Bringing education into the 21st century using individualized curriculum and technology

Bringing education into the 21st century using individualized curriculum and technology

The Wilder School District is bringing education into the 21st century and rethinking traditional education using technology and individualized student curriculum.

"When you can get in a car and a seat customizes to you, but we can't customize education, we need to rethink what we are doing and how we can really begin to look at the individual student," says Wilder School District Superintendent Jeff Dillon. "Not the system as we typically approach education."

No homework, no standard grade levels, individualized curriculum, and an iPad for every student.

It may sound like a free for all, but students in the Wilder School District are using mastery based learning and innovative technology - kindergarten through senior year.

"There is a high expectation," says Dillon. "We don't just let kids do whatever they want to do."

Mastery based learning is focused on mastering a subject before moving on.

For the Wilder School District that means a student must get a B or better to consider a subject mastered.

There is no standardized testing, and students are able to learn at their own pace using their own iPad, and that's not all.

"Traditional book approach, you have a lot of kids that connect to that, but there were a ton of kids that didn't get it," Dillon says, "They were missing the hands on project approach and that personalization to the things they like, the things they appreciated, and the things they cared about. So that really brought them to a high level of engagement."

Dillon tells me they have not only seen an increase in student engagement, but fewer absences, and higher scores.

"With a personalized approach we can really think about the individual needs of a student their learning styles individually, not as a large group not as a small group and really begin to tailor that approach to the student."

Dillon says that each student's iPad gives teachers immediate feedback on where students are progressing and where they need help, they also have a fully outfitted animation lab and 3-d printers. Giving students flexibility and creative freedom.

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