In today’s education landscape, teachers are more important than ever. That’s just one of many points Anne Olson made in a Brookings Institution article.

Personalized Learning, Technology and the Still-Important Role of the Teacher

In today’s education landscape, teachers are more important than ever. That’s just one of many points KnowledgeWorks Director of State Advocacy Anne Olson made in a recent article for the Brookings Institution. Olson explained that in a personalized learning environment, teachers are the guides that help shape how learners approach, appreciate and advance in the world.

At KnowledgeWorks, we have conducted in-depth interviews with district, state and classroom leaders to understand some of the conditions necessary to create a thriving system of personalized learning. The commonalities across districts with thriving personalized learning in place are:

  • Instruction that is aligned, customized and varied in pace
  • Data that informs practice
  • Transparency so that both students and their families understand what is expected for mastery and advancement

None of these are possible without a strong teacher presence.

“While KnowledgeWorks’ definition of personalized learning is learner-centric, we recognize that creative, empowered teachers bring personalized learning systems to life. Consistent with a recent recommendation by the RAND Corporation that districts ‘provide teachers with time and resources to collaborate on developing curriculum,’ we believe that it is not technology itself, but how technology is cultivated by teachers in a learning environment, that leads to success.”

Read more in Olson’s complete article, “Personalized learning: The importance of teachers in a technology-driven world.”

Learn more about the district conditions necessary for a K-12 school district to support the scaling of personalized learning.


Kate Westrich

Written by: Kate Westrich

Kate Westrich manages digital marketing for KnowledgeWorks, tweeting for @KnowledgeWorks and @EdPersonalized, and posting at KnowledgeWorks' Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest pages.

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