SOURCE: Smart Sparrow

Smart Sparrow

September 09, 2014 06:00 ET

Smart Sparrow Works With Teachers to Redefine Adaptive Learning

Teacher-Centered Design Approach Results in New Authoring Environment

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Sep 9, 2014) - Smart Sparrow, an ed-tech company based in Sydney and San Francisco, has been working with academics around the world to improve their award-winning software platform, making it easier for teachers, themselves, to develop next-generation courseware -- learning experiences that are Rich, Interactive and Adaptive (RIA). Smart Sparrow is currently used by thousands of teachers from hundreds of universities globally.

Smart Sparrow 2.0 incorporates teacher-feedback: the need for more control over their students' learning, better access to data, and flexible tools that save time. As a result, Smart Sparrow 2.0 includes a newly designed authoring environment that makes the creation of adaptive lessons faster and more intuitive. Unlike a Learning Management System (LMS), which supports the use of static content in a one-way communication with students, Smart Sparrow allows teachers to create a new category of courseware that engages students in a more conversational approach to learning, much like a one-on-one private lesson. Adaptive lessons developed using Smart Sparrow change based on students' interactions with them, delivering a personalized learning experience to each individual. Each lesson is adaptive in two ways: students receive unique feedback as they learn, but also they receive a personalized learning pathway that alters each student's path through the lesson. The platform also includes a real-time analytics dashboard so teachers can reflect on the merit of their instruction and adapt it to their students' needs in a continuous cycle of improvement.

"If you don't include teachers in the development of teaching technology, you're missing the point," says Dror Ben-Naim, CEO of Smart Sparrow. "Teaching with engaging, simulative and personalized digital content should not come at the expense of teachers' pedagogical control over that content. Nor should it occur in the absence of data that allows them understand exactly how their students are learning. We believe technology should be used to empower great educators, not sideline them."

A suite of engineering tutorials developed by A/Prof. Gangadhara Prusty at the University of New South Wales, called "Adaptive Mechanics," helped reduce failure rates in first and second year Mechanics courses from 31 to 7 percent from 2006 to 2012 (read about Adaptive Mechanics). Other examples of rich interactive and adaptive courseware developed using Smart Sparrow's platform include virtual labs allowing students to conduct science experiments in rich virtual worlds, simulations that enable students to explore the science behind the search for life beyond Earth (read about Arizona State University's Habitable Worlds), Virtual Patient Scenarios that teach medical students how to defibrillate patients suffering cardiac arrest, Medical Cases allowing nurses to explore the sensitivities of Palliative Care, and Virtual Microscopy Adaptive Tutorials giving Pathology students the chance to interact and learn with high-resolution biomedical images.

About Smart Sparrow
Smart Sparrow is an adaptive eLearning platform that lets educators create rich, interactive and adaptive learning experiences. Smart Sparrow was founded in 2011 by Dr. Dror Ben-Naim, who led a research group in the field of Intelligent Tutoring Systems and Educational Data Mining at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Smart Sparrow's mission is to empower teachers to make the world smarter. For more information please visit: www.smartsparrow.com.

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