Continuing the momentum of personalized learning is a key focus of a school district in the third year of implementing a grant funded project to enable all students to make choices and set goals for their learning.
In the Springdale School District in Arkansas, every student has access to a laptop or tablet computer at school. The devices were provided by a $25.9 million Race to the Top grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2013, and the money is approved for spending through June 2018.
Technology makes a learning environment where all students to make choices and set goals for their learning a possibility, according to Megan Slocum, associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction.
"We are still at the beginning stages of personalization," Slocum said. "Our schools are in different places depending on what they're experiences have been and the students they serve."
The impact on learning is seen in small ways that are meaningful. Often, students ask Sonora Middle School Principal Martha Dodson for passes during lunchtime to work on projects in classrooms.
"It's not just the ones who are highly motivated," Dodson said. "We are intrinsically motivating more students through project-based learning. They're finding something they're interested in."