Personalized learning environments

Being able to study anywhere and anytime has become familiar especially during the spring 2020. Covid-19 pandemic forced even first-graders to take a leap into digital learning environments.

Personalized learning environment (PLE) usually means a digital space where the learner has access to learning materials. He or she can also collect together different materials, create new ones and also share them with others. Materials may be files, lectures, videos, blogs, tasks etc.

Features of personalized learning environment:
1) Students are more engaged to learning
2) Increases students feeling of “owning” the knowledge
3) Gives students more autonomy
4) Gives connection to real life
5) Increases creativity
6) Increases deep learning, critical thinking and understanding things
7) Makes sharing ideas easier
8) Creates an atmosphere of mutual respect between student and teacher and increases the independence of students

Still some students feel that personalized learning environment gives an opportunity to avoid liability when there is no teacher present all the time. Could say that the good sides can be really good for students who are willing to take responsibility of their learning. On the other hand PLE may be challenging if students are not that motivated to learning.

In article “Zuckerberg is ploughing billions into ‘personalised learning’ – why?” written by Natalia Kucirkova and Elizabeth FitzGerald in 2015, is contemplated also the other side of personalized learning. In this article is described how Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg thinks that personalized learning is about working with students and customizing instructions to meet the interests and needs of the students. It would be extremely dangerous to give students chance to decide what they want to learn. The content needs to be at least partly planned by professionals to ensure that all students have a chance to gain general knowledge they need during their life. There are different type of learners and they need different types of teaching. This is guaranteed under the guidance of qualified teacher. To find relevant content for children, you can’t use algorithms, a teacher is once again needed.

PLE provides new possibilities among adults and in lifelong learning. It enables studying in when ever and where ever. When all materials can be reached by picking up your cellphone, even commuting can become a chance to increase your competence. Adults can take more responsibility of their own studies so little bit freedom is just welcome.

Reflections on personal learning environments: theory and practice
Education Elements – Personalized learning
FitzGerald, E. & Kucirkoca, N. Zuckerberg is ploughing billions into ‘personalised learning’ – why?
Abd halim, N.D., Bilal Ali, M. B & Yahaya, N. – Personalized Learning Environment: A New Trend in Online Learning

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