Personalized Learning Dudes Keep Movement Going in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs School District 11 sent 70 teachers and school leaders to the Technology in Education Conference last month. Many were there to learn more from the Personalized Learning Dudes about how they can embrace the concept of Personalized Learning in their classrooms.


I interviewed Dudes co-founders Greg Wilborn, the District’s Personalized Learning Coordinator, and Scott Fuller, Project Coordinator for the DoDEA grant that is facilitating implementation in seven District 11 schools with a population of least 15 percent military families.


Five additional schools have signed on since the District received a grant from the Colorado Legacy Foundation, which is helping to promote the concept. The grant empowered District 11 to direct money into classroom innovations including technology, curriculum, and more.


The CLF has developed a Personalized Learning model that schools can customize to their community needs. It educates stakeholders and facilitates collaboration to enlarge its circle of influence on schools’ ability to successfully implement their own models.


According to Fuller and Wilborn, while their job is to manage the implementation of programming, it is also to sell the idea to teachers, school administrators, funders, parents and students. Being able to draw on the research done by the CLF to educate others has made their job easier. Said Fuller, “A lot of people confuse it with more technology.”


While iPads help, the real idea is about changing how teachers view their role.


Personalized Learning is ultimately about teachers giving up power as the providers of prescribed information and becoming facilitators who empower their students to access information that matters to them. It leverages approaches from art education, expeditionary learning, traditional instruction and technical training depending on the student.


“If Rumpelstiltskin woke up today and walked into one of our classrooms, would it look any different than it did fifty years ago?” asked Wilborn. “But the world we are preparing our students to enter has changed tremendously.”


For each school, a customized adoption of Personalized Learning requires some, or all, of the following: changing how teachers see their role, revamping classroom and school layouts, leveraging what technology they have, expanding learning time, engaging the community, embracing student-directed learning, embedding an ongoing assessments, and more.


To learn more, go to the Colorado Legacy Foundation or watch this presentation.

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Tags: 11, District, Learning, Personalized, education, school


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