Education, in a sense, gives us the ability to understand better and the freedom to express our mind. The learning fundamentals of children are built from the curiosity. They wonder, explore, question, examine, develop initial hypothesis or conjecture and develop their own explanation and understanding. That’s the way we acquire the ability of learning to learn. Consider an example of a curious child. S/he notices an insect crawling on a tree and vigorously eating its leaves. S/he is naturally curious. If s/he gets conducive support and nudge in following her inquiry, she is likely to discover the life cycle of the butterfly on her own. Such a learning would be much more authentic and joyful than what a teacher may teach in the classroom from the book. Such an engaged learning may easily turn into a lifetime experience. Delight in discovery develops the encouragement and expansion of mental calibre. It further helps in building confidence and self-esteem. However, as children reach their teens, curiosity tends to dip. Multiple factor can be pointed out for such a slump including the overload of information. This is where personalized learning steps in, playing an important role.
Personalized learning, in short, is to orient teaching learning to suit the different needs of students. All students are expected to learn their subject matter within a stipulated time. While many find themselves ahead, there are many who are left behind. As a result, their learning outcomes suffer. Not all learners are enthused to understand concepts explained through lectures alone. Some may find experiment more exciting. Others may like more to work with diagram or educational videos as learning accompaniment. Working on project with peer gives some students to discover their potential. In the ‘personalized learning’ mode teacher is alert to a student’s specific needs if s/he is struggling with a certain concept in a subject. Teacher identifies as to which students need help in which direction or area. She offers them deeper engagement through the integration of a variety of ways including the digital and new modes of learning. Thus, teacher offers alternate modes of learning opportunity to each student specifically. Such a targeted approach improves learning engagement and outcomes while boosting student’s self-confidence and refining his ability for deep learning.
The key to personalized learning, in nutshell, is to ensure the academic success of each student by first determining the learning needs, interests, and aspirations of individual students by providing customised learning experiences both online and offline. It serves as an important catalyst for anytime, anywhere learning, in addition to providing solutions to the diverse learning challenges that a child faces.