With Google and Microsoft making big plays in the school market it is not surprising that Facebook is now entering the school market.
‘Over the past year, a small team of Facebook engineers has been working together with a group of local educators on an exciting project — to create a classroom experience that’s centered around students’ ambitions that take advantage of all the technology and information accessible to a kid growing up today’ says Chris Cox the Chief Product Officer of Facebook.
They have partnered with Summit Publics Schools (US based) on this project for the very simple reason that they saw amazing results coming from their schools.
Chris continues saying they get these results by pioneering a very different approach to learning.
First, the classroom isn’t for lectures. Content and assessments are delivered online through teacher-created materials, and classroom time is reserved for teacher-led real-world projects and collaboration.
Second, the learning experience for students is completely personalized to them, and they move along at their own pace. Students start by working with teachers to set long-term goals (e.g. “become an investigative journalist”, “go to a state school”, “learn to code”), then lay out a plan to achieve them over the course of many years.
They can then visualize and track all of their coursework as a path towards these goals, connecting their daily decisions to their long-term aspirations. This means that every moment of each students’ day is motivated by what they want to be when they grow up.
Alongside this, teachers can then check in on how their students are doing to give tailored feedback each day, and parents can do the same to view their kids’ progress at any time’.
Facebook believed that this magic didn’t only come from the teachers but also from the technology they were using. Facebook contact the school and said they would throw their resources behind the technology and build a free classroom tool for schools.
It is not yet free but their vision is to offer personalized learning to any public school that wants it, and further out, to offer it free to anyone with an internet connection. Hopefully, we will see it soon in South Africa.
-You can read the full article here on the Facebook blog.