Adaptive learning

Three lessons from data on the best ways to give feedback to students

Proponents of computerized instruction often point out that software can give instant feedback to students. And that helps students learn more. That’s why a personal tutor can be so powerful. He or she can immediately react when there’s a misunderstanding and provide an explanation or a hint. But the truth is, educators don’t really understand […]


Princeton undergraduate finds no improvement in student performance at California charter schools after converting to blended learning

Many schools across the country are experimenting with blended learning, where students are taught by a combination of computers and human teachers, but it is such a new phenomenon that there is little empirical evidence to prove that students learn more this way. One Princeton undergraduate looked at the test scores of 35 California schools […]


Study shows that high-tech schools run into budget troubles and cut tech spending

Preliminary findings from a two-year study of new charter schools that were given extra funds to combine computer-based learning with teacher instruction  show that schools quickly ran into budget shortfalls and pulled back on their technology plans. The study was written by the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington and published […]


More than 80 percent of U.S. states are producing high school feedback reports

The Data Quality Campaign issued its annual survey, Data for Action 2013, of how states are collecting and using education data on Nov. 19, 2013. The advocacy group argues that using data more would improve  education policy and classroom instruction. It reported that two states, Arkansas and Delaware, were using data the most. But they’re […]


MIT’s Resnick on uses and risks of data usage in education

I wrote this piece earlier this summer, looking at the use of technology in education. But our conversation wandered into the domain of data and I wanted to excerpt those parts of the interview for Education By The Numbers. MIT technology trailblazer is a critic of computerized learning Mitchel Resnick is the LEGO Papert Professor […]


Q&A with Knewton’s David Kuntz: ‘Better and faster’ learning than a traditional class?

When education investors talk about so-called adaptive learning, in which a computer tailors instructional software personally for each student, the name Knewton invariably surfaces. The ed-tech start up began five years ago as an online test prep service. But it transformed the personalization technology it uses for test prep classes into a “recommendations” engine that […]