ILION — Teachers arriving at the Central Valley Academy media center last week decided which station they wanted to attend first — direct instruction, collaborative or independent.

By deciding where they wanted to get started, the teachers had one of their first lessons in personalized learning, said Debora Van Slyke, director of curriculum and instruction for the Central Valley Central School District.

“It’s set up like it would be in a (personalized learning) classroom,” she said, referring to the divided sections of the media center for each station.

Central Valley has been gradually incorporating personalized learning in classrooms. In February, an official launch took place at Barringer Road Elementary School and Harry M. Fisher Elementary School to demonstrate how personalized learning works.

The four core goals of personalized learning are — targeted instruction, data driven decisions, integrated digital content, and student reflection and ownership.

Kelly Freiheit, a consultant with Education Elements, led the direct instruction station part of the training. According to the Education Elements website, “personalized learning means that students get the instruction they need, when they need it.”

The teachers, who were students for the training, talked about the concepts at the collaborative station. At the independent station, they searched the internet to see what they could find about personalized learning.

Charles Maxson, a Gregory B. Jarvis Middle School social studies teacher, was part of the 2016-17 cohort of teachers to incorporate personalized learning in the classroom. He was at the training to help the 23 teachers interested in being part of the 2017-18 cohort.

Maxson said students choose how they are going to learn as part of this concept, which leads them to being excited about learning.

“We find ways to help them achieve what they want to achieve,” he said. ”Seeing your students fall in love with learning is a great motivator.”

Maxson said the teachers that are part of the 2016-17 cohort helped each other out as part of the initial group doing the personalized learning.

“Many of us started on the nervous side, but it didn’t take long to get really excited about it,” he said.

Maxson said students have seemed to embrace this type of learning.

“Lot of kids really enjoy it,” said Maxson.

He added students also begin to feel they can accomplish things with their learning.

“A huge piece is the words ‘I can’t do that’ leave with personalized learning,” said Maxson.