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Personalized Learning in K-12 Schools, Explained

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Published on Nov 6, 2019

Personalized learning is expanding in K-12 schools across the country as educators pursue the goal of tailoring instruction to individual students’ academic strengths and weaknesses as well as their personal interests. Much of that expansion is being fueled by the evolution of digital learning tools that help teachers customize instruction based on the unique needs of each student. That kind of digitally driven personalization has been happening for some time in other sectors of society. Schools are now moving much faster in that direction too. But what complicates matters is the fact that schools often make big mistakes before and while embarking on personalized learning efforts, including failing to define what it means and why they are doing it, assuming it’s all about simply putting digital devices in students’ hands, and failing to recognize that effective personalized learning strategies demand major shifts in teacher practice. Education Week Assistant Managing Editor Kevin Bushweller explains what educators mean when they say “personalized learning,” and he outlines the benefits and drawbacks of this individualized approach to classroom instruction.

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