Turning School Upside Down With Personalized Learning

Learning Ecosystems and Leadership July 20, 2014

2013 WISE Summit Spotlight by Bilal Musharraf, Khan Academy

Today, each child is struggling with unique gaps in their comprehension of content but the Internet is making it possible to scale differentiated learning and teaching. Students at both ends of the spectrum, those struggling and those excelling, can be engaged at their individual levels of interest and mastery. This talk by Bilal Musharraf, Dean of Translation at Khan Academy at the 2013 WISE Summit, outlines how providing teachers and students with access to a self-paced, master-based and interactive learning tools can lead to a highly differentiated and customized online learning.
In a personalized learning environment, learners become owners of their learning and progress at their own pace rather than being pushed ahead by grade levels. A personalized curriculum takes into account an individual’s skills level, interests, strengths, weaknesses and previous knowledge. Teachers become co-learners and students are co-designers of the curriculum and work together to set a learning path, adopting multiple strategies to achieve the learning goals.
“One thing we know is that a good teacher equipped with the tools to provide personalized instruction and a student with the same tools can experience much broader and deeper academic achievement,” Bilal Musharraf said.
Furthermore, the “one size fits all” approach can no longer be used to equip learners for the future. Comparing school to an assembly line in a factory, Bilal Musharraf says “the roots of the current education landscape lie in the industrial revolution”.  Why are we thus still learning in an education model conceived to respond to the industrial revolution skill demands? Our society has profoundly evolved and our way of learning has too.
According to Bilal Musharraf, ICTs provide countless opportunities to learn for people of all ages everywhere and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are one of the most promising supports. Watch this video to find out how Khan Academy allows individuals to learn new skills and brush up on old knowledge, anytime, anywhere. Launched in 2006 by Salman Khan, this not-for-profit online learning portal offers video lectures in academic subjects, automated exercises and continuous assessment.