Posted on January 20, 2018


Contemplating the concept of “melting.” A very subtle change in temperature renders an impassable barrier liquid.   My completely dysfunctional bicycle with cables literally frozen in place could be ridable in an hour so I can take it to the shop.

Are there such subtle changes to make to solve other problems?   TOday’s news was turnoffable b/c no, I don’t need to hear the left and right recite the same things.   The government is “partially shut down.”   Yes, “there’s always an easy answer, and it’s wrong.”   Still, I wonder…

Is “personalized learning” one of those potential changes — especially if we keep it subtle?  Tweeted over to this blog about a fellow leaving Silicon Valley;  good grief,  they were personalizing with Khan Academy.   Hey, a hedge fund analyst would certainly know the best way to teach math… so he’s left that.

That said, throwing out baby with thoroughly murky bathwater is a mistake.   We’re getting rolling on the ILlinois Digital Learning Lab project — oh, but we’re collecting data and not for marketing… to see if it works for our learners.   LEarners will have classroom instruction… and then the ‘personalized” part.   WHat hasn’t worked in the past?   Putting one or the other in the shadows.   The “emporium” model — stick all the students in front of a screen and have the teacher rove around and help — yea, the results are disappointing (I’ve linked in other blogs to the mediocre results).  LIkewise, doing standard issue classroom instruction and saying “here are supplemental resources” falls under “students don’t do optional,” and … the ones who do the work make great progress… both of them.   THe others?   Same ol’…  OH, also, if the computer stuff REALLY COUNTS IN YOUR GRADE it can be stressful and frustrating if/when it’s not really that much like your text (oh, and has its own little glitches).

No, it takes the kind of careful integration of class instruction and designing lessons and choosing the tech options to really personalize *and* enhance the learning.   I’ve seen about half dozen folks from our pre-college math classes and yes, using ALEKS has them motivated and engaged… *and* a clue or two from me can bridge any little gaps to connect what’s on the screen w/ what they worked on in class. It’s so happily *not* the “what’s the rule for this again? WHen’s the test?”   experience.   It’s “oh, this is like that… we just have to…”

I still wish the computer versions had more and better visuals.   SO!  Now to do housekeeping and make more pictures myself  and… take geogebra to the next step.   Oh, and get that bike ride in 🙂

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