Interesting. Thoughts?

While there are disagreements over its exact definition, personalized learning generally means that students spend significant time working on different assignments tailored to their needs, can progress through content at their own pace, and have some agency over what and how they learn.

Its champions—including typically private Montessori and Waldorf schools, as well as pockets of progressive teachers in traditional public schools—claim that personalized learning stands in contrast to the familiar classroom structures born in the industrial age: students learning mostly from lectures and textbooks, practicing assignments on identical worksheets, and being sorted based on age or perceived ability measured by narrow metrics.

Designed in partnership with Facebook—founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, pediatrician Priscilla Chan, have been working with Summit Charter Schools since 2014—the software provides students with a daily overview of their responsibilities and progress, which are marked against their yearly personalized academic goals. It does so by centralizing every student’s various goals, assignments, drafts, tests, self-reflections, grades, and feedback from their teachers—making a bet that such an immediate and continuous feedback loop promotes student ownership over their own learning. The platform also aims to promote more individualized learning experiences: Students who complete all assignments can take on additional tasks and stretch themselves, and those who struggle can request extra tutoring.

The software is a crucial part of Summit’s approach—and an increasingly important component of personalized learning in schools around the country. The big bet, which is still largely an untested hypothesis, is that tech can both increase engagement and independence among students and bring certain efficiencies, including cost savings, into curriculum planning, assessment, and scheduling.

Still, research on the effectiveness of tech-infused approaches to personalized learning is thin, and results are mixed. Critics argue that until there is more research, schools should not experiment on children, and instead should invest in traditional, evidence-based approaches like high-quality training and coaching of teachers and manageable class sizes that allow for individualized attention. With more and more districts strapped for cash, personalized learning grants from tech-driven foundations will start to look increasingly seductive to principals and superintendents alike. So while many current education debates center around vouchers, the various forces moving into schools under the badge of personalization could have much farther-reaching consequences for public education in the next decade.

Inside Silicon Valley?s Big-Money Push to Remake American Education ? Mother Jones