Mass Customization, Personalization, and Systems Change – A conversation with Dr. Thomas Butler & Dr. Erik Orndorff

Thomas Butler & Erik Orndorff HeadshotsMass Customization/personalization in education implies placing the learner at the center of the learning ecosystem. By radically centering the ecosystem around the learner, certain assumptions (or weight-bearing walls) about education are questioned. The role of grades, grade levels and the adults in the learning ecosystem change significantly. These changes denote a shift in the assumed structure of schools. A new theoretical framework for learning is needed.

During this COIL Conversation Dr. Thomas Butler will discuss these topics, and Dr. Erik Orndorff, a practitioner who has been involved in this transformation for six years, will detail the important role of systems change in schools undergoing personalization.

Dr. Thomas Butler is the executive director for Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8. He has been involved in Mass Customized Learning and personalization for seven years as a superintendent and executive director. He co-founded the Mid-Atlantic Mass Customized Learning Consortium, which currently has 37 school districts in the region dedicated to transforming learning through MCL principles.

Dr. Erik Orndorff is the superintendent of the Pequea Valley School District, which is now recognized as a leader in personalization. The district has undertaken significant systems change as it empowers learners and learning facilitators to place the leaner at the center of the ecosystem.