Integrating digital content with face-to-face teaching is proving to be a powerful new technique in classrooms all over the country, and is being used during the school day as well during CPN afterschool programs at two of our Neighborhood schools.
Personalized learning is a technique that fuses traditional teaching via an instructor with digital content– the combination of face-to-face and face-to-screen learning. It individualizes instruction based on the needs of the student, utilizing differentiated instruction software on digital devices. It may vary from classroom to classroom, but is consistently effective in driving academic achievement in schools across the country.
How does it work? Personalized learning allows students to drive their own individual learning experience, with opportunity to engage varied learning styles (audio, visual, kinesthetic), and to adjust to each student’s learning pace. An 8th grader who masters 8th grade standards and content can keep working towards high school credit using this model, while an 8th grader who needs remediation can pull from teacher and digital resources to catch up. Teachers benefit from personalized learning because it allows for instant feedback and quick formative and summative assessments, in addition to differentiated instruction.
Teachers at Chicora and Sanders-Clyde have implemented personalized learning during the school day, and if the recent Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test results are any indication of its power, it is working. One of Charleston Promise Neighborhood’s Youth Promise students has been immersed in the personalized learning method, and her January MAP score results as compared to those from September indicate several grade levels of gains in literacy!
In addition, CPN utilizes personalized learning in our Expanded Learning Time (ELT) afterschool programming at Chicora and Sanders-Clyde. For example, during the academic block of the afterschool program, students rotate between working in small groups with certified teachers and then working with digital content using Dimension U and KidzMath. Citadel Young Authors, one of CPN’s afterschool enrichment providers that engages students in writing utilizing multi-media, delivers content digitally with the instructor intervening mostly for assessments. CPN aims to provide our students with every resource and tool they need to be successful in school and life. Implementing new teaching techniques like personalized learning during our afterschool programs ensures that students are engaged and invested in the learning process, while equipping them with skills necessary to succeed in a digital-driven world.
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