Making sense of personalized learning

Design challenge: draft definition of Personalized Learning in Ridgefield Public Schools.


From Vista Unified Public Schools, CA: 

Personalized learning increasingly puts students at the center of the design of learning experiences where they leverage growing strengths, interests, passions, and ideas to engage in authentic problems and challenges that are aligned to standards and students’ personal goals.

From Manchester Public Schools, CT:

Personalized learning is a progressively student-centered shift in which we work together to deeply engage in meaningful, authentic, and rigorous challenges to demonstrate desired goals.

Ideas to Consider in the Design and Development

Metaphor of a sound board: equalizer-full

CHART- Changing  Roles of Students and Teachers in Key Elements of Personalized Learning

Slides: rps-slide-deck


What it Looks Like in Practice

Dr. Eric Chagala of VIDA (Vista, Ca.) and Meghan Ofer of Roxborough (Littleton, Co.) chat with Allison Zmuda about what personalized learning looks like in their schools and what they’ve learned as building principals.

Q1: What does personalized learning look like in your school?

Q2: Is personalized learning appropriate for all students?

Q3: How do you work to grow professional practice?

Q4: As a building principal, what is one lesson you learned the hard way?

Q5: What is one thing you can suggest to a building principal to get started with personalized learning?

Website: 7th Grade teacher Pernille Ripp posts her student blogs

Website: Reinventing 3rd Grade; Douglas County, Colorado

Search on Learning Personalized for High School Biology teacher Craig Gastauer to see his personalized learning journey. Here is his first post to get you started.

Click here for a guest post from 6th grade teacher Noelle Johnson on what personalized learning is and is not in her classroom.


STEM teachers Brian Walach (math) and Dr. Sarah Goldin (science) highlight Greenwich High School’s Innovation Lab, currently wrapping up its inaugural year. The personalized learning program combines classroom lessons with hands-on projects to elevate student learning in English, math, science, and social studies.