Schools across the country are turning to technology to help them better serve students who don't speak English, who are at risk and who are adult learners back in school and struggling:

Students Who Do Not Speak English:

About five million K-12 students in the United States do not speak English fluently, and their numbers are growing fast. While these children currently make up 10 percent of the total student population, researchers estimate that they could make up as much as 40 percent by 2030.

ClassDojo is among the most widely used home-to-school communication apps, and its automatic translation feature has created a way for teachers to develop relationships with parents despite language barriers. Ms. Fields said the app-enabled regular contact with all parents — to discuss grades or attendance issues, for example — not just those who speak English.

Students Who Are Considered At-Risk:

Many administrators at public schools say they are using strategies to “personalize” learning, giving students the chance to tackle coursework at their own pace or have a greater say in what they study. With about half of the students considered at-risk and the same amount performing behind grade level in reading and math, said the principal, Kathryn Procope, the school had to find better ways to engage and motivate students.

Adult College Learners: 

With more college students now considered nontraditional than traditional, higher education institutions have been scrambling to shift their models to better meet their needs. Many have turned to competency-based education, known as CBE, to reach the increasingly important returning adult learner.

The idea is that students should not have to sit through lessons they have already learned. Once they prove their knowledge — competency — they can move on to new material. The model is popular with older learners who want to finish a degree as fast as possible, and online delivery means they can do it in evenings and weekends, or around their work and family commitments.

Read the full article about education technology by Tara Garcia Mathewson at The Hechinger Report.