When 12-year-old Nina Mones was in sixth grade last year, she struggled to keep up with her math class, getting stuck on improper fractions. And as the teacher pushed ahead with new lessons, she fell further and further behind.
Then in the fall of 2019, her charter school, the Phoenix International Academy in Phoenix, brought in a program called Teach to One 360, which uses computer algorithms and machine learning to offer daily math instruction tailored to each student. Nina, now in seventh grade, flourished.
“I’m in between seventh- and eighth-grade math now,” she said, proudly. “It gave me more confidence in myself.” And when the coronavirus shutdown occurred, she said, her studies continued uninterrupted, thanks to the program’s online portal.
“This is a model for personalized learning,” said Sheldon H. Jacobson, professor of computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a risk assessment public policy consultant.