RI Personalized Learning Initiative

The Rhode Island Office of Innovation, in partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Education, Highlander Institute, NE Basecamp by RIMA, and other partners launched the RI Personalized Learning Initiative in September 2016.

This initiative buttresses work already happening around Rhode Island to grow personalized learning statewide. Through it, educators and administrators are supported in the development, piloting, and growth of new models for personalized learning as well as the sharing of lessons learned and best practices.

In 2016-17, the RI Personalized Learning Initiative will:

  • Define what personalized learning looks like in action, so that schools, educators, families, and students can have a starting point for discussing and developing new instructional models that meet students’ unique needs. This paper is our initial effort to set this definition. Over the upcoming months, we will meet with families, educators, and leaders to further flesh out this definition and identify examples in action. The initiative welcomes continued feedback on this paper.
  • Source high-quality personalized learning management tools that provide resources for schools and districts to implement personalized learning. The initial tools selected are from technology partners, Summit Public Schools, Agilix, and InnovateEDU, and additional tools will be added over time.
  • Provide a supported on-ramp for schools to leverage technology tools that support personalization. We will work with technology partners to provide Rhode Island schools and districts have access to free use of tools for a minimum of 1 year, and training and ongoing support within a community of practice of other educators. School and district leaders can access this matrix tool to explore technology options. (More information forthcoming.)
  • Create an education innovation research network to provide actionable, real-time research-backed answers to key questions that arise as schools move to a personalized learning model. We will partners with higher education institutions, through The College & University Research Collaborative to provide the most rigorous and worthwhile research possible.
  • Share stories and lessons learned of the great work happening across Rhode Island. As schools are moving toward more personalized learning, cross-school and cross-district communications will be key. We need to highlight and celebrate the great work happening across Rhode Island as well as be open about lessons learned as local educators find their best path toward personalized learning.

The Personalized Learning Initiative is an iterative, open-source effort. We hope families, educators, administrators, state and nonprofit leaders, and anyone else who believes in the promise of personalized learning will identify additional supports the initiative can provide. If you have ideas or projects that you would like to connect with the initiative, please reach out via this website's contact form.

"The role of technology in our schools has increased dramatically in the last 10 years and RISTE has worked hard to support teachers, administrators, and technology professionals as they move into a new digital environment.  Technology tools will enable our schools and teachers to truly differentiate and personalize the educational experience for all students.  RISTE supports the R.I. Personalized Learning Initiative and is looking forward to doing our part to help support educators as they make personalized learning a reality for students across the state."

-RISTE, John Bilotta

"There is no “average” student, but we still design learning environments, like textbooks and curricular materials, as if this is the case.  When we design learning environments on average, they cannot possible nurture every student’s individual potential.  I’m thrilled that Rhode Island is investing the work to personalize learning experiences for students and I believe that supporting personalization on a state level will yield new and invaluable insights on how to best maximize the potential of all students.”

-Todd Rose

"The RI Personalized Learning Initiative, grounded in the use of culturally-relevant curriculum, choice, agency and approaches to student-centered learning, creates an opportunity for rich collaboration among a number of key stakeholders in the Ocean State, and provides a framework for researching and developing environments that leverage technology tools and tailor teaching and learning opportunities to support the unique learning needs of all students. My colleagues and I look forward to working with school and district leaders, educators, state and non-profit leaders, students, families, and the community to make aspects of the initiative a reality."

-Don Halquist, School of Education at RIC