- California-based charter network Summit Public Schools has shared its Basecamp personalized learning platform and grading policy with more than 100 other schools, offering implementation support to help them try to replicate its success.
- In a thorough look at its model, The Hechinger Report writes Summit’s effort is not the only one in the country to encourage the expansion of personalized learning, but it is among the most ambitious — and it has helped teachers offload rote learning tasks to a computer and have more meaningful interactions with students.
- The shift to personalized learning is complicated as teachers, students and families get used to a model that gives students more control over their own learning and, in Summit’s model, gives them more one-on-one time with a computer — but Summit administrators cite impressive academic outcomes when it comes to standardized test scores and college acceptance rates.
Personalized learning has been spurred on by advances in educational technology that make such differentiated instruction easier, though the model does not necessarily depend on technology. Some schools are personalizing learning by giving students greater agency through project-based or experiential learning opportunities. Others have designed personalized programs around individual students’ needs and preferences.
The very basic way that technology can help personalize learning is by allowing students to move at their own pace through online modules. This frees up teachers to provide small group or one-on-one interventions, but the benefits of personalized learning can get lost of schools simply rely on machine learning to carry instruction.