Personalized Learning Series: Resources Coronado Teachers are Leveraging to Support Personalized Education

Posted by: District 2 years, 2 months ago

Personalized Learning Series: Resources Coronado Teachers are Leveraging to Support Personalized Education

We view technology as the tool to help us deliver the most personalized learning in history. When you combine these tools with the dedicated instruction of our teachers, exciting things happen.

If you were to look at all of the tools that the district provides, it would be a comprehensive list. Each year, we supply over a dozen electronic, supplemental instruction tools for teachers and students to access. We adamantly believe these tools empower teachers, helping them extend learning beyond the confines of the classroom. From typing to computer science to English and more, we have built digital resources into the foundation of our education platforms.

While we have multiple resources our teachers have access to, there are three main categories we would like to highlight. All of these components work together to enable teachers to create deeper personalized learning.

1- Adaptive Assessments

We have several adaptive assessments. These testing platforms create a unique test based on the student’s understanding of the topic. When a student doesn’t answer correctly, the next question is tailored to that. These tests provide instant data on the results to our educators.

One assessment in particular is the MAP (Measure of Academic Progress). Coronado Unified School District is extremely fortunate to have received a grant from the Department of Defense Education Activity to provide this assessment for our students.

This test measures understanding in reading, English, language arts, and math. It is given three times a year to students in grades 2-8, with only the math section given to students in algebra and geometry. Teachers instantly receive individual results, with comprehensive reports on the entire class developed within 24 hours.

The makers of this test have been creating assessment programs for 35 years. During this time, they have continually normed their data. Since they have millions of students taking this test both domestically and internationally, they have built incredible pools of research and data for our educators to access.

Application

Fundamentally, this test gives teachers a focused picture of the skillsets of their students. They can then group students based on mastery of a subject, and teach specifically to their understanding. It also highlights areas where the whole class can move on compared to topics that need to be reviewed further.

2- Unique Pathway Courseware

The adaptive assessments are a snapshot of where your student is—a diagnostic tool, if you will. To bridge the gap between the three assessment periods, we have unique pathway courseware. We view this as the prescriptive component.

One of our courseware programs, Compass Learning, partners with MAP testing to create tailored, supplemental programs. This online platform takes the findings from the MAP assessment and creates specific courses for each student to work on. If a student’s scores on division are low, the courseware tailors a lesson on division problems for the student to work on.

As they work through the topics, it gives students instant feedback. These programs use gaming incentives to encourage students to push themselves to get better and learn the material. 

Application

First, this empowers students to become the driver of their own education. If they take an hour or two a week to dig into areas they struggle with, they can rapidly advance their learning. Since it can be accessed remotely, they have the ability to access learning 24/7. Now they are able to access instruction on the timeframe that works best for them. This is a great tool for students who need extra time with a topic or missed class time because they were sick.

Additionally, teachers can build their own pathways within the platform. This gives them the ability to pair this program with their lesson plan. If they find that the class needs extra attention on a specific topic, they can create that pathway for students to continue working with that subject.

One of the most exciting developments from the blending of the assessments and pathway courseware is the ability to create custom learning plans and student specific goals. We are currently working toward every student having a personal education plan where they work to write and achieve goals based on the assessments. Working with their teacher, they can celebrate their strengths and target areas that need more work. Eventually, we will have an electronic portfolio with these components, so students and parents can understand where they are as a learner.

3- Google Platform

We recently hosted the Google Summit, a conference educating our teachers how to leverage different technologies to strengthen their instruction. Google as a partner in education focuses on free, easy-to-use tools that connect the teacher to the students. We have been able to integrate these tools into the Haiku Learning Management System all of our students use.

Application

Currently, we have some teachers spearheading the movement to flip the order of instruction and homework. Rather than reviewing the material in class and sending students home to troubleshoot the assignment themselves, they record a screencast or podcast of themselves teaching the material. They assign that video as homework. The next day the students regroup in class to work through the assignments in a supported environment.

This also allows students to learn at their own pace, rewinding the lesson or repeating sections as needed to understand the topic. They submit questions virtually, avoiding the unwanted attention of asking in front of their peers.

We are only scratching the surface of all the ways we can apply some of the innovative tools through these integrated platforms. Slowly we will be able to let students use a full spectrum of these programs (podcasting, presentations, video conferences, and more) to choose how they demonstrate an understanding of the material.

Journey to Deeper Learning

Today is an exciting time for the world of education. The technology, tools, and resources at our disposal have created the most personalized instruction ever. The best part is that we are continuing to move toward a deeper learning experience.

At the district, we have outlined our commitment to continue on this journey through our revised board goals