My magical grand-daughter Sidney comes to my house when she is too sick to go to school and her folks have to be at work. I canâ€™t lie... I love those days. It gives me a chance to catch up with my heart-child.
This week, she took me on a tour of the computer programs used at her school as we tried to keep up with her schoolwork. It was an interesting glimpse into the life of the modern student. New technologies are embedded in the curriculum in all subjects, reminding us that the future of education is constantly undergoing significant transformations.
A few key trends are shaping the future learning platforms. These include an increased focus on personalized and self-directed learning, the growth of online and distance education and a new emphasis on soft skills such as communication, collaboration and critical thinking.
Personalized and Self-Directed Learning
With the advent of online learning platforms, students have greater access to customized educational experiences, tailored to their individual needs, interests and learning styles.
IXL is the worldâ€™s most popular subscription-basedÂ learningÂ site for K-12. Used by over 14 million students, IXL provides personalizedÂ learningÂ in more than 9,000 topics, covering math, language arts, science, social studies, and Spanish. Interactive questions, awards, and certificates keep kids motivated as they master skills. The platform provides all kinds of analytics to help teachers set their students up for success.
Check it out at ixl.com.
If you want a young child to learn to read, you can try the phonics-based Starfall program. You can even streamline the experience for special needs kids. Typing Club is a free program to teach kids computer keyboard skills. Lexi is a literacy program used at Topanga Elementary as are Zearn, a top-rated math learning platform, and Seesaw which is similar to IXL.
According to the Brookings Institute, â€śonline platforms offer the promise, through artificial intelligence (AI), of providing the optimal course pacing and content to fit each studentâ€™s needs and thereby improve educational quality and learning. The latest â€śintelligentâ€ť tutoring systems, for example, not only assess studentsâ€™ current weaknesses, but also diagnoseÂ whyÂ students make the specific errors. These systems then adjust instructional materials to meet studentsâ€™ needs.â€ť