Differentiated Learning vs Personalized Learning

Differentiated learning and personalized learning – what’s the difference? These two terms are very commonly used these days and yet, there is very little clarity around their definition and how they work in a classroom setting. No worries – we’ll put these terms into perspective from a teacher/classroom standpoint with few simple examples.

Differentiated learning is when teachers set up different paths for groups of students to take, to achieve the same learning goal.

ScootPad enables differentiation by giving teachers the ability to assign different learning paths to different students. For example, there are 20 students in a 5th grade class. The teacher can assign a 4th grade learning path to 5 students who are below grade level, a 5th grade learning path to 20 students who are at grade level, and the advanced 5th grade learning path to the remaining 5 students who are ahead of their peers. Teachers can also build assignments with focus on specific concepts tailored to different groups of students.

personalizeddifferentiated-blogDiagram of differentiated learning

Personalized learning allows students to achieve individual learning objectives at their own pace.

ScootPad’s learning paths and adaptive algorithms work together to enable personalized learning for students. Using data from each student in real-time, ScootPad identifies where each student falls within their learning path and will provide practice in concepts accordingly. For example, Daisy and Lily are working on Concept A on their learning path. Daisy quickly masters Concept A and moves onto Concept B. Lily, however, is having trouble mastering the concept so ScootPad will provide enrichment content such as Scootorials and additional practice until she masters Concept A.



Diagram of personalized learning

A recent independent research by EdSurge, sponsored by Pearson, announced a framework to understand and evaluate “adaptive learning technologies”. ScootPad has been recognized as one of the three adaptive tools, alongside McGraw Hill’s ALEKS and Pearson’s SuccessMaker, that enable adaptive sequence and adaptive assessment for grades K-8. Furthermore, of the three, ScootPad is distinguished as the only platform covering both Math and ELA for grades K-8, accessible from anywhere at any time on any mobile/desktop device. Learn more about EdSurge’s research on adaptive learning.

ScootPad Team


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