At AltSchool, students help personalize their learning plans and adapt them to meet their changing needs, while providing and receiving constant feedback regarding their progress. Students are assessed regularly through computerized tests that are adjusted based on individual skills. Parents are asked for frequent feedback to help inform the redesign of student learning plans. “We are trying to actually advance a new model of a school,” says AltSchool CEO Max Ventila. “Rethinking school starts with rethinking curriculum, and we’ve reimagined how students should be spending their time in and outside the classroom.”
At the start of each week, students and teachers create highly personalized curriculum called “playlists” — a set of goals that a student has to complete that week. AltSchool’s future vision for the classroom involves using sensors and audio-visual equipment to assess student language skills automatically, eliminating the need for formal assessments.
AltSchool is still in its infancy, but it shows how traditional value chains can be disrupted. From learning design, planning, and execution to even how assessments are carried out, AltSchool is redesigning the way education is imparted. As more such models emerge, school systems will likely face increasing pressure to rethink the most basic elements of teaching and student engagement.