The Horizon Report part 4 - Challenges impeding technology adoption

Significant Challenges Impeding Technology Adoption in K-12 Education

See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, of this series on the Horizon Report 2015

Difficult Challenges: Those that we understand but for which solutions are elusive 

  • Personalizing Learning:
    The move toward personalised learning has been discussed for many years. Previously termed Student Centred Learning, there is much research discussing this concept for many years. 1990, 1997, 2000. Another term that impacts on personalised learning is differentiation, where we make adjustments to cater for the needs of all abilities in the classroom. The evolution of personalised learning has been made more possible by technology. 

    Personalised learning challenges the traditional educational paradigm. For this model to progress we need to modify teaching pedagogies from traditional methods of imparting knowledge to teachers facilitating learning.

    This will require cultural and attitudinal change from teachers, students and parents as well as the wider community. Teachers need to enable students to explore and start learning from the level they are at. Teachers will need to teach students to approach learning in a different manner, one with curiosity, exploration and responsibility, rather than passively receiving information.

    Many educators have begun to implement a form of personalised learning by way of
    Personal Interest Projects and Genius Hour. While true personalised learning goes beyond personal interest projects they are a great way to start. Other pedagogies that are being explored by teachers include guided inquiryinquiry learningchallenge based learning and the maker movement. There is a still a place for direct instruction. The difference is the teacher needs to meet each student where they are at regardless of how "behind" or "ahead" they are.

    This year I have developed and implemented a year 8 elective in computational thinking. The interesting part of this elective it is a blended class with 1 hour face to face a fortnight and 2

    hours private study a fortnight. It is a 6 month course where students work on personal interest projects and document their learning using learning blogs. I have written about this on several occasions.

    Personal Interest Projects Part 1, Part 2
    Projects for a new Paradigm
    Computational Thinking and an online course