Differentiation 2.0

George Couros on customizing the learning paradigm:

It is…about using whatever it takes to promote continuous learning for our kids.  Just as I hated writing in cursive as a kid, some kids might hate writing in a blog.  I am okay with that.  What we need to do as educators is not assume a standard solution works in a personalized world [my italics], and really help to develop kids as learners.  Teachers should know their kids first, and help them develop their learning, not focus on the curriculum first and help fit the kid into that space.

via Revisiting Cursive.

I like to call Couros’ statement on personalizing the curriculum for each student as Differentiation 2.0. Good schools and great educators have been differentiating their curriculum for the needs of learners for several years now. However, I wonder if doing more of the same fully captures the needs of learners in the 21st century.  Technology and other tools are more easily accessible now to teachers and schools to allow for more student choice and for a truly customized solution designed and delivered for each student. Independent schools that are still working on catching up to their peers in this regard will have to innovate more furiously if they wish to remain competitive in a market that is also beginning to differentiate itself through global programs, blended learning, e-learning and online schools, to name just a few initiatives. I have written and presented on this topic before and will reiterate here that both successful and struggling schools must redefine their value proposition for today’s audience. Differentiation 2.0 may be just the answer.

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