Posted: Thursday, December 15, 2016
Jeff McCoy, GCS Interim Associate Superintendent of Academics, has recently been published in a series of presentations titled RTM Blueprints, a national forum that encourages District leaders to share their educational experiences with other school districts and administrators.
Last spring, McCoy and other Blueprint co-authors concluded that personalized learning was a priority for school districts. He explained, "Today's educational environment requires us to think differently in order to meet the needs of our students. Preparing them to be innovative thinkers, creative problem solvers and high level collaborators is key to their future success in their chosen career. Personalized learning changes the way teachers teach and how students learn. Working on this blueprint with some of the best minds in the country was a learning experience for me and a privilege."
Read Personalized Learning: Blueprint for Success.
“We’re putting personalized learning in all our schools across the district over the next four years,” explained McCoy. “This year we have 10 schools as pilot, and we will implement 25 schools per year over the next three years. One of the benefits of personalized learning is that it prepares students for college or careers as they learn the different technology and ways to use technology appropriately in their everyday lives.”
McCoy added that personalized learning allows teachers to change their instruction to meet the needs of their students. “When students have their own devices, teachers can personalize their instruction or work with individual students before or after school. The biggest outcome is that teachers have to change the way they teach in order to accommodate new ways students are learning.”
Greenville County Schools works with schools the year prior to implementation. “School leadership teams and teachers come to us the summer before school starts and they begin developing a personalized learning plan. They work on that plan throughout the school year prior to getting devices,” said McCoy. “One of the big components is throughout the year, working with teachers, students, parents and community to explain what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and getting their buy-in.”
McCoy started his career in Greenville County Schools as a middle school teacher in 2000 and has held various district leadership positions throughout his 16-year career. He is currently an adjunct professor at Furman University and serves on multiple state and national committees.