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Facebook Tinkers In Personalized Learning

by Natasha Singer and Mike Isaac

The New York Times

Article excerpt

Facebook Helps Develop Software That Puts Students in Charge of Their Lesson Plans

Rather than have teachers hand out class assignments, the Facebook-Summit learning management system puts students in charge of selecting their projects and setting their pace. The idea is to encourage students to develop skills, like resourcefulness and time management, that might help them succeed in college.

Our take

Letting Kids Learn Their Way

Facebook recently partnered with a nonprofit charter school system in a project that will provide students with the ability to design their own lesson plans. The software—the “Summit Personalized Learning Platform”—gives students a view of the year’s academic requirements, and provides them with the opportunity to customize learning modules to meet their needs and preferences. Could more autonomy lead to greater engagement and better outcomes?

The promise of truly personalized learning has yet to be realized, but there is mounting evidence that students learn best when they have more control over what, when and how they learn. At its core, learning is ultimately a personal experience. This project will provide insights into how giving students more control can boost engagement and learning outcomes.