KNEWTON’S NEW TOY: After seven years and $105 million in venture funding, Knewton finally has something to show to the public. This week, the NY-based company has opened up its adaptive learning platform to teachers, students and parents.
Knewton says the free platform has over 100,000 pieces of content and multiple-choice questions for K-12 math, English, science and history. Any teacher can create classes on the platform and invite students to join. After the teacher assigns a lesson, the system will give students pre-tests to assess their knowledge, and deliver different sequences of learning materials and assessments based on how they progress. Teachers can also upload their own materials, which will be tagged with metadata about their subject, standards and other information that can be used by Knewton’s adaptive learning algorithms.
Since starting the company in 2008, Knewton CEO Jose Ferreira has firmly planted his stake in adaptive learning technology, often making big claims like “we’re the only ones out there” thoroughly harnessing Big Data to drive student outcomes. Regarding this latest product, “this robot tutor can essentially read your mind,” he tells Wired.
Prior to launching this tool, the company has licensed its proprietary adaptive learning technology to major publishers, including Pearson (one of its investors), Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Macmillan Education.