“Personalized learning advocates, be assured: Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement to support personalized learning is a huge victory for us all, and that’s something to celebrate.”
News spread like wildfire when Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that he and his wife planned to donate 99% of their Facebook shares – approximately $45 billion – to causes that will better our society, namely personalized learning.
It wasn’t long ago that Zuckerberg was criticized for degenerating human connection by turning traditional social relationships into online interactions that didn’t extend far from the convenience of a tablet or smartphone.
This news probably comes as quite a surprise to Zuckerberg’s critics; the person inherently responsible for online social networking is now supporting a pedagogy that is based around real life relationships, personalization and human connection.
So what does this mean for the future of education?
Firstly, it validates that all the field research and studies around personalized learning are real. While many experts claimed that personalized learning was just the next fad in education (the next buzzword so to speak), this is proof that one of the nation’s most watched change agents, who has a moral obligation to enhance and better society as a whole, has seen personalized learning work firsthand, and has witnessed the powerful results.
Speaking of buzzwords, the second takeaway from Zuckerberg’s announcement is that the term “personalized learning” is here to stay. While many have veered away from using the phrase and have latched on to buzzwords like “blended learning”, “project-based learning”, and “individualized learning”, the fact remains the same; all of these pedagogies fall under the umbrella of personalized learning, and that term isn’t going anywhere.
And lastly, it confirms that teachers, administrators, thought leaders and edtech companies dedicated to making personalized learning a reality worldwide are going to truly make a difference. Zuckerberg’s announcement of his support of personalized learning is the start of something transformational. Soon, every household will be familiar with what personalized learning is and why it’s integral for lifelong learning. Educators will not be fighting immense backlash and criticism for trying to implement something that contrasts traditional education.
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