Strong math skills are important if students hope to succeed in high school and beyond—and many school leaders are finding that software that delivers hands-on, personalized instruction can help.
K-12 math instruction is undergoing fundamental changes as individualized adaptive learning programs combine with lessons meant to keep students of all ages engaged and interested.
For example, DreamBox Learning provides more than 500 elementary-level lessons to help students develop computational fluency, conceptual understanding, and problem-solving skills through an online gaming platform. Students can choose a game character and theme, and they progress through different levels of the experience, earning rewards for their progress.
Meanwhile, teachers are able to review the advancement of each student, receiving detailed reports that indicate when a student needs extra attention or when a student successfully passes the lessons.
When companies describe their software as “adaptive,” they typically mean that students progress through the same levels of instruction in the same sequence, albeit at a different pace, said DreamBox President Jessie Woolley-Wilson. But with DreamBox, it’s truly adaptive learning that is taking place; although students start at the same point in the assessment, their experience with the software will be completely different based on their individual abilities and interests.
“Technology allows for mass customization in a way that teachers don’t have time to do,” Woolley-Wilson said. “This is exciting, because it’s going to change the velocity of learning.”