Personalized Learning: It’s About Self-Discovery

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - 12:30pm

Imagine a student who exhibits signs of learning difficulties and behavioral problems, refuses to take tests, can’t sit still for even a moment and has had little to no success in the traditional brick and mortar school. Now, imagine that same student, with access to the endless learning possibilities and potential available through online and blended learning, scoring just below advanced on a placement test.

That is the measured success that students can achieve with personalized learning.

Recently, we spoke to Dave Knoche, principal of Springs Studio for Academic Excellence (formerly Falcon Virtual Academy) in Colorado Springs, where he told us his favorite success story of the last five years. During his school’s partnership with FuelEd, Mr. Knoche has seen students’ performance become “phenomenally better.”

While chatting he shared his favorite success story about a 7th grade student who came into the new school year with learning difficulties and behavior problems, refusing to take any of the necessary placement tests. 

One day, Mr. Knoche told the student he would treat him to lunch if he only tried to take the placement tests seriously. The student, excited about the challenge, embraced the process and prepped for the test.

Once the scores were in, the student stormed Mr. Knoche’s office explaining that he was only 1 point from advanced placement. He griped to Mr. Knoche that only had he pushed him a little further, he would have scored advanced.

 “I love it,” Mr. Knoche said, “That couldn’t have happened in a traditional brick and mortar.” Time and again while we were chatting, Mr. Knoche reinforced how this type of success wasn’t possible in a “traditional” school; he attributes a great deal of student success to the personalized aspect of Springs Studio for Academic Excellence’s blended learning program.

Stories such as this one are coming out more and more. And more frequently, those stories include personalized learning as a tool to enhance and supplement traditional school efforts. Mr. Knoche when asked about his school’s success said; “Students are able to own their education… personalization comes from self-discovery.”

Attributing student success to ownership and success, personalized learning enables students to not only control their education but to also choose which courses they take and when and where to take them, and it is that freedom of choice that leads to successes akin to the one Mr. Knoche shared. 

If you are interested in FuelEd’s Personalized Learning for your school district, please click here

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