Equipped with “1 to 1” devices, stakeholders are positioned to access and engage with a world of information, produce evidence of learning, and manage the learning process effectively. Technology can provide 24/7 management and communication of student information, learning outcomes and complex schedules.

In Chapter 8 of their book, “Inevitable: Mass Customized Learning: Learning in the Age of Empowerment”, Chuck Schwahn and Bea McGarvey write about the weight-bearing walls of our Industrial-Age Assembly Line schools. A focus on the purpose of those weight-bearing walls helps us better understand the need for transforming structures.

The purpose of Customized Learning Communities is about developing talent not sorting and selecting talent like our Industrial-Age Assembly line schools have done for years. This MCL Component (Transformational Technology) is not about supporting the sorting and selecting tasks but rather supporting educators who are developing talent in all learners, providing the Ideal Learning Experience.

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Customizing Structures

In her MCL Customizing Structures Learning Path Series, Bea McGarvey explores the differences between the functions of Industrial Age schools vs Customized Learning Communities. One of the structures she identifies is Transformational technology. She argues that we need technology “that teaches, manages, schedules, and predicts”.

Our CCL learning communities are discovering and in some cases designing, the transformational technology they need to create the Ideal Learning Experience. Meeting learners at their optimal level, requires the ability to track learning in a way that all stakeholders can see (24/7) exactly where a learner is in their learning and what they need to work on next. It requires customizing structures and practices, like grouping and regrouping, that allows learning facilitators/teachers to “share the load”. In addition, providing lots of effective feedback, specific to a learners’ goals, is essential.

Learner Management Systems (LMS), scheduling software, and content delivery programs are examples of the transformational technology necessary to transform our schools. CCL learning communities collaborate and share their experiences with different technological programs and software as they all figure out how to implement customizing structures.

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