Harnessing the power of technology to tailor instruction to individual students’ needs and interests, NewSchools will invest in organizations that help schools and teachers accelerate learning by personalizing instruction, in particular for underserved students.
For too long, the dominant structure for learning in this country has assumed that an entire class of students learns at largely the same pace and in the same ways, despite manifest evidence to the contrary. Low-income students have the most to lose from one-size-fits-all instruction and the most to gain from an approach that customizes resources, content and instruction.
Personalized learning is a student-centered approach that tailors instruction to the academic needs, interests, and learning styles of students to help prepare them for success in college and careers. Personalized learning technologies, platforms and services enable teachers and schools to understand the needs of students, provide multiple strands of engaging and challenging content, and use a variety of ways to assess students’ learning. These technologies also allow students to learn through an expanded number of approaches, or “modalities,” in order to ensure readiness for college. Personalized learning tools will help drive productivity and efficiency, in part through greater flexibility in the staffing of schools. We will give priority to investments that integrate various components and deliver a coherent model to a school.