In recent years there has been more emphasis on personalized learning and giving students more voice and choice in their educational process. Is your school interested in learning how it can incorporate personalized learning into its schedule? FlexTime Manager, by Eduspire Solutions, is a software solution that makes flexible scheduling and personalized instruction not only a possibility, but one that is simple to implement. Contact us for a free demonstration today!
What Is Personalized Learning?
For years experts have been researching the effects of traditional scheduling on learning and student success. The traditional model has existed for decades without much opposition, but does that mean it’s in the best interests of the students? Doing things the way they’ve always been done is rarely a recipe for success. In recent years, the winds of change and innovation have swept across the nation’s school systems, prompting questions about personalized learning and new ways to approach instruction. FlexTime Manager, by Eduspire Solutions, is a software solution that makes flexible scheduling and personalized instruction not only a possibility, but one that is simple to implement amid the sometimes rigid structure of predetermined school curriculum and structure.
The consensus on what equates to a personalized learning experience is vague, as the internet is awash with myriad and sometimes conflicting definitions. To put it simply, one could say that personalized learning is a student-centric approach to instruction, intended to provide and maximize ideal conditions for student success by giving them more voice and choice in their education.
To be more specific, “personalized learning” is a broad, umbrella term that can point to instructional shifts such as technology integration to support curriculum, adjustments in the pace of (and approach to) learning with the understanding that every student learns differently, and a competency or mastery-based format where students are not just expected to memorize rote information but retain and demonstrate practical knowledge through application.
Much of this is still teacher or school driven, however, and fails to account for the student’s role in their own education. If a student were to become actively engaged in choosing his or her instructional path, they would need to have a say in how their education should play out. This is where student voice and student choice enter the personalized learning arena, stage right.
It’s Not Scary When Students Have a Say
There will always be resistance to change. Proponents of “the old way of doing things,” who have a “don’t-fix-what’s-not-broken” mentality, may wince at the thought of giving students control over their educational destiny. Images of food fights and an auditorium full of students with their faces buried in their cell phones may cause cringing, but that’s not what students are asking for at all.
When taking into account different types of learners and their learning styles, it’s interesting to see how creativity comes into play. Flexible activity periods with therapy animals, mindfulness exercises, radio shows, and student clubs and electives offer students a great, stress-free way to recharge and pursue interests (or complete study and homework) within the school day instead of having to stay after school to do so.
How Can Schools Deliver on the Promise of Personalized Learning?
With specialized flexible period scheduling software such as FlexTime Manager, students choose teacher-scheduled activities and can personalize their schedules on-the-go. Teachers still maintain the final say with the ability to override a student’s chosen activity — for example, if the student missed a test and the teacher schedules him or her to make it up, that student will not be able to select a desired activity during the time the teacher scheduled the makeup test.
Teachers can offer and schedule any activity whenever they have capacity, leaving it open for students to select, or making it available to only a small group of students. There are also mandatory remediation rosters that are admin-controlled. Furthermore, attendance updates automatically through cloud-based technology. Teachers can take attendance online and the data is updated from SIS onto student rosters. This type of software also promotes a culture of students serving students by instantly matching students to available tutors. Students are less stressed, more engaged in their learning, and more driven to achieve when they have some control over the structure of their day.
Principals also enjoy the effortless management of students, as they are aware of the whereabouts of any student at a given time with schedules visible to all admins. Software tools such as FlexTime Manager provides transparency and ease of scheduling without the headaches previously thought to be associated with the administration of activity periods.
How Can You Get Involved?
If your school has been interested in offering flexible activity periods, it’s worth setting up a free demonstration by Eduspire Solutions. Many schools want to improve culture and engagement but don’t know where to start. There is usually trepidation regarding the infrastructure to support such initiatives administratively and/or technologically. However, FlexTime Manager is easy to implement and runs on any device and operating system. To learn more about pricing and schedule a personalized webinar, contact Eduspire Solutions today.