The Personalized Teaching Conference to Promote Personalized Learning
The Personalized Learning Conference is an event that spotlights the importance of personalized learning and helps educators begin their journey towards personalizing education for every student. Personalized learning improves student engagement and achievement, develops students to be lifelong learners, and better prepares them for college and careers.
Why Personalized Learning?
"Personalized Learning, Personalized Teaching, and Educational Technology are becoming cornerstones of promoting student success by individualizing instruction based on the needs, interests, and strengths of students. As new technologies and practices emerge, opportunities to build instructional systems around students are becoming much more available and this provides opportunities to provide instruction in non-traditional ways. The world is changing and our schools need to keep up. Students need to become problem solvers and collaborators. They need to take ownership of their learning and become lifelong learners. To do this, students need learning in classrooms to be accessible, relevant, and reflective of how they learn outside of school. We think classroom environments need to change in order to meet the needs of students today and prepare them for tomorrow. Personalized learning helps us do that.
What is Personalized Learning?
Personalized learning means that students get the instruction they need, when they need it. We believe there are many good and valid approaches to personalize learning for students. They include: blended learning (which we think is usually a good starting place), competency-based learning, culturally-responsive teaching, project-based learning, and a focus on incorporating student choice and agency into instructional decisions. Through our design thinking process, we believe we can support any district and school to personalize learning for students, regardless of their approach. However, we believe personalized learning is most successful at scale when technology is used effectively, classrooms are redesigned, and districts have a clear plan for supporting schools through the transition.
An Opportunity for Choice
An important component of personalized learning is choice in how something is learned. We want to share and model this for attendees of the Personalized Learning Conference. At this event, there will be over 30 unique sessions. Each of these sessions focuses on one (or more) of nine different personalized learning strands, which include:
- Student agency
- Differentiated instruction
- Immediate instructional interventions and supports for each student is on-demand, when needed
- Flexible pacing
- Individual student profiles (personalized learning plans)
- Deeper learning and problem solving to develop meaning
- Frequent feedback from instructors and peers
- Standards-based, world-class knowledge and skills
- Anywhere, anytime learning
- Performance-based assessments (project-based learning, portfolios, etc.)*
*List adopted from iNACOL's Elements of Personalized Learning
Conference sessions will be presented in a variety of ways, which will allow attendees to quickly gather information and/or dive deeply into a topic of interest. There are three types of session formats:
40-minute Information Sessions
40-minute Information Sessions
- Information sessions are quick sessions that focus on one or two topics. They are designed so that attendees can quickly learn about new research, tools, and/or ideas. Presenters will share additional resources so that attendees can further explore the topics presented in these sessions.
- Roundtable discussions are not presentations. They are opportunities for educators to discuss topics that are important to them. Each discussion will be facilitated by a moderator, who will help structure and guide conversations (as needed) so that all participants can gain common understandings and leave with actionable ideas.
- Breakout sessions are meant for those who want to dive deeply into a specific topic. Many of these sessions will be hands-on and allow participants to explore new tools and/or ideas. Other sessions will provide detailed overviews of research and/or ideas along with steps to follow for utilizing this information in a classroom, school, and/or district.
A Personalized Conference for Attendees
Ever attend a conference where there were multiple sessions you wanted to attend, but they were all offered at the same time? We hope to fix this at the Personalized Learning Conference. Leading up to this event, registered attendees will be given the opportunity to rate their level of interest in each session. This information will be used to create a schedule personalized for conference attendees. Through this structure, we hope to provide all attendees with sessions that are of interest to them throughout the day, as well as reduce overlap of sessions that are of greatest interest to attendees.
Time and Location
The Personalized Learning Conference will be held at the Kent ISD Educational Service Center on May 3, 2017 from 8:15AM - 3:30PM.
8:15AM Conference Kickoff
9:25AM Conference Sessions
10:10AM Conference Sessions
10:55AM Conference Sessions
11:30AM Lunch (Provided)
1:25PM Conference Sessions
2:10PM Conference Sessions
2:55PM Conference Sessions
3:30PM End of Conference
Kent ISD Educational Service Center
2930 Knapp Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525