CIC Snapshot: How Adaptive Learning is Reshaping the Classroom

At the 2016 Content in Context (CIC) conference, panelists covered one of the hottest education topics: adaptive learning. In addition to defining adaptive learning and considerations for content developers when creating for adaptive engines, the panelists also addressed the role of the teacher. Moderator Sean Cavanagh, a writer for Education Week, and the speakers (Jill Barnes, Florida Virtual School;  Valyncia Hawkins, Anne Beers Elementary School (DC); and Mindy Moran, Curry School of Education) shared how the teacher’s role may evolve with new forms of learning. Most important, they talked about why technology can never take over in the classroom.

  • The conversation between students and teachers is still imperative so teachers can figure out how students are learning and make sure that they are actually acquiring knowledge from adaptive programs.
  • The primary way we can help students more is by offering teachers professional development on how to have meaningful conversations with students. Teachers need to learn how to talk with students about the data. 
  • The real magic of adaptive learning is knowing the learner profile. I get nervous when I go to a school and kids are in a lab, and the kids are just sitting there like Blade Runner. I worry about it reinforcing some of our bad habits.
  • From a practical point of view, right now adaptive technologies are not sophisticated enough to manage the human element in the classroom. And there are certain parts that it can never manage. They can’t replace the human relationship between students and teachers – someone to encourage you, ask you questions about your learning process etc. There will always be a necessary role for the teacher.
Content in Context
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