e I just finished a live stream through Periscope for #PassTheScopeEdu. This is a Twitter hashtag that is used by a growing group of educators who love to share what they are learning through Periscope and Twitter. They take one day each month to give educators a chance to share their thoughts on a specific educational topic and they did a great job of live streaming ISTE 17! Today #PassTheScopeEdu is focusing on educational #HotTopics. If you miss today's streams, you can always look under those hashtags and view the videos when you have a chance.
The topic I chose to discuss was Personalized Learning and Data. I will say that I was nervous, I talked faster than I intended, and I did not go as deeply as I had intended to go. While I am used to recording myself (mostly through my podcast) and sharing with others, live streaming is a whole different ball game. Usually I record and do some editing before release. I mean I had some notes and I had thought a long time about what I was going to say and how I wanted to say it, but it's still not the same as being able to record and make changes prior to release.
So here is the short blog version of what I scoped about this morning:
Personalized learning is one of those new education buzz words that I continue to hear about at conferences, Twitter chats, and pretty much anywhere that teachers get together to discuss student learning. While it is a great word that describes what we strive to do, I feel that like other educational buzz words that we use we often forget what we are really trying to do. We are really trying to just do what is best for our students. Teachers work tirelessly to do everything that they can to ensure their students are learning and making connections to their learning. Call it differentiation, call it personalization, or any other term, but it is just good teaching.
I wanted to draw a line connecting personalization and the idea behind it to using data to drive instruction when I saw a tweet that said data driven classrooms were not personalization. I disagree. The word "data" has a negative connotation because we think of testing with bias multiple choice standardized tests. While this is a form of data, it is not all that data is. Data is any information that you gather, in this case, about your students. Data can be an observation of a student, a conversation, a rubric score, a journal that a student wrote, a video a student made, etc.
If we rethink what data is, we can see that a data driven classroom can be a personalized classroom. Because I consider all of the data that I gather in any number of ways, I can take all of those data points into account as I facilitate learning opportunities that are personalized to my students' needs and interests. The two concepts can and should work together.