Announcing the 2017 Fifty States Project: Personalized Learning Across the Country

Announcing the 2017 Fifty States Project: Personalized Learning Across the Country

If you're in education, chances are you've heard the term "personalized learning." But what does that phrase mean? What does "personalized learning" look like from coast to coast, classroom to classroom?

For the last few years, we’ve collected stories written by educators--edtech coordinators, librarians, superintendents and others--from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. We called it The Fifty States Project, an initiative to showcase educators and their stories of supporting learning by using technology.

People took note, and now, we’re back for the third year, rebooting the Fifty States Project for 2017, sponsored in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. But this time, there’s a twist.

We want to celebrate the art, knowledge and best practices shared by educators across urban, suburban, and rural communities, wielding technology to make a real difference for kids—but specifically with regards to personalized learning.

From now through August, you'll see  articles on personalized learning from educators in all 50 states, sharing tales and tools of the trade, which we’ll add to this helpful guide.

We’re looking for detailed examples of meaningful, credible practices to share--specific, actionable practices that other educators and administrators can adopt. We’ll highlight the states as we find writers to represent them (see below). To kick off this year, we’ve got our first article from an educator in Alabama.

The official Fifty States map identifies which states have been claimed (green) and which states have yet to be represented (gray).

What are the stories about?

We invite educators to submit articles in response to one of the following prompts:

  • How do you define personalized learning? What does personalized learning look like in practice?
  • Describe the curriculum, instructional design, products and/or technologies that you have used to implement personalized learning.
  • How do we better prepare teachers and students to implement personalized learning?
  • Describe the challenges and/or solutions to implementing and assessing personalized learning in the classroom.

Who are the writers--and how can I get involved?

We invite educators--teachers, admins, and/or district leaders--to tell their stories about how they are implementing or integrating technology. If you work in K-12, we want to hear from you. Admire a colleague’s work? Nudge them to write for us.

If we’ve already published a writer in your state, we invite you to submit an idea anyway. EdSurge is always looking for great stories, independent of the Fifty States Project.  Interested parties can apply here by submitting a short paragraph about their practices or article idea. Or, you can nominate an educator you know with incredible work.

If you apply and are accepted, then we’ll ask you to write your story. We’ll polish your prose with a little editorial elbow grease and put it on EdSurge. And, added bonus, you’ll get a Fifty States contributor badge (shown to the right) for your blog or profile!

Once again, we look forward to hearing your stories and including you in our collection of great educator voices. And if you’d like to join in the conversation and even share stories from your own schools and districts, Tweet with #Edsurge50. We'll periodically share them on the site!

Mary Jo Madda (@MJMadda) is Senior Editor at EdSurge, as well as a former STEM middle school teacher and administrator. In 2016, Mary Jo was named to the Forbes "30 Under 30" list in education.

The project is supported in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the individual contributors alone and do not reflect the views of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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