Meet the DD Writers

January 29, 2010 2 min read

Katie Ash |


“In my reporting for this issue, I had the opportunity to focus on the most important stakeholders in education—the students. In the story that my colleague Michelle Davis and I collaborated on, we asked students themselves what technologies they wanted to see in classrooms and how those tech tools should be used to improve teaching and learning. Their responses were surprising, fascinating, and insightful, and ed-tech policymakers should listen to what they have to say. The value of treating students as individuals surfaced again in my story about linking K-12 and higher education data systems. Because of developments in technology, as well as a push for increased data granularity, educators can track data for each student from preschool through graduate school for the first time, bringing into focus a clearer and more complete picture of what works in education.”

Michelle R. Davis |


“While reporting on two separate stories for the winter issue, I saw how the use of new technology is having a significant impact on efforts to make education a more individualized experience for students. Online courses, for instance, are offering a host of tools and approaches to play to students’ unique strengths while also shoring up their weaknesses. My story on how new digital tools are reshaping language learning labs also emphasizes the evolving role of customized approaches to teaching and learning. The more I have covered educational technology issues, the more I have seen how new technologies are opening doors to personalize education. But I also appreciate that change in the K-12 world comes relatively slowly, which is the pace at which I expect personalized learning to proceed.”

Kathleen Kennedy Manzo |


“The idea of providing a personalized learning program for each student that would address individual needs and interests seemed a bit utopian to me. But in reporting on the cover story, I found that a vigorous discussion is emerging about how technology can make such a scheme plausible. With a range of tools, some experts say, teachers can essentially customize what and how they teach to address students’ individual strengths and weaknesses. The array of devices and applications that are now readily available for classroom use can be combined with face-to-face instruction and off-site educational experiences to build a personal playlist of options for learning content and building skills. Of course, getting to such an ideal is the hard part. So the question is: Are schools up to the task?”

A version of this article appeared in the February 03, 2010 edition of Digital Directions as DD Writers