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#Facebook Working With #Public #Schools for #Tailored #Education

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With the amount of data Facebook must have gathered in the 11 years since the site went live, there's virtually no limit to the amount of amazing things they could do. Given the background of the people who founded the site, you can understand why some of them might find the idea of educational furtherment a particularly attractive prospect, and so it's turned out.

In a new partnership with the Summit Public Schools innovation group, Facebook have spent the past year crunching educational data in order to test new learning tools. The foremost of these is something called a PLP, or personalised learning plan. It's a tailored, interactive system that tracks schedules, performance and educational needs on a student-by-student basis.

In improving it, Facebook haven't actually brought any of their own data to bear (they're strictly forbidden from doing so) but a lot of the digital design that's gone into streamlining the system was first used on the main site. PLP is designed so that students can set their own educational style and pace, based on what works best for them, which when you think about it is exactly how your Facebook feed works. The results speak for themselves, Summit claim that 99% of their students get accepted into at least one four year college, whilst a further 55% of those go on to graduate.

 Zuckerberg caught wind of the initiative after his wife, Priscilla Chan, took a tour of their headquarters and encouraged him to do the same. He initially offered them donations but they were far more interested in help on the tech end of things. Since Facebook got involved, the PLP system has been performing better than ever, and they plan to make it available in schools all across the USA in the very near future.

Facebook aren't the first tech giant to take a serious interest in education. Google launched a service called Classroom last year as an offshoot of Google Drive, as a tool for teachers to keep all their organisational material in one place, but this didn't involve any direct collaboration with an educational service in the way Facebook and Summit have come together. This is one of the best causes Facebook have thrown their weight behind, and it will be interesting to see how social media affects the development of education technology.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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#Facebook Working With #Public #Schools for #Tailored #Education Reviewed by Callum Davies on Sunday, September 06, 2015 Rating: 5

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