Educators, leaders and students are seeking powerful, transformative ways to yield higher learning outcomes, ensure quality, close equity gaps and best prepare students for the next generation workforce. Today’s global economy requires a new set of skills and habits to tackle complex problems: creativity, problem solving and ingenuity, growth mindset and self-efficacy. By reimagining the future of education and crafting a new vision for defining success aligned to student futures, we ask a new set of questions of K-12 education: what do we want students to know and be able to do? What knowledge, skills and dispositions do students need to be successful in today’s global job marketplace?

Personalizing education

Personalized learning tailors learning for each student’s strengths, needs and interests—including enabling student voice and choice in what, how, when and where they learn—to provide flexibility and supports to ensure mastery of the highest standards possible. I’ve travelled across the United States and around the world to study education systems and approaches, and I’ve witnessed powerful new learning environments where teachers are personalizing learning according to each student’s passions, interests, and topics that are meaningful and relevant to them to build knowledge and skills they will need to succeed.

In the traditional educational system, students are expected to move at one pace, through one curriculum, with a one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t account for students’ diverse needs and interests. As a result, students who aren’t supported or engaged effectively end up getting left behind, lowering overall achievement.

Educators are seeking ways to yield higher learning outcomes and prepare students for the complex problems of today’s global, digital world. By moving from the traditional system to a student-centered one, we can increase student agency and foster opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.

“In the traditional educational system, students are expected to move at one pace, through one curriculum, with a one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t account for students’ diverse needs and interests.”

Student-driven learning

By transitioning from this traditional system to a student-centered one, we can personalize education, expand opportunities for learning beyond the classroom and reimagine learning to give students greater agency and the support they need to achieve success.

Personalized learning is tailored to each student’s strengths, needs and interests, giving them a voice in what, when, where and how they learn. This gives students a sense of empowerment and allows them to reach their full potential.

When students have a choice, they decide what to learn to achieve set goals and how to demonstrate their knowledge. Students work with teachers, co-designing teaching, learning and assessment phases. This engages and motivates students while equipping them with vital skills for their futures.

Schools around the world are implementing new approaches that provide greater personalization through highly individualized learning experiences, with real-time data-rich feedback, based on each student’s unique learning needs. Holding all students to the same high, world-class expectations in education is key to achieving equity and excellence.

Tech-enhanced teaching

New technologies have dramatically changed the way we can deliver instruction and assess learning. Instant feedback allows educators to customize practice opportunities and pathways for intervention. By redesigning instruction around personalized learning with applied technology, teachers can optimize learning in the classroom.

By using technology to enhance our teaching, we can strive for deeper, more meaningful learning and prepare each student for success in their college, work, and social lives in today’s global world.