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Saturday, March 19, 2011

NYC Innovation Zone Tests Customized Digital Learning by Ian Quillen

"The iZone is trying new and different ways for educating students and managing schools, with a heavy emphasis on customized digital learning.", reports Education Week.

Photo: Education Week

Welcome to the New York City school system's Innovation Zone, a three-year initiative launched by the 1.1 million-student district last fall that aims to test new and different ways for educating students and managing schools, with a heavy emphasis on using digital tools to customize learning geared to students' strengths and weaknesses.

The goal, ultimately, is to learn, through trial and error, what works and then can be scaled up to schools across the district. To identify those lessons, the district has partnered with the Education Innovation Laboratory at Harvard University to evaluate schools based on a combination of subjective analysis and student performance on achievement tests.

This blending of face-to-face teaching and digital tools is now routine for students here at the East Bronx Academy, a 650-student school for grades 6-12 that was founded in 2004 on the belief that integrating technology into learning is the best way to prepare students for college and careers. But its melding with the iZone has been as stop-and-go as the pronunciation of a new word.
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Source: Education Week