Giving Compass' Take:

• Beth Rabbitt, writing for The 74, discusses three questions that center on equity, collective learning, and digital technology in personalized learning.

• How can donors play a role in strengthening educator access to personalized learning tools? 

• Read about how personalized learning can bring about educational equity. 

Interest in personalizing learning continues to grow. A recent survey by the Center for Digital Education found that 9 out of 10 responding school districts are directing professional development and technology efforts toward personalization. More anecdotally, attendees navigating the convention halls of this year’s SXSWedu have their pick of nearly 30 sessions focusing on the topic.

At the heart of this educator interest is the drive to do a better job of building approaches and systems that put students at the center of learning, recognizing and differentiating instruction to the unique strengths, needs, interests, and goals that individual students bring to the classroom daily. As we navigate the many discussions about personalized learning, what are the most important questions to ask? Here are three conversations I’m eager to have.

  1. What are we learning about how digital technology can support our efforts to personalize, and where might it be hurting?
  2. How do we balance the individual with collective experiences of learning?
  3. Where might our efforts to personalize potentially widen gaps in equity?

Put together, if we want to produce better — more equitable and deeper — learning outcomes, we’ve got to engage in critical questions like these. It’s OK if, at this stage of the game, we don’t have easy answers or consensus. Disagreement and constructive inquiry, in the name of learning together and figuring out how to navigate challenges, are some of the best tools we have to improve outcomes together.

Read the full article about three critical conversations about personalized learning by Beth Rabbitt at The 74