How Does Personalized Learning Technology Impact Students?

A Video Series

We began this series with a discussion around why personalized learning is important, and then examined how administrators can effectively implement personalized learning technology in their school or district. Today, we want to look at the way students interact with personalized learning in the classroom. How exactly does tech impact student learning? How can personalized learning technology change the classroom environment? Most importantly: how does it empower students?

To understand the impact of personalized learning on students, and how you can best use it to empower them, it’s best to turn to the experts. Below, you’ll find Tom Vander Ark, Tiffany Wycoff, and Curriculum Director Janet Pittock all speaking to different aspects of the tech and student relationship. These videos don’t even begin to cover every impact of personalized learning on student engagement and empowerment, but we hope they give you a running start.

Embrace Productive Struggle

In this video, Janet Pittock explains productive struggle — essentially, the idea that students shouldn’t always be learning right in their comfort zone, where answers come easily. They should be working enough (struggling enough) that they’re engaging in productive, challenging exercises. However, we also don’t want to push students to work with content that’s completely beyond their understanding. It’s a balancing act. That’s where personalized learning comes in — by identifying a student’s needs and abilities, it can ensure that student is consistently engaging in productive struggle. Learn more:

Expect Discomfort

If you are in the process of adopting new technology in your school or district, then you may already be very familiar with this phenomenon. Any kind of change is difficult, but technological change — especially if your learning community is coming from a place with very little edtech in the classroom — can be particularly uncomfortable. This holds true for both students and teachers. But the discomfort of a transition period doesn’t have to be a negative experience. It can be a time to adopt a growth mindset, to embrace flexibility, and reminder to be humble in learning. Tiffany Wycoff breaks it down:

Empower Students

A critical component of personalized learning is student ownership. When students are responsible for their own learning, and have influence over the path and form that learning takes, they develop skills and ease into mindsets that will carry them into college and career. Technology can empower students not only by providing them with a top-notch, personalized education, but also by placing that education in the students’ own hands. Tom Vander Ark explains:

To see how personalized learning technology can empower math students in a blended learning environment, check out this Ohio school’s story →