How elementary school teachers make sense of personalizing instructional practices in digital learning environments
Staniszewski, Catherine Grace
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In response to the recent push for personalized digital learning environments in American education, this study describes eight upper elementary school teachers’ understanding and implementation of personalized digital learning environments within their classrooms. Using case study methodology and sense-making theory framework, this study examined the perspectives through interviews, participant generated reflections, and documents. Purposeful and criterion sampling was employed to determine participants for the purpose of this study. The responses of the eight participants were evaluated and coded, categorized and evaluated for emerging themes. While there are numerous studies on the use of technology to improve engagement and motivation, the research surrounding personalized digital learning environments is just beginning to surface. The significance of the findings from this study will add to the minimal body of research that examines personalized learning through digital learning environments. Thematic analysis uncovered five themes related to elementary teachers’ sense-making of personalizing instructional practices in digital learning environments including: understanding, collaborating, preparing, implementing, and reflecting.