Frequently Asked Questions
What is personalized learning?
- In schools that have embraced personalized learning, teachers have the tools and support to customize instruction to meet students’ individual needs and interests. This flexibility is supported by online software that allows teachers and students to create and carry out individual learning plans, track progress, and collaborate.
- Personalized learning is an approach to learning where:
- Students make a plan for success in college, career, and life. With support from adults, students learn to connect their goals and aspirations to their daily decisions, actions, and behaviors. Whether they plan to become a scientist or open a restaurant, educators help students figure out what they need to be doing in order to make that dream a reality. And if a student’s dream shifts, the plan for learning shifts, too.
- Students know exactly what they are learning, why they are learning it, and how they learn it best. They become self-directed learners and develop the behaviors and mindsets that lead to academic and personal success—like being able to persevere through a challenge.
- Deeper learning projects allow students to apply their knowledge and skills to authentic challenges, connecting the classroom to the real world. These projects build critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills. Projects are diverse so that there is something that appeals to the interests and passion of every child.
- Teachers have more time to build strong relationships and work one-on-one and in small groups with students. Students stay engaged when schools create strong, diverse communities supported by caring and trusted adults who know them as individuals. That’s why all students have a mentor who serves as their coach and advocate, supporting them as they develop strong character, life and self-directed learning skills.
- Public schools across the country are adopting personalized learning and tailoring it to their schools’ and communities’ specific needs.
What is the Summit Learning program?
- Summit Learning is a free program that provides teachers and schools across the country with the resources they need to bring personalized learning into the classroom.
- During the 2015-16 school year, Summit partnered with 19 schools across the country (district and charter) to help them expand or explore personalized learning. Thanks to overwhelming interest, Summit Learning has expanded to include more than 100 schools in the 2016-17 school year.
- With access to resources and technology, this community of partners is exploring personalized learning and adapting it to meet the specific needs of their individual classrooms and school communities.
What is the Summit Personalized Learning Platform?
- Developed by teachers from Summit Public Schools with engineering assistance from Facebook, the Summit Personalized Learning Platform is an online tool that powers personalized learning. It helps students connect their long term goals to their daily actions. Students move at their own pace to learn skills, apply those skills to real world projects and reflect on their learning.
- Summit Personalized Learning Platform highlights include:
- When students log in to the Personalized Learning Platform, they see a dashboard that shows the projects they are working through in each class, as well as upcoming action items they have created for themselves with support from their teachers. The Personalized Learning Platform supports students in planning and calendaring all project steps from the start of the project to when they finish their final product and turn it in.
- There are more than 200 deeper learning projects in the Personalized Learning Platform that allow students to apply their knowledge and skills to authentic challenges, connecting the classroom to the real world. These projects build critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills. Projects are diverse so that there is something that appeals to the interests and passion of every child.
- Students independently work through a playlist of instructional materials (guided practice problems, presentations, videos and much more) for each content standard that is curated by teachers. The model allows students the opportunity to learn in different ways and reflect on what works best for them. When students complete a unit, they take an assessment to demonstrate proficiency. There are more than 700 teacher-designed playlists and assessments in the Personalized Learning Platform—and schools can upload their own curricula.
- The Personalized Learning Platform allows teachers to work with students to create the roadmap that will help them get to where they want to go when they graduate high school. Teachers are able to help students backwards-plan what actions they need to take to reach their goals, and to review the student’s progress toward their goals. For example, students can see whether they are on track to attend a selective college.
- The Summit Personalized Learning Platform recognizes and values every student and seeks to support them in realizing their full potential. It allows every student to have a personalized learning experience because it is catered to each individual student’s goals, aspirations, and dreams. Based on where a student wants to do after high school, we work with the student to create a roadmap to help them get there.
- The Summit Personalized Learning Platform is your student’s online dashboard for setting goals and tracking progress toward those goals. As a parent, the Personalized Learning Platform will help you support your student’s academic success and college readiness at home. If you would like to see anything – from your student’s current assigned work to a yearlong view of their progress – you can find that all online.
What does the Summit Learning program entail for a partner school?
- Each partner school selected at least one grade-level team of teachers to participate in the Summit Learning program. A Grade Level Team (GLT) consists of at least four teachers: one math, one science, one social studies and one English teacher. This team works together to allow the new learning environment to become the “new normal” for students. Partner schools are exploring or expanding their approach to personalized learning, including:
- Connecting students’ long-term goals and aspirations to their daily decisions, actions, and behaviors;
- Empowering students as self-directed learners, armed with the habits, mindsets and behaviors that lead to academic and personal success;
- Engaging students in developing skills through deeper learning projects, where the content they are learning to be ready for college is applied in real, authentic situations; and
- Nurturing diverse and trusting communities of learners, allowing them to practice and model life skills and receive the feedback they need to individually grow and thrive.
- As part of Summit Learning, partner schools are using the Summit Personalized Learning Platform for the 2016-17 school year as the backbone of their students’ experience.
- There is no cost to participate in Summit Learning.
What is the role of teachers in the program?
- Teachers are leading the cultural shift in education toward personalized learning. Every step of the way, teachers are engaged in bringing personalized learning to the classroom.
- Teachers applied to join the Summit Learning program because they wanted to expand or explore personalized learning.
- Teachers develop and curate the curriculum for the Summit Personalized Learning Platform, and they use data from the Personalized Learning Platform to tailor instruction, understand student performance, and provide targeted feedback.
- Teachers provide feedback on the program and the Personalized Learning Platform so that Summit and Facebook can continue to improve Summit Learning and offer the Personalized Learning Platform for free in any school in America.
What is the partnership between Summit and Facebook?
- Summit Public Schools is a national leader in personalized learning. Beginning in 2014, Facebook’s engineers began partnering with educators at Summit to improve the platform that powers personalized learning.
- Through Summit Learning, schools have access to resources and technology to adapt personalized learning to meet the specific needs of their communities.
- Facebook is committed to continuing to collaborate with Summit teachers and others around the country to improve the technology that powers personalized learning and offer it for free to any school in America that wants to use it.