A Is For Adaptive

Personalized learning is poised to transform education. Can it enrich students and investors at the same time?

Photo-Illustration by Alexander Crispin for TIME

Sitting at a computer in her school library in the far western reaches of the Phoenix suburbs, Taylor Beattie logs on to her digital dashboard to find something she has never seen before. Taylor's eighth-grade class has not yet studied units, but the program knows she is ready. The first question comes immediately: "Franz is writing Christmas cards for friends. He wrote for 21/3 hours and wrote 70 cards. How long did it take him to write each card?" After some quick calculations, Taylor, 14, picks answer E, one of five options on the screen. Her choice zips through Amazon's massive...

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