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With the help of technology, Summit Public Schools has redesigned its whole-school model to put student agency and self-direction at the center.

    Top Takeaways

    1. For students to direct their own learning, teachers, parents, and school leaders must each step back and give them the space to do so (but also know when to step in).
    2. Self-direction challenges traditional notions of school.
    3. Students need to develop skills to self-direct successfully.
    4. Self-direction is not new, but technology can help us do it better.


    Students, teachers, parents, and administrators have each exercised a new set of skills and dispositions in response to Summit’s vision of self-directed learning. These new behaviors are rooted in Summit’s history of operating schools, but also challenge traditional conceptions of what school should look like and achieve.