Technology and Learning

Personalized Learning Hinges on Strong Tech Backbone

by Heather B. Hayes, EdTech

In a lot of ways, combining technology with curricula is like learning about fractions. Together, the two disciplines create a whole. But in schools nationwide, instructional and technology teams are working in tandem to ensure that this whole adds up to more than the sum of its parts, so that teachers in the classroom can effectively provide individualized learning to their students.

For the technology side of the equation, it’s about “making sure the infrastructure can support any creative possibilities for instruction,” says Terance Proctor, director of technology at Arlington Public Schools (APS) in Virginia.

On the instructional side, it’s about personalizing all aspects of learning with agility, says Tara Nattrass, assistant superintendent for instruction at APS. This academic model relies on each student’s own voice and choices so that teachers can better address the learner’s distinct needs while also setting goals and tracking progress, she explains. Curriculum planners also take into account various instructional approaches, academic support strategies and learning experiences, Nattrass adds.

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