The 4 X 4 of Personalized Learning (Part 4)
It’s easy to think of personalized learning as just a buzzword and have trouble imagining it working in public schools But at Education Elements we know it’s actually both feasible and successful...and happening in school districts across the country. Over the past few months I have shared with you 4 promises, 4 facts and 4 approaches to personalized learning. For my last post in this series, I’d like to share 4 real-life examples of where and how personalized learning is happening.
Over the past five years, we have supported the work of nearly 100 districts (check out some examples of school districts that are doing personalized learning now). All of these districts have been doing a great job setting up and rolling out their personalized learning strategy. I would’ve loved to walk you through all the districts with which Ed Elements is working, and share with you the outstanding work they’re doing and the amazing results they are getting; but due to the format of this blog series, I’ll limit myself to talking about only 4 of these amazing districts.
1- Fulton (GA): Fulton County Schools is a large district near Atlanta, GA that serves 96,000 students across 95 schools. Fulton has worked over the past two years to plan their personalized learning initiative and brought us on board to help 90 of their schools design, implement and support Personalized Learning. Their focus has been on thoughtful, wave-based planning with centralized support and school-level autonomy.
Read more about their Personalized Learning implementation and strategy:
- Clear signals and Other Lessons from a Season of Personalized Learning at Fulton County
- Six Personalized Learning MVP Moments From Fulton County Schools
- Fulton County Schools Launches 3-Year Personalized Learning Transition
2- Horry County Schools (SC): Education Elements started to support Horry County Schools’ personalized learning journey with a single school through an NGLC grant. Based on the success of one school, Horry rolled out personalized learning in their middle schools, then in their high schools and finally in the upper grades of their elementary schools. They have 45,000 students across the district and they have been using blended learning very successfully to provide personalized learning for every student. HCS is considered one of the most successful implementations of blended learning according to the Christensen Institute. After beginning with a focus on effective usage of digital content, this year the district prioritized supporting small group instruction at all grade levels. They are looking to build upon early successes through increased student collaboration and creativity as they move forward. Check out these case studies to learn more about their work and amazing results.
- Case study: Scaling Blended Learning, The HCS Way
- Proof Points: Blended Learning Success In School Districts: Horry County Schools, by the Christensen Institute
3- Middletown (NY): The Enlarged City School District of Middletown is a 2012 Race to the Top grant award winner and we are proud to have supported them from the beginning. Middletown has a four-year 'blended initiative', based on a station-rotation approach, with five integrated providers being used through Highlight, our personalized-learning platform.Teachers opt-in to receive classroom 1:1 devices, access to content providers and blended learning training in four separate waves of teachers throughout the four years. Their model has been a great success so far -- K-8 students in the blended-learning classrooms outperformed students in non-blended classrooms by 36% in reading and 18% in math on NWEA benchmark exams.
Learn more about the Middletown Personalized Learning experience:
- Case study: Visionary Blended Learning Creates Opportunities for All
- Case study, by the Lexington Institute: Middletown, NY Personalizes Learning To Narrow Achievement Gaps
- Proof Points: Blended Learning Success In School Districts: ECSDM, by the Christensen Institute
- The Positive Power of Personalized Learning. Education Elements Impact Report 2014-2015
4- Yuma AZ: Yuma School District One is a K-8 district in Arizona and the district is proving that it is possible to transform a whole district all at once. In August 2015, Yuma launched personalized learning in all 17 of its schools, supporting this work through a bond measure that enabled them to purchase 1:1 devices (iPads) for the entire district of 9,000 students. Education Elements’ work started with a PL Foundations Workshop in January 2015. The district is implementing blended learning as one of many strategies to personalize for individual students’ strengths, needs and interests. Superintendent Darwin Stiffer says "Personalized learning will marshal increased student engagement, bolster differentiated instruction and foster an environment of increased communication between students, educators and parents."
Read more about personalized learning at Yuma One:
- Yuma District Plans Massive Personalized Learning
- Personalizing Educational Excellence in the Arizona Desert
Last year, during our first national Personalized Learning Summit, we brought together leaders and coaches from these districts and from across the country to share their successes and their challenges, and to remind stakeholders that personalized learning is happening and is possible. We also reiterated that significant work remains to make this a reality for more -- and eventually all -- students. School districts like these four prove that, with the right leadership, mindset and support, any district can personalize learning. The Summit is part of the support system to help make that happen.
The experience of learning from experts and of sharing lessons learned with peers was so powerful that we decided to make The PL Summit a yearly gathering for sharing and learning.You can access the presentations and resources from the PL Summit 2015 here.
This year, the second Personalized Learning Summit will be on May 19-20 in San Francisco, CA. We’re bringing together our community of district leaders from ones that are just starting, to those farther down the path, to those who are scaling it across their schools and working on making it stick. The Summit will include tech tours at a selection of the most prominent and successful companies of the Bay Area, numerous workshops, as well as 2 exciting keynotes, by Michael B. Horn, Co-author of Blended and Disrupting Class, and Board Member of Education Elements, and Dananjaya Hettiarachchi, Award Winning Speaker, Toastmasters Champion and Corporate Trainer.
The Personalized Learning Summit is an invitation-only event, and its goal is to bring our clients and partners together, so make sure to save the date May 19-20, and to follow us on twitter @edelements #plsummit
Now that you know the 4 promises, facts, approaches and examples, I’d like to leave you with a bonus: 4 ideas on how to get started:
- Sign up for our blog so you can learn more about personalized learning
- Follow us on twitter, where we share articles, ideas and photos and videos of personalized learning in action
- Join our G+ personalized learning community, where you can share resources with other districts
- And finally, send us an email or give us a call. We’d love to help you personalize learning too!
About Yosr Najjar - Guest Author
Yosr Najjar is Marketing Director at Education Elements. She has been working in marketing since 2009 when she got her master's degree in Business & Marketing. Passionate about branding, multilingual, and a world traveler, she served as marketing manager at the international Ogilvy & Mather network where she led marketing and communication efforts for multinational brands in the MEENA region. After 6 years supporting various tech, finance and CPG brands, driven by her passion for education, Yosr joined Education Elements in 2015. Yosr has an 11 year track record in defining, managing and launching innovative marketing campaigns across offline and online channels for large and small, local and international brands. In the past few years, Yosr has translated these experiences into building the marketing function and team at Education Elements, and has been supporting districts in telling their stories and showcasing their work through videos, events, and case studies.