How real-time learning is shaping the classroom of the future

TRP: What are some of the features of the adaptive learning platform?

JG: Another focus area for us with Kno is the analytics engine, which allows us to build out a model where we're not just capturing behavioural data, as we can do that today -- we're also integrating assessment within the platform in real-time allowing us to essentially build a true understanding of the student and how they engage with the material. That means a student can get instant feedback.

TRP: How does that change the way students are taught?

JG: We all have things we're fascinated by, and the way a lot of courses are created today, you don't get to pursue your fascination -- you have to move with the class at that pace. We think there's a model where if students can pursue the things they're fascinated by, they're going to excel and do better.

TRP: That's what happens at A-level education in the UK -- you pick several topics and study them. Does this apply to lower age groups?

JG: Yes -- we are talking younger students and in real-time. So it's not necessarily picking a course to study. For example, I could be studying cellular structure and think it's really cool and want to learn more about it. How do I go down a path where I can get more information on it, where I can essentially turn the camera on my device into a microscope and start capturing things in real-time?

We think that there's a benefit to being able to create an environment where students are able to pursue what they're interested in and are getting real-time feedback on things they may not be able to demonstrate real-time comprehension on.

You can then get a view of that information in a different way. That's activating it for the student but also providing tools for teachers and younger students while providing tools for parents so they can work with their children and help coach and bring them along.

TRP: What other companies are you competing with in the adaptive learning space?

JG: We have looked across the ecosystem and of the players who want to work in the adaptive learning space, nobody has completely put together a roadmap today that demonstrates they are able to do it.

We know from putting our own roadmap together that's not something we can do on our own. We have to work across the ecosystem to do that, working on standards, so it doesn't matter which publisher is involved -- the student should have the same experience across all of their material.

It's also about working with software vendors. The adaptive learning model isn't just about interacting with the content, it's also about what you're doing when you're going out and Googling the information. What are you Googling, and how does it relate to what you're studying at the time? It's an area that we're pretty excited about. We've been working with academics in the US who have done some amazing work in this area.

Now the ability to take what they've been doing in their labs and bringing it into a product is pretty exciting to them. We're working with a couple of universities -- the University of Washington has done some amazing things around adaptive learning on mathematics specifically.

We've also been running pilots in the Nordics in the state of Minnesota and Washington. We're now talking about taking them to countries where we've done some really big installations. I think we're going to have some incredibly interesting results that we'll be able to scale around the world -- and we're just getting started.

TRP: Devices in general but specifically Windows tablets have been falling in price in the consumer space. How is this changing the way technology is used in the classroom?

JG: That's impacting education for sure. The prices are coming down which is a good thing for students because budgets within schools aren't growing, so as price points come down it means more students can get devices, and what we envision as a one-to-one learning model with every student having their own computing device becomes more possible.

But there is a threshold -- we've seen examples around the world where schools have bought incredibly low-cost devices and it's just not made for a good experience. The devices didn't hold up as they were designed more for light consumer use rather than being used all day within the classroom.

That's why when we design devices and work with our customers on designs, we make them rugged. They can withstand the seventy-centimetre drop test, and you can pour a glass of water on them. They hold up much better than an average consumer device. We're big proponents of let's bring the price down so more students can get them, but let's not propose that devices are so low it won't be a good experience.

TRP: What are some of the biggest challenges for Intel when it comes to succeeding in the UK education market?

JG: I think one of the challenges in the UK is the way that it's structured -- it's a very decentralised market which means that we need to influence school-by-school in terms of what they're going to purchase.

We partner quite a bit with multinationals and are starting to work more with distributors and key education resellers so that we can really get the scale and share our solution story at a school level.

Globally, we're trying to talk to teachers more and influence them in regards to other solutions that we offer. I think if we're successful doing that, then it solves a big problem in the UK as we're able to get to teachers who influence the purchasing decisions in their schools.

Kane Fulton
Kane has been fascinated by the endless possibilities of computers since first getting his hands on an Amiga 500+ back in 1991. These days he mostly lives in realm of VR, where he's working his way into the world Paddleball rankings in Rec Room.