Like many terms in education, the words personalized learning mean different things to different people. To Otus, personalized learning happens when instructional practices, content, and learning environments are tailored to the unique needs and learning preferences of individual students. The key to personalizing learning is data because it is very unlikely that teachers can accurately tailor instructional strategies and content to each student when simply relying on intuition.
How technology can support personalized learning
Otus is a Student Performance Platform– a web-based system designed to consolidate instructional technology tools and student performance data in one place. Otus is able to generate data critical to understanding student academic and social-emotional performance in real-time, supplementing high-stakes assessment data that occur infrequently, so that students, teachers, school leaders, and families have a more reliable understanding of student performance.
A major challenge to realizing a personalized learning school system is in the amount of effort required for teachers to fully understand the academic, cognitive, and social-emotional status of every child. We believe that this is because all of the information we know about students (grades, attendance, behaviors, performance on classroom-based assignments, etc.) is scattered across technology platforms and, maybe, more importantly, the information we want to know about students (strengths, passions, interest, purpose, etc.) isn’t readily available .
Our vision for personalized learning and technology
While ultimately, our vision is for Otus to be a technology tool that can recommend instructional strategies, content, and assessments based on multiple points of academic and social-emotional data, we know that right now, when teachers simply have the information needed to see students holistically, every student is able to get the resources and attention they need in order to achieve their personal best. This is personalized learning.