Continuing their cadence as a leading learning organization, ACT has acquired the adaptive learning platform ScootPad. ACT’s Learning Division President, Jonell Sanchez, has been leading this effort and said his team chose ScootPad for a variety of reasons that aligned to their strategy for personalizing instruction for individual students. “This really catapults our learning strategy…building on ACT’s strength of their 60 year history in assessment and aligning that to learning,” says Sanchez.
For the past decade, ScootPad creators Bharat Kumar and Maya Gadde have led their product team to develop one of the most adaptive curriculum platforms available to educators and the students they’re serving. It started at their kitchen table when Kumar and Gadde both sensed a need for a tool that could be responsive to their own children’s desire for agency in learning.
Unlike competing approaches, ScootPad’s algorithm runs continuously, developing truly personalized learning paths based on the learner’s choices and interactions over time. Whether the student’s needs in the moment are for remediation or deeper enrichment, the tools adapt in rigor to offer the student the next successive opportunity for practicing skills or concepts based on the student’s performance. The platform has an inherently flexible design. Starting with a diagnostic and continuing at the learner’s pace through new material, ScootPad is always assessing. All this happens under the purview of the teacher and in a scalable manner across the roster for each student. Sanchez distinguishes the tools that ScootPad has designed to be student- and parent- friendly too, a timely characteristic in user interface/user experience (UI/UX) design for less toilsome and opaque learning-from-home experiences many have endured this spring. Yet the UI/UX benefit isn’t the extent of the value ScootPad brings to ACT.
With a repository of over 60,000 standards-aligned mini-lessons and learning objects, the move by ACT increases their own bank to over 400,000. During the transition, both will be available for continued learning through spring and summer with more in the works from ACT to address the need for quality, engaging instructional materials. Like many companies serving the education field, leaders from both companies were already making their materials immediately available to their massive user bases, and are now combining forces to extend these opportunities for all existing school partners as well as new ones, given the similarities in both organizations.
The shift from the theory of competency tracking and personalization of a student’s learning path has been challenging to move to application, as discussed regularly here and elsewhere by the Getting Smart team. ACT’s burgeoning portfolio of apps reflecting the best in research is creating a platform to realize the promise writ large in action research projects by teachers equipped with monumental spreadsheets and observation acumen: that kids stay engaged and progress more quickly when they have a precise understanding of strengths and weaknesses in the learning targets established by expert teachers.
The research invested in the ScootPad product development reflects the same academic commitment demonstrated by the ACT Learning Division under the leadership of Sanchez. ACT has put in place sound resources for all involved in a student’s journey from kindergarten to career and every juncture in between. Now thousands of more schools will be joining the greater ACT family with the same commitment to data-driven learning that is simultaneously equitable for all students. This is the latest of several acquisitions by ACT in recent years, following that of SEL curriculum company Mawi Learning last summer. The move further cements ACT’s commitment to meeting millions of diverse learners’ needs in the curriculum space, and using their decades of assessment clout to nurture the entire learner’s journey between registration through graduation.
For more, see:
- Personalized Learning is a Transformative Idea Without a Transformative Technology
- Personalized Learning Experiences: Why and How
- Personalized Learning Lessons to Get the Message Right
- Competency-Based Education Can Better Inform Parents, Students & Teachers
- The Case For Competency-Based Education
- Social-Emotional Support: The Real Urgency of Blended Learning
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This post includes mentions of a Getting Smart partner. For a full list of partners, affiliate organizations and all other disclosures, please see our Partner page.