What Place Personalization

Smarter than yesterdayOne of the topics of my workshop in San Diego was podcasting.  It was a real bear, as my Audacity refused to operate predictably — (Tech is wonderful until you use technology to demonstrate technology).  That problem, however, has been solved by reinstalling Audacity.

Since we did not have access to microphones for the audience, I recorded a podcast with the group, by asking them some questions about what they’d learned so far and the impact that they saw with student performance and their own performance as teachers.  One of the members of the group of 30 mentioned something that I’d heard before.  But the way that he said it sent me in a new direction.  He said something about how blogs, wikis, and podcasting allow our students’ learning experiences to be more personalized.

At this, it occurred to me that as our youngsters are engaged in their social networks at home, it appears that they do not endeavor to create MySpace pages that are just like those of their friends.  Instead, it seems that one of the goals is to establish and illustrate their uniqueness.  They use their online information experience to project their individuality — their person.  Of course, their expressions isn’t always authentic, that they will often project a person they are not, as experiment or as fun.  But it is uniqueness none the less.

So what is it in the learning experiences that we maintain for our students in our classrooms that calls on their uniqueness, that asks them to personalize?  If, rather than expecting them to turn in work that is the same as everyone else, we expected them to express what they are learning in a way that is unlike anyone else, might this be one way of starting to integrate, among other things, the Creativity and Innovation that the new ISTE NETS are calling for?

I don’t know.  What do you think?  What might this look like?

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Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.