February was quite a social month for Smart Sparrow, as our CEO Dror Ben-Naim was invited to host two Twitter chats, held by EdSurge (@EdSurge) and the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (@WCET_info) – each on the topic of Adaptive Learning. Both chats provided opportunities to engage the education community in a discussion around this topic. Students, faculty, authors, experts, and other AL thought leaders chimed in to ask questions, share their ideas and connect with one another on the use of adaptive learning, and its role in the future of higher education.
Following the launch of EdSurge’s special report on Adaptive Learning, the team held a Twitter chat, #EdSurgeAL for a deeper dive discussion on all things related to adaptive learning. We were very pleased with the turnout, and the 60-minute discussion that ensued.
A special shoutout to @AdamdFried – we agree that these conversations are critical to building a common language and deeper understanding of what the available #AL tools are and what they can do – then, users can choose!
@tytonpartners – Hello from Westport, Ma— FieldTripZoom (@fieldtripzoom) February 12, 2016
The chat format was in a Q&A style. 10 questions were asked.
1. Adaptive Learning – transformative technology or just another buzzword? Why?
Most of us agree that Adaptive Learning is both powerful and transformative. However, there seemed to be different views as to whether it should empower students, teachers or both.
#EdSurgeAL transformation comes from how it transforms the teacher/student relationship, not the student/tech relationship— David Porcaro (@DavidPorcaro) February 12, 2016
a bit of both. I think teachers need tools that are easy to use, effective and have potential to transform Teaching & learning. #EdSurgeAL— Christine Lund (@lundce) February 12, 2016
2. If you think a tool is truly adaptive, what would it do well?
This is a misconception we’ve been seeing over and over again. Tools aren’t adaptive. Learning experiences are. So we actually need to reframe the question: If you think a learning experience is truly adaptive, what would it do well?
A2: An adaptive tool is like an adaptive teacher: modifies approach, emphasis, instruction, feedback & style based on learner #EdSurgeAL— Ossa Fisher (@ossaf) February 12, 2016
A2: Truly adaptive would efficiently diagnose, intervene, measure, provide *targeted* feedback & personalized reassessment. #EdSurgeAL— Joseph South (@southjoseph) February 12, 2016
3. How comfortable are you with software making instructional decisions for students?
This was a very controversial question. As we know, the AL landscape is quite diverse. Some tools are a black box algorithms putting teachers in the back seat, while others empower them to be in control. The general sentiment was “transparency is the key”.
4. What roles should teachers/admins play when it comes to using the tools effectively?
“Teachers must be in charge” was the unanimous answer to question number four. Sigh. Although there is great demand for more support for teachers.
Nothing can compete with a teacher’s ability to engage students, diagnose misconceptions & inspire learning #EdSurgeAL— Dror Ben-Naim (@DrorBenNaim) February 12, 2016
5. Will students become more active or passive learners as a result of adaptive learning technology? Why?
It depends, just “adaptive” is not enough. Next-gen systems should encourage active learning #EdSurgeAL— Dror Ben-Naim (@DrorBenNaim) February 12, 2016
A5: Way more active than typical worksheets aligned to a pre-determined scope and sequence #EdSurgeAL— AnirbanBhattacharyya (@AnirbanKIPP) February 12, 2016
A5: If adaptive learning doesn't create more active learners then we have failed. #edsurgeal— Enlearn (@EnlearnOrg) February 12, 2016
6. Do you think in 10 years adaptive technology will be the standard in our classrooms? Terrified? Exciting?
A6. One sweet day, "adaptive, personalized, individualized...." will be known as plain old "teaching and learning". #edsurgeal— betaclassroom (@betaclassroom) February 12, 2016