NEW YORK–Last February 25, New York Ed Tech discussed adaptive learning with guest panelists Chaitu Ekanadham, managing data scientist of Knewton; John Rinderle, CTO of Acrobatiq; Melissa Korensberg, managing director of Academics at Lightsail and Dr. Richard Simpson, associate professor of Computer Science at N.Y.I.T.
The panelists took turns giving their own definition of adaptive learning. “It’s a personalized path that gives them the opportunity to learn what they are most comfortable with—learning by reading or video, and choose that path,” Simpson said.
Korensberg, for her part, said, “Adaptive learning is purely personal. We make sure students are getting what they need and that they understand the value (of education).”
Rinderle of Acrobatiq said he finds AB testing a vital part of adapting to learning mechanisms. The non-profit company focuses on helping poor, disadvantaged, immigrant and minority students graduate from college with market-ready skills.
Acrobatiq makes learning software that replaces college textbooks, tracks student progress and adapts to their learning styles. Activities assess a student’s ability to apply their knowledge in the real world.
Simpson agrees, saying he gives give them quizzes and tweaks the material if this will foster learning faster.
“One measure of success is to ask, ‘Are they doing better in their exams?’”
Assessing students can be a host of things that includes writing skills, their interaction with the instructor or educator and – most talked about – data gathering Data that helps educators find out how to improve their teaching and children’s understanding of their lessons can go a long way.
Korensberg cautioned instructors about how they should still look at students as people than data. For content creation, she learned how exciting content may not necessarily translate to learning, but long-term useful content has in her experience at Lightsail.
LightSail Education, a creator of K-12 digital literacy solutions, offers adaptive reading program following a 4-month pilot in 12 New York City public and charter schools.
LightSail provides students with personalized tablet-based libraries drawing from more than 18,000 ebooks from top publishers. LightSail embeds assessments and analytics in students’ texts, monitoring their Lexile measures, Common Core progress and reading habits. Teachers receive real-time data along with tools designed to support best literacy instruction practices in classrooms.
Simpson also pointed out he makes sure to speak in front of his class for only 15 minutes, so the rest of his class can be directed toward more adaptive learning.