- A report from Noodle Markets shows school district spending on adaptive learning technology has tripled to $41 million since 2013, with 9% of those funds spent on teacher professional development, according to EdTech: Focus on K-12.
- Adaptive learning tech uses algorithms and data to present students with content matched to their current progress, with the idea being that it simplifies personalized and self-paced learning for teachers.
- Some schools have developed simplified workarounds to more specific adaptive tech, using Google Forms and Google Sheets to deliver content to students based on how they respond to questions, and success with adaptive tools has also required some schools and districts to strengthen and expand their infrastructure.
The last several years have seen a push to provide students with educational experiences personalized to fit their needs and current progress. And while doing so has long proven effective in some private school models, like the Montessori system, it's been much harder to scale to the often-larger class sizes found in many public schools.
That's where adaptive learning tech has stepped in, serving as a means of gathering data on students' progress and presenting them with harder content when they're ready to progress or reviewing content at their current level if they're not at that point yet. Used in combination with a flipped learning model, for example — where the student engages with pedagogical content that would traditionally be delivered in class and engages in discussion or completes assignments or projects during class time — it has the potential to deliver on that promise.
Notably, however, this can require some additional time commitment on the part of educators, as the model can require additional preparation and deeper assignments on top of the extra one-on-one time with students. As a result, administrators will want to keep in mind the potential for teacher burnout and how to address it when considering such a model.