EdSector is holding an interesting online chat about online learning and the implications for choice.  We’re trapped in the mindset of ‘this school or that school.’  That’s all going to change (relatively) fast.

We’re headed for radical choice–not just school choice but choice to the lesson level. We’ll soon have adaptive content libraries and smart recommendation engines that string together a unique ‘playlist’ for every student everyday. These smart platforms will consider learning level, interests, and best learning modality (i.e., motivational profile and learning style to optimize understanding and persistence).

Smart learning platforms will be used by some students that learn at home, by some students that connect through hybrid schools with a day or two onsite, and by most students through blended schools that mix online learning with onsite support systems.

Choice between physical schools will increasingly be about the learning community they create in terms of the application and extracurricular opportunities and guidance and support systems. In some states, families will gain the ability to construct a series of learning experiences that fit family needs, schedules, preferences, and interests.

A couple forward leaning examples of what’s to come:

  • Provost’s second generation is at least partially adaptive for level and modality
  • School of One pilot in NYC this summer tested personalized math play lists mixing online and onsite instruction
  • Guarenteach.com, incubated by Christensen inspired Innosight, has 20,000 short math videos that match learning levels and interests
  • Sylvan’s new platform is partially adaptive
  • Informal learning (social learning platforms, peer-to-peer learning, and learning games are all exploding
Tomorrow we can speculate on human capital implications for the generation to come.

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