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Education Opinion

Getting Smart Podcast | How Personalized Learning is Transforming Adult Education

By Tom Vander Ark — November 14, 2017 2 min read

“Teachers are indispensable to high-quality education. They give students expert feedback on how to reason, design, compose, and find creative solutions to problems. They create classroom cultures where academic inquiry is exciting and achievement is a shared ambition. They provide students with social and emotional support and coach them on managing both their daily tasks and their long-term dreams. These are roles that machines are unlikely to substitute for anytime soon. Nonetheless, teachers need technology to help them meet the demands that stretch them to the limits of their human capacity.” - Tom Arnett

Tom Arnett of the Christensen Institute recently spoke at the Arizona Department of Education Adult Education Institute. Arnett talked about making blended learning work for teachers. This week’s episode features a discussion we had with Tom at the conference about trends in AdultEd. Listen in...

Podcast Highlights

  • Teachers play critical role in AdultEd. In a blended setting, technology can help them reallocate time so they can focus on the things that make the most difference: mentorship, feedback on projects, target specific needs.
  • Technology can offload tasks such as take attendance, administer and grade assessments, deliver basic instruction, streamline lesson planning, and track student progress.
  • AdultEd may use a flipped classroom (online content viewed prior to class) or flex classroom (where learners move at thier own pace)
  • Teachers may use open content or or proprietary content or content they develop (but creating the expectation that they’ll create curriculum puts another burden on teachers).
  • Adult learners may be learning computers, language and content simultaneously. And with high mobility, it can be a real challenge.
  • There were many early adopters at the conference. The best way to get others on board is to show them results.
  • There is a big trend toward online learning, especially mobile in AdultEd. Mobile learning makes it easier to learn anytime anywhere.
  • If we add more desired outcomes, such as social and emotional learning, systems should thoughtful about priorities and how they support teachers.
  • More corporations take advantage of AR/VR in training.
  • Learners are receiving more feedback from online systems.
  • Academic support that works with the lives of busy adults is key to success in AdultEd--support and so are sustained relationship. Blended learning should build rather than distract from relationships.
  • Connecting with employers is key, it helps when employers support AdultEd. Guild Education is an example of a startup promoting education as a benefit with rapid online degree pathways supported by advocates.
  • With the dynamic employment landscape entrepreneurship is becoming more important in AdultEd.
  • Artificial intelligence is; behind everything. AI makes it more imperative that we prepare people for the the future and it improves the opportunity to provide better preparation.

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    The opinions expressed in Vander Ark on Innovation are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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