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Technology and Teachers: The Rise of the Hybrid School

What if tech tools could be used to provide a completely customizable education experience throughout the entire school day?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSTrI6nj5xU

Talk to any teacher—veteran or neophyte—and she'll tell you that one of the most challenging things is teaching students who are at different levels. Imagine the effort and skill required to teach a fourth grade class where a few kids are struggling to read Dr. Seuss, a few are zipping through the last Harry Potter book, and everyone else is somewhere in between.


Of course, savvy teachers already know to use technology to either push kids or provide extra help, but what if tech tools could be used to provide a completely customizable education experience throughout the entire school day?

A few innovative campuses—currently called "hybrid schools" because teachers and technology work together—are cropping up across the country. The latest issue of Education Next spotlights some of the great innovations happening at these hybrid schools and New York City's School of One, which operates on three public middle school campuses, really stands out. It even uses a computer program that has an algorithm that figures out exactly how to teach specific skills to individual kids.

In the video above, Joel Rose, the leader of School of One, explains their methodology. It's impressive to see the amount of technology they have at their disposal as well as the personalization the programs provide. Of course, the model does raise a few questions. Is it scalable to the entire public school system? And in an era of budget cuts, can districts even afford the technology investment?

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