Individualized learning in the Networked Society
When I met Professor Stephen Heppell in London last month, he raised interesting ideas about measuring the learning process. He said that in the future, we will start to measure our learning in the same manner as many of us today have started to measure our health or our sports activities.
As the services and processes we use for learning become networked, we are starting to generate lots of data. Data that could be used to individualize the learning process in schools to fit the individual students’ needs and keep them motivated. As Jose Ferreira, CEO of Knewton said when we interviewed him for the Future of Learning film, “We’re crunching data from the students, so that they know what they are weak at.” He continued, “There are two text books for teaching algebra in the United States; at the local pharmacy there are 50 types of toothpaste. There are 25 times the product differentiations for toothpaste then for teaching each individual brain about myriad concepts you have to learn to be part of the modern economy.”
In the future, it will be possible to visualize the personal learning progress, to track progress, and to get individualized support based on what you have previously done. You will be able to get personal suggestions for tasks, to be stimulated and to do the work in a learning style that fits your personality. I see that as the learning process becomes more and more networked, it could also provide more transparency between the school and the home, allowing parents to follow and be part of the learning process much more deeply than they are today.