Jose Ferreira and David Kuntz Shape the Discussion on the Future of Learning
New York, N.Y., January 13, 2010 — Knewton, a leading online educational technology company, announced today that its adaptive learning engine is being analyzed by scholars at the Institute For Advanced Study (IAS) as part of a year-long effort to “translate insights gained from recent experimentation into enduring knowledge about education and democracy.” The IAS is one of the world’s leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. Jose Ferreira, Knewton’s Founder and CEO, and David Kuntz, Vice President of Research, will be speaking at the IAS’s School of Social Science Dewey Seminar—Education, Schools and the State—on Friday, January 15 in Princeton, New Jersey.
At the Dewey Seminar Symposium on Technology and Education, Jose Ferreira will share Knewton’s vision of how its adaptive learning platform will revolutionize education. Educational materials are moving en masse to the Internet, and personalized learning is going to be the key to improving educational practices around the world. Knewton plans to facilitate the tagging and organizing of all this material in order to deliver and assess learning items. Through data mining, Knewton aims to present custom, optimized learning content for each individual student.
David Kuntz, the former Head of Research for Interactive Learning at ETS, will be on hand to address the critical role of assessment in Knewton’s vision. Specifically, he will discuss how the vast amount of data available to the platform both enables and demands the need for new assessment models, in order to guide and support students in relation to an expanded set of competencies. Real-time formative assessments will help students function productively within multidisciplinary teams, identify and solve problems (with innovative solutions), and communicate effectively.
“The personal web is coming; that is for sure. The question is whether the educational system will be prepared to harness its potential,” said Ferreira. “Through research institutes such as the IAS, Knewton is helping the industry embrace the web by leveraging cost-effective, advanced technologies that can help determine what works, for whom, and under what conditions to help shape the future of education.”
The Dewey Seminar will explore the interrelationships among education, justice, schools, and the state. The symposia are held in order to “incorporate insights from the field and to draw on the reflective intelligence of the country’s most imaginative and effective education practitioners.” Past scholars at the Institute for Advanced Study include Albert Einstein, Kurt Gödel, and J. Robert Oppenheimer. The Institute’s School of Social Science takes as its mission the analysis of societies and social change, and is devoted to a multidisciplinary, comparative, and international approach to social research.
Knewton is developing the industry’s most powerful adaptive learning engine, customizing educational content to meet the individual needs of each student. Knewton delivers content matching each student’s ideal learning trajectory and preferred medium. Knewton’s GMAT prep and LSAT prep courses provide live and on-demand instruction from the country’s brightest and most experienced teachers, powered by an adaptive learning engine that targets a student’s individual strengths and weaknesses. Unlike traditional classroom test prep, Knewton’s revolutionary approach delivers customized educational content in a media format (text, video, etc.) that works best for the student. Knewton was founded by Jose Ferreira, a former executive at Kaplan, with funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, Accel Partners, First Round Capital and prominent angel investors. Knewton also plans to apply its online adaptive learning technology to the textbook industry.