This post was originally written this past fall as a FB note, but I am posting it here now so that it can be more widely available.
“Inevitable: Mass Customized Learning” is a book and an educational program developed by education theorists Charles Schwahn and Bea McGarvey. Is is one of a number of “personalized” digital education programs popping up in schools across the country. The program, implemented in several communities in Maine, has been widely criticized and resulted in large numbers of teachers leaving those districts. Concerns included the fact that there are no traditional grade levels or letter grades, students could advance only upon “mastery” of the standards, and that instruction was highly-fragmented as teachers were meant to be “guides on the side.” Ultimately it was impossible to provide the level of differentiation required by the program.
I have known for some time that CBE or “personalized” hybrid-blended learning is being incubated in south central PA. It first popped up in the Johnstown/Bedford area and now seems to be creeping over into Lancaster, York, and Harrisburg. It is being pushed by Appalachian Intermediate Unit 8. The Intermediate Unit is working in concert with the Pennsylvania Leadership Development Center. PLDC has close ties to Dusquene University via Pat Crawford (professor of education emeritus and now Director of Professional Development for the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators) and Franny Serenka Associate Professor and Director of the School Administration & Supervision Program in the School of Education. Crawford presented at Mass Customized Learning conferences in South Dakota in 2013 and in Maine in 2014.
“E X P E R I E N C E Learning and educational tech has been on our minds for over 15 years. Check out what we have done.· We have built more open source ed tech projects through the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative than any other program in government· We contribute to open source tools like the Generalized Intelligent Framework for Tutoring· Abundant knowledge of Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM)- conformant materials· Our engineers contributed to the SCORM specs and several eLearning whitepapers (check out our research)· We build things like Experience API (xAPI) and the Learning Registry xAPI?· Enables tracking of learning experiences, records learners’ actions, and allows mobile training and content outside of a web browser· Designed to support existing SCORM use cases, enable new cases, and show us the connection between learning and performance.· Pretty cool, right?Ed tech is radically reshaping our world through engagement of learning experiences. There is a huge opportunity to impact innovation and economic growth.”