Adaptive content will be a game changer—the first real chance to change the learning productivity curve. By ‘adaptive content’ I mean:

· Engaging: 2 & 3D animation, video, source documents

· Personalized: a ‘play list’ targeted at learning level, by interest and modality

· Networked: running on a social learning platform with several relevant groups (e.g., project team, peer tutor, class, mentors)

A couple examples:

· TechCrunch reports that Rosetta has added a little LiveMocha to it’s services with interactive chat. Wade Academy wraps Rosetta competitor TellMeMore in a social learning platform. (we’ll see schools adopt both for language acquisition next year.)

· Pearson Canada has licensed DreamBox, an adaptive K-2 math game and Pearson US has a JV with TabulaDigita, a multiplayer math game.

More to come!

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Tom Vander Ark is author of Difference Making at the Heart of Learning, The Power of Place, Better Together, Smart Parents, Smart Cities and Getting Smart. He is co-founder of Getting Smart and serves on the boards of Education Board Partners, 4.0 Schools, Digital Learning Institute, Latinx Education Collaborative, Mastery Transcript Consortium and eduInnovation. Follow Tom on Twitter, @tvanderark.


  1. I’d like to suggest the above serious video game. It has received rave reviews from middle school kids and teachers and shown marked improvement in understanding during a pilot controlled evaluation. In January a substantial upgrade will undergo a nationwide controlled evaluation. Funded by the NIH, it embraces principles proven by educational research (feedback learning, cooperative learning, critical thinking …) and, to our knowledge is unique in its approach. We’re looking for ways to recruit schools for the evaluation.


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