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Personalization is a student-centered instructional approach that individualizes learning for each student based on specific strengths, needs, interests, and goals. It allows for differentiation of pace, path, place, and modality based on learning goals and preferences. Personalization requires:

  • Differentiation
  • Student Choice and Agency
  • Flexible Resource Allocation 
  • Support for Self-Directed Learning
Photo of students working in small groups and also on devices with teachers moving around the room checking in with students


Blended and personalized schools differentiate instruction to help all students master content based on needs, strengths, and preference. Educators apply different instructional methods to help students master essential knowledge, concepts, and skills.

Photos of students engaged in a variety of learning activities based on their choice such as reading or practice on devices

Student Choice and Agency

Blended and personalized educators seek to engage students deeply with learning objectives by understanding their motivations and interests and giving them choice and agency in their work. Educators use different strategies to understand interests as well as to apply boundaries to student choice depending on developmental or mastery levels.

Photo of laptop, notepad and post-it notes showing variety of resources

Flexible Resource Allocation

As student needs drive the design of the learning environment in blended and personalized schools, all operational elements (staffing plans, space utilization, and time allocation) respond and adapt to support students in achieving their goals.

Photo of young student laying on bean bag reading paper book with device on lap

Support for Self-Directed Learning

Personalized approaches also shift greater initiative and responsibility to the student for managing, assessing, and progressing. The transition to self-directed learning often requires significant supports and scaffolding as students “learn how to learn” in new ways.

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