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Personalized learning a key theme from 2013 ISTE conference

From staff reports
July 12th, 2013

Preparing for personalized learning involves making sure you have the right IT infrastructure.

How technology can provide opportunities for more personalized learning that meets each student’s unique needs was a key theme to emerge from the exhibit hall of the 2013 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in San Antonio last month.

For instance, Dell released a document called “Path to Personalize Learning,” a blueprint that comes from the company’s research and its work with school districts such as Clear Creek Independent School District in Texas and Fargo Public Schools in North Dakota.

Here are five steps to implementing more personalized learning environments with the help of technology, according to the document:

Establish a vision for learning. While leadership at the top is essential, schools also must involve other stakeholders in this process, such as teachers and students. “School districts should set aside one day as a ‘Visioning Day’ to discuss the reality of students’ lives and ways the district is not meeting their needs,” the blueprint says.

Determine the right IT infrastructure. Students should have personal access to learning devices, but this will create strains on the school’s wireless network. “Often, an assessment of the district’s IT capacity is a first step,” Dell’s plan says. “Key elements in a solid IT Infrastructure plan include mobile device management (MDM), access security, and identity provisioning management to ensure student information protection.”

(Next page: Three more steps to personalized learning—and seven new ed-tech products that can help)