“Big Mother” as Cognitive Tutor

tutorIn my last post, I suggested that education would do well to mine the wealth of information that can be derived from digitally tracking student movements. A lot can be learned through amassed patterns of student use within software virtual environments and actual physical environs. Today Education Week reports about a New Breed of Digital Tutors Yielding Learning Gains. The article focuses on a school district in Everett, Washington where:

all of Everett’s high school students have a choice in signing up for Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and geometry: a traditional class or one that mixes teacher-led lessons with a sizable dose of machine-based tutoring.

Later in the article, the point is made:

Studies suggest that, on average, students who use Cognitive Tutor make learning gains that roughly translate into the equivalent of as much as one letter grade—the difference, in other words, between an A and a B.

So here’s one more example of how technology supports the individualization of skill-building in the cognitive domain. With teacher-shortages in many areas and a graying of the force, it’s not difficult to see how this trend will continue and become more sophisticated.

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