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From building national movements to developing practical tools, networks of organizations are already playing essential roles in seeding and scaling personalized learning across the United States. Networks provide the support and knowledge of a collective whole while allowing for context in a way that complements and amplifies the work of individual organizations and schools. A more intentional focus on networks can accelerate the personalized learning field as a whole.

The Role of Networks in Advancing Personalized Learning demonstrates why networks matter for the personalized learning sector and explores the roles that networks already play today. The brief then poses strategic questions for network leaders, funders, and policy makers on how to strengthen networks going forward.

Top Takeaways

  1. Networks are like an electrical grid, existing as part of the background infrastructure, forming critical connections, and creating channels for sharing ideas, resources, and inspiration. They may not be immediately visible, but they’re essential to success at scale. 
  2. Networks provide space and ownership for innovators to develop and implement personalized approaches while providing them with a community for support, learning, and sharing of experiences and findings.
  3. To support the continued growth and development of personalized learning, funders and policy makers must take a long view and nurture field infrastructure; organizational and network leaders can continue to strengthen their connections to build and grow the field.
The benefit for the field at large of embracing a stronger role for networks in personalized learning is the possibility of creating a pathway to scale that does not depend on limited grant funds or unpredictable legislation.