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March 2017 | Volume 74 | Number 6
Getting Personalization Right
"Have it your way" may be a catchy slogan, but how does it work in education? This month's issue of Educational Leadership explores aspects of personalized learning. How do educators create customized learning experiences for each student? What effect does personalization have on learner engagement? And what role does technology play? The articles in this issue address practical considerations for implementing student-centered learning, cautionary tales about moving too quickly toward personalization, and profiles of schools and classrooms that have embraced this work.
Carol Ann Tomlinson ("Let's Celebrate Personalization: But Not Too Fast") writes that, "There are currently so many iterations of what personalization looks like that it begins to look like everything—and nothing." Several authors in this issue agree that it's hard to pin down a definition of personalization to a few words. Consider some of the following definitions. Work with your PLC to compare and contrast key words. What common ground do the authors cover, and where do they diverge?
For all its merits, there are just as many concerns about personalized learning. Two authors in the issue caution readers to think twice before this approach: "Let's Celebrate Personalization: But Not Too Fast" by Carol Ann Tomlinson and "Personalization vs. How People Learn" by Benjamin Riley. Read these two articles and discuss the key ideas. What other concerns or cautions would you add?
Shifting to full implementation of personalization is no small feat. Several articles in the issue suggest small ways you can dip your toe into the personalized-learning pond. Talk with your colleagues about how you might make small changes to personalize learning for your students.
Use these ASCD resources to learn more about personalized learning.
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