Agilix Powers Personalized Learning

Agilix may be the most widely used personalized learning solution that you don’t know about. Perhaps you’ve heard of Brainhoney, an award winning learning management system, you may not know that but the xLi, an extensible infrastructure, that powers widely used platforms like Pearson’s GradPoint, widely used tests and Louisiana Course Choice system.  Perhaps most interesting is Buzz, the personalized learning platform built for the Education Achievement Authority (EAA). This week at the ASU/GSV conference Agilix is announcing three product updates previewed below.

Building Buzz. The most innovative work being done in education today is simultaneous developing a school model and a platform–a personalized learning environment at school and online. At the EAA, that work is led by CAO Mary Esselman. I met Mary three years ago in Kansas City where School Improvement Network (PD360) brought Agilix in to support development of Buzz. When her boss John Covington took on the EAA challenge, they brought Buzz and student-centered learning to Detroit along with a couple great principals. (For more on the EAA and progress in Detroit, see this Smart Cities post)

As noted last year (and in every speech since), there are eight things I really like about EAA school model and Buzz platform:

  • Ownership. Learning is organized around units of instruction each with a library of learning resources that give students learning pathways choices (units include content from ALEKS, Compass Learning, HMH, Imagine Learning, Netrekker, Flocabulary, Florida Virtual, ST Math, plus open source.

  • Application. Buzz units include multiple options to practice and apply learning.

  • Evidence. Students must present three forms of evidence for each learning target—they have options in how they show what they know.

  • Grading.  The 1-4 grading system is the basis for the mastery-based system.  Students must score a 3, proficient, in order to move to the next unit.  Students scoring a 4, advanced, are eligible for peer coaching.

  • Levels.  The K-8 EAA schools and the Buzz platform are organized into 18 levels. Having twice as many levels as grades provides finer grained performance grouping. It also reduces the stigma for twelve year olds that are in Level 10 in ELA and Level 9 in math, for example.  New students are placed in appropriate levels using adaptive tests from Scantron.

  • Tracking.  Student productivity is measured by the number of targets hit over an expected period of time and show on a speedometer on their desktop. Teachers can monitor the progress of all of their students at a glance.

  • Motivation. The combination of student choice, engaging content, lots of feedback on performance and progress yields a motivating learning environment.

  • Focus. Rather than focusing on lesson plans, teachers build and swap units—a bigger sequence of instruction, application, and assessment.

When I visited Detroit last week, I watched a demo of the updated teaching and learning platform. It has an updated user interface and improvements in many of the categories above. While most blended learning pilots introduce disjointed computer and teacher-led instruction in some kind of rotation, Buzz creates a unified student learning experience but retains many options within units of instruction. The Buzz platform is now available to other schools (see release below and here).

In addition to making Buzz available, Agilix introduced xLi-ng, a new JavaScript component library based on Google’s AngularJS (see release).

When schools or districts are thinking about developing a custom learning platform, I tell them it will take longer, cost more, and not work as well as hoped–then I suggest they consider xLi from Agilix (see release on time to market). Some states, national organizations, and big companies rely on Agilix to power their personalized learning solutions–it may be  just what you were looking for.

—- Press Release —

Agilix Buzz™ delivers proven Return on Education (ROE) through

Student-Centered, Teacher-Guided Personalized Learning Solutions

The next-generation Agilix BuzzTM Personalized Learning Application, built on Agilix xLiTM, enables publishers, software developers, systems integrators and OEMS to deliver integrated competency-based learning solutions

OREM, UTAH, April 21, 2014— Agilix Labs, Inc. announced today, at the ASU+GSV Education Innovation Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona, the availability of the Agilix Buzz™ application. Personalized Learning solutions built upon Agilix BuzzTM and Agilix xLiTM support a wide range of learning models – including: virtual, blended, competency and mastery-based – from individual classrooms to School District and State-Wide adoptions.

Agilix BuzzTM is a flexible, modular, customizable, and scalable Personalized Learning Application designed to be branded and integrated by partners who need to deliver proven personalized learning solutions now.  Agilix uniquely delivers solutions built on Agilix xLiTM exclusively through strategic partners and doesn’t compete with them in selling to institutions. Agilix BuzzTM has been successfully proven in pilot projects serving 11,000 students in 15 schools throughout Michigan during the 2013-2014 school year – with a majority of students realizing two years of growth in one school year.

“Unlike many existing education applications, Agilix BuzzTM was built from the ground up with an explicit focus on the requirements of its partners to make complete Personalized Learning solutions work effectively and at scale,” said Curt Allen, CEO of Agilix Labs Inc. “It motivates students with learning choices and real-time progress feedback and provides teachers with a radar screen that shows real-time progress and pace for each student to support prescriptive guidance based upon individual needs.”

Agilix agrees with Stacey Childress, the Gates Foundation’s Deputy Director of Education, that “Personalized Learning will go mainstream” in 2014 and her vision of the future in which:

“On any day of the year, students will be able to see how they are doing, where they want to be, and how they might get there. They will feel ownership of their learning and motivated to succeed. They will collaborate and connect with their peers in ways that reflect how they live now and how they will work in the future.” (EdSurge, Jan. 1, 2014)

“We believed that all learning will eventually be Personalized Learning,” said Curt Allen, CEO of Agilix Labs, Inc. “By leveraging Agilix BuzzTM, our strategic partners can deliver effective Personalized Learning solutions at scale now.”

This version of Agilix BuzzTM is built on the Agilix xLiTM platform and leverages modern technologies like Google’s AngularJS framework and node.js. This upgrade significantly improves the productivity and speed for partners in delivering unique solutions that are customized to meet the exacting needs of their end user customers. The application is designed to support age-appropriate user interfaces for K-12 learners and supports mobile devices, including Google Chromebooks, Android Tablets, Apple iPads, smartphones, and other form factors.

Agilix is available to demonstrate the Agilix BuzzTM and discuss with strategic partners how it can be successfully integrated into their branded Personalized Learning solutions.  The company may be contacted at [email protected] or through the company web site:

Eric Weiss, Agilix at 310-447-4869 or [email protected]
Jennifer Aalgaard, Getting Smart at 206-291-7190 or [email protected]



Agilix enables partner organizations to deliver educational solutions better, faster, and cheaper, by providing both technology and services for rapid design and development. The Agilix Extensible Learning Infrastructure (xLiTM) and associated products—including BrainHoneyTM, a customizable LMS; BuzzTM, a student-centered, personalized learning solution; and HoneyCombTM, providing course choice and registration for state-wide programs—power solutions for millions of learners across 60 countries.
Agilix, Florida Virtual School, Compass Learning and MIND Research Institute are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners.

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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