Date: 18th January 2021
Personalised learning has always been a popular term in education. It “refers to instruction in which the pace of learning and the instructional approach are optimised for the needs of each learner individually.” It looks at the children’s unique academic needs and personal interests and requires the adaptations of the curriculum to cater for everyone’s needs. Teachers have always seen this as a ‘tough nut to crack’, and that is especially the case now when we have to rely on the TEAMS square in the pandemic times.
At Diyafah International School, we have realised that, to recover all the ground our students have lost during the pandemic, students are going to need more than just technology. We strongly believe that the successful personalised learning during the pandemic depends on strong relationships: between teachers and their students, teachers and their students’ parents, students and their parents. This is what we practice every day in every possible way.
In the Early Years Department, much of the creative thinking has centered around personalised learning. We have been practicing modifying our lessons, pacing, and subject matter to meet the needs and interests of individual students. This has proven effective even for our distance learners. We have found that our students are becoming more independent. They are not passive recipients of personalised learning but rather active initiators of it. They learn in their safe environment and at their own pace. Teachers have to, in some sense, manage multiple students simultaneously, but Distance Learning, the artificial intelligence, helps facilitate that so it’s a much more smooth delivery.
We are aware that this ‘new normal’ is going to stay with us for some time, but we are happy to say we are learning and improving every day of every term. It’s not the traditional ‘teacher in front of the classroom’ method of teaching and learning. In some way it is a controlled chaos, but that means that every single child in our classrooms, virtual or actual, is actively learning, and that is what we care about the most.