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Ramona Pierson - Mass Customisation and Personalisation of Learning

Ramona Pierson - Mass Customisation and Personalisation of Learning

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Published by José Paulo Santos
Education is at a turning point worldwide.
Seeking ways to transform or to even
revolutionise the system, due to its current
ineffective status for so many children,
has been fuel for local, national, and
international debate. Most education
systems were designed by our forebears
during the industrial era to meet the needs
of their time, which was to produce citizens
prepared to work in mass production
jobs. Education systems leveraged mass
production techniques to educate both
students and educators in the past. These
techniques are still being used today even
though the necessary skills in the workforce
have changed, as have the needs of
society.
Education is at a turning point worldwide.
Seeking ways to transform or to even
revolutionise the system, due to its current
ineffective status for so many children,
has been fuel for local, national, and
international debate. Most education
systems were designed by our forebears
during the industrial era to meet the needs
of their time, which was to produce citizens
prepared to work in mass production
jobs. Education systems leveraged mass
production techniques to educate both
students and educators in the past. These
techniques are still being used today even
though the necessary skills in the workforce
have changed, as have the needs of
society.

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Categories:Types, Resumes & CVs
Published by: José Paulo Santos on Aug 31, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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034
EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS
034
EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS
       c       o       v       e       r       s         t       o       r       y
Ramona J Pierson
Education is at a turning point worldwide.Seeking ways to transorm or to evenrevolutionise the system, due to its currentineective status or so many children,has been uel or local, national, andinternational debate. Most educationsystems were designed by our orebearsduring the industrial era to meet the needso their time, which was to produce citizensprepared to work in mass production jobs. Education systems leveraged massproduction techniques to educate bothstudents and educators in the past. Thesetechniques are still being used today eventhough the necessary skills in the workorcehave changed, as have the needs osociety. We have not done a good job oeducating all o our students. Nor have weprepared them or the rapidly changingworld that awaits them. In act, we haveno idea what the uture will bring nor canwe even imagine the skill sets that theywill require. What we do know is that thestatus quo is unsustainable both morallyand economically. As a result, we mustundamentally change our educationsystems so we can provide all o our studentswith the skills they will need to navigate inan uncertain world.The education system is under growingpressure to change in order to meet thedemands o a changing world, whichis resulting in a movement towards astudent- centric learning system. Thisparadigm shit rom a mass productionsystem to a mass customised andpersonalised learning system has thepotential to nurture individual humanpotential and encourage creativity inboth students and teachers.
Mass CustomisationAnd PersonalisationOf Learning
Education is not the flling o a pail,but the lighting o a fre. (William Butler Yeats) 
 
Our Students Are Different
I we watched students today completetheir homework or conduct research, wewould notice that they utilise a variety omeans including but not limited to theinternet, social interactions with domainexperts, online tutors, and/or otherstudents. Children have learned to learndierently today – so when we hand thema paper textbook, it must eel like theystepped back in time, and they have! Thematerial in paper textbooks is years out odate and represents a singular perspective.The reality o inormation is that it is growingand changing dynamically and that noone person or organisation is the ultimateauthority on the subject. For instance,i one looks into a textbook about thegovernment o Egypt, will that textbookhave the relevant changes that have justoccurred in that country? What i we couldmake sure that the inormation deliveredto our students is accurate, current, andpersonalised to that student’s speciclearning needs and individual learningpathway?Currently, in the United States thereare several pilot projects across variousinnovation sites in New York, Indianapolis,Texas, and Colorado that are pushing tocreate personalised learning systems orstudents. Although unique in presentationand application, each model recognisesthat students may need a personalisedlearning pathway as they move throughlessons, curricula, and textbooks. Althoughmodality is oten highlighted as theindividualising actor or educationalreorm, content must also be linked to eachstudent. Algorithms and comprehensive
 
EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS
035
 EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS
035
 
 
036
EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS
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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS
036
EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS
       c       o       v       e       r       s         t       o       r       y
data individualise the experience or thestudent based on a personalised learningpathway. For instance, a student wouldlog into a learning portal and receive acustomised textbook and lessons, andwould rotate through learning experiencesthat refect the way in which he/she learnsbest. This learning experience might bevery similar or very dierent rom his/herpeers. This is an exciting and realisablescenario.Technological advancements haveexploded within the schools. Schools anddistricts have the capacity to personaliselearning at scale. Computers, interactivewhiteboards, tablets, mobile devices,as well as building out inrastructure andconnecting data systems, will, oncesynchronised with other service providers,provide the oundation or scaling thesepersonalised learning programs. Thenext step involves the renement anddevelopment o essential componentsincluding ‘mashable’ digital content,embedded assessments tightly coupled tothe curriculum, and learning progressionsmade ‘dynamic’ by ‘algorithms’ (AI) ormathematical engines. These algorithmsintegrated with learning progressions arewhat one would call the heart o the newsystem. This AI engine can dynamicallyprogram the learning progressionscontinually or each student, interpret andadjust to the cross subject area interaction(the eect the maths progressions have onhumanities and so orth), and associatecurriculum, content, and learning strategiesbased on this dynamic learning process.Imagine how powerul it would be or astudent to have a customised textbook,sequencing o lessons, and embeddedassessments that dynamically changed toensure that he/she masters the material inthe way that makes sense, and would resultin obtaining nationally set benchmarksand learning outcomes. Additionally,incorporating learning theories rom thecognitive sciences to support the individualdierences in thinking and inormationprocessing is crucial, as are considerationsregarding the interplay o emotions,intentions, and social issues associatedwith the learning process. Thus, creating abalanced, personalised learning programrequires integrating content that refectsmany modalities o learning, whichengages and inspires learning across manylearning preerences.One project in particular is aggressivelycreating a learning ecosystem acrossmultiple partners in order to bring manylearning modalities, content resources,and types to ensure all learners experiencesomething that refects their personallearning pathway. This project is launchingrom the University o Denver (DU) inColorado, in collaboration with this author.In act the DU project will also incorporatethe teacher into the personalised learningenvironment or proessional development.
The Role OfThe Educator Is Changing
Teachers in many places throughoutthe world have noted changes in theirstudents. Their own roles have changed inresponse to their students and their rapidlyevolving environments. In act, when asked,

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