PERSONALIZED LEARNING, OH YES: Personalized learning seems to be making a difference in students’ math and reading outcomes, according to a new report published by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rand Corporation, “Continued Progress: New Evidence on Personalized Learning.” Researchers analyzed data from 62 K-12 charter and district schools which serve grades and are currently using personalized learning platforms.
The study also finds that teachers and administrators are using data generated by personalized learning tools to inform their instructional practices. It also identified three factors present in the most successful schools: the use of data to group students, the existence of learning spaces adapted to personalized learning, and the opportunity for students to discuss their data with their teachers.
Despite the positive results, the report also shows that technology use is still fairly limited. Teachers surveyed in this study say students are using digital tools frequently in predictable ways: 61 percent of the students use it to consult curriculum materials, 57 percent in reading and for watching videos, 53 percent for using online materials, and 51 percent for searching on the web. However, when it comes to more complex tasks, the use of technology is not frequent: just 37 percent of the teachers said students are using digital tools to solve problems or collaborate with other students.