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A Pre-Reader’s Story

 

Reading is one of the most important skills a person can learn.

It’s the reason that parents shower their infants with learning toys. It’s the reason that parents let their children use smartphones and tablets — so they can play e-learning games.

Abby’s parents are no different. They realize the importance of getting her started with the basics of reading before school starts, and they don’t want her to fall behind. They read books to her. They let her play alphabet games on the iPad. She plays with Leapfrog toys almost every morning. None of this is unusual parenting behavior.

By the time Abby starts school, she already knows some of the basics of reading and spelling. She knows the alphabet, and she knows what sounds certain letters make. Her reading skill is slightly above average for her age. The problem is that her teachers don’t know her level of reading skill. They have their lesson plan worked out, and most children are treated the same. The problem is that all children are different. Some need help in areas that others don’t.

This is why teachers teach most students at a general level, and hope that they all learn what they’re supposed to.

Imagine a pre-reader’s learning experiences being recorded in a xAPI environment. Every Kindertown app that Abby plays on her mother’s smartphone gets recorded to Abby’s personal Learning Record Store, or PDL (Personal Data Locker.) Every interaction that Abby has with her Leapfrog devices is recorded to her LRS. Every activity that Abby completes on Starfall.com gets recorded to her LRS.

When it’s time for Abby to start school, all of the statements stored in her LRS are transferred to the school’s LRS. Before Abby’s first day of school, her teacher already has a really good picture of where Abby’s reading level is. Her teacher knows where Abby has had problems in the past, and what her strengths are. Abby will start school with a personalized learning plan that addresses the things that she needs to learn, not a blanket approach that ends up teaching her things she already knows or slacking in areas where she needs help.

xAPI doesn’t stop there. Abby’s learning experiences in school and outside of school will continue to be recorded to her personal data locker and her school’s learning record store. Her teacher will use Abby’s learning data to continually tailor Abby’s learning path. Her teacher can keep track of which books Abby has read, which websites, games, apps and devices Abby has learned from (and what she learned from each.) When she’s ready for the next school year, Abby’s learning experiences will be available to her next teacher in the same way.

In the xAPI-enabled classroom, all of this learning data lives in one place, and in one format. So teachers can look at Abby’s learning data, her attendance record, and even her physical education data to correlate different behaviors and activities with positive (or negative) learning results.