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Facebook-Built Platform Expands to 100 More Schools

Summit Public Schools, a network of charter schools based in the San Francisco Bay area, announced this week that more than 100 new schools across the country have joined its personalized learning program for the 2016-17 school year. The Summit Basecamp program — initiated by Summit Public Schools and supported by Facebook — now includes more than 1,100 teachers and 20,000 students across 27 states and the District of Columbia.

 More than 1,500 teachers and school leaders participated in Summit Basecamp training this summer, representing 80 districts and charter management organizations, according to a Facebook post by Summit Public Schools CEO Diane Tavenner.

Summit Basecamp is a free program that helps public schools bring personalized learning, usually computer-based, into their classrooms. Students are encouraged to drive their own education by determining for themselves how they learn best, setting goals and developing habits of success, according to Summit Basecamp’s website. The Summit Personalized Learning Platform is an online tool that helps students set and track goals, learn content at their own pace, complete projects and reflect on their experiences. It was developed in classrooms by teachers, the Summit website states.   

The platform contains curricula for English, math, science, social studies and Spanish for grades 6-12. The project-based curricula includes nearly 200 “deeper learning” projects and more than 700 “Playlists,” or libraries of learning content and assessments.

In 2013, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited a Summit Public School and said he liked what he saw, the Summit Basecamp site states. Since 2014, Facebook engineers have been working with Summit educators to make the platform an effective, free tool.

Summit is also making the platform available to individual teachers to meet demand and provide another pathway into the Basecamp community, Summit CEO Tavenner announced on a Facebook post this week.

“It’s an honor to be a small part of a movement that puts students first and recognizes teachers’ talents,” Tavenner wrote in her post.

Summit Basecamp is used at all eight of Summit Public Schools in the Bay Area, as well as its three campuses in Washington state. Summit schools are public and tuition-free.

To learn more about Summit Basecamp, visit the program’s website.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at rchang@1105media.com.

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