In this new world, IT collaborates with teachers to deploy tools students can use to show subject mastery through a process of ongoing research and communication. Students are more engaged because their education is more connected and meaningful to them when they have a seat at the table to craft their own time, place, and path of learning.
In this IT-enabled learning environment, the teacher is a co-creator or designer of the education experience. No longer the sage on the stage, the teacher becomes the guide on the side. While the students work through the curriculum using technology, the teacher is free to work one-on-one with students or with small groups.
Working with teachers
Technology is more likely to succeed in improving learning outcomes when implemented with the expertise of teachers. That’s part of the power of adaptive technology. Using a single platform, teachers create and send content to learners. The teachers review how effective it was and adapt the content accordingly.
With adaptive technology platforms, teachers don’t have to collaborate with programmers and designers to adapt complex software systems when they want to change a lesson. With adaptive technology, teachers are empowered to make changes, and analytics tools help them understand their students’ learning needs so they can make the next iteration of a lesson more effective.
What to look for in adaptive technology
The best technology will work on multiple levels:
1. Feedback shows what the student does and knows (allowing the teacher to intervene immediately, if appropriate).
2. Multiple pathways send different sequences of content to each student, depending on what each student does. For students who do well, teachers can skip them over levels they don’t need.
3. Teachers have tools to adapt their teaching according to an analysis of student results.
Ideally, the technology will allow teachers to dive deep into each student’s individual performance. Teachers can move beyond generic goals, like earning an A, to more concrete objectives suitable for individual students, like reading a certain amount every week or improving their reading level by a certain percentage in a set time.
Information gathered by adaptive technology platforms allows teachers to gather deeply-granular data to drive teaching and learning. If done right, it can feel like moving from an ax to a scalpel.