App of the Week: 3D solar system
Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated with help from Graphite by Common Sense Media. Click here to read the full app review. Arloon Solar System What’s It Like? Arloon Solar System lets students explore the sun, Earth, moon, and our neighboring planets in detail. Kids use interactive technology to manipulate parts [ Read More ]
Knewton launches free, open adaptive learning platform
Adaptive learning provider Knewton has launched a free, open personalized learning platform. Any individual can create or use state-of-the-art supplemental lessons to provide students with unique learning paths in real-time.
Knewton’s adaptive-learning platform transforms any content into a data-rich version of itself, then bundles together those pieces of content that are best for each student based on exactly what she knows and how she learns best.
Knewton will host open content and free supplemental lessons on a wide variety of subjects and grade levels, starting with K-12 math, English, science, and history.
“Think of it as a friendly robot-tutor in the sky,” said Jose Ferreira, Knewton founder and CEO. “Knewton plucks the perfect bits of content for you from the cloud and assembles them according to the ideal learning strategy for you, as determined by the combined data-power of millions of other students.”
A student who wants to learn algebra can select the corresponding assignments and start using her own free, personalized learning application comprising all algebra. Or, to improve her skills at particular algebra concepts, she can create her own lesson for just those concepts. Knewton’s open platform is as broad as the content that users upload. Once enough users add content on a given subject it automatically springs to life and becomes adaptive.
Knewton is a signatory to the Student Privacy Pledge. Knewton only collects and analyzes student data that Knewton believes can improve learning outcomes, and only the student (or her parent) controls with whom Knewton shares those data. Knewton does not sell student personal data.
For students, Knewton captures metadata and stores it in students’ private profiles. Every time a student uses Knewton, lessons become even more personalized and effective for her in particular and for others similar to her. Over time, the compounding effect of each student’s activity makes learning new concepts easier for every student.
3-state study sheds light on math learning resource
Interactive math learning system LearnBop, an exclusive partner of Fuel Education (FuelEd), released results from a 3-state efficacy study showing students that used its product made a 7-10 percentile point gain in sixth and seventh grade math skills assessment.
Using both a control group, which did not use LearnBop, and a group that used LearnBop, the study compared the pre- and post-test assessments of more than 800 students. The study found that after only 16 hours of use, students with LearnBop outperformed other students receiving traditional classroom instruction by 7-10 percentile points.
“This news comes at a crucial time,” explained LearnBop founder and CEO Bharanidharan Rajakumar. “Math scores in the US continue to decline in the face of tougher standards. Students need tools not just to help them master the basic concepts for any STEM related field but to learn them faster without sacrificing time for liberal arts topics. It is vital that students have access to new ways of successfully mastering math skills.”
The LearnBop platform uses a unique step-by-step approach to learning math, mirroring the personalized support that a student would get in a one-on-one tutoring session. Each step covers a concept students need to understand in order to solve the original problem they were assigned, which means that data on student performance regarding fundamental concepts is collected as students learn.
Using LearnBop in their classrooms for the duration of the efficacy study, teachers were able to uncover the precise concepts students needed to study, and then utilize personalized learning resources to help students master those concepts, resulting in highly impressive and quantifiable improvements.
Every step in LearnBop’s system is tagged with a mathematical concept. This could be a concept based on a national standard, or a state standard. Additional state alignments are in development.
Epiphany Learning updates personalized learning tool
Epiphany Learning, a personalized learning ed-tech company, has launched version 2.0 of its Epiphany Learning Personalized Learning Application.
A year of research observing how learners, teachers and administrators use the student-centric, K-12 web-based personalized learning application inspired a number of pioneering upgrades enhancing the application’s performance for its users.
“At Epiphany Learning we’re on a mission to transform education by putting the learner back in the center of their education,” states Laura Henderson, founder and CEO of Epiphany Learning. “A mission requiring us to constantly evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of learners, teachers and administrators. We spent the last year researching user interaction with our application and version 2.0 is the culmination of our findings.”
New features included in the Epiphany Learning Personalized Learning Application version 2.0 include:
New Configurators: Schools can customize the application – and their personalized learning environments – at the district, school, grade and class level without custom development.
Teacher Dashboards: Teachers can access all classes, students and assignments by different levels and layers for ease of use in a more intuitive and user-friendly dashboard.
Co-Teaching Friendly: Complements co-teaching environments by letting teachers easily share information among colleagues/co-teachers.
Standards-Based Grading Support:
a. Supports the Standards Mastery Reporting Tool (SMART) system – a new grading system, created by teachers to report student mastery of concepts and skills.
b. Standards-based, or SMART grading, allows assignments to be graded based on one or many standards instead of one generic letter or number grade.
Updated K-2 Profile:
a. Now picture and audio friendly, version 2.0 encourages young learners to upload their own sound clips and photos, and attach them to goals they create.
b. The Learning Inventory has been changed from a question, word-based format to an image-only format.
c. The overall appearance of the profile has been modified, making it more visually appealing and functional for K-2 learners.
5 things you should know about Periscope for education
Twitter’s new live video streaming service has intriguing possibilities for schools, but there are also issues for educators to consider.