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What is future of learning? Well, it’s personal

The provincial government may be touting personalized learning but School District 43 is developing its own plan for the future of education, called “Learning Without Boundaries.” - TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
The provincial government may be touting personalized learning but School District 43 is developing its own plan for the future of education, called “Learning Without Boundaries.”
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

The provincial government may be touting personalized learning but School District 43 is developing its own plan for the future of education, called “Learning Without Boundaries.”

SD43 superintendent Tom Grant rolled out the two-year LWB project at Tuesday’s board of education meeting, saying the district needs to figure out how it will teach tech-savvy students who want to be in charge of their own learning.

The province has been promoting personalized learning to meet the needs of 21st century students through a leadership roundtable called BC Educational Learning Council and is circulating a video, screened at the board meeting, showing the importance of technology and encouraging students to be excited about their learning.

Grant said customized learning is available now and teachers are already using technology- and project-based learning to engage students’ passions. Instead of jumping on the personalized learning bandwagon, SD43 will look more deeply at ways to encourage customized education, he promised.

“We will have a system [that will look] very similar but radically different from what we have today,” he predicted.

For example, high school students are already using a blend of online and co-op learning, where they gain skills outside the classroom, and some work at home or go to two schools.

More of this flexibility is in store for the future.

But the district still needs to have a blueprint to guide its way through these changes, he said.

While there will still be teachers and buildings in the future, educators will likely have more flexibility in how they teach and, instead of 300-page curriculum guides, they’ll have 10 pages of learning outcomes to achieve and students will have a lot more say in how and when they learn.

Board chair Melissa Hyndes is among those working on the LWB framework.

The Port Moody trustee said the board of education, teachers and students, as well as parents and administrators, will be looking into structures and strategies for implementing new trends in education. The last time the district undertook such a broad goal-setting agenda was 10 years ago, she said, and she welcomed the opportunity to work with stakeholders on a plan for what education will look like for the next decade and beyond.

Hyndes said the group will look at pilot projects that have already been successful and identify some trends for the future. Some of the new developments the group will look at will include the role of technology, and how to pay for it.

“There are all these amazing things that are going on in the province and we want to be in the forefront,” she said.

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

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