In a Traditional System, is there Support for Personalized Education?
Peggy Webb was contacted by an ice hockey organization that needed to use and master a personalized learning platform.
The players wanted to skip out on the traditional school system while passionately following their ice-hockey dreams. They contacted Peggy to help them include learning in their day-to-day activities while providing them with a personalized education plan.
Peggy was excited to assist these hockey players to pursue their love of the sport while providing a platform, similar to Galileo, where these kids could choose their own interests.
It’s like an al-a-carte menu, with the dessert of your choosing! Imagine a life with no school...
...You choose your interests and pursue whatever it is that you want. In the beginning, women started teaching kids in their homes, for free, as a philanthropic endeavor and attendance was not mandatory.
In the words of Albert Einstein; “if you force-feed a pastured grazing animal, you can kill the love of learning.” This quote is a tad bit harsh.
My personal favorite is: “Never recite anything you can look up”.
And that folks, is where Galileo’s amazingly helpful Trello board comes in handy. This board provides all the advantages of personalized learning by giving kids options! Whatever you need, the resource will be available on that helpful board.
The Trello board is available and FREE for community members on our Learning Network. Interested? Join us here.
If we try to force students to learn, (kids learn every day, by the way) the love of learning will be lost. Kids blossom when they find their passion and in that regard, every child is different.
Some students thrive in traditional classrooms while others enjoy the self-directed way. It does not matter which one your kid is, the goal is to raise happy, thriving young adults.
Can you nurture the love of learning in your kid(s)? Personalized learning might be the key.
Below is the "self-directed take" on the 7 principles of personalized learning. Can you see how your family incorporates these into everyone’s educational journey?
Deep down we all want our kids to be lifelong learners, but sometimes we need a guide to take us on the journey.
Choice and Voice
These are two of the fundamental aspects of a self-directed learner.
Students will eventually grow into adults. They’ll play a part in a society where it is expected of everyone to make decisions based on facts provided.
Today’s kids are able to make decisions, and even when they make mistakes, they learn. Exactly the way adults learn! The important thing is to allow room for error.
Varied Learning Strategies
Have you heard of different strokes for different folks? Well, this is exactly the thing that applies to each and every student at Galileo.
Graphic depiction with visual symbols presented in the form of charts, diagrams, or making use of arrows. Slides of information can cause confusion to visual learners who are in need of visual elements in order to process information.
In this regard, Galileo partnered up with Doyobi to help students with coding. Doyobi’s platform uses images of the blocks in Scratch to help learners code their sprites.
These learners need to hear information to process it successfully.
Students who are classified as auditory learners are the ones who can’t take notes during a presentation or are unable to apply instructions while it is being delivered. They prefer to use their attention span while instructions or information are being delivered audibly.
Then the student will apply the things they’ve learned.
At Galileo, we make sure these students flourish by recording our sessions and of course by making some of our courses available online. Check out our on-demand courses to see what we’re talking about.
What can be said about this form of learning that hasn’t already been written? Most people who learn through reading and writing often love quotes, thesauri (yes, that is the plural form), and looking up random words on the internet.
These types of learners do not need visual or audio aids to help them process information. It’s all about the words on the paper, the google doc, or the PowerPoint presentation.
A person who learns through reading and writing is most likely someone who will enjoy university-style research assignments as well. At Galileo, we have a blog written by one of our students about delivering presentations, a glimpse into the world of those who enjoy writing to express themselves.
This form of learning includes demonstrations, simulations, videos, and movies or real things combined with the in-training applications. This means that students learn while trying out the exact demonstration of behavior modeled.
Students learn through demonstrations and can apply this method in their lives if they can draw from their own experiences. It’s the practical and relatable factors that allow kinesthetic learners to truly learn from an experience.
You probably saw this coming, didn’t you?
Students are not a one size fits all, or one size is written in stone for the rest of their lives. Think of this type of learner as more self-directed and can apply any of the four methods to fit their current needs.
Learners might choose to apply all four methods when learning to cover all the bases. This provides the student with a broader range of insight into the topic.
Educators and students alike have referenced the VARK modalities for decades.
Kids move through Galileo’s Trello board and all other resources at their own pace. They also accomplish tasks based on their individual abilities and interests. The mastery of learning is ideal for self-directed learners.
Instead of focusing on a time-bound learning schedule, each learner is allowed the freedom to gradually progress through topics. In such a case, a learner can create a timeline that may be more achievable to the student as opposed to a timeline created by an adult. This way, the student keeps themself accountable with realistic goals and outcomes.
Competency-based learning allows students to advance to the next level, be it in Kahn academy or book nook when they master the content. As soon as they can crawl, they’ll start walking at their own pace.
Just-in-Time Direct Instruction
Students can access instruction through Galileo’s Trello board, book nook, math with Kahn Academy, or any topic the student is interested in when the student needs that specific instruction. This means that a student is able to watch a tutorial online when there is a need for it.
Similar to when you watch a Youtube video to make salted caramel popcorn or that lasagne you simply can’t stop thinking about. In these cases, an in-person teacher isn’t necessary as the learner can simply use the online resources.
You get a goal, you get a goal, and everyone involved in self-directed education gets a goal! Not to quote Oprah so directly but setting up goals as a family is the key to deschooling an entire family.
Parents can model goals to demonstrate accountability and progress to a self-directed student. The best way to show kids how to act is to try to do it yourself.
Consistency is key and realistic expectations are the best way to be a successful self-directed learner. So make sure whatever goals they set are what the student actually wants.
A child who chooses a topic of interest will most likely be enthusiastic and passionate about it. Once the parent chooses the subject of interest, the student will be less likely to participate in the activity.
The student is the designated driver of the curriculum. This means that the student gets to choose the academic program or schedule. The role of the parent is to provide support and access to resources.
If this sounds ridiculous, bear with me for a moment. Consider the number of students who act out (out of boredom or lack of interest) in a traditional school where the curriculum is selected for them.
Mastery-based assessment basically gives the student the platform to become proficient in a specific subject before advancing to the next level.
If you need to compare this to something in your life, take a look at any person starting out with a computer. We all needed baby steps before we could proudly type without looking at the keyboard or send an email. That said, please note that the assessment part is based on whether the student mastered the specific topic or subject.
Assessment is not through tests or passing exams.
At Galileo, nothing is assessment-based. Since the student chooses their academic interests, the student is the one who can judge the progress made.
The Choice for Demonstrating Learning
Learning occurs when one is interested, passionate, and inspired by something. Like a florist who loves a beautiful rose and wants to take care of it, a student will improve skills or learn more about a topic when they love something.
Only if and when the student decides to will they invest time and effort into academic interests.
If you aren’t motivated to do something but still do it because it is expected of you, are you really integrating the learning? Are you finding any inspiration in the experience? If your answer is no, how do you expect a kid to do well if they aren't really enjoying the process?
This is why planning and setting up goals is so important. A self-directed kid should be made aware of basic skills that are necessary for adult life, and with this in mind, a schedule can be created where they learn these skills.
Students and families apply personalized learning strategies to fit their exact needs. Galileo is merely there to assist, provide guidance, and of course, present some fantastic learning experiences.
Check out this free guide on becoming a self-directed family to kickstart your own educational journey.
Interested in personalized learning? Subscribe to our blog posts for more information on unschooling worldschooling and the type of education that fits your entire family. Check out this awesome blog about the kind of learning experiences Galileo offers.
...Here’s a clue: it’s everything you need and more!