The Future of Personalized Learning in Elementary Schools

Empowering personalized learning through technology is a growing trend— and a particularly attractive one in a time of expanding class sizes and shrinking budgets that can’t accommodate the hiring of additional teachers. New digital learning technology such as intelligent adaptive software is designed to capture every decision a student makes and adjust the student’s learning path for more personalized learning. This type of technology can potentially lighten the load for teachers by supplementing primary instruction with additional student-driven learning experiences, thus empowering teachers to act as guides and facilitators of learning in new ways. The fusing of technology with traditional classrooms not only allows teachers to foster a more collaborative environment, it also cultivates student engagement and self-directed learning. That’s why the most recent report from the Speak Up 2012 National Research Project is especially relevant.

Every year since 2003, Project Tomorrow®, a national education nonprofit organization, facilitates the Speak Up National Research Project. As part of this initiative, their research tracks the growing student, educator, and parent interest in digital learning, and how the nation’s schools are addressing that interest with innovative ways to use technology in and out of the classroom. In the 2012 results, compiled and released in 2013, there was a deeper focus on intelligent adaptive learning technology to clarify how it is regarded, how it is being used, and how it fits into the future of personalized learning in elementary schools.

How important is the use of tech in child's future?

Outline and questions that will be answered in this white paper:

  • Technology and personalization for Grades 3–5
  • How are elementary students already personalizing learning, in and out of school?
    • How do you use technology and the Internet at home?
    • How often do you access the Internet from home to help you with your schoolwork?
    • How do you use technology at school for learning?
  • What personal access do you have to these mobile devices?
  • What are parents’ expectations for their child’s personalized learning?
    • How important is the use of technology to your child’s/student’s future?
    • What concerns do you have about technology use at your child’s school?
    • Increased interest in digital learning?
  • How well are today’s elementary schools meeting student and parent aspirations?
    • What’s waking up our administrators in the middle of the night?
    • What are digital preferences for school-to-home communications.
  • What are the teacher and principal points of view on personalized learning with new tech tools?
    • What are the benefits of using digital content within instruction?
    • Why the particular interest in intelligent adaptive software?
    • Looking to the future.What experiences/skills do you think pre-service teachers should have within their teacher prep programs?
  • What does personalized learning really mean?
  • How does intelligent adaptive learning offer the highest level of personalization?

About the Author: Julie Evans

Julie Evans

CEO, Project Tomorrow

Julie Evans is the CEO of the national education nonprofit organization, Project Tomorrow whose mission is to ensure that today's students are well prepared to become tomorrow's leaders, innovators and engaged citizens of the world. Prior to joining the organization in 1999, Ms. Evans enjoyed a successful 17-year career in the technology for-profit sector. Her career includes 12 years in regional sales and marketing management with Unisys and as an executive with two high tech startup companies in the educational technology arena. Ms. Evans is a graduate of Brown University.