- The Vista Unified School District in California embraced personalized learning as a way to improve outcomes among a diverse group of students, and it has seen better attendance and graduation rates, reduced behavioral problems and more students opting into harder coursework.
- According to eSchool News, Vista Unified engaged students in designing a personalized learning plan, approached technology as a tool not a driver of the work, gave students decision-making power over their learning, created flexible learning environments, and embraced a competency-based approach.
- In New Jersey, District Administration reports the Freehold Township Schools garnered support for personalized learning among teachers by prioritizing their buy-in from the beginning, finding fun ways to engage teachers in the development and implementation process and encouraging internal sharing of experiences and best practices along the way.
Personalized learning is perhaps the most-discussed education trend today. Schools across the country are figuring out how to tailor instruction to the needs of individual students, most frequently with the help of new technologies that can facilitate the process. Schools have to be careful about how they approach personalized learning, however. Experts say it should not simply mean giving students more time on a computer, learning content at their own pace.
For personalized learning to be implemented successfully, teachers need comprehensive professional development to fully understand their changing role. While they may no longer be in charge of physically distributing all of the content knowledge, they need to become facilitators of student learning in new ways – coming up with innovative ideas for small group instruction, for example. They also need to master strategies for continually tracking student progress to best respond to changing student needs.