While we were at SXSWedu, I got the chance to meet Bill Gates and talk about personalizing education!
He was at the event promoting the idea of each student engaging in their own personalized learning. This is an idea that we believe in very strongly and an initiative where we are working with Mr. Gates’ foundation and other key leaders in education. Mr. Gates was interested in hearing about some of the work we are doing together in several states to help educators define and deliver a personalized pathway for each individual student.
Now is a very promising time for personalized education. The development of a detailed understanding of the interrelationships and progression of skills through the Common Core is laying an important foundation. At the same time, the expanding implementation of data communication standards through CEDS and supported by eScholar, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and the Ed-Fi Alliance, as well as Mr. Gates’ InBloom are making it possible to bring together the insights necessary for teachers to understand the individual needs and goals of students. Now, the pieces are coming together to allow data driven applications such as eScholar myTrack help students achieve their education in a way that is focused on their individual goals.
We have been working for years to apply data toward helping each individual student achieve their own best potential. We know that “best potential” is fundamentally personal to every one of us. We have learned a lot and one of the things we have seen is the enormous energy that teachers put toward this same goal. What we are beginning to see now is the emergence of several trends that will help educators deliver on this promise. We know it will not be easy, but it’s good to have some powerful forces pushing in the same direction!