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EconomistFor years, vendors of educational technology products have promised amazing results in student learning and achievement. However, for the most part, these promises have fallen a little short.  Just think of typewriters, filmstrips, CD-ROM’s or even computers and how much they actually brought to the learning process. However, with the current ubiquity of broadband, online content, the ability to track millions of data-points for each learner and having ever-increasing processing power available to work with these data in real-time, a new trend is emerging. The recent (normally very conservative) Economist article on Educational Technology goes even further, stating that this confluence of different technologies will disrupt traditional schools by allowing the technology to take the place of a personal tutor or governess by adapting the lesson to the progress the pupil is making.  Additionally, working with a system that instantly adapts in response to an individual pupil’s progress is capable giving teachers more information to work with when they take their pupils aside for more individual work.

Edit: An edWeb.net Webinar on K-12 Personalized Learning and the Power of Adaptive Instruction presented by Tom Vander will be held on Tuesday, September 17, 2013.  Hopefully, we will see the current status of adaptive systems currently in use and on the horizon.