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Introducing Facebook's education platform for schools

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 07/09/2015. Introducing Facebook's education platform for schoolsTags: Teachers Education And Politics Parenting

Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer at Facebook, has this week announced the companies plans to enter the education sector by creating an online learning environment for students in collaboration with a non-profit organization called Summit Public Schools, based in California.

Facebook first started to work on Summit's K-12 Education Project last year.

According to Cox, their aim is "to create a classroom experience that's centerd around students' ambitions that takes technology and information accessible to a kid growing up today."

The online tool, which they have named the Personalized Learning Plan (PLP), is to be developed as a supportive learning environment for individual students to work towards their life ambitions at their own pace. The framework is based on what the students wish to be when they grow up and the lessons are tailored to drive them towards this career.

The tool will allow teachers to spend more time teaching hands-on projects and work with individual students in the classroom. Teachers can view their students' progress online while capitilizing on collaborative opportunies between the students and also on a student-teacher basis.

Parents are also granted access to track their child's progress and to discuss any concerns with the teacher through the tool.

Cox was sure to point out that although Facebook is developing the PLP tool with Summit, it will be operated completely separate from the social network app:

"The small team at Facebook that’s partnering with Summit operates independently. The PLP itself is completely separate from Facebook and doesn’t require a Facebook account. Everybody working on the PLP is subject to strict privacy controls that help protect student data. Summit subscribes to the White House-endorsed Student Privacy Pledge, which means that the Facebook employees working on this project are required to handle Summit students’ data in accordance with the Pledge."

There are some concerns over the safety of students' privacy however. Leonie Haimson, executive director of Class Size Matters points out to The New York Times that "Facebook does not have the greatest reputation when it comes to privacy."

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has shown a keen interest in the education sector for quite some time now. In 2010, he donated $100 million for the improvement of schools in Newark along with many other education-related donations.

As interesting as this project sounds, it is still in the early stages of introduction to a small number of Californian schools and it may be some time before the technology hits Irish shores. Do you think this approach to teaching is the future of education? Leave a comment below!

Source: Blog Post by Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer at Facebook


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