A New Way To Think About Learning
Megan Garber writes on TheAtlantic.com:
“In February, the education services company Pearson introduced Alleyoop, a personalized digital-tutoring service that tries to gamify the classroom—and to do it, specifically, outside of the classroom. The platform focuses on middle- and, in particular, high-school curricula, and emphasizes the immediate feedback aspects of the gamification model. Instead of a once-a-semester report card, featuring the blunt assessment metrics of letter grades, students get real-time feedback on the details of their performance—from real-time tutors who are not their teachers.
The system is personalized, iterative, and adaptive, so a student having trouble with, say, trigonometry can delve into trigonometry at his or her own pace, learning from mistakes and gaining immediate rewards from successes.
The platform is designed to operate outside of the school setting. ‘This is a service that’s meant to be direct to consumers, direct to families,’ says Alleyoop president Patrick Supanc. ‘We think there’s a real need for supplemental services that address the market outside of school.’
So Alleyoop is, with its adaptive technology, subtly adapting the way we might think about education in the first place—not as something that’s necessarily confined to a classroom, but as something that is experienced at home, at leisure, perhaps with friends and family. Something that is, fundamentally, personal.
In all that, Alleyoop provides a hint at the future of education as it becomes increasingly digitized: a future that fades the lines that have traditionally divided learning from everything else in the world.” Read more here.
I think Garber is exactly right: we need to start thinking about learning as something that doesn’t just happen in the classroom or when we’re students, but all the time, everywhere.