Giving Compass' Take:

• Personalized learning can become a successful practice in classrooms across school districts, but personalization must stretch into school communities in order to be the most effective.

• How can donors help personalized learning expand across school districts? 

• Read more about how personalized learning is on the rise. 

In some corners of education, personalization is no longer just a buzzword. It’s a bad word.

There are many reasons, including a lack of clarity around definitions, a lack of efficacy—because of confusion around the term—and, at some schools, a lack of rigor.

Another reason for the concern is that as educators increasingly use digital tools to personalize learning for students, some have struggled to ensure that the environments they create are not isolating. Parents and educators rightly fear the image of rows of students on computers, never talking to another human being.

The real magic of blended learning occurs when teachers use technology to boost human interaction, in both frequency and impact.

And it turns out that when a district sets out to personalize learning in its schools, the classroom isn’t the only place where people matter. To realize the promise of personalization, it’s people across the entirety of a school community—the parents, the administrators and the school board, for instance—that ultimately matter.

As the following five takeaways show, keeping people front, center and involved is key to scaling personalized learning effectively across any school community.

  1. Build a culture of agency and risk-taking
  2. Engage the community early and often
  3. Seek a partnership rather than a product
  4. Plan big, but start small
  5. Set clear goals you can measure

Read the full article about creating district-wide personalization by Michael B. Horn at EdSurge