Jan 072012

Learning Strategies in 2012+

By Tom McDonald, McDonald Sales and Marketing, LLC., 1/6/12

You also may find  “Supporting Articles Validating the Urgent Need for Education Reform” Pages 1-5 interesting

Bill Brandon, in Learning Solutions Magazine, does a very nice job of identifying the new learning strategies in his 12/30/11 article

The new long term, learning model is below, with additional, supporting, documentation. Those that come closest to this new, truly personalized,  disruptive, learning model, will achieve individual, critical, learning , transfer, successful application, behavior change and adaptive reasoning skills, consistent with strategic individual/organizational objectives, in the shortest individual time possible (think differentiated instruction and differentiated reinforcement).

Those that hang on to the traditional one to many ‘sage on the stage’ approach (think event based lecture) will be left behind.

The New Long term, Learning Model:

(1)  Instructor facilitated, truly personalized, learning methodology, over time, (2) With instructor facilitated, truly personalized, reinforcement, over time, (3) In an instructor facilitated, truly personalized blended learning environment, over time,  (4) Supplemented by truly personalized learning technology.

Where individual long term, learning, = Instructor Facilitated, Appropriate:  initial understanding, ongoing reinforcement, fluency/mastery, recall (eliminating forgetting), application, stick/behavior change, in the most effective and most efficient way possible

This key question still remains:

If individual learning, of critical must know information to fluency,  in the shortest time possible, consistent with strategic organizational objectives  is the new mandate, why are we not changing to embrace the new model? Here are some possible weak reasons against change…and some strong arguments for change.

(1) I’m integrating personalized learning  and accelerated learning methodologies into my instruction…

…Spectacular! You are on the right path. Note that for affordable and scalable, differentiated instruction and differentiated reinforcement to occur (truly personalized learning), you need truly personalized learning technology. This will integrate research proven learning methodologies into your instruction as well as into your the learning software, empowering each participant with a consistent, personalized and customized learning plan, as well as individualized spacing,  pacing and reinforcement over time (customized to each individual).

(2) There are so many ‘learning technology’ choices available. I don’t know where to start…

…There are lots and lots of ‘learning technology’ choices, but you will find very few of them offer truly personalized learning technology (TPLT). Ask these questions to narrow your focus to truly personalized learning technology:  (a) Does your TPLT offer true differentiated learning and differentiated reinforcement?  (b) Does your TPLT allow for the assessment of individual student learning gaps and then create a customized learning plan for each student specific to their individual learning gaps? (c)  Does your TPLT allow you to monitor the learning progress of each individual participant? (d) Outline your TPLT individualized learning methodology. (e) Please send me the learning research theory & learning methodology that supports your TPLT learning platform. (f) Show me real examples of where your learning technology has advanced individual learning. (g) Can I see a demo of your TPLT where you demonstrate and explain your truely personalized approach?

Keep in mind that a one to many teaching methodology, (think lecture), individually delivered over cool technology, IS NOT personalized learning, nor is it truly personalized learning technology.

(3) The supporting/validating research is not there…

… This is just not the case. There is more than adequate learning research validating this new approach, including documented, real learning advances:

I.    NMC Horizon (K-12)

II.   Thomas B. Fordham Institute


IV.   US Department of Education

V.    Center For Digital Education

VI.  Telstra

VII.  The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) – UK

VIII. Dr. Nish Sonwalkar (MIT)

IX. NMC Horizon (Higher Education)

X.  University College Dublin; Geraldine O’Neill and Tim McMahon

XI.  STAR, School Technology Action Report, by eSchool Media, Inc.

XII. Teach for America and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

XIII. The Gates Foundation

XIIII. Speak Up and Project Tomorrow

XV. The National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality (TQ Center)

XVI. National School Boards Association

XVII. Alliance for Excellent Education

XVIII. International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)

XVIX. Digital Learning Now!

XX. The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)

XXI.  Nesta, the London Knowledge Lab (LKL) and Learning Sciences Research Institute (LSRI), University of Nottingham

  • Decoding Learning Report; [ Nesta commissioned the London Knowledge Lab (LKL) and Learning Sciences Research Institute (LSRI), University of Nottingham, to analyse how technology has been used in the UK education systems and lessons from around the world].

XXII. Data Quality Campaign

XXIII. epic-ed

XXIV. One-to-One Institute

XXV.Ventureramp, Jim Brazell, CEO

  • Cyber Education: The Role of Technology in Education Transformation
  • Jim Brazell  presents why STEM (science, technology, engineering & Math), individual deep, long term, learning, transfer and application, is strategically important and makes a strong case for the need to integrate “college readiness” and “career readiness”
    • Audio ( 60 minutes+)
    • Supporting Power Point (148 slides to visually follow along to the audio)

XXVI. Hewlett Foundation

XXVII. Nellie Mae Education Foundation

XXVIII.  Success Stories

  • Elementary Schools:

XXIX. The Campaign for Grade Level Reading

XXX. Promethean Education Strategy Group

XXXI. University Ventures

XXXII. The Connected Learning Research Network

XXXIII. The Wallace Foundation

XXXIV. The Sloan Consortium

XXXV. Innosight Institute; K-12 Blended Learning

XXXVI. Alliance to Reform Education Leadership

  • Operating in the Dark

XXXVII:  Brookings

(4) Truly Personalized Learning Technology is not yet Available…

…This is simply not true. Truly personalized learning technology has been available  since 2000, if not sooner.

(5)  I’d like to first try this ‘new revolutionary learning approach’ I read about, or my colleague suggested, to see if I can better my learning outcomes…

…The only new learning approaches that you need to integrate, are the ones that solid learning research validate. The time for additional learning trial and error has come and gone.

‘Learning Styles’ and why you shouldn’t use them,   When it is appropriate to individually deliver instruction over ‘cool technology’

(6) I’m using our current learning technology to create your  recommended blended learning environment…

Your current ‘learning technology’, more than likely, is either a content management system/knowledge management system (place to store and access one to many word docs, videos, pdf files – not really learning technology) and/or is a traditional one to many teaching delivery system. Either way, neither is a truly personalized learning approach, using truly personalized learning technology.

(7) Individual change is difficult…

…Yes it certainly is, but we are changing all of the time, in other chosen circumstances, to better our strategic outcomes. Aren’t we supposed to be focused on the learner and organizational strategic outcomes?

(8) I have no positive or negative incentive to change…

…Really? Your only motivation to make things better is outside motivation? What happened to your internal desire to make things better, simply because you can? Isn’t our focus on the learner and advanced learning outcomes, consistent with strategic organizational objectives?

(9) I’m not an early adopter. I’ll wait until the new learning approach has been specifically proven to advance learning  in my defined world, possibly with one of my colleagues first…

…You want proven benefits delivered to you this way? Learning is learning. Advanced individual learning effectiveness and efficiency, with critical must know information, is bettered individual learning outcomes in any environment.  There is ample, available, market proof that individual learning outcomes are advanced with this new personalized learning  approach. Why not see for yourself what you are missing, as well as what your learners are missing?

(10) I don’t know how to…

…This is a realistic statement for anything new. You first  need to read and understand everything you can about personalized learning, personal learning environments and the learning theory research that validates/verifies their effectiveness. You will then become an knowledgeable advocate. Learning technology providers, learning consultants and your innovative colleagues, can help you transition from the old teaching model to the new learning model.

Have I missed any other reasons to not change to the new learning model, along with parallel supporting arguments for change?

Please let me know. Tom



To Discuss how these Solutions will add value for you, your organization and/or your clients, Affinity/Resale Opportunities, and/or Collaborative Efforts, Please Contact:

Tom McDonald, tsm@centurytel.net; 608-788-5144; Skype: tsmw5752

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