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AltSchool A.K.A the ’School of the Future' to Pilot Personalized Platform in Schools

AltSchool A.K.A the ’School of the Future' to Pilot Personalized Platform in Schools

AltSchool, deemed since its creation in 2013 as a "school of the future,” is moving into the next phase of its work in education to test its personalization platform technology in partner schools nationwide.

Called AltSchool Open, the network of lab schools is seeking partner schools to implement its education technology that carries out its mission of personalizing learning to benefit the whole child. Interested schools can begin by taking a questionnaire to ultimately be considered as being a part of the AltSchool Open 2018 cohort.

AltSchool is in the process of working with its first cohort of schools beginning in 2017.

The cohort includes the following three schools: Berthold Academy in Reston, Virginia; The Greene School in West Palm Beach, Florida; and Temple Beth Sholom Day School in Miami Beach, Florida.

These partners will be working with AltSchool leaders to test out its technology and determine the best ways to implement it in the nation’s schools with the ultimate of goal of providing every school with optimal personalization technology.

These specific cohorts were chosen, according to AltSchool, because they are “thought leaders and innovators in their respective markets” and are committed to having a “clear vision” of what the future of education should look like.

"They are not only passionate about providing a deeply personalized and child-centered environment within their own schools, they are also excited to be part of a network where they can share best practices and approaches, and to help transform the larger education landscape,” AltSchool said in a statement.

AltSchool’s technology is rooted in two product lines called Portrait and Playlist that, together, help provide personalized learning to every student.

Portrait is a set of tools that provide an educator with a snapshot of the individual progress of each and every student.

"Portrait tracks [a student's] trajectory towards competency by incorporating scores from third party assessments, teacher narratives, samples of each child's work, and internal educator notes. Through this deep understanding of a child’s interests, learning style, and traits, educators can more effectively plan a student's personalized experience.”

Meanwhile, Playlist is a set of tools that provides each student with personalized learning goals and a customized workspace to manage their own work.

"Education teams review student work to provide feedback and assessments that in turn update the Portrait in real time to keep each student’s progress current. Utilizing the Playlist allows educators to help each student accelerate in any areas where they are already advanced, and work on those areas that require more attention and development,” AltSchool said in its statement.

AltSchool will be testing out these tools in its three partner schools next year and with subsequent schools in later years in hopes of reaching the nation’s largest school districts soon enough.

"Over the next few years, [AltSchool] will consistently expand [its] frontier to include diverse schools of all types, sizes and approaches, before ultimately bringing the technology to the nation’s 50 million students in the largest school districts,” said the company in a statement.

For those unfamiliar, AltSchool was founded by former Google executive Mark Ventilla and has expanded from its home in Silicon Valley to New York and in 2017 will open in Chicago.

Read more about AltSchool’s latest announcement here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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