https://edexcellence.net/articles/dont-let-personalized-learning-become-the-processed-food-of-education

Here’s an excellent piece by my friend, Mike Petrilli. He’s right to be concerned. It’s been picked up by Diane Ravitch’s blog. I urge you to read both. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15c88039d0270b23?compose=15c87da9a56933d0

I agree with the concerns expressed by both Mike and Diane. To which I’d like to add the following.

My question is about the motives we have and those of providers of computers. Why are we pushing for so-called “personalized” learning?
As for high tech companies–the huge education market and competition among them for a share of that market, I get that.

But why are schools buying into it? Has it ever been proven to be the best way to teach and learn? I haven’t seen that evidence.
I am concerned that we are pushing “personalized” learning as a way to make today’s classroom focused on inclusion work–that is, to have all sorts of learners in the same classrooms with teachers “differentiating” among all students at all performance levels in today’s classrooms. An overwhelming and often impossible task.

Voila–computers offer the way!

But, do they really? And don’t they ignore evidence we have for what actually works–for example, LIN–least intervention necessary; not LRE–Least restrictive environment. That is, we need to focus on the students–and their current performance and interests, not on their location, location, location– a standard that works in real estate but not here.

Bottom line, The motive for this push may not be what’s best for our students. Rather, it may be what authorities believe will make our current notions and fads of equity and all-in-together-now “work.” But will it? Will it be real education? Will it enhance lives?

Watch the back door of vouchers and choice on this one.

I share Mike’s and Diane’s concerns. And you?

About Miriam

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA—an expert in public education, focused on special education law— is a lawyer, author, speaker, consultant, and reformer. For more than 35 years, Miriam worked with educators, parents, policy makers, and citizens to translate complex legalese into plain English and focus on good practices for children. Now, she focuses her passion on reforming special education, with her new book, Special Education 2.0—Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law. Presentations include those at the AASA Conference, Orange County (CA), Boston College (MA), CADRE (OR), and the Fordham Institute (DC). Her writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, Education Next, Hoover Digest, The University of Chicago Law Review on line, DianeRavitch.net, and The Atlantic Monthly on line.

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