Personalized learning is a process; it’s an input. It can be any implementation that has the intention of customizing learning to an individual student. Here are three features you should look for when selecting apps and games for personalized learning in your classroom:
- Feedback. Feedback is information that a learner receives about performance. Feedback is “among the most powerful influences on achievement,” according to education researcher John Hattie.
- Adapting levels of difficulty. Every student response in an app can be used for formative assessment purposes. The program can then make adjustments to the curriculum path, introducing remediation to clear up difficulties the individual student may have with the content, speeding up the pace of the content or slowing it down.
- Deliberate practice. The app or game provides many opportunities for active responding, not just a few. It is not simply “drill and practice.” Instead, it relies on feedback and established performance criteria and leads to long term retention.
Karen Mahon, Ed.D., is the president and founder of Balefire Labs, an educational app and game review site that provides objective, expert reviews of ed-tech products, based on scientifically-validated measures of instructional quality. She holds a doctorate in education and is an educational psychologist and instructional designer. To learn more about Karen’s background, visit the Balefire Labs http://www.balefirelabs.com/apps/board-of-directors/ website. Karen is available via email email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @balefirelabs & @karenlmahon.
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