, there are 13 different seating options, giving students the opportunity to make choices that fulfill their needs. He also dedicates Friday afternoons to “Genius Hour” where students can work on whatever they want, taking as long as they want. Since taking on this approach, this educator has gained more one-on-one interaction time with all students.
Launch Pad: Try these Personalized Learning activities today
Create Alternative Spaces to Work
Many classrooms already have two or three spaces for students to work, such as an assigned desk or sharable group work area. Adding one or two other options (see Personalized Learning Space Elements for more ideas) can give students the freedom to choose where they work, based on their goal, task, and state of mind.
Reconsider Time Constraints
If your school is able, consider how the master schedule might change to allow for larger blocks of time to be available for deeper work. If that’s not feasible, you can still adopt techniques like a “flipped” classroom or designate one hour per week to independent study. This might work in the scope of a project, or even in the context of an entire year.
Whether its 1:1 technology assignments or shared resources, consider how technology can offload routine tasks and engage students with knowledge and resources far beyond school ways (see How Teachers and Students can Leverage Technology to Enable Personalized Learning for more ideas).