Pedagogical change achieved by the introduction of personalized learning and teaching utilizing technology in schools
This paper discusses the work of eZeschools Limited, a company based in Essex and Yorkshire in the UK, which has spent several years developing a platform capable of delivering one-to-one learning and teaching in a simple-to-use and effective manner. Collaboration was established in 2004 between eZeschools and Greensward College in Hockley in Essex with the sole intention of addressing the current needs in school education.
It was felt that the current structure for the delivery of 'education' is failing many in today's society. A substantial number of students leave formal education with low standards of literacy and numeracy because the present system does not engage them, capture their imagination or persuade them that education is of benefit to them. Teachers currently face many problems. For example, social attitudes have changed -- the current MTV generation has high expectations and low boredom thresholds -- and behavioural issues abound. Also, the modern preoccupation with examination results as the sole measure of success generates a great deal of measuring, paperwork and tests, and yet does not enable students to learn how to learn: it simply, at best, teaches them how to pass examinations. These factors coupled with a shortage of experienced teachers with the knowledge, training or desire to deal with these issues mean that so many well intentioned plans to improve education standards have failed. It is time to change!
Greensward College -- a specialist technology college as well as a successful high school -- which was singled out in a recent Department for Education and Skills Report as being among the best in terms of self-assessment and good practice, decided to adopt a forward-thinking policy with regard to the delivery of personalized learning and teaching. In order to achieve this, eZeschools has worked closely with the College to further develop its already successful learning platform (eZe PLP) into a totally flexible IT platform capable of delivering a fully integrated personalized learning and teaching tool. This was achieved by creating a simple-to-use set of tools which enables the delivery of individually tailored lessons and courses which take into account individuals' preferred learning style, grade and ability, as well as providing the tools to track and analyse results. The system itself requires no special hardware or software and, as a web-based solution, is available at any time, at any place and anywhere on a 24/7 basis. The system has been well received by teachers and students throughout the UK and is proving to be effective in enhancing educational standards.