Personalization is “a learning process in which schools help students assess their own talents and aspirations, plan a pathway toward their own purposes, work cooperatively with others in challenging tasks, maintain a record of explorations, and demonstrate their learning against clear standards in a wide variety of media, all with the close support of adult mentors and guides” (National Association of Secondary School Principals).
Act 77 has charged Vermont secondary school educators to create personalized learning environments that offer flexible pathways to graduation and a planning process by which students and educators can reflect on and document student learning over time.
At Spaulding High School, we use GoEnnounce and Naviance as two major tools in helping our students to develop their Personalized Learning Plan.
Naviance is designed to assist student in gaining information necessary to connect academic achievement with post-high school goals. Naviance offers individualized assessments that allow students to better learn about their personality, strengths, interests and abilities. Additionally, Naviance contains resources allowing students to research various careers and information about colleges.
GoEnnounce is designed as a digital portfolio. Students can upload pictures, documents and notes about their learning experiences, community service, activities and athletics as they are happening. We are hoping to have video capabilities added soon. Students also list their interests and goals in their digital portfolio, which is shared with their advisor, counselor, parent(s) and any other relevant person. These members can see and respond to the great work that the student is recording in their portfolio. Additionally, the digital portfolio can be shared with employers, colleges, trade schools or others to help students convey their learning and great work that they have accomplished.
By using this information, Spaulding High School students can better learn about themselves and how their current strengths, interests and abilities match potential future pathways. By utilizing the information garnered through their PLPs, students have a much more rich understanding of options available to them now and in their future and can make the most of this information to help craft a personalized pathway through their secondary school education.