Personalized Learning – We Still Have Work To Do
Digital Learning Now!, a national campaign to advance policies that will create high quality digital learning environments, recently released their second set of report cards for each state – and the results are not good, with Delaware receiving an overall grade of an F and percentage score of 50 percent.
The reports cards highlight state-level policies that should be in place to enable high-quality personalized learning experiences for every student. In total, only 13 of 50 states received a C grade or higher. In our report card, Delaware scored well on providing quality instruction to students (through such mechanisms as the statewide definition of “teacher of record” and evaluating educators based upon student performance) and the infrastructure to support digital learning (broadband access, devices, etc.). Areas highlighted for improvement include allowing funds to follow students to the schools of their choice and advancement within grades and/or subjects based upon mastery versus time in class.
The report focuses on topics which we don’t agree are necessary to launch personalized experiences for every student (funds provided to private school students, multiple opportunities for approval throughout school year for providers, etc.) along with underemphasizing critical components necessary for success. These could include encouraging career paths that utilize technology to enable personalized learning experiences (such as those highlighted in Opportunity Culture) or the professional development necessary to equip teachers with the knowledge and skills to successfully implement these strategies.
Looking ahead, there are components within this report Delaware should focus on; however, a more broad, and inclusive outlook must be utilized if we are to ensure all Delawareans have access to a personalized learning experience.