The Austin Independent School District (AISD) announced that it is rolling out a new personalized learning platform to its approximately 70,000 students at 83 elementary schools and 17 high schools. The platform that will be deployed as the school district engages in both in-person, hybrid, and distance learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
AISD has signed a three-year agreement with IXL Learning to bring the company’s adaptive software to AISD students in both math and English language arts.
“By integrating IXL districtwide, Austin ISD opens the door to a new level of personalized learning during a unique moment in education,” said Paul Mishkin, CEO of IXL Learning. “We look forward to working closely with the district and its teachers to assist them in delivering the highest quality education – whether it happens at home, in a classroom setting, or a combination of the two.”
IXL is no stranger to Texas education, as it is already in use with more than 900,000 students in the Lonestar state. In a press release, IXL cited a study of Texas public schools which found that those using IXL Math or IXL English Language Arts outperformed other schools on State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness exams by as much as 11 percentile points in math, 17 percentile points in reading, and 8 percentile points in writing.
The learning platform has over 8,500 interactive skills that can adjust to an individual student’s level of understanding. The platform relies on the Real-Time Diagnostic, an adaptive assessment that evaluates across all aspects of the K-12 curriculum. With that assessment, IXL says it can generate an “accurate portrait” of a student’s knowledge levels in math and language arts and then develop a personalized learning plan.
As with all digital learning tools, student privacy is a top concern. AISD stresses on its website that it has a process to review digital online or software products for technical compatibility, compliance, and curriculum alignment. To increase transparency and communication, the school district provides parents with all digital technologies that have been approved by the district as well as vendor-specific privacy policies. When evaluating products such as IXL, AISD says it considers three main pieces of privacy regulation and legislation – the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA); and Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).