Personalized learning a key theme from 2013 ISTE conference

Prepare for a transition to personalized learning. This involves developing a digital content and curriculum strategy, ensuring that students have equitable access to these resources, and training teachers so they know how to use the new technology to enhance teaching and learning.

Ensure access at home and at school. “Students who do not have internet at home should be able to make use of extended hours at any district school, plus sync their devices before and after school so that material is available offline,” the paper says.

Reinforce professional learning. “Teachers need help in their transition from print to digital learning, to hone instruction to the individual needs of their students,” the blueprint says. Professional development should be ongoing throughout the year and should give teachers time to plan and collaborate to ensure success.

Edgenuity, a provider of online and blended-learning services, showcased a new platform for its courses that aims to make learning a more personalized, student-centered experience. The company also announced that its courses now are compatible with tablet computers, making them a good fit for schools with tablet-based or “bring your own device” initiatives.

Edgenuity’s new platform includes an “eNotes” tool that makes it easy for students to take notes as they are listening to the on-screen teacher deliver instruction; a Lesson Glossary that enables them to look up any word they don’t know, and add words to a personal word list for future reference; and transcripts of the videos to follow along with the on-screen teacher. Transcripts can be translated into 17 different languages to support students with limited English-language proficiency, the company said.

These new features join another feature that Edgenuity introduced last year, called CloseReader, a text mark-up tool that supports the in-depth reading and interpretation of complex texts.

“Our new platform delivers an immersive, student-centered, personalized experience that ensures students will be well-prepared to succeed in college and career,” said Sari Factor, CEO of Edgenuity. “Its development was grounded in three things: research that shows how students learn best; our experience from more than fifteen years of close interaction with students and educators; and finally our data, which show that students who become more engaged in the curriculum achieve more.”

Achieve3000 is another company that specializes in online differentiated instruction, and at the 2013 ISTE conference, Achieve3000 announced that it’s going global with the launch of a worldwide reseller program.

The company provides targeted, differentiated instruction tailored to individual students’ needs and reportedly is used by millions of students across the United States. With this new initiative, the company says it will expand the reach of its online services to help students around the world boost their reading proficiencies and academic content knowledge, while building reading comprehension, vocabulary, and writing skills across the content areas.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) announced a major partnership with adaptive learning company Knewton that it said would lead to more personalized learning experiences for K-12 students. Through the partnership, HMH will integrate Knewton’s adaptive learning technology into its curriculum software products.

eSchool News Staff

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