There's no denying that our education system needs improvement. We are facing a learning crisis that has only been compounded by the pandemic. Like any industry, innovation is necessary if we want to serve our youth's educational needs better.
Fortunately, innovations such as personalized digital learning platforms are showing promise in closing learning gaps and unlocking students' full potential. Educational outcomes are improved when a child has access to learning methods that fit their needs and keep them engaged.
This article will explore the need to address America's learning crisis, the importance of personalized education, and how technology platforms create more equity in education.
Though the pandemic created many new learning challenges for students, America faced a learning crisis well before the pandemic started. According to the Nation's Report Card, around 60% of fourth-grade students aren't performing at proficiency in either math or reading. And when looking through an equity lens, over 75% of students from low-income families are not proficient in either subject. This creates lifelong challenges for the individual, their family, and the community in terms of opportunity and social mobility. Additionally, it translates to a massive cost to the US economy as the achievement gap between low-income and high-income families grows.
The question then becomes how do we help improve these statistics for children of all economic backgrounds? Though the answer is far from simple, shifting away from the traditional one-size-fits-all approach to education is a good start. Instead of measuring progress based on the amount of time spent learning, the focus should be on ensuring that each student masters the material they need to. Luckily, personalized learning platforms are proving to be effective in this regard.
Around 60% of fourth-grade students aren't performing at proficiency in either math or reading. And when looking through an equity lens, over 75% of students from low-income families are not proficient in either subject.
The current education model requires students to adapt to when and how certain subject matter is taught. Instead, a more effective approach is tailoring education to adapt to the learning needs of each individual. It's known that personalized instruction is the most effective type of learning, and it also makes learning more rewarding. When students engage in the learning experience, they build confidence and are driven to identify as learners. This produces better educational outcomes and creates a lifelong love of learning.
Personalized education not only shows promise for closing learning gaps, but it has the ability to unlock potential that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. According to an efficacy study conducted by Age of Learning, 98% of the students that used the Age of Learning personalized education platform achieved grade-level readiness, and 20% of those students were capable of mastering skills a grade level above their current grade.
A new realm of personalized digital education is emerging by combining cognitive science, learning science, engaging interfaces, and innovative technology. As a supplement to standardized education, these personalized learning experiences are being used by kids across the country.
The most notable and research-backed personalized digital learning platform available is Age of Learning. Its Personalized Mastery Learning Ecosystem™ has patented technology that captures real-time data and adapts instruction to fit an individual's needs, independent of age or grade. The focus is on guiding students to learn and master the material they need to succeed.
Age of Learning started with its direct-to-consumer product, ABCmouse, the most comprehensive digital learning platform for children aged two to eight. ABCmouse has seen much success, and research studies have validated its effectiveness. Once the pandemic hit, Age of Learning wanted to expand its reach and create more equity in education by offering its My Math Academy and My Reading Academy in schools at no charge to students. So far, over two million students have gained equitable access to these platforms in schools, and many more will in the future.
98% of the students that used the Age of Learning personalized education platform achieved grade-level readiness, and 20% of those students were capable of mastering skills a grade level above their current grade.
Research shows that personalized instruction is the most effective type of learning. However, the resources required to bring personalized instruction to students at scale are challenging. Fortunately, Age of Learning understands this issue and is working hard to bring the benefits of its platform to as many students as possible.
Age of Learning can currently gather data on a classroom's students and organize them into cohorts based on similar learning needs. The platform can then provide these cohorts with the materials and teaching methods they need to improve their educational outcomes. Doing so reduces the number of human resources required to address the learning needs of individual students appropriately. Though there is much room for improvement in scaling personalized education, the methods outlined provide an excellent foundation to build on.
"Education is the most powerful weapon which can be used to change the world."
To further increase the effectiveness of personalized learning platforms, it's important for parents to support the process. Simply being a proponent of education is a source of motivation for the student. Parents can ask questions about what a student is learning and provide encouraging feedback to promote this process. When students feel like their parents care about their progress, they will care about it and feel driven to keep improving.
Nelson Mandela was right when he said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which can be used to change the world." We need to unlock the potential of learners because doing so opens the potential for all of humanity. How we teach and prepare students for the future has the most significant influence on the big picture outcomes of tomorrow. And through this exploration, it's clear that personalized digital learning platforms are a great place to start as America aims to improve equity in education and educational outcomes.
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