Welcome to our new group on Personalized Learning on Edutopia! Jenifer Fox and I will be moderating this group, and I look forward to discussing your challenges and successes with personalizing learning in the classroom. I'll let Jenifer introduce herself, but Jenifer has been both a teacher and school principal. She is the author of Your Child's Strengths, and we're currently working on a book for Jossey-Bass on differentiating instruction in the classroom that will be published next summer. A little bit about me- I'm the mom of two boys with learning disabilities, and they have attended both private and public schools. I've become well versed in the art of the IEP and 504 plan, and how difficult accommodations for kids with special needs can be, let alone trying to accommodate the needs of every child in the classroom. I started the LD Podcast, a podcast about learning and learning disabilities, featuring interviews with experts in education and learning from across the country over 5 years ago, as a way to help parents, teachers, and educators learn more about how children learn, and how all of us can play on the same team- trying to do what's best for kids in the classroom. Through podcasting, I met and began to work with Chris Brogan and Chris Penn, and currently serve as Director of Operations for the Podcamp Foundation. The Podcamp Foundation helps run community-based digital media "unconferences" both in the US and abroad, which focus on helping people learn about everything from blogging to podcasting, using social media tools, search engine optimization and more. I have tutored children at our middle school, teach podcasting to middle schoolers as part of an after-school program, and regularly teach classes to adult learners on digital media and digital media strategy for business. It turns out that the same attention-getting mechanisms I use to make sure my adult students learn and retain information work equally well with students at many levels. This experience using digital and social media tools has led me to also serve on the Technology Committee for our local school district, as one of the parent/community members. Along with teachers, administrators, the instructional technology coordinator, and IT department folks, the Tech Committee is charged with helping the District make decisions about what new technology they should implement or invest in, with a focus on making sure it meets instructional needs first and foremost. I know this is going to be a great group, where we can share both the challenges and successes of personalized learning and differentiating instruction in the classroom. Please introduce yourself, and feel free to start threads and become involved!
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