• Guest Post by Ali Sarafzade

New Partnerships for Jumprope - It Takes a Village; Protean, the new face of proficiency in Edtech.

Editor Note: This post is part 2 in a series of 4 introducing some of JumpRope's new partnerships. Read part 1 here, part 3 here and part 4 here.

Curiosity, leads to action, leads to learning. My daughter took her curiosity to action in the form of robotics, coding, engineering and writing. At the age of 12, she was a member of the Lego Robotics team, was attending Young Writers seminars at the local college, had her poetry published by the local newspaper, and was active on Scratch building mini-games with over 400 followers. But her teachers didn’t know about any of it. In fact, when we later shared her interests and achievements, the most common response from her teachers was, “I wish I had known!” I wondered how much more rich her years in middle and high school could have been had her teachers been able to capitalize on these interests. Protean is the result of that inspiration.

The best personalized learning captures a 360 degree view of each student’s specific and comprehensive experience. The classroom, where the teacher serves as maestro, is only one part of that view. Like my daughter, students learn from employment, family interactions, clubs and teams, online courses, weekend seminars, hands-on experiences, job shadowing and even while on vacation. Our online portfolio gives students a way to capture the learning that results from these experiences. It lives and grows with the student during their academic day and year and beyond. It aligns a student’s myriad experiences with proficiencies and tracks their impact over time as the learning happens. Protean can be integrated easily with in-class experiences and tools and supports teachers in assessing and reporting on the learning.

In my daughter's case, this means her Scratch coding and robotics competition can be viewed and assessed in real time by her teachers and contribute toward her proficiency in key Proficiency Based Graduation Requirements, effectively bringing out-of-class experiences into the classroom. As she rises into high school and even beyond, she can look back at a portfolio of validated “coding” experiences, for example, that demonstrate her proficiency not just from a single course, but from a repertoire of learning experiences that includes MOOCS, online sources, in-class experiences, and weekend job shadow in a way that will redefine what it means to be “proficient”.

Our goal is that no matter where learning happens, whether in class, on vacation, online or during an internship, with Protean you can capture it, align it with standards and make it count in real time.

We developed Protean in partnership with the leading minds who train teachers and schools in the effective execution of Personalized Learning models in Vermont. These partners include the Tarrant Institute on Innovative Education at UVM, The Middle Grades Collaborative, PLP Pathways, and various after-school organizations. Protean serves in specific response to Act 77, a Vermont law requiring that all students have a Personal Learning Plan (PLP).

Protean launched its first pilot in 2016 with 180 students in a single school. Within 6 months we grew to over 2000 pilot testers purely from word of mouth. Since then, we have expanded to 3 states and 2 international markets and are growing fast. The product has evolved for the better as a result of our extensive customer validation process. We are continually building new features and new integrations for the student and school including a parent app, a student app, chrome button, integration with Google Education and our new partnership with JumpRope.

One of the biggest challenges with edtech is that the the learning ecosystem is fractured and students learn in silos that are not connected in any meaningful way. Teachers and schools also struggle with balancing the needs of the student while not being overwhelmed by technology and the myriad tools and options at their disposal. The Protean approach allows us to aggregate both the learning events, and the various tools and functionalities that teachers need, into a single logon. Protean puts the student at the center of learning because the portfolio reflects that student’s very specific view of their learning. The account and its data lives with them and does not disappear at the end of the school year or moving between schools. And over time, Protean adapts and applies AI and machine learning to provide predictive analytics, reports , opportunities, support and other content and tools specific to that student’s Protean profile and portfolio.

We are actively looking for Districts, schools or even teachers that share our vision for a portfolio based personalized learning approach. Protean can be used by a teacher in a single class, or the entire District. Onboarding a new school or class is very easy. If interested simply send me an email at ali@protean.me and we will be happy to start a pilot program at your school.

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