Extending the Digital Reach
Schools Push Personalized Learning to New Heights
January 13, 2016
For most schools, reaching the next level of digitally driven, personalized learning is far from reality. Still, some schools are extending their digital reach in significant and sometimes groundbreaking ways, as the stories in this special report illustrate. They are making moves to integrate a variety of technologies to track how students learn and to use the resulting data to expand the use of hands-on, project-based learning. The goal is to build never-ending feedback loops that ultimately inform the development of curriculum and assessment. Plus, big data and analytics are gradually making their marks in K-12 education. This special report outlines the progress schools are making to use digital tools to personalize learning, but also raises the question: Are they reaching far enough?
- Student Well-Being Digital Tools Evolving to Track Students' Emotions, MindsetsAcademic researchers and ed-tech developers alike are hoping to personalize learning based on students’ facial expressions, “non-cognitive” skills, and social-emotional characteristics.Data Analytics in K-12 Schools: Big Data, or Big Brother?From classroom cameras to new personalization algorithms, tech startup AltSchool is raising new questions about educational surveillance and unregulated data science experiments.School Choice & Charters The Future of Big Data and Analytics in K-12 EducationTech startup AltSchool wants to push the boundaries of classroom data collection and personalized learning. But are schools ready for the big data revolution?Social Studies Adaptive Digital Curricula Lagging in Science, Social StudiesEducation companies are just starting to develop personalized learning products in subjects outside math and literacy.Reading & Literacy Digital Tools Aim to Personalize Literacy InstructionNew learning resources help teachers customize texts, target specific literacy skills, and help all students find their "sweet spot" for learning to read.Accountability Data Dashboards a High Priority in National Ed-Tech PlanThe push for wider and better use of data dashboards is seen as a key component of scaling up personalized learning efforts.College & Workforce Readiness Schools Turn to Digital Tools for Personalizing Career SearchesMany school districts are using digital platforms to help even younger students explore career possibilities and what it will take to achieve their professional goals.Data Competitive Ed-Tech Grants Fuel Teacher InnovationEducators who submit winning proposals for ed-tech ideas are being rewarded with first access to new technologies in some school districts.Curriculum Flood of Open Education Resources Challenges EducatorsNew content curation tools aim to help teachers organize and find digital content to personalize student learning for a variety of subjects.
Coverage of the implementation of college- and career-ready standards and the use of personalized learning is supported in part by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.