When you see the phrase “personal learning” these days, it is most often in reference to Artificial Intelligence. A learner tries a series of maths problems on their online course, gets one type of question repeatedly wrong, and the helpful AI bot assigns the learner extra support materials on that area of content.
We are all for that, mainly because it makes us feel like we are living in a futuristic world where doors open with a swoosh and there are far more shoulder pads than necessary. AI is cool, and it will bring us amazing opportunities, benefits and challenges in the years to come, but think about why that mode of learning even exists.
The tech was invented because some dissidents among the top brass of the education world realised that lockstep learning in cohorts was a little too much like a Pyongyang parade. They knew what we all know, and that is that learning happens at different paces, in different ways, at different times.
With the help of AI, they changed the parade to a marathon where you can sprint and slow where you need to, or stroll along at the back with the people who carry the spare water.
Personal learning can go much further
This metaphor has clearly run its course, but let's just ask our readers this: is this really personal learning? Same course, same destination, and only the timing really varies. Technologically impressive, but tragic at the same time, that such innovation should be used to dress the same old tired system of education in new clothes (with shoulder pads).
Truly personal learning, where the destination evolves as the learner unfolds and unfurls their own journey is a terrifying concept for the top brass. How would you ever control that?
You don't need to. We will never get tired of saying this - true learning happens when the educators learn to let go. Support and guide, be present at the forks in the road, but step back and understand that our learners have got this.
Learnlife’s launched its personal learning programme to be a truly organic and adaptive service to our learners. Children as young as 6 years old can learn with us as a complement to their existing school with just a few hours per week, or come on board as full-time learners. If they only want to commit to a couple of hours, they have an option called Taste of Learnlife.
Trying to control that logistically would have the shoulder pads popping off in exasperation, but remember, it is the learners in control. So how does it work?
Personal learning for the future that’s already here
Ready for something really futuristic? This is learning that transcends space and time. Swoosh! In the Home Hub programme, learners can engage with learning at any time, in any place. Learners define how much time they want to commit, what their interests and goals are, where and when they want to learn. Let’s take an example. We have changed the learners’ names to make them sound more futuristic.
Cypher came to Home Hub because he wanted to explore his passions in a way that was more supported than just dabbing and dabbling on his own. He began with a blended course of drawing and watercolours, doing online project work supported by our learning guides, and then joining our Barcelona Urban Hub for a couple of months to continue there.
At the same time, he was doing Taste of Learnlife which meant he could simultaneously explore a passion he had identified (art) whilst openly exploring more others through project-based methodology.
Trinity’s parents work globally, and so she moves around to two or three locations each year; often in different time zones. She needed consistency in both learning and the learning community around her, so Home Hub was ideal.
She began by doing a few hours per week in addition to her school, and gradually became a full time learner at Learnlife. Trinity can join any of our growing numbers of physical spaces around the world without skipping a beat in her learning, and that when she is in a time zone across the world, she can join online and pursue her own goals without feeling isolated and distanced.
Personal learning reimagines the what, where, when and how
The programme transcends learning spaces and is built around the learner, because they can acquire the course skills of literacy, numeracy, problem solving and all the rest, within the areas that they choose because it lights a spark in them. They can choose the time they want to be there, when they engage, how they engage and where. This is personal learning that actually considers the person. Nobody is left to walk at the back because they have chosen their own course.
Artificial intelligence is a tool, and the efficacy of that tool is directly linked to the scope of imagination of those who wield it. Shoulder pads may well prove to be a futuristic style of dress, as a slew of sci-fi directors would have us believe, but for now they belong firmly to the 80’s.
Learn more about our Online programme and let kids have a personal learning experience that will guide them to follow their passions, discover how fun learning can be, engage in a global community, and develop lifelong skills together with other learners.