Big Data is the Mathematics of Effectiveness

Just like calculus is the mathematics of change, and probability is the mathematics of likelihood, big data is the mathematics of effectiveness. It aggregates data at scale — it doesn’t work at small scale. But when you’ve got enough data in one place, and if those data are “normalized” (meaning they can be made to adhere to some central rules, standards, or taxonomies), then you can start finding interesting patterns and outliers.

Education's Internet Moment is Now

Digital innovation is driving tremendous change across the education sector, improving both the quality and accessibility of education in ways that would have been unimaginable even a decade ago. Vastly improved technology and increased student dropout rates have set the stage for disruption. In the United States alone, 30% of students fail out of high school, 33% of college students require remediation, and 46% of college students fail to graduate. On the financial side, escalating tuition rates, unemployment, and massive student debt burden ($1 trillion in the US alone) are crippling our nation’s youth and have added great urgency to the situation.

The Future of Education: Supporting Creativity and the Arts in Education

The relative lack of STEM graduates in the U.S. is frequently cited as a threat to the country’s global standing. However, recently there has been a growing concern from the “other side” — arts, humanities, and social science advocates — about the lack of support for what many would argue are pillars for creativity and innovation.

Posted on Monday 7 April.
Proficiency vs. Seat Time: 5 Myths About Mastery-Based Learning

Whether or not you’ve heard the term “mastery-based learning,” you’ve probably encountered it in practice, in school or on the job. In any situation where you’re given a set of labs, problems, or activities where your progression is dependent on successful completion of various tasks rather than seat time, you’re engaging in mastery-based learning–a teaching method premised on the idea that student progression through a course should be dependent on proficiency as opposed to amount of time spent on academic work.

Knerds on the Board Video: What Does Adaptive Learning Look Like?

In this video, Knewton implementation architect, Joanna Bersin discusses the adaptive product landscape — the various “flavors” of adaptive learning, what adaptivity looks like in action, and how it might be built into different educational products.

Student Centered Learning: The Magic of Peer Mentoring

The 3rd article in Acton Academy founder Kaylie Reed’s series on student-centered learning. What exactly makes peer mentoring so productive? What is the appropriate balance between teacher coaching and peer mentoring in the classroom?

No More Final Exams? The Benefits of Continuous Assessment

Testing today can be anything from a mere bureaucratic hurdle to a nerve-wracking, future-determining experience for students. As computerized adaptive systems enable us to deliver truly continuous assessment, how will testing change? How will we use it to improve educational outcomes?

Rebooting "Learning Styles": Do "learning styles" exist?

What “learning styles” are and whether they exist is a longstanding debate in the education world. Some educational researchers argue there are no distinct learning styles. Recently, a chorus has been growing who insist this is a proven fact.

Student Agency: What It Is and How It's Manifested in Different Educational Products

In this video, implementation architect Shawn Lauzon explores the concept of “student agency” and how it applies to different educational products and courses of study.

Video series deep dive on "differentiated instruction"

Teachers deep dive on “beast problems,” access points, daily challenges, personalized courses of study, and individualized assessments

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