Tech unlocks teachers' capacity

By Thomas Arnett
August 2019
Vol. 40 No. 4
What is personalized learning? If nothing else, it’s a term that’s hard to pin down. Educators of various stripes use the word “personalized” to label a variety of approaches — ranging from student-designed projects and internships to software-based adaptive learning, to a whole host of activities and practices in between. Yet most efforts to personalize learning have a common idea at their core: Students’ learning needs differ, and therefore students deserve an education that is responsive to those needs. Whereas conventional education functions best when students conform to the system, personalized learning is about redesigning the system to meet individual students’ needs. With a boost from education technology, teachers can use their time, attention, and energy in new ways to make a bigger difference for

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Thomas Arnett

Thomas Arnett ( is a senior research fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute.


Babcock, N. (2018, December 9). Betsy DeVos was (sort of) right. We should arm teachers — with supplies, support and a livable salary. Los Angeles Times. Available at

Dockterman, D. (2018, September 5). Insights from 200+ years of personalized learning. Science of Learning. Available at

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