Written by: 

Nikolaus Namba, Director of 21st Century Learning, Lindsay Unified School District

Ross Lipstein, Senior Director of Research, Summit Public Schools

Jeff Wetzler, Co-founder, Transcend

Join us at iNacol as we unveil and test two early stage personalized learning tools!

Nationally, the field is at a place where personalized learning is beginning to be piloted in pockets. Slowly, schools are realizing that the core of personalized learning has less to do with technology, despite tech being a common entry point to pursuing “innovation.” Rather, personalizing learning is about what good educators have always wanted—creating purpose-driven schools that help students live fulfilled lives. Rather than asking, “which tech platform should I use to ‘personalize’,” educators are now asking, “How do we help ensure students are building all of the skills and habits they need in a rapidly changing world? How do we help learners internalize their short and long term goals as they pursue their passions in an fast-changing world?”

For the past year, the California Consortium for Development and Dissemination of Personalized Education (C2D2): Lindsay Unified School District and Summit Public Schools supported by Transcend and Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL) have been partnering to create tools for the field. In spite of working in different contexts serving rural and urban students, these systems share a strong belief in high expectations for all children. Their shared belief in the potential of every child has resulted in a collaboration that aims to help educators, coaches, and leaders cut through the ambiguity of personalized learning, based on lessons learned and research they’ve engaged in over their journeys.

Why Lindsay and Summit?

Both Lindsay USD and Summit Public Schools are leading innovators in personalized learning and this unique district and charter collaboration is truly exciting. Lindsay Unified School District serves over 4,100 students in the agricultural setting of Tulare County and has aligned the entire district to a personalized, performance-based model of education. Summit Public Schools operates a public school system in California and Washington, and it shares its personalized approach to teaching and learning - Summit Learning - with approximately 330 schools and 54,000 students across 40 states.

What are the practical tools emerging from Lindsay and Summit?

Through a thorough review of research and drawing on the the experiences of educators with years of experience serving diverse student needs, Summit and Lindsay have created a first draft set of classroom look fors and site level playbook actions. The tools are designed for an educator, site leader, or system leader who believes in student agency and personalized learning and who may want to implement or is already implementing personalized learning.

We’re focusing on the following two questions:

Q1: What specifically would I expect to see learners doing in a successful personalized learning classroom? What might the educator be doing to encourage and support those behaviors with learners?

A1: Our Beta C2D2 Tool is a Classroom Level Look Fors Framework—a set of learner look fors across six principles as well as corresponding educators actions to encourage the learner look fors.

Q2: How do site leaders foster an environment in which learners and educators successfully personalize learning?

A2: Our Beta C2D2 Tool is a Site Level “Playbook”—a set of site level look fors that accelerate the ability for educators and learners to personalize learning.


Give us your opinion!

We’d love to hear from you! Tweet #TranscendEdu and/or come join our session at iNacol to learn about these tools and for what purpose and give us your input about how to make the content and tools as useful as possible for practitioners.  


See you at iNacol!

- Nik, Ross, and Jeff

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