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Making Personalized Learning a Reality

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May 09, 2012 03:25 pm


Earlier this week I had the privilege of writing the inaugural blog post for the Shared Learning Collaborative (SLC), a new alliance of states, foundations, educators, content providers, developers and vendors who are passionate about using technology to personalize learning and improve education. I believe, as the SLC does, that personalized learning can transform students’ educational experiences and elicit significant gains in the classroom.

In my blog post, “Making Personalized Learning a Reality ,” I emphasize—as I have many times in when discussing the benefits of digital learning—the difference that teachers can, and do, make and how our system owes its educators the resources that can best reach students.

Educators deserve the benefits that technology has brought to nearly every other field, from graphic design to engineering to medicine. Education technology will be at its best when it gives teachers not just data but also insight, when makes it easier for them to collaborate with other teachers, and when it frees up time so they can focus their energy on helping more students light up in the classroom. That’s what we’re striving for with the Shared Learning Collaborative (SLC).

Imagine student information from multiple systems and databases being pulled together in one place so a teacher can track each student’s progress on everything he or she needs to learn. Imagine individualized “learning maps” to help guide a student’s personalized learning plan. And after identifying what each student needs to learn, imagine a teacher being able to easily search for just the right lesson and knowing that what he or she finds will be aligned with the Common Core State Standards,and will include feedback from other teachers who’ve used it before.

These technology services are already being development and will be tested this summer in five states: Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and North Carolina. Four more states—Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, and Louisiana—will test this technology next year.

All across the country, educators and schools are transforming the student experience through technology and digital learning. The Shared Learning Collaborative (follow them online at @SLCedu ) will provide a secure network for sharing experiences, resources, and approaches toward one extremely important goal for both our students and our country: the proliferation of personalized learning in American schools.


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