Knowing Your Students Better

Every student is different and in different ways. We all know that because there has been a lot talked about it already. The concept of Personalized learning is grabbing everyone’s attention today and lot of education technology companies are trying to bring out tools to serve this need. Still, personalized learning remains to be a challenge, but why?

We don’t know, but we think that at its core the overall concept is more about the teacher-student relationships.  It’s so important to know your students well but that’s still not happening. Nobody is at fault here because for a teacher who is already handling a big set of students, remembering each and every student well is a complex task in itself. This is what we feel is the real void and the first step to approach the concept of personalized learning.

Let’s take a real example. In a School, there will always be a recognizable set of students who usually participate on behalf of the School in various extra curricular activities like Sports, Dance, Drama etc. Now what usually happens is that whenever there is an activity, students from this recognizable set are approached and they are the ones who keep participating repeatedly whereas there’s a big chunk of students left behind and hidden who never come forward to participate.

Imagine if the School could instantly generate a list of students whose likes, hobbies, interests or other required parameters as per the records match the requirements of a certain upcoming event and they could then be trained to participate. Think of how this could improve the overall participation and motivation levels among students. Similarly this could apply to academics where a teacher can instantly generate information about a child in terms of his strong and weak areas as per his previous performances and can quickly browse through these parameters to vary his/her teaching styles and methodologies as and when required.

We feel that this approach could really be powerful and hence introduced a similar feature recently in SchoolPad which was based on text based one liners called tags. For e.g.: Participant – Annual Day Celebrations, Winner – Dance Competition, Defaulter – Late Fee, Weak – English grammar etc. Teachers can themselves create and attach these tags to students describing an action as and when it occurred.

They could then use these tags to get a list of Students as per their requirements and this is what makes it simple yet powerful. For e.g. getting a list of students who haven’t participated in any extra curricular activity yet and so on. Teachers could also define the frequency like, getting a list of students who have been defaulters in a particular area for more than 3 times and so on.

That’s just one approach that we could think of and execute but we would love to hear your approach and how you use it to promote better student-teacher relationships at your School under the comments section.