Recommendations to achieve Personalized Learning

The learner experience must be engaging, relevant, and personalized using technology with a goal of maximizing every person’s learning potential. Technology must be leveraged to directly account for the voice of the learner in their instruction. The recommendations that follow regarding infrastructure, professional development, curriculum, instruction, assessment and leadership promote these dynamic and flexible learning formats.
Pedagogy and Instruction
  1. Student
    1. All students should experience customized and personalized learning activities that address students' diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources.
    2. The learner experience must be engaging, relevant, and personalized using technology with a goal of maximizing every person’s potential for learning.  One such tool that would align to the strategic goals of personalized learning and college and career readiness preparation would be a statewide individual learner plan (ILP) system.
    3. Integrate technology tools that allow for the voices of the learners in their instruction.  
    4. Students must be able to have access to online collaborative media tools that support and enhance anywhere, anytime learning.  
    5. Students should be encouraged to develop and communicate ideas in multiple formats through the use of tools such as wikis and blogs to build evidence of their learning (e.g., e-portfolios and writing journals).
  2. Teachers
    1. Teachers should customize and personalize learning activities to address students' diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources.  This should be done in a coordinated and collaborative manner utilizing internal experts such as school librarians/library media specialists to avoid redundant and inefficient effort which wastes teacher time.
    2. Classroom assessments should be personalized using digital tools to allow student choice on performance. Assessment should be personalized in a variety of ways including: differentiated assessments, performance assessments, project assessments. Teachers should have a sort of “Assessment toolbag” to draw from that includes differentiated  formative and standard summative options.
    3. Classroom management in the age of digital learning is fundamentally different than when students are in rows of desks utilizing textbooks. Teachers need professional development in order to learn new strategies for behavior and learning management in classroom utilizing a variety of technology tools.
  3. Administrators, Districts, and Schools
    1. Should have policies and procedures that allow flexibility in the definition of the school day and calendar in recognition that learning is taking place beyond the school walls.
    2. Should invest in technologies that can track and assess students’ academic levels, learning styles.  To the extent that such tools are most cost-effectively managed on a statewide basis, DPI should be charged with implementing such tools on behalf of all Wisconsin school districts.
Curriculum and Assessment
  1. Understanding research-based methodologies towards personalization, incorporating assessment and promising practices, within the context of a digital media and learning community (the ‘commons’) allows educators and students to customize their learning.
  2. What it might look like:  virtual meeting and classroom spaces for discussion and implementation, modeling concepts such as those found in Compass Learning, School of One, Burst Reading.
  3. Explore options for personalized digital assessment such as e-portfolios, wikis, and blogs, with a particular goal of being systems that could be connected to the statewide student information system to lessen the management efforts at the district level.
Professional Learning and Leadership
  1. Emphasis must be placed on proficiency-based, personalized professional development which provides opportunities to maximize the potential of all professionals based on their needs, abilities, and preferences.  Core components to a personalized professional learning environment are: culturally responsive, comprehensive, data-rich learner profiles, customized learning paths, and performance-based progress.
  2. Professional learning focused on digital learning must be based on and aligned to a comprehensive set of standards.
  3. In assessment related professional development, an emphasis should be paced on the use of digital formative and summative assessments.
  4. Professional learning opportunities must leverage digital and virtual approaches to provide just-in-time delivery and to be responsive to time-sensitive needs of the professional and their student’s needs.
Data and Information Systems
  1. Within the statewide educational resource portal, leverage Web 2.0 features to create a statewide Professional Learning Commons that grows virtual professional learning networks and communities.
  2. Within the digital portal include a linked Professional Development Plan for each educator including a portfolio space and links to opportunities for improving skills on the teacher and administrator standards.
  3. Explore the experiences of other states in the implementation of individual learner plan (ILP) systems.  Initiate partnerships within the state toward this objective including higher education agencies and the private sector.
Policies and Procedures
  1. State and local policies and procedures will result in the ability for all educators and students to leverage equitable, engaging, relevant, and learner-centered digital resources.
  2. State and local policies and procedures will allow for the delivery of progressive digital learning along with autonomy for the individual student, instructor, and provider of dynamic digital learning opportunities.
  3. Personalized learning will revolve around individualized experiences specific to the learner and made available through the delivery of relevant digital resources, policies, and procedures to all Wisconsin stakeholders.
  4. An examination of school hours/days of instruction and contact time to maximize flexibility is needed to maintain a personalized learning setting.
  5. Place an emphasis on ensuring adequate resources to allow for quality professional development opportunities focused on digital learning for all educators across the state.
  6. An examination of “bring your own device” (BYOD) policy as a means of feasibly implementing a one computer per student program will require careful thought and informed decision, and will be based on multiple resources.
Hardware and Infrastructure
  1. Cloud-based software applications that allow for personalization should be reviewed and identified as a best practice resources within the statewide educational resource portal.