Adaptive Learning: Are We There Yet?

The Journal – John K. Waters

For more than a decade, K-12 educators have been hearing about the potential of adaptive learning, an approach to instruction and remediation that uses technology and accumulated data to provide customized program adjustments based on an individual student’s level of demonstrated mastery.

But interest in adaptive learning has been heating up in the last couple of years, thanks to new attention from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, new partnerships among education publishers and adaptive platform providers, and a growing list of product vendors. Along with that increasing interest and expanding vendor landscape has come a fair bit of confusion about exactly what the term “adaptive learning” means. In conversation, it’s almost synonymous with “personalized learning,” but in practice, these are different concepts, and K-12 districts investigating systems that promise to deliver adaptive learning should understand that difference. Read More