- AltSchool, founded by Google’s former head of personalization, selected three new partner schools from an applicant pool of more than 200 private, public and charter schools nationwide, announcing it would share its proprietary technology with two schools in Florida and one in Virginia in addition to accepting applications for the next round of partners.
- The Hechinger Report writes Berthold Academy in Virginia is a Montessori school, The Green School in West Palm Beach is a progressive private school offering substantial financial aid to students, and Temple Beth Sholom Day School in Miami Beach is a new Jewish school — and all will get access to the AltSchool digital platform that helps teachers personalize learning for students.
- The AltSchool approach asks students to master skills and concepts before moving to subsequent units, giving teachers the opportunity to tailor instruction to their needs and pace, and collecting student work into portfolios and letting teachers offer short assessments to gauge student progress.
Personalized learning is a major buzzword in education today. Schools nationwide are figuring out how to use technology to better tailor instruction to the needs of students, helping those who are behind catch up and giving more advanced students a chance to move even farther ahead. The School 2.0 conversation revolves around highly personalized instruction for students, and many administrators are beginning to offer more personalized professional development to their teachers as a result.
The Summit Personalized Learning Platform, designed by California charter school teachers and developed by Facebook engineers, is another model, like AltSchool, that has gotten a lot of attention from investors and is expected to expand to schools across the country by sharing its technology. Privacy concerns with student data stored in the system, however, have cast at least a small shadow over Summit’s promise.