Look for the person behind the data

10/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
T&L Advisor Guest post—Henry Thiele, Chief Technology Officer for District 207 in Park Ridge, IL: I continue to hear a lot about personalization in education and what that ultimately looks like in our classrooms. It is strange how ideas can mean such different things to different people (just watch how two separate news channels cover the same story to see a demonstration). However, personalization to me is pretty simple: it starts just as the word does, with “person.” So often we are looking for that magic piece of data to describe a student, or some rating to categorize a teacher, that we forget that each person is a unique individual. We have to learn to trust that people know more about themselves than we can ever distill from an assessment. We need to hear each person’s perspective and listen to his stories. Take the time to walk across the hall, chat up a student, start a conversation with someone new. You might find a person there waiting to be discovered.
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