Creating personalized learning for dental students

February 24th, 2015


Personalized learning has become a new technique for educating students. While dental academic software cannot replace a teacher, it can strongly augment an existing education with crucial homework and notes that students are able to use to boost their performance. By working outside of class, they will then bring their full attention to the time spent learning with the professor. Words from readings that weren't understood can be addressed in online material to aid in studies. When something is sufficiently challenging, then students can go online and bring up source material that makes things easier to understand.

In the end, personalized learning is about giving students the freedom to direct their studies wherever necessary and focus on the points they don't understand to build up weaknesses and turn them into strengths.

Many schools are using personalize learning
Fifteen different campuses in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district in North Carolina have begun offering personalized learning for their students. This is part of a pilot program to test its effectiveness in taking learning into more self-directed territory, according to the Charlotte Observer. Although the school is bringing personalized learning into the classroom itself, this is fundamentally not necessary to the way it works. Personalized learning at its very best is a way of arranging one's own study habits around the abilities and needs a person already has. The professor can use dental academic software to look at what students are pushing themselves to learn and make a choice about what to teach.

"Kids want to be successful, and they want to get better, and they want to learn," said Lisa Allred, a dean at Newell Elementary, to the Observer. "Students are empowered by choice, so they are engaged. Before, teachers put together a lesson plan following the calendar. Now they find out what students' needs are."

Canadian schools are also becoming more open to this way of teaching students, The Canadian Press reported. This is a sharp contrast from China, which is a country that relies heavily on rote memorization, which the CP explained can harm students' study habits. After speaking with education expert Yong Zhao, the British Columbia's Education Ministry has begun to consider employing personalized learning systems at certain pilot schools.

A reliance on technology
To bring about the personalized learning revolution, even to the limited extent of offering different topically-relevant quizzes that students can study from online, there needs to be a learning management system in place. For example, a dental school software solution could be used to bring outside material into school and help students learn. Professors can upload whatever they want onto a dental or oral hygiene academic program. It is completely in their hands how much or little they choose to employ these tools.

In the end, as schools become more adept at using technology, a proper balance between personalizing information and directly addressing a classroom of many different people with generalized topics will be found, but to reach that point, the software must first be placed in the hands of professors and students.

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