Personalized Learning
In a previous post, we shared a definition of personalized learning from iNACOL and listed the five key elements of personalized learning. Now, here’s how you can take personalized learning to the next level in your schools.

At its core, personalized learning is an instructional strategy, says Rachael Turner, Transformation Manager for School Improvement Network. It defines how students will learn and what goes on in the classroom to make this happen.

But for personalized learning to take root and flourish, the policies of a school or district must change—and the culture must change as well.

School Improvement Network refers to this seismic shift as “student-centered learning.” If personalized learning is what happens in the classroom, then student-centered learning is a system-wide approach that encompasses the many transformations needed to support it.

For instance, student-centered learning involves assessing teachers’ readiness to personalize instruction for each student, then making sure they get the training they need to put this into practice.

It requires establishing policies and systems to support personalized learning, such as redefining how credits are earned and how students will advance to the next level so they can learn at their own pace.

And it includes changing the entire culture of a school or district, shifting from a teacher-centric to a student-centric approach to learning.

“A teacher could have her students work individually at their own pace, but in order for her to take that to the next level, you see how those policy changes really need to be in place,” Turner said.

None of these changes can occur overnight. But in future blog posts, we’ll look at some of the steps involved in moving from personalized to student-centered learning, as well as keys to success.