Personalized Learning and Special Education

Personalized Learning and Special Education

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4237-8.ch007
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Personalized learning can occur in a variety of forms. It can be done on a computer online. It can be done in a brick and mortar classroom environment. It can also be accomplished by a combination of these two, such as when the student is in the general or special education classroom for part of the school day and is online for the other half of the day. Regardless of which mode is chosen, the collective theme running through each of these modalities is that the learning is geared toward the student's individual interests. It is customized to the learner just like an individualized education plan for students with an exceptionality.
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Personalized Learning Within Special Education Settings

Personalized learning environments for students with an exceptionality can take on many forms (Hall Rivera, 2017). For example, the special or general education teacher can provide direct instruction, and the student can complete the practice problems online. In a flipped classroom, the student may first watch a video on the topic (whether at home or in the library or in some other private location) and then come into the regular classroom and discuss it with colleagues. Another form might be entirely done via the computer—as when the student has a video conference with the general or special educator to be taught a particular lesson or to ask questions or get clarification on a lesson. What is of primary importance is that the design of the PL environment for a student with an identified disability be structured solely on the student’s individual needs. However, the development of this type of course for the student can be time consuming and requires special attention to ensure all the requirements of the IEP are met (Hall Rivera, 2017). Nonetheless, despite the additional time needed to ensure the pupil is getting the appropriate education required under IDEA (2004), the PL environment has been proven to increase students’ scores on their state assessments, which in and of itself provides enough evidence to continue to invest in this form of instruction (Hall Rivera, 2017).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Personalized Learning (PL): Lessons developed based on a student’s specific learning needs and interests. It can be used for students with and without an identified disability.

Individualized Education Plan (IEP): An educational plan specifically for a student with an identified disability under IDEA. It is a legal document and must be followed by any educational professional who interacts or educates the student.

Blended Learning: Using more than one instructional strategy to educate a student. Typically, it occurs in a brick and mortar classroom that relies on both traditional methods and online learning.

Response to Intervention (RTI): A service delivery model that has three to four tiers of increasingly more intensive interventions. It is used in the PL service delivery mode as the type of intervention a student with an identified disability receives. Also known as Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS).

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): Federal law that states that students who are identified with a specific disability must be educated alongside their grade- and age-level peers.

Personalized Learning Plan (PLP): The plan a student and teacher devise together to assist the student with learning and meeting the state standards in a specific content area.

Special Education: Students who qualify for these services can learn like their typically developing peers; however, it may take longer to understand the concepts. Sometimes these services are done in the general education classroom, at other times in a resource room, or in a self-contained classroom. Education is contingent on the student’s individual needs.

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