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One of the most important concepts in education today is personalized learning. And for good reason: given what we know about the wide spectrum of student learning styles and needs that teachers must address, it is clear that a “one size fits all” approach is insufficient for any classroom. The result is almost always a lack of engagement from any student who requires something different.
Unfortunately, many educators who recognize the value of personalized learning struggle to actually make it happen. One reason is that it is a complex practice; in fact, it is actually the combination of many different practices. Another is that there is often a lack of the time and material resources that are required.
This is especially true in incarcerated settings, where access to resources is highly restricted, large groups can be difficult to manage, and students have often had their education interrupted for any number of reasons. To solve this problem, an increasing number of facilities are turning to technology and employing the blended learning model in their classrooms.
Blended learning, generally defined as the mixing of traditional teaching methods with digital devices and content, is ideal for supporting a personalized learning program. Providing access to digital content and services exponentially increases the amount of educational material that students can access, and personal digital devices allows students to work on something that is just right for them specifically.
This means that teachers can not only serve more students than before, but that they can serve all of those students more effectively, as well. It is a win for everyone: teachers, administrators, and, most importantly, students.
There is ample evidence of the link between blended learning and personalized learning; the Learning Accelerator recently published their Measurement Agenda for Blended Learning, and found that within the blended learning field of study:
“There are numerous studies that focus on the individual practices that make up personalization, so many that meta-analyses and syntheses, and even meta-meta-analyses, exist, all showing moderate to large effect sizes for these practices.”
It is clear that a blended learning solution is the best way for correctional facilities to enable their teachers to deliver personalized learning.
American Prison Data Systems is well-positioned to provide this solution, with a proven safe and secure platform that is specifically designed on the principle that every learner has unique needs. Through tablets and laptops, they provide access to a huge variety of content, covering not only academic subjects but also areas such as vocational training and mental health.
In addition, their proprietary features allow correctional facilities to upload and even create their own content.