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New technologies aim to help personalize instruction


Here are several new ed-tech products that can help educators personalize learning for their students

personalizeAs more school leaders recognize technology’s potential to help personalize instruction, ed-tech providers are developing products that can quickly zero in on a student’s unique learning needs and deliver lessons to address these needs. Here are several new products with this goal in mind.

New Compass Learning products: Pathblazer, Hybridge, Gradbound

Compass Learning has completely revamped its product line to focus on what its customers say are their biggest pain points: blended learning, intervention and credit recovery, and personalized learning.

The company has announced three new products to address these needs: Pathblazer, a reading and math intervention program that helps quickly identify struggling learners in grades 3-8 and puts them on a path to success with a personal “acceleration plan”; Hybridge, a blended learning product that offers individual pacing for elementary and middle school students; and Gradbound, a credit recovery system for high school students.

Pathblazer and Hybridge are available now; Gradbound will be released in spring 2015.

LearnBop/Fuel Education

Online and blended learning provider Fuel Education has partnered with LearnBop, which offers an automated math tutoring and assessment product for students in grades 5-9, to give schools more options for personalizing math instruction during the critical years for building a solid math foundation.

Using adaptive technology, LearnBop simulates a one-to-one tutoring experience by guiding students through problems step-by-step so they can learn fundamental math concepts at their own pace. As students complete problems, teachers can use dashboards to analyze learning behavior by concept and by student. Teachers are able to address common learning gaps with the class, group students by need, or create personalized playlists to help individual students progress.

Launched just a year ago, LearnBop is part of math instruction in 350 schools in 17 states, where students reportedly are seeing remarkable gains. After one year, 96 percent of students who used LearnBop on a weekly basis at School No. 385 in Brooklyn passed the state math exam—up from just 25 percent who passed the prior year.

This fall, Fuel Education will offer LearnBop to customers through its personalized learning platform, PEAK, an open technology platform that provides a single, unified view of online and blended learning activities across multiple solutions and providers.

(Next page: More new ed-tech tools to personalize instruction)

myON literacy tools

myON has expanded its digital literacy platform by adding a set of literacy tools to further personalize the reading experience for students. These tools supplement myON’s existing collection of more than 7,000 digital books, which also include multimedia scaffolds and embedded assessments.

Students can use these embedded literacy tools in all myON digital books to practice close reading skills such as highlighting and note taking. For instance, teachers can ask students to highlight and cite evidence to support the author’s conclusion in informational texts.

myON gives students unlimited, simultaneous access to its library of enhanced digital texts. A Netflix-like personalization engine recommends specific texts to each student based on their personal preferences and the rankings of books they’ve read. myON also empowers students and teachers with real-time, actionable data—such as the number and type of books opened and read, time spent reading, results of regular benchmark assessments, and more—based on embedded Lexile assessments that measure student reading growth.

SuccessMaker 7.0

Pearson’s digital math and reading curriculum for grades K-8 is a computer-adaptive program that continuously analyzes a student’s performance, identifying areas for remediation or acceleration and offering targeted instruction in these areas. The program also estimates the amount of time it will take for students to reach proficiency goals.

The latest version of SuccessMaker includes alignment of content to college and career readiness standards; enhanced interactivity that focuses on building close reading skills and deep conceptual understanding in math;
 new teacher-driven reporting options; and
access to more than 12,000 additional learning resources in reading, math, science, and social studies.

During the 2010-11 school year, the Killeen Independent School District in Texas integrated SuccessMaker into its special-education program and saw significant acceleration in student progress. For instance, after only five months of learning with SuccessMaker, special-education students at Harker Heights High School demonstrated 1.13 years of academic growth in reading and 1.43 years academic growth in math.

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