Adaptive learning technology is an advanced tool that can drastically influence instruction. In many adaptive learning programs, the learning path responds to the student’s performance and adjusts to help facilitate learning in real time. With every action taken, the curriculum responds to keep the learner actively engaged in a way that is optimal for that individual student. As adaptive learning technologies become increasingly popular in PreK-12 classrooms, it’s important to ensure that they’re being used with purpose, and leveraged in such a way that can truly change the student experience for the better. If you’re considering introducing adaptive learning technology to your classroom, here are a few spaces where we’ve seen adaptive learning have a particularly strong impact:
#1: Drive Personalized Learning Initiatives
Many districts are striving to further personalize learning and move away from a one-size-fits all approach to instruction. While adaptive technology should not serve as a lone driver for personalized learning, it can be a critical component of a well-rounded personalized learning initiative. Beyond going 1:1, truly adaptive learning technologies provide students with individual instruction that adjusts based on their needs and introduces new content right in the moment they need it. It’s a powerful tool to ensure students are on a pathway for learning that both addresses their learning gaps and works from their strengths.
#2: Optimize a Blended Learning Environment
If your school has chosen a blended model to personalize learning, adaptive technology may be a strong addition to your toolbox. Future Ready Schools stresses the importance of student-centered learning and student ownership in order for a blended model to be successful, and adaptive technology is a great tool to encourage student agency. It empowers students to learn at their own pace, follow an individualized path, and spend more time on the content that challenges them. Blended learning expert Michael B. Horn argues that technology implementation in a blended classroom is closely related to the physical environment in which students learn, where a modular environment with customization is preferable. Many adaptive learning technologies are designed with this type of environment in mind, and can be integrated into a variety of customized curriculum designs.
#3: Strengthen Core Academic Skills
There are adaptive learning technologies available to strengthen a variety of academic skills, but some of the most advanced technologies on the market are designed to specifically strengthen skills in core academic subjects, like math and language arts.
Adaptive learning technologies in math are focused on addressing the immense individualization and differentiation challenges all math teachers face. Students may enter a math classroom with vastly different proficiency levels, interest in math, and confidence in their own abilities. Adaptive learning technology allows educators to differentiate instruction no matter the gaps that exist in the class.
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More recently, education technology developers have also created adaptive learning technologies for English language arts courses. This software also focuses on differentiation and individual skills — specifically to improve students’ writing abilities. This technology is particularly complex because of the nuances of language. It provides steady, guided practice, detailed feedback, and personalized pacing. This type of adaptive learning technology can detect semantic errors, evaluate content and style, and more.
Adaptive Learning Technology in the English Language Arts Classroom
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#4: Provide Effective Instruction for ALL Students
When implemented with culturally responsive strategies, a deep understanding of student abilities and experiences, and with careful purpose, adaptive learning technologies can also contribute to educational equity work. The individualized, tailored learning pathways can empower educators to reach all students where they are, attend to their needs, and hone in on their strengths. Here’s a specific look at the needs of English learners in relation to adaptive learning technology:
For more on adaptive learning technology, check out this eBook: