A Framework for Personalized Learning

The district decided to tackle the issue of defining what personalized learning would look like for their diverse student body by creating a five-point framework, consisting of: 1) the student profile; 2) technology (as a tool, not a driver); 3) a personal learning path, where students exercise choice; 4) the learning environment, which must be dynamic and flexible; and 5) a competency-based approach, where students set personal goals tied to real-world applications.


Vodicka made sure to emphasize that students were crucial contributors and codesigners of the district’s personalized learning plan.

When starting a personalized learning journey, he recommended listening to students and asking for feedback on considerations such as how they can be more connected to the school and enthusiastic about school in general. Educators are then urged to use that feedback to tap into the potential within each learner.

In other words, “put students in a place where they can drive their learning and exercise a lot more choice,” explained Vodicka.

Seeing Results

Since implementing a structured personalized learning framework, the Vista Unified School District has seen improved attendance, reduced behavioral problems, more students opting into higher levels of challenges, and increased graduation rate among its diverse student boday.

About the Presenters

Dr. Devin Vodicka, Superintendent of Vista Unified School District, was recognized as 2016 California Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators and 2015 Superintendent of the Year by Pepperdine University; and received the 2015 California Superintendent of the Year award by the Association of California School Administrators and the Innovative Superintendent Award from the Classroom of the Future Foundation in 2014. Dr. Vodicka’s education career began in the classroom over 20 years ago, when he taught English learners in Los Angeles. He has held numerous leadership roles including principal, director of curriculum and instruction, and chief business official in the Carlsbad Unified School District.

Vic Vuchic, Chief Innovation Officer, Digital Promise, is a thought leader in education technology and philanthropy. He is an expert in learning science, innovation, and scaling what works; and has launched initiatives that have aimed to increase access to education and improved learning for tens of millions of learners in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. Prior to Digital Promise Global, Vic consulted with a number of foundations and organizations on education technology, innovation and philanthropy. Prior to consulting, Vic developed strategies and managed over $100 million in technology-focused grants at the Hewlett Foundation to launch and grow the Open Educational Resources movement and create and advance the Deeper Learning strategy.

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The recording of this webinar can be viewed by anyone here.


About the Author:

Meris Stansbury

Meris Stansbury is the Editorial Director for both eSchool News and eCampus News, and was formerly the Managing Editor of eCampus News. Before working at eSchool Media, Meris worked as an assistant editor for The World and I, an online curriculum publication. She graduated from Kenyon College in 2006 with a BA in English, and enjoys spending way too much time either reading or cooking.