Dr. Jim Masters, Director of K-12 Curriculum and Instruction, Franklin County Schools, KY

I'm Dr. Jim Masters. I'm the director of K-12 curriculum and instruction at Franklin County Schools in Franklin, Kentucky.

Our digital learning program has really evolved over the last two years, and one thing I'd like to point out, the working world has really changed. Technology's been a big component of that. Education has changed because of technology. Students now feel more empowered because they can utilize Apex to control their learning. They get to choose what they wish to learn. They can control their pace and how often they work on it.

If I had to choose a word to fit what we do for personalized learning, it would be "empowerment" because students come to us, they've not necessarily been successful in a traditional setting. They sit down, they determine what it is they need to graduate, and then they take control of their learning through Apex with a teacher support going through every day that they work on it.

Going back two years ago, we looked at three to four different vendors that offer digital learning. We had students try learning pathways on all of them. And long story short, it was Apex that our students preferred.

It's all about knowing that one size does not fit all, and our district has always put students first. And we realize not every student is going to be successful in a traditional educational setting. So for the students who are not, that's why we offer William Cofield High School and the personalized learning platform has been very successful for those students. The students say the reason why they like that is because they control the learning. They get to choose how much time they want to spend on something or what subject they want to focus on first. They learn to develop that grit, that productive struggle. So it's not giving them the answer. It's teaching them how to persevere.