Tennessee: Personalized Learning and Customized Playlists

Shelby County Schools

The 100,000-student Shelby County school district has embraced digital learning through multiple district-wide initiatives and school- and classroom-based projects. Many schools have enough devices for every student so that teachers can implement personalized learning activities and differentiated instruction, with designated times for digital intervention and enrichment activities, according to students’ individual needs. Students in the STEM program use industry-standard hardware and software and have opportunities to graduate with industry certifications. There are active robotics clubs, and students at one elementary school are developing their journalism skills while producing a daily news program for their peers.

The district is also piloting several new initiatives in select high schools: Flipped classrooms, where students complete coursework at home so that classroom time can be more interactive; station rotation, which allows teachers to create more engaging learning activities for groups of students at similar skill levels; and customized playlists, where students receive a “syllabus” of everything they are expected to learn and create, but choose the order in which they complete assignments.

Thanks to digital assessment, “we learn things more quickly than before,” says Program Director Monica Jordan. “We can use technology to get vast amounts of data, so we can have important conversations sooner and make decisions faster to help our students.”

Source: EducationSuperHighway and Local Memphis