Last night they hosted a Meetup in San Francisco and had the following education leaders present and drive a discussion:
Angela Estrella (Teacher, Instructional Coach and Parent)
Jennie Dougherty (Associate Director of Innovation, KIPP Bay Area)
Johann Larusson (Lead, Center for Digital Data, Analytics and Adaptive Learning, Pearson)
James Harrell (Talent Development Manager, Oakland Unified School District)
Esther Tricoche (Associate Partner, New School Venture Fund)
Elena Sanina (Senior Manager of Blended Learning, Aspire Public Schools)
Though the presentations focused on the K12 space, we stilled learned a lot about what educators need us, entrepreneurs and tech developers, to create products that will work most effectively. Here are some of the big takeaways:
1. Use simple language, and put the customer in the center when describing what a product or platform provides...not this:
While this copy might be succinct for technical folks and investors, it’s not clear what the value proposition is for the instructor or learner.
2. There are some general truisms that Edsurge’s research revealed about what makes the most effective adaptive learning tools, these rules make a lot of sense:
3. Most adaptive tools are designed for 1:1 interaction (one student/one computer), teachers and students want and benefit from collaborative tools and platforms in addition to 1:1 experiences.
4. [K12] Classrooms are full of learners that are at different comprehension and mastery levels.
We realize that there’s a general assumption that everyone who’s been admitted to a two or four-year school should be college ready, and that the population is level set, the reality is that this is not the case at all. College success is a serious issue not only for student bodies, which are composed of learners from even more disparate backgrounds than found in a K12 class, but for higher education institutions as well that want to increase matriculation, retention, and graduation.
5. Every ounce of technology needs ten ounces of humanity.
Can we have an amen? This statement drew the largest applause. Tech is great, content is king, and both need to be brought to bear with superb pedagogy. Nonetheless, teaching and learning transcend zeroes and ones. Without instructional engagement, and frankly learner enthusiasm, we’re not going to see the efficacy we want from the tools we design. So, we need to develop tools that drive quantifiable activities that move learners through a course of materials, but encourage and inspire a humanistic experience of active discussion and collaboration.
Check out #EdsurgeAL for more chatter on adaptive learning and last night’s Bay Area Meetup. Edsurge will be hosting a Twitter Chat with some of the authors and contributors from their guide - Thursday 2/11 at 5PST using the hashtag #EdSurgeAL. Register and they’ll you send a reminder.