Providing teachers with a 360-degree view of students

IBM Watson Classroom helps teachers deliver personalized learning to improve student outcomes

According to Bruce Gardner, North America Program Director for IBM’s Education Industry Group, IBM is excited to now be helping schools deliver on the promise of personalized learning. When Bruce began working for IBM in education more than 30 years ago, IBM was introducing networking to schools, with servers delivering instructional courseware to workstations moved from the lab into the classroom. Thirty years of advancement later, IBM’s focus has grown to include infrastructure management, data integration planning, analytics and teacher resources—all of which combine to allow leading school districts to personalize education. Coppell ISD near Dallas is one such district.

IBM Watson Element is an iOS app that assists educators in tailoring students’ learning experiences taking into consideration interests, learning preferences and aptitudes for example. How important it that?

The app is all-encompassing. Teachers can track on a daily basis how students are doing in their work. It identifies their innovations, or areas where they might need to improve, in a quicker way than we have ever been able to do. It also helps provide resources that support students who need to work in groups or do more-focused individual work. It can design lessons and target students’ personalized needs.

IBM Watson Element gives teachers a holistic view of each student. Does that give educators a differentiating view of each student?

IBM Watson Element allows teachers to identify a student’s needs beyond academics because their interests are factored in, which can help tailor student engagement in learning. Gone is the day of teachers standing in front of a class and just imparting knowledge on students. Teaching is not just regurgitating the facts.

Talk about the advantage IBM Watson Element provides in terms of data-driven lesson planning.

There is so much in-depth data that teachers can use to design appropriate lessons for individual students or groups that can mitigate learning gaps. Teachers can make sure that they are targeting the learning interventions students need. IBM Watson Element really does tailor the design of lessons and how the teachers can work with students based on the data teachers have and the information that they continue to gather.

How important is it for teachers and students to have personalization?

IBM Watson Element helps build a deeper relationship between teachers and students. While some people think that technology is taking deeper, personal relationships away, this actually is making it easier for teachers to connect with students. Teachers can either connect some of that additional class content or connect with other teachers to become a real open network around the student.

IBM Watson Element, an essential component of the IBM Watson Classroom solution set, gives teachers insight into students by consolidating various academic, social and behavioral data sources. These insights generate suggestions on how to best help each student so they quickly receive targeted support in the classroom. Coppell ISD is the first school district to use the app to provide deeper levels of personal interactions and learning experiences for its students. Coppell ISD is a top-ranked school district in Texas with nearly 12,300 students and over 750 teachers.

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