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Personalizing Student Learning Plans

One of the greatest advantages of technology is the ability to automate processes that normally have to be done in person, experts say, which saves manpower, time, and money. This, of course, is true in education as well, which is what this story in the New York Times addresses.

Apparently, a handful of middle schools in New Jersey are using software to help 6th grade students create personalized student learning plans that will follow them through middle and high school until they graduate. The online tool helps guide students to careers and paths of study that may be good for them. One of the advantages of the electronic personalized learning plans is that they take pressure off of already-overworked guidance counselors, who, on average, are responsible for working with nearly 500 students each, says the article.

Of course, the main goal of the program is to help individualize instruction for all students so that they are more likely to reach their goals, find their focus, and graduate from high school. Preparing students for life after school and connecting education to the real world are not new concepts, but educators hope that the learning plans will help meet those objectives more readily.

Kathleen Kennedy Manzo wrote a story about personalizing learning with digital tools, which has lots more background info about this topic.

What do you think? Are personalized learning plans a good idea for students? Are electronic tools the best way to create those plans?

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