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Why Schools Shouldn’t Go It Alone on Personalized Learning

Education Next – Betheny Gross and Colleen McCann

“Principals and teachers trying to personalize their students’ learning are charged with radically reimagining the classroom. It’s a tall order that requires educators to take risks, move outside their comfort zones, and essentially overhaul much of their jobs. What we’re seeing in the schools we’ve visited for this project makes clear that this work shouldn’t—and often can’t—be done alone. A study we recently conducted showed that schools implementing personalized learning (PL) spend a large portion of their grant funds on a bevy of products and services that have sprung up in the marketplace to cater to PL schools—from online tools and catalogs to consultants who help schools pick out technology tools. We wondered if those supports were equally effective. Our school visits and interviews to date tell us they are not. The most critical supports, we’re learning, come not from generic consultants with technical expertise, but rather from outsiders who can help leaders think through key decisions and a sound game plan.”(more)

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