Jan 152012

newsletter, McDonald Sales and Marketing, LLC

Newsletter, Issue #11,  1/15/12,  Learning  Strategies in 2012

Learning Strategies in 2012

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

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 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 Learning Model:

Instructor facilitated, truly personalized learning methodology, in a blended learning environment, supplemented by truly personalized learning technology.

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 Report

II.   Thomas B. Fordham Institute Reports

III.  SIIA-ASCD-CCSSO Symposium on [Re]Design for Personalized Learning

IV.   A Meta-Analysis and Review of  Online Learning Studies, US Department of Education

V.    Center For Digital Education: The Evolving Classroom

VI.   Personalized Learning – Meeting the Australian Educational Challenge

VII.  An Investigation of Personalized Learning: Approaches used by Schools

VIII. Dr. Nish Sonwalkar’s Adaptive Learning Channel

IX. The 2012 NMC Horizon Report on higher education

X. Student-centred learning: What does it mean for students and lecturers?

(4) Truely personalized learning technology is not yet available…

…This is simply not true. Truely 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 truely personalized learning approach, using truely 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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