One of the strategic partnerships the North Reading Public schools has made in the past year was to become one of the original 15 catalyst districts for the MAPLE (Massachusetts Personalized Learning Network). As part of this collaboration administrators and educators from North Reading have participated in strategic sharing of the processes, experiences and professional development to support personalized learning initiatives in Massachusetts. This has included visiting districts sharing their own experiences during learning tours and strategic discussions around teacher support and resources.
Creating personalized learning experiences for our students can be achieved through a variety of ways in our classrooms and supporting shifts in personalized approaches requires informing our process with clear and defined goals. A definition developed from surveys of educators from the iNacol organization, one of the most respected sources for educational research related to personalized learning research is outlined below.
Definition of Personalized Learning:
“Tailoring learning for each student’s strengths, needs and interests–including enabling student voice and choice in what, how, when and where they learn–to provide flexibility and supports to ensure mastery of the highest standards possible.” iNacol
What does Personalized Learning can mean for our students?
Many of the components in this definition will be met through the leveraging of technology and shifts in classroom practice to support student choice and to provide the flexibility with resources so that all students can benefit from their education being tailored to support student voice and their potential on a self-driven path. Samples of this can include the use of web based assessments, student grouping strategies and aligning digital curriculum to support student learning to enable independent progression.
Taking advantage of our partnership with the MAPLE catalyst districts enables North Reading to share in the rich sharing of other districts experiences with implementing 1:1 learning initiatives, supporting innovative student driven learning pathways and enriches the conversations that our digital learning team and educators can have around supporting student learning with technology and resources.
The goals of technology integration will always be to best support the instructional strategies and resources that enable students to reach the highest standards possible. This partnership supports the sharing necessary to support the implementation of personalized learning instructional approaches and the opportunity to evaluate the technology to support these shifts.