In the APS 2011-17 Strategic Plan, the community set a goal to ensure that every student from grade 2 through 12 has a personal digital learning device to support instruction. The Strategic Plan states that APS should create vital and engaging, technology-rich learning environments, provide an infrastructure for learning and utilize state-of-the-art technology that creates engaging, relevant and personalized learning experiences for all learners regardless of background, language or disabilities.
APS is dedicated to providing high quality, engaging learning experiences that develop the whole child. It is committed to challenging all students, preparing them to be college and career ready, and becoming responsible and productive global citizens. Our vision for the personalized learning initiative is that every teacher uses technology to transform teaching that results in personalized learning and academic growth.
APS has laid the foundation for ensuring that students have equal access to information, opportunities and tools needed for learning by providing students and teachers with new technology tools. Students are able to leverage technology to take greater ownership of their learning, and engage in activities that require them to solve problems, collaborate with others, and generate new ideas. APS is committed to ensuring instruction, curriculum and outcomes are connected to our students’ unique talents, skills and interests and using technology to provide flexibility and choice for our learners.
Benefits of Personalized Learning
While personalized learning is not new, technology is helping us to make greater strides toward this goal, and we see many wonderful benefits.
- Classrooms are student-centered and the teacher’s role is as facilitator to guide learning rather than just being gatekeeper or a
single source of knowledge.
- Through personalized learning, students are challenged to think critically and use higher order level skills.
- Students are more engaged in learning when they are given more opportunities to take control of their learning.
- Teachers are able to offer immediate feedback so that students can make adjustments to their thinking and improve on their work.
- With collaboration tools, students and teachers are able to communicate easily both inside and outside of school.
- Students are exploring more creative ways to solve problems, express their ideas, generate new learning and develop skills to
work as part of a team in the classroom and virtually.
In the fall of 2015, APS released a draft handbook on personalized learning, to address family and staff questions regarding the initiative. Feedback was collected from the community and the Digital Learning Steering Committee is using that feedback to make appropriate amendments to the handbook. A final version of the handbook, and a full report on the comments received from the community and APS responses to them, will be released in the spring of 2016.