Personalized Learning with Digital Experiences

Schools that can promote happiness are key to ensuring better well-being, health, and achievement, as well as success in life…calling for education systems to shift away from traditional measures and to instead embrace a diversity of talents and intelligences by recognizing values, strengths, and competencies that contribute to enhancing happiness.

UNESCO, Happy Schools: A Framework for Learner Well-being, 2016

No one is average…. Today we have the ability to understand individuals and their talents on a level that was not possible before. Schools will be able to nurture excellence in every student.

Todd Rose, Harvard education expert, The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness, 2016

Personalized learning is among the goals of countries like South Korea, Finland, and the United Arab Emirates where governments have explicitly prioritized happiness. Personalized learning helps schools to modernize teaching by adapting the learning pace and pedagogy to learner needs, interests, and choices. Effective personalized learning environments provide tools and learning resources that students use in self-directed and self-paced learning. Learner mastery, engagement, and independence are core goals. OECD described the imperative for personalized education to overcome boundaries of socio-economics, time, and space to maximize education opportunities for each student. The 2015 Horizon K-12 report named personalized learning as a difficult challenge in education today.

Digital experiences offer an environment ready for personalized learning. OneNote is the ultimate launching point for each student’s personalized learning journey. OneNote Class Notebooks can be set up in moments and customized easily by integrating a growing range of engaging media for knowledge acquisition, skill development, and learning application in comprehensive tasks. Adapting the pace and pedagogy requires access to content and tools for learning anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Because learning is deepest with guidance and interaction, the content and tools should be collaborative. Using OneNote, teachers can create flexible pathways through learning for students. For example,

  • Provide specific resources and assignments directly to individual student notebooks or to a group of students
  • Use the formats that will best connect to each student’s preferences, abilities, and interests, including text, images, audio, video, embedded or linked
  • Give feedback for student work using ink, audio, typing, or video
  • Rapidly assess and record student results

Research-based strategies for personalize learning with OneNote

To realize the potential of personalized learning for all, several existing strategies for learning need to be integrated into a coherent and pragmatic meta-system. A recent review of personalized learning programs identified the strategies in the table below.

Strategy Personalized learning experiences in OneNote
1. Analytics from student, learning, and content systems to recommend learning path and broader efficiency Integrate lessons that make students feel like you are talking directly to them, with built-in assessment and analytics using Office Mix
2. Curriculum and teaching that allows students to interact in multiple ways Students can be naturally productive using various options to complete tasks, including Digital Ink, keyboards, voice, and touch. OneNote can be adapted using Learning Tools
3. Content for personal paths Embed rich media stories designed by students using Sway
4. Learning spaces for flexible learning in changeable environments OneNote works on any device, online or offline
5. Professional capacity for student-centered and personalized learning Find OneNote lessons for your curriculum in the Microsoft Educator community

Planning a personalized learning implementation

OneNote and personalized learning can be more powerful, streamlined, and comprehensive when they are part of Microsoft Classroom, where assignments, calendars, data, and more come together.

For a school, the transition to personalized learning requires attention to curriculum and assessment, educator capacity, policy and strategy, design of learning environments, and other issues including anytime, anywhere access to learning tools and resources. The Microsoft in Education Transformation Framework is a resource that helps education systems successfully make these transitions. The Framework is a guide for educators and leaders engaged in holistic education transformation. The critical conversations needed for effective transformation of education systems are the focus of the Framework series. Each paper in this series presents a global perspective on the topic through the current thinking and evidence from research and practice, as well as showcase examples. Specifically, the papers document the contributions of anytime anywhere approaches to K-12 learning and explore the potential of new technology for transforming learning outcomes for students and their communities.

More information

·       Technology Planning

·       Microsoft in Education Transformation Framework Overview

·       Personalized Learning for Global Citizens

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