- Middletown City School District in New York is among those that personalizes educational services for students, eliminating social promotion and customizing lessons for their needs, which The Hechinger Report writes has improved graduation rates and test scores.
- Small-group instruction and classroom technology makes the personalization process manageable, but critics say getting the most out of personalized learning software requires students to spend too much time on machines and the efficacy of many products on the market aren’t tested.
- Jennifer Davis Poon, director of the Innovation Lab Network at the Council of Chief State School Officers in Washington, D.C., says personalized learning in a traditional setting is more about a teacher-focused, teacher-driven process than a technology platform.
Teachers have long differentiated instruction in their classrooms, recognizing the varying levels of ability among a group of students who are all the same age. New ed tech tools have given the concept new life in recent years as schools find this old process can be made much easier and more powerful.
As with any ed tech effort, schools transforming instruction into a much more personalized process with technology should be sure to start slow, create metrics for assessing efficacy and have a process for continual improvement after scaling the work. The School 2.0 concept invariably includes personalized learning. But districts have to be thoughtful about how they get there.