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Aurora Institute

How EAA’s Personalized Learning Platform Works

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Kristen Vogt

Issue(s): Issues in Practice, Lead Change and Innovation, Learn Lessons from the Field

Originally posted Sept. 2, 2014 by New Gen Learning Challenges.

Trumeia Smith
Student Trumeia Smith demonstrates Buzz in a Vimeo recording.

Across the nation, teachers have been preparing their classrooms for a new school year, paying attention to their lesson plans, the physical space, and the resources contained within the four walls that students will use throughout the year.

At the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan, an online platform that gives teachers access to curricular planning, resources, and analytics is shifting the way student-centered classes are structured.

Here’s how Kristie Ford, a science and social studies teacher, prepared her curriculum:

“I fully integrated the Buzz platform into my classroom curriculum design. I used the format that was provided in the Buzz courses as an outline to guide my progression and pace for the year. I then added or deleted content in order to fit the needs of my students. My students also had the choice of using outside resources to supplement their learning—textbooks, resource books, peer-to-peer discussion, and small group instruction that matched the content in Buzz.”

What is Buzz?

Buzz is an online platform for personalized learning in which students make progress through content and assessments aligned to the Common Core. The platform also provides teachers with data to inform their instruction, supporting the student-centered learning model of EAA schools.

The Student Side of Buzz from NextGenLC (NGLC) on Vimeo.

You can learn more about how EAA developed Buzz in partnership with Agilix and School Improvement Network in a new brief Next Gen Tools: EAA’s “Buzz.” Author Jodi Lewis also describes the features of Buzz, the challenges associated with integrating the platform into teacher’s instruction, and what’s next for the tool.

Professional development for teachers—to help them meet the challenges Buzz presents so they can provide a rigorous, positive, and personalized learning experience for students—was featured on our blog last week (see A Personalized Learning Approach to Professional Development at Education Achievement Authority.)

This past spring, Agilix made Buzz commercially available.

Schools Developing EdTech: A Trend

Other NGLC Breakthrough Model grant recipients have been involved in platform development. It seems the edtech marketplace hasn’t fully caught up with the tech needs of these highly innovative, highly personalized schools and degree programs.

The ongoing Next Gen Tools series describes the innovations that breakthrough model developers—in K-12 and higher ed—need to create in order to make their completely redesigned academic and organizational models function effectively. View all published briefs in the series in the EDUCAUSE library.

Kristen Vogt, knowledge management officer for NGLC, makes lessons, strategies and outcomes from NGLC grantee projects available to a wider audience. Kristen previously at the Woodrow Wilson Foundation in Princeton, NJ. Kristen also has past experience in student and academic affairs in higher education, in particular with first-year transition programs and student support. Kristen earned a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Notre Dame, an M.A. in Higher Education from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in College Student Personnel from the University of Maryland.