Inspired Ideas
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Inspired Ideas

Four Reasons to Use Adaptive Technology in Your Remote Science Classroom

To many students, science is seen as a difficult or daunting subject to learn. It requires a degree of abstract and logical thinking, understanding of complex processes, and close reading skills to gather information and meaning, especially in regards to vocabulary.

These challenges are further exacerbated when learning science remotely, as many learners find it difficult to prioritize science among the other subjects they must keep up with.

Students may also receive less feedback from overworked teachers, making it harder to identify gaps in their understanding and overcome them.

However, with the help of adaptive learning technology, remote science instruction can be far less challenging. Adaptive engines learn about the student’s individual learning needs and change direction until that student has thoroughly grasped the content. Adaptive programs are smart, sophisticated, and have endlessly exciting implications. They give students the freedom to learn science in their own way, at their own time, which can make it much more approachable, and “easier” to learn.

How might adaptive learning software help you facilitate remote science instruction? Below, we give four reasons why it might be a good fit for your remote science classroom.

Students Can Learn at Their Own Speed

One of the great benefits of using adaptive technology in the science classroom is that it allows students to make choices about how, and how quickly, they will progress through the content. It works by:

  • Pinpointing knowledge gaps: Adaptive learning technology, like SmartBook 2.0, features adaptive logic that can more accurately pinpoint knowledge gaps and zero in on topics that require additional study. This allows students to focus study time and emphasize central topics by highlighting important concepts and present questions to practice what they’ve learned.
  • Promoting agency: Students can take more control of their learning by choosing to start with either the reading or questions for each assignment, whichever better fits their learning preference. It allows them to spend more time on the concepts they find challenging and breeze through the information they already understand.
  • Increasing transparency and flexibility: With more transparency in the program, students can get an overview of the assignment both prior to and following the assignment. In addition, they can get questions wrong while still earning 100 percent if they complete the full assignment, encouraging students to learn without any penalty.
  • Offering accessibility: Assignments can be accessed anytime, anywhere, on a computer, phone, or tablet.

Learn more about our award-winning adaptive learning software, Smartbook 2.0

It Shows Students Where They Are and Where They Can Go

Adaptive learning software is equipped with data to inform instruction.

With learning analytics, students are able to gain insights that can actually guide their learning. Students can see which sections they struggled with the most (potentially difficult to spot in a test or exam that scatters questions from a single section, making it difficult to get a unified picture), where they are struggling to self-assess their knowledge, and what courses they should take to improve their learning skills.

With these methods, instructors can get a much broader and more granular review of their students’ performance, not just a simple matter of questions right and wrong, but also whether students understand their own lack of knowledge, whether they are motivated and engaged, and whether certain sections are particularly problematic.

Students Have a Built-In Study Buddy & Lab Partner

Distance learning can be incredibly alienating for students, as they lack the camaraderie that a science classroom full of peers can bring. As such, teachers must find unique ways to provide a learning partner to students as they facilitate remote learning.

Adaptive learning programs like Smartbook provide a sort of entity that students can interact with as they progress through the course. Through gamification and interactivity, they can answer questions, make mistakes, and iterate as they go along with a tool that supports them along the way.

In addition, adaptive technology can serve as a study tool for students as a high stakes test approaches. For high school students preparing for the ACT, fine-tuning their understanding of science is key to a high score. Using adaptive programs like Smartbook 2.0, students can easily review multiple modules of content that will be tested on high-stakes assessments. Meanwhile, teachers can assign important sections for the ACT to give students access to last-minute test prep.

Learn more about preparing for high-stakes assessments

Teachers Have More Time to Devote to Hands-on Activities

Engaging, hands-on activities are key to getting students engaged in science. But, oftentimes class time is devoted to teaching and reinforcing core ideas and concepts, rather than on simulations and experiments.

Leveraging adaptive technology as a supplemental learning partner, students can instead learn core ideas outside of class, possibly before the teacher teaches. This frees up class time for exploration and open-ended investigation and application of new science ideas: arguably the most important elements of science instruction.

Read more using phenomena to engage students remotely

Powered by Smartbook 2.0, our core science curriculum, Inspire Science, ensures that exploration and discovery can happen anywhere, any time. Learn more below:



Resources, ideas, and stories for PreK-12 educators. We focus on educational equity, social and emotional learning, and evidence-based teaching strategies. Be sure to check out The Art of Teaching Project, our guest blogging platform for all educators.

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