EdSurge Guide

What Personalized Learning Looks Like Across the Country: The 2017 Fifty States Project

Mississippi

How a Tough Challenge Taught My Students More About Coding Than I Ever Could
How a Tough Challenge Taught My Students More About Coding Than I Ever Could
Coding

How a Tough Challenge Taught My Students More About Coding Than I Ever Could

By Shelley Songy

Indiana

Want to Give Students More Voice and Choice? Start with Teachers
Want to Give Students More Voice and Choice? Start with Teachers
Professional Development

Want to Give Students More Voice and Choice? Start with Teachers

By Michele Eaton

Montana

For Place-Based Instruction, Start with Place-Based Professional Development
For Place-Based Instruction, Start with Place-Based Professional Development
Professional Development

For Place-Based Instruction, Start with Place-Based Professional Development

By Crista Anderson

Hawaii

Canoe as the Classroom: Cultivating Culturally Responsible Navigators and Leaders
Canoe as the Classroom: Cultivating Culturally Responsible Navigators and Leaders
Diversity and Equity

Canoe as the Classroom: Cultivating Culturally Responsible Navigators and Leaders

By Denise Espania

Delaware

Where Does Personalized Learning End and Special Education Begin?
Where Does Personalized Learning End and Special Education Begin?
Personalized Learning

Where Does Personalized Learning End and Special Education Begin?

By Stefanina Baker

District of Columbia

Providing the Right Guidance and Guardrails to Support Student Voice and Choice
Providing the Right Guidance and Guardrails to Support Student Voice and Choice
Personalized Learning

Providing the Right Guidance and Guardrails to Support Student Voice and Choice

By Jeff Heyck-Williams

Utah

My Personalized Learning Approach Isn’t About Tech. It’s About Dignity.
My Personalized Learning Approach Isn’t About Tech. It’s About Dignity.
Personalized Learning

My Personalized Learning Approach Isn’t About Tech. It’s About Dignity.

By Valerie Gates

Wisconsin

Rewriting the Game of School: An Alternative Model for Learning
Rewriting the Game of School: An Alternative Model for Learning
Personalized Learning

Rewriting the Game of School: An Alternative Model for Learning

By Johnna Noll

Nebraska

How to Build Community Leaders of Today—and Tomorrow—Through Student Genius Hours
How to Build Community Leaders of Today—and Tomorrow—Through Student Genius Hours
Personalized Learning

How to Build Community Leaders of Today—and Tomorrow—Through Student Genius Hours

By Jen Schneider

Washington

In Washington’s Most Diverse District, STEM Opportunities Provide New Paths to Success
In Washington’s Most Diverse District, STEM Opportunities Provide New Paths to Success
STEM

In Washington’s Most Diverse District, STEM Opportunities Provide New Paths to Success

By Dr. Tammy Campbell

Arkansas

The Answer Within—Making Language Personal
The Answer Within—Making Language Personal
Personalized Learning

The Answer Within—Making Language Personal

By Courtney L. Cochran

Wyoming

Of Babies and Bathwater: A Call to Thoughtfulness as We Embrace Individualized Learning
Of Babies and Bathwater: A Call to Thoughtfulness as We Embrace Individualized Learning
Personalized Learning

Of Babies and Bathwater: A Call to Thoughtfulness as We Embrace Individualized Learning

By Ryan Fuhrman

Iowa

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work—Building a Successful Blended Learning Program
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work—Building a Successful Blended Learning Program
Blended Learning

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work—Building a Successful Blended Learning Program

By Lisa Wilson

Oklahoma

The Impossibility of Negativity: An Affirmation from Oklahoma’s Teacher of the Year
The Impossibility of Negativity: An Affirmation from Oklahoma’s Teacher of the Year
Movers and Shakers

The Impossibility of Negativity: An Affirmation from Oklahoma’s Teacher of the Year

By Jon Hazell

Missouri

The Chromebook Crusades: How to Win the War Against Technology
The Chromebook Crusades: How to Win the War Against Technology
Technology Tips

The Chromebook Crusades: How to Win the War Against Technology

By Melissa Romero

South Carolina

Planning PD Got You Down? 4 Ways Padlet Can Help You Get Your Groove Back
Planning PD Got You Down? 4 Ways Padlet Can Help You Get Your Groove Back
Professional Development

Planning PD Got You Down? 4 Ways Padlet Can Help You Get Your Groove Back

By Hamilton Parks

Illinois

Finding Your Happy Place Along the Problematic ‘Personalized Learning’ Continuum
Finding Your Happy Place Along the Problematic ‘Personalized Learning’ Continuum
Project-Based Learning

Finding Your Happy Place Along the Problematic ‘Personalized Learning’ Continuum

By Jennie Magiera

Alaska

Bridging the School-to-Business Gap: What Public Schools Can Learn From Industry
Bridging the School-to-Business Gap: What Public Schools Can Learn From Industry
PK-12 School Models

Bridging the School-to-Business Gap: What Public Schools Can Learn From Industry

By Stewart McDonald

Massachusetts

4 Tech-free Ways to Personalize Learning in Your Classroom
4 Tech-free Ways to Personalize Learning in Your Classroom
Personalized Learning

4 Tech-free Ways to Personalize Learning in Your Classroom

By Devon Almeida

South Dakota

What to Put in Your Makerspace (and How to Pay for It)
What to Put in Your Makerspace (and How to Pay for It)
Technology Tips

What to Put in Your Makerspace (and How to Pay for It)

By Teri Bauerly

Kentucky

Trolls, Catfish, Cyberbullies—Oh My! How to Help Students Stay ‘Internet Kind’
Trolls, Catfish, Cyberbullies—Oh My! How to Help Students Stay ‘Internet Kind’
Technology Tips

Trolls, Catfish, Cyberbullies—Oh My! How to Help Students Stay ‘Internet Kind’

By Donnie Piercey

Rhode Island

STEAM Box Offers Disengaged Students a Path to Empowerment: Choice
STEAM Box Offers Disengaged Students a Path to Empowerment: Choice
STEM

STEAM Box Offers Disengaged Students a Path to Empowerment: Choice

By Roberto Gonzalez

Pennsylvania

​Micro-Credentials for Micro-Students—Kindergarteners Swap Grades for Badges
​Micro-Credentials for Micro-Students—Kindergarteners Swap Grades for Badges
PK-12 School Models

​Micro-Credentials for Micro-Students—Kindergarteners Swap Grades for Badges

By Jennifer Meliton

Vermont

Fostering Global Citizenship, One Tweet at a Time
Fostering Global Citizenship, One Tweet at a Time
21st Century Skills

Fostering Global Citizenship, One Tweet at a Time

By Sharon Davison

Maine

Summer PD Feel Overwhelming? An Improviser’s Mindset Can Help You Keep Cool
Summer PD Feel Overwhelming? An Improviser’s Mindset Can Help You Keep Cool
Professional Development

Summer PD Feel Overwhelming? An Improviser’s Mindset Can Help You Keep Cool

By Dan Ryder

New Hampshire

A ‘School in Need of Improvement’ Reinvents Itself by Focusing on What Matters Most
A ‘School in Need of Improvement’ Reinvents Itself by Focusing on What Matters Most
PK-12 School Models

A ‘School in Need of Improvement’ Reinvents Itself by Focusing on What Matters Most

By Amy Allen

Idaho

Want Your Students to Remember You in 20 Years? Start Holding Weekly Data Conferences
Want Your Students to Remember You in 20 Years? Start Holding Weekly Data Conferences
Personalized Learning

Want Your Students to Remember You in 20 Years? Start Holding Weekly Data Conferences

By Stacey Walker

Nevada

How Hip-Hop Led Me to Design Thinking...and Got My Students to Think Bigger
How Hip-Hop Led Me to Design Thinking...and Got My Students to Think Bigger
Personalized Learning

How Hip-Hop Led Me to Design Thinking...and Got My Students to Think Bigger

By Mike Lang

New Jersey

To Build Teamwork, Breakout EDU Challenges Students to Think Out of the Box
To Build Teamwork, Breakout EDU Challenges Students to Think Out of the Box
Project-Based Learning

To Build Teamwork, Breakout EDU Challenges Students to Think Out of the Box

By Chrissy Romano-Arrabito

West Virginia

For This ‘Coal Country’ Librarian, Preparing Students for the Future Starts with STEM
For This ‘Coal Country’ Librarian, Preparing Students for the Future Starts with STEM
Technology Tips

For This ‘Coal Country’ Librarian, Preparing Students for the Future Starts with STEM

By Sandra Wiseman

Texas

Tic-Tac-Toe Your Way to Teacher Choice: A New Model for PD
Tic-Tac-Toe Your Way to Teacher Choice: A New Model for PD
Professional Development

Tic-Tac-Toe Your Way to Teacher Choice: A New Model for PD

By Debra Campbell

New York

How the Country’s Largest District is Personalizing Learning for Every Teacher
How the Country’s Largest District is Personalizing Learning for Every Teacher
Professional Development

How the Country’s Largest District is Personalizing Learning for Every Teacher

By Juliette 'Cricket' Heinze

New Mexico

Saving the World From Zombies (and Other Ways to Make Math Matter)
Saving the World From Zombies (and Other Ways to Make Math Matter)
STEM

Saving the World From Zombies (and Other Ways to Make Math Matter)

By Steven Morgan

Louisiana

​From Blah to Aha! Your Guide for Personalizing Professional Development
​From Blah to Aha! Your Guide for Personalizing Professional Development
Professional Development

​From Blah to Aha! Your Guide for Personalizing Professional Development

By Desiree Alexander

Tennessee

Looking to Engage Students? Give Them a Chance to Get Their Hands Dirty
Looking to Engage Students? Give Them a Chance to Get Their Hands Dirty
Personalized Learning

Looking to Engage Students? Give Them a Chance to Get Their Hands Dirty

By David Cowan

Virginia

Your Guide to Running a School Like Disney World
Your Guide to Running a School Like Disney World
PK-12 School Models

Your Guide to Running a School Like Disney World

By Lynn Colon

California

‘QueenHype’ After-School Program Empowers Girls Through Art and Activism
‘QueenHype’ After-School Program Empowers Girls Through Art and Activism
Personalized Learning

‘QueenHype’ After-School Program Empowers Girls Through Art and Activism

By LaToya Fernandez

Arizona

Personalized Learning, the Navajo Way
Personalized Learning, the Navajo Way
Personalized Learning

Personalized Learning, the Navajo Way

By Mark Sorensen

Florida

How to Shake the Blended Learning Blues
How to Shake the Blended Learning Blues
Language Arts

How to Shake the Blended Learning Blues

By Carly Nations

Connecticut

Forget the Tech—Believing in Every Student Comes First
Forget the Tech—Believing in Every Student Comes First
Personalized Learning

Forget the Tech—Believing in Every Student Comes First

By Dr. William C. Collins

Ohio

How to Get Engagement, Growth and Stickiness When Teaching Kids to Write
How to Get Engagement, Growth and Stickiness When Teaching Kids to Write
Language Arts

How to Get Engagement, Growth and Stickiness When Teaching Kids to Write

By Ann Whitehair

Oregon

Getting Girls into STEM: The Power of Blended (and All-Female) Instruction
Getting Girls into STEM: The Power of Blended (and All-Female) Instruction
Blended Learning

Getting Girls into STEM: The Power of Blended (and All-Female) Instruction

By Alyssa Tormala

Michigan

Who Says I Don't Like to Read? Sparking a Love of Digital Books Across Detroit
Who Says I Don't Like to Read? Sparking a Love of Digital Books Across Detroit
Language Arts

Who Says I Don't Like to Read? Sparking a Love of Digital Books Across Detroit

By Deborah L. Winston

North Carolina

How Personalized Learning Starts with Less Teacher Talk, More Student Voice
How Personalized Learning Starts with Less Teacher Talk, More Student Voice
Personalized Learning

How Personalized Learning Starts with Less Teacher Talk, More Student Voice

By Angela Cooper

Georgia

The Two Resources Administrators Should Maximize for Personalized Learning Success
The Two Resources Administrators Should Maximize for Personalized Learning Success
Personalized Learning

The Two Resources Administrators Should Maximize for Personalized Learning Success

By Grant Rivera

North Dakota

​Personalizing Professional Development For Teachers, By Teachers
​Personalizing Professional Development For Teachers, By Teachers
Workforce Training

​Personalizing Professional Development For Teachers, By Teachers

By Pat Phillips

Kansas

If You Do Any of These 4 Activities in Your Classroom, You're Already Personalizing Learning
If You Do Any of These 4 Activities in Your Classroom, You're Already Personalizing Learning
Personalized Learning

If You Do Any of These 4 Activities in Your Classroom, You're Already Personalizing Learning

By Todd Flory

Colorado

A Manifesto of the Possible: A Teacher’s Journey Toward Personalized Learning
A Manifesto of the Possible: A Teacher’s Journey Toward Personalized Learning
Personalized Learning

A Manifesto of the Possible: A Teacher’s Journey Toward Personalized Learning

By Paul Kim

Maryland

Frederick County’s Call to Administrators: Focus on the “Innovator” and “Early Adopter” Teachers, First
Frederick County’s Call to Administrators: Focus on the “Innovator” and “Early Adopter” Teachers, First
Blended Learning

Frederick County’s Call to Administrators: Focus on the “Innovator” and “Early Adopter” Teachers, First

By Dr. Kevin Cuppett

Minnesota

Not Just About Students: The Importance of Personalizing Learning for Teachers
Not Just About Students: The Importance of Personalizing Learning for Teachers
Professional Development

Not Just About Students: The Importance of Personalizing Learning for Teachers

By Teri Preisler

Alabama

How to Find the Middle Ground Between Data-Driven and Student-Driven Learning in Your Classroom
How to Find the Middle Ground Between Data-Driven and Student-Driven Learning in Your Classroom
Personalized Learning

How to Find the Middle Ground Between Data-Driven and Student-Driven Learning in Your Classroom

By Nira Dale
Hover over a state to see an article written by an author from that state

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 and the District of Columbia. 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 the 2016-2017 school year. 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. We are looking to hear answers to the following inquiries:

Below, you'll find our collection of articles that we'll build over the next ten months, finishing just in time for the 2017-2018 school year. Interested in contributing? Any K-12 state, district and school leaders, administrators or can apply here to tell their story.

Defining ‘Personalized Learning’

How are educators across the U.S. defining “personalized learning,” and what does it look like in the classroom?

The Approaches and the Technology

There are a number of different curriculum, instructional design, product and/or technology decisions that educators make when they implement personalized learning in the classroom. What are their go-to resources?

Preparing Teachers (and Students, Too)

As much as some educators hope to change their classroom practices to better personalize for students, so too must the constructs of professional development switch. What does solid PD look like for all those involved?

Challenges Along the Way

Not everything goes perfect when integrating or switching to a personalized learning model. And what challenges when implementing and assessing personalized learning in the classroom—and furthermore, what are the solutions?

This project was funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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