Personalized Learning: The Nexus of 21st Century Learning and Educational Technologies

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Third in Series of Four Issue Papers from Pearson Highlights Importance of Personalized Learning as Powerful Force in Future of Education

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Technology must serve students in more personalized ways if they are to achieve success in the classroom and in life, according to Pearson' s new Issue Paper, Personalized Learning: The Nexus of 21st Century Learning and Educational Technologies.

Rapid advances taking place in technological development must be integrally connected to our education system if U.S. students are to continue to compete successfully on the world stage, and a vital part of that transformation must be the personalizing of instructional delivery. As a U.S. Dept. of Education position paper cited in Personalized Learning notes, "We have seen our world change around us and now need to retool our education system to respond."

"Education does not work through a 'one-size-fits-all' model," said Will Ethridge, CEO of Pearson's North American education businesses. "Students have different learning styles, needs, and priorities, and there is an increasing demand for technologies that personalize the learning experience. Our challenge is to continue to create the tools that ensure relevance and success for 21st Century learners, as well as to deliver cost and instructional efficiencies to institutions."

Research makes clear that personalized learning, combined with the power of technology, greatly improves and accelerates student success rates. Over the past decade, the National Center for Academic Transformation's post-secondary course redesign program has proven that through more effective use of information and technology, it is possible to produce better learning outcomes at reduced cost. NCAT's Program in Course Redesign resulted in 25 of the 30 course redesign projects showing significant increase in student learning, with all 30 projects reducing their costs by an average of 37 percent - a collective annual savings of approximately $3 million.

The implementation of educational technology is not enough by itself, however. Effective teaching and learning also depend on sound instructional design, clear learning goals, consistent professional development, and taking into account individual schools' needs.

"President Obama and his administration have been very clear in their belief that technology needs to be used to help improve students' skills and success," said Ethridge. "We at Pearson have seen that personalized learning solutions, such as MyMathLab, can make dramatic differences in student achievement, and we will continue to work closely with schools, districts, and states to transform the educational landscape."

To access a downloadable copy of the Personalized Learning issue paper, go to Personalized Learning is one of four Pearson issue papers focusing on key education topics, including College Readiness, Using Assessments to Improve Learning and Student Progress, and the forthcoming Teaching Quality.

About Pearson:
Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education and education technology, reaches and engages today's digital natives with effective and personalized learning, as well as dedicated professional development for their teachers. This commitment is demonstrated in the company's investment in innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. The company's respected brands include Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Benjamin Cummings, PEM Solutions, Stanford 10, SuccessNet, MyLabs, PowerSchool, SuccessMaker and many others. Pearson's comprehensive offerings help inform targeted instruction and intervention so that success is within reach of every student at every level of education. Pearson's commitment to education for all is supported by the global philanthropic initiatives of the Pearson Foundation. Pearson's other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, visit

Rod Granger
rod.granger (at)


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