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What is Personalized Learning? | IU13 Personalized Learning Academy

Posted by Ken Zimmerman

Mon, Oct 22, 2018

approved_Personalized Learning Academy - PLA - Horizontal-FINALThis fall (2018), we launched the IU13 Personalized Learning Academy in an effort to support districts in their customizable, ongoing journey toward personalized learning. We realize that there are many different definitions and understanding of what is true Personalized Learning, so we wanted to help provide clarity in the mist of so many different interpretations.  As a result, we have aligned with several national partners to help support this work such as iNACOL, The Learning Accelerator, LEAP Innovations, The Personalized Learning Institute, and Mass Customized Learning (MCL) National Alliance.  Through the last six years, we have been concentrating on supporting districts/schools/teachers in their various blended learning implementations particularly the station rotation model. As these classrooms continued to expand and grow in the station rotation model, we noticed a natural progression toward creating a more personalized learning environment and wanted to support movement in this progression.  In an effort to provide direction and clarity, we have officially adopted iNACOL's definition of Personalized Learning:

“Tailoring learning for each student’s strengths, needs and interests–including enabling student voice and choice in what, how, when and where they learn–to provide flexibility and supports to ensure mastery of the highest standards possible.” - iNACOL

In the IU13 Personalized Learning Academy we are focusing on specific target areas for growth and exploration when it comes to personalizing student learning as a cross reference from our partner (iNACOL, LEAP Innovations, MCL) recommendations including:

  • Leadership
  • Student Agency
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Flexible Pacing
  • Student Profiles (Personalized Learning Paths)
  • Deeper Learning & Problem Solving
  • Frequent Feedback
  • Standards-Based, World Class Knowledge & Skills
  • Anytime, Anywhere Learning
  • Performance-Based Assessments
  • Infrastructure

PLA symbol finalPersonalized Learning is not something that occurs overnight, but is truly a series of many steps along the great journey AND everyone is on different points within this journey.  What we have learned that many districts/schools/teachers have in common on this journey is the starting point of implementing forms of blended learning such as station rotation, flex, flipped, individual rotation, etc. All of these models have lent themselves to the discovery and need to do more in order to personalize learning for all students.  They have become stepping stones along the path on this journey. We compare this journey to 'The Chambered Nautilus' on how it grows and forms over a period of years. There is a starting point in the growth just like personalized learning, and as each step grows larger/deeper, so does each chamber grow more significant.  Therefore, the Nautilus has become a symbol of the IU13 Personalized Learning Academy.  Feel free to click on the Nautilus in order to read the full story.  We look forward to growing and learning together this year as we continue to explore ways to provide more students with true personalized learning environments. 

Click here for more information regarding the IU13 Personalized Learning Academy.




Topics: IU13PLA, Personalized Learning