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Innovation and Personalized Learning

By Elizabeth Cryan Photography with permission from Donnell-Kay Foundation at Rocky Mountain Prep school

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Most recent reform initiatives — from standards and accountability, to vouchers, to charter schools, to teacher evaluation — do little to change the underlying format of public education or of children’s day-to-day experiences in the classroom. Yet achieving dramatically better results for all students — particularly those facing the greatest challenges — will require fundamentally different and more efficient means of delivering education and engaging students.

Increasingly, schools, districts, and other education organizations are experimenting with new models that change how students access content and tailor learning to individual needs. Personalized learning models, for example, are designed to tailor instruction to a student’s skill level and learning style by using different learning modalities, flexible learning environments, and competency-based progression. These and other innovative models employ technology in new ways and change how teachers work with one another and with students.

Bellwether’s work seeks to identify, learn from, and support the growth of personalized learning and other innovative models. We conduct research to analyze the conditions, including public policy changes, that enable high-quality models to scale. Through our grant-funded field-facing publications, we aim to increase public dialogue around reimagining traditional forms of teaching and learning. We also work directly with schools, districts, charter management organizations, and nonprofit organizations seeking to develop, implement, scale, or evaluate innovative programs to improve student results. Our expertise in other education policy areas — including accountability, teacher evaluation, and charter schools — allows us to incorporate an understanding of broader K-12 trends into the advice we provide our clients.

The content below reflects our work on this issue:

Publications

September 15, 2016
WETA/WHUT TV -- A one-hour town hall event Rethinking High School with Soledad O'Brien -- a moderated panel discussion with students, teachers,...
September 7, 2016
Andrew J. Rotherham, Jennifer O'Neal Schiess
Education is not getting much attention on the presidential campaign trail, but that doesn't mean the next administration won't face a variety of...
August 31, 2016
Education Pioneers -- Decades-long work to transform U.S. public education has had its share of failures, stumbles, and pivots. It has also had many...
February 19, 2016
U.S. News & World Report -- With the recent passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act , states now have the opportunity to replace their No Child...
October 8, 2015
U.S. News & World Report -- For education companies, the costs of going public often outweigh the benefits. Many analysts agree. "Unless you are...

Blog Posts

September 26, 2016
Jason Weeby
Last week, Digital Promise, a nonprofit dedicated to accelerating innovation in education, hosted its fourth convening of Education...
April 18, 2016
Hailly Korman
This week, the education technology community is gathering in San Diego, CA for the 2016 ASU GSV Summit, a conference that the New York...
March 25, 2016
Jason Weeby
The result of a field atwitter by the promise of innovation without the infrastructure to test ideas and research results is that anecdotes...