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Top Ten Steps to Personalize Learning

A new report released yesterday outlines the top ten essential elements and policy steps to push personalized learning forward.

The document was created by the Software and Information Industry Association, or SIIA; ASCD, formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development; and the Council of Chief State School Officers, or CCSSO, following a three-day invitation-only event in Boston this past August that gathered local and state practitioners, national education thought leaders, and senior executives from technology companies.

The group identified the importance of personalized learning for each student and outlined steps to redefine the education system to facilitate customized learning experiences.

"The industrial-age, assembly-line educational model—based on fixed time, place, curriculum and pace—is insufficient in today's society and knowledge-based economy," said Gene Wilhoit, the executive director of CCSSO, in a press release.

The following is a list of essential elements and policy steps required to create a personalized learning environment for all students.

Essential elements:
1. Flexible, anytime/everywhere learning
2. Redefine teacher role and expand "teacher"
3. Project-based, authentic learning
4. Student-driven learning path
5. Mastery/competency-based progression/pace

Policy Steps:
1. Redefine use of time (Sound familiar?)
2. Performance-based, time-flexible assessment
3. Equity in access to technology infrastructure
4. Funding models that incentivize completion
5. P-20 continuum and non-grade system based on proficiency

This list of goals, while ambitious, feels very familiar. I've read and heard about these goals many times from ed-tech advocates and education reformers. The bigger question, in my mind, is how these changes would be implemented in a realistic and practical way.

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