By: R.G. Wilmot (Wil) Lampros
Technology offers solutions to meet the challenges of today’s classrooms.
Access to high-quality education that prepares students for success in college and careers is uneven throughout our country. As the recent PISA study results demonstrate, our students are lagging behind their counterparts around the world.
Learning outcomes are becoming more uncertain. Costs are increasing and class sizes are growing, challenging even the most talented and experienced educators when they try to deliver quality instruction. In addition, our schools are charged with educating a diverse, multilingual population with students at varied levels of knowledge. Classes too large for the traditional one-teacher model means many students are not actively engaged in learning; the best students stagnate while the weaker learners struggle.
In higher education, the United States has become a “university to the world,” where many highly trained people from around the globe come here to teach, study, and do research. Yet, sadly, the average pass rate in most developmental math courses hovers around 50 percent, while less than two-thirds of students who enter college graduate.
In fact, the data shows that in both K-12 and higher education, many students are left behind. Many students arrive at school years behind in math and other core subjects, and haven’t mastered very basic skills. All too often, there is no safety net for them and they give up.
We can do a lot better.
While it may seem dim, there is, in fact, a light at the end of the tunnel. We’re starting to see glimmers shine through in education, heralding the kind of transformation that has so dramatically affected most other areas of life. In other words, access to proven adaptive learning tools utilizing artificially-intelligent technology to deliver personalized instruction, such as ALEKS, are becoming increasingly part of the traditional school scenario.
In fact, these learning technologies allow for a unique, one-on-one learning experience that in the past could only be achieved through extremely small class sizes or expensive individual tutoring. Educational technology actually encourages independent study and help to fill in the “gaps” in learning that a student may have missed along the way. This is the perfect example of how classrooms morph into a highly effective collaboration between experienced educators and reliable, efficient technology to greatly improve learning outcomes.
This is the type of cultural transformation that ALEKS has championed and that all educational technology companies should strive for as they develop new learning programs, and that parents should ask their schools and districts to provide.
We can all be part of the solution.
R.G. Wilmot (Wil) Lampros is President of ALEKS Corporation, a subsidiary of McGraw-Hill Education and a leader in the creation of web-based artificially intelligent education software.