Total Solar Eclipse

THIS IS A ONCE IN YOUR LIFETIME EVENT!  Don’t miss it!

Happens about once every 400 years.

Be sure to be safe with the correct eye protection!

On August 21, 2017, the moon’s shadow will travel from Oregon to South Carolina in what some consider to be the most awe-inspiring spectacle in all of nature: a total solar eclipse.

https://www.space.com/33797-total-solar-eclipse-2017-guide.html

 

Want more? Here is a recent TED talk –

https://www.ted.com/talks/david_baron_you_owe_it_to_yourself_to_experience_a_total_solar_eclipse?rss

Thank you Jon Dueck!

 

NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS TRAINING

The Next Generation Science Standards have been adopted by the state for a few years and the field test and adoptions are coming up.

In anticipation of this, we are offering 4-day PLC/professional learning for teachers in grades 3-12. Attendees of the 3rd-5th grade PLC’s receive curriculum and training for the entire year. This is a GREAT way to work with others to become a confident science teacher at your site.

Click the link below for flyers and registration information:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B3qH6G4uwjgzZklUNHRreUdXSjA?usp=sharing

As always, let us know how we can best help. Jon

Jonathan Dueck

Director, STEM Education
Office of Fresno County Superintendent of Schools
559.497.3792
jdueck@fcoe.org

 

The Leader in Me

This summer, I joined this book study with this group in Chatham, Illinois, via Google Docs. My lifetime friend, Pam Hogan, and her team started this move in Chatham in 2016 and as you will hear from the principal, Elizabeth Gregurich, who is an awesome top down supporter, the paradigm shift is visible on their campus.  The district technology lead, Josh Mulvaney, is now involved via the book study,  which took it to district level.

Why did this hit home for me?  As stated in the previous post, finding everyone’s gifts, talents, passions, skills is what I have been preaching about for years.  “Everyone is a Genius”  states Elizabeth Gregurich.  I believe we all put on this planet for purpose and to delve into what those gifts, skills, talents and passions are will help you find yours!  “What is your genius”?

Albert Einstein wrote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” The question I have for you at this point of our journey together is, “What is your genius?”

We know that ALL students can learn.  Students learn very differently just as you do.  How do we reach all students?  Differentiating instruction, meeting all modalities, understanding we all learn best at different times of the day, understanding we all don’t hear everything the first time, understanding that everyone is in a different place with prior knowledge, not everyone understands the academic language, and everyone has very different home situations.  These are the many concepts that educators must consider in a day while teaching their topic.

So, I have taken on the task to assist with “peppering” this cultural change onto their already full plate without the feeling of adding more to an already hectic schedule.  I’m looking for inspiration from all of you reading this.  Hoping someone in each district will look at the powerful positive outcome this creates and take it on for the sake of students and community.  Hopefully, this group will develop into assisting each other with ideas that create the interdependence necessary to produce best practices.~Sandy

Enjoy  the video below on how this school implemented the “The 7 Habits for Highly Effective People” through “The Leader In Me” as well as other resources.

 

I apologize for the quality but its about getting it said and done, not how perfect it is. ~Sandy

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Currently reading “The Leader In Me”, I awoke with such excitement as to how I can help implement this wonderful idea of creating the paradigm shift that Steve Covey brought to life in 1989 via the business world through the “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

Being a teacher that began in the early 80s, I realized that many of these were in practice by most elementary schools but not to the degree in which Mr. Covey is suggesting.  Teachers always gave students jobs or tasks and changed them weekly.  Did we realized the ownership that those tasks brought to those students?  I know that we have some incredible ASB groups in our high schools, but we need to share out the leadership in all secondary schools.

Students feel ownership when provided with tasks that need to be done in the classroom and throughout the campus.  Mr. Covey saw the shift from in vocabulary from the school to MY school, the classroom to MY classroom, the school grounds to OUR school grounds.

As we have become more independent learners due to the need of meeting all student needs, have we forgotten the need to work together for the whole of community?  Do we need to take steps back to see how to have students work INTERdependently as well?

In his well-written book, The Leader In Me, the steps are set out on how to begin this paradigm shift.  Simply put, provide a task for students in the classroom, the school, the community.  Ask the students, what can YOU do that I am doing?  Maybe it is reading the morning bulletin, erasing the board at the end of class, gathering or passing out homework, changing bulletin boards, teaching one of the habits monthly, teaching others within the class in small group situations, leading the Pledge of Allegiance, summarizing the lesson or what is due next class period, etc.  This not only helps the teacher, but it helps the students feel ownership in the class.

Professional Learning Communities are no different than what was going on in the past.  Professionals getting together to plan lessons, set the calendar, share what is working, going over tests results to see if teaching or tests need to be changed.  This also is creating an interdependence.

When I was a math coach in Tulare Joint Union School System, our department had an incredible week of finding the needs of students in the classroom.  With the goal being that we didn’t want any of those students falling through the crack, we learned that it was  overwhelming task to meet ALL the needs.  Then we started looking at our own strengths.  What are we best at and how can that assist the entire department.  We assigned tasks to each pair of teachers that would work together to build all that needed to be done to meet the needs of all students for that year.  We had group-test builders, individual-test builders, those creating tasks for the advanced students, those creating assignments for the gaps in learning for the “strugglers”,  those putting the calendar together to meet the goals of the chapters, and more.  It was a beautiful work of interdependence that Mr. Covey is talking about here in his book.  All teachers took ownership in the work that needed to be done to meet the needs of all the mathematics students during 2006.

It’s not about buying in, it is about understanding the need for everyone to work together as teachers, administrators, students and parents to accomplish the goals of doing what is best for the teaching/learning of all students.

For those of you that know me personally, do you see me in this paradigm shift below?  I hope you do and I hope I am now at the 8th Habit!  ~Sandy

In short, this is a cut from wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People):

The book first introduces the concept of paradigm shift and helps the reader understand that different perspectives exist, i.e. that two people can see the same thing and yet differ with each other. On this premise, it introduces the seven habits in a proper order.

Each chapter is dedicated to one of the habits, which are represented by the following imperatives:

First Independence

The First Three Habits surround moving from dependence to independence (i.e., self-mastery):

1 – Be Proactive
Talks about the concept of Circle of Influence and Circle of Concern. Work from the center of your influence and constantly work to expand it. Don’t sit and wait in a reactive mode, waiting for problems to happen (Circle of Concern) before taking action.
2 – Begin with the End in Mind
Envision what you want in the future so you can work and plan towards it. Understand how people make decisions in their life. To be effective you need to act based on principles and constantly review your mission statement. Are you – right now – who you want to be? What do I have to say about myself? How do you want to be remembered? Change your life to act and be proactive according to the Habit 1. You are the programmer! Grow and stay humble.
3 – Put First Things First
Talks about difference between Leadership and Management. Leadership in the outside world begins with personal vision and personal leadership. Talks about what is important and what is urgent. Priority should be given in the following order:
1) Important and Urgent
2) Important and not-urgent
3) Not Important and Urgent
4) Not important and Not urgent

Habit 2 says: you are the programmer. Habit 3: Write the program. Become a leader! Keep personal integrity: what you say vs what you do.

Interdependence

The next three habits talk about Interdependence (e.g., working with others):

4 – Think Win-Win
Genuine feelings for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Value and respect people by understanding a “win” for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten his way. Think Win-Win isn’t about being nice, nor is it a quick-fix technique. It is a character-based code for human interaction and collaboration.
5 – Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Use empathic listening to genuinely understand a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, and positive problem solving.
The Habit 5 is greatly embraced in the Greek philosophy represented by 3 words:
1) Ethos – your personal credibility. It’s the trust that you inspire, your Emotional Bank Account.
2) Pathos is the empathic side — it’s the alignment with the emotional trust of another person communication.
3) Logos is the logic — the reasoning part of the presentation.
The order is important: ethos, pathos, logos — your character, and your relationships, and then the logic of your presentation.
6 – Synergize
Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals that no one could have done alone.

Continuous Improvements

The final habit is that of continuous improvement in both the personal and interpersonal spheres of influence.

7 – Sharpen the Saw
Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. It primarily emphasizes exercise for physical renewal, good prayer (meditation, yoga, etc.) and good reading for mental renewal. It also mentions service to society for spiritual renewal.

Covey explains the “Upward Spiral” model in the sharpening the saw section. Through our conscience, along with meaningful and consistent progress, the spiral will result in growth, change, and constant improvement. In essence, one is always attempting to integrate and master the principles outlined in The 7 Habits at progressively higher levels at each iteration. Subsequent development on any habit will render a different experience and you will learn the principles with a deeper understanding. The Upward Spiral model consists of three parts: learn, commit, do. According to Covey, one must be increasingly educating the conscience in order to grow and develop on the upward spiral. The idea of renewal by education will propel one along the path of personal freedom, security, wisdom, and power.[3]

The 8th Habit

8 – Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs.

Reception

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has sold more than 25 million copies in 40 languages worldwide, and the audio version has sold 1.5 million copies, and remains one of the best selling nonfiction business books in history. In August 2011 Time listed 7 Habits as one of “The 25 Most Influential Business Management Books”.[4]

Billionaires Changing Education

Photo

CreditIllustrations by Koren Shadmi

In San Francisco’s public schools, Marc Benioff, the chief executive of Salesforce, is giving middle school principals $100,000 “innovation grants” and encouraging them to behave more like start-up founders and less like bureaucrats.

In Maryland, Texas, Virginia and other states, Netflix’s chief, Reed Hastings, is championing a popular math-teaching program where Netflix-like algorithms determine which lessons students see.

And in more than 100 schools nationwide, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief, is testing one of his latest big ideas: software that puts children in charge of their own learning, recasting their teachers as facilitators and mentors.

In the space of just a few years, technology giants have begun remaking the very nature of schooling on a vast scale, using some of the same techniques that have made their companies linchpins of the American economy. Through their philanthropy, they are influencing the subjects that schools teach, the classroom tools that teachers choose and fundamental approaches to learning.

The involvement by some of the wealthiest and most influential titans of the 21st century amounts to a singular experiment in education, with millions of students serving as de facto beta testers for their ideas. Some tech leaders believe that applying an engineering mind-set can improve just about any system, and that their business acumen qualifies them to rethink American education.

“They are experimenting collectively and individually in what kinds of models can produce better results,” said Emmett D. Carson, chief executive of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which manages donor funds for Mr. Hastings, Mr. Zuckerberg and others. “Given the changes in innovation that are underway with artificial intelligence and automation, we need to try everything we can to find which pathways work.”

But the philanthropic efforts are taking hold so rapidly that there has been little public scrutiny.

Tech companies and their founders have been rolling out programs in America’s public schools with relatively few checks and balances, The New York Times found in interviews with more than 100 company executives, government officials, school administrators, researchers, teachers, parents and students.

“They have the power to change policy, but no corresponding check on that power,” said Megan Tompkins-Stange, an assistant professor of public policy at the University of Michigan. “It does subvert the democratic process.”

Furthermore, there is only limited research into whether the tech giants’ programs have actually improved students’ educational results.

One of the broadest philanthropic initiatives directly benefits the tech industry.

Code.org, a major nonprofit group financed with more than $60 million from Silicon Valley luminaries and their companies, has the stated goal of getting every public school in the United States to teach computer science. Its argument is twofold: Students would benefit from these classes, and companies need more programmers.

Together with Microsoft and other partners, Code.org has barnstormed the country, pushing states to change education laws and fund computer science courses. It has also helped more than 120 districts to introduce such curriculums, the group said, and has facilitated training workshops for more than 57,000 teachers. And Code.org’s free coding programs, called Hour of Code, have become wildly popular, drawing more than 100 million students worldwide.

Mr. Hastings of Netflix and other tech executives rejected the idea that they wielded significant influence in education. The mere fact that classroom internet access has improved, Mr. Hastings said, has had a much greater impact in schools than anything tech philanthropists have done.

“In our society as a democracy, I think it is healthy that there is a debate about what are the goals of public education,” Mr. Hastings added.

Captains of American industry have long used their private wealth to remake public education, with lasting and not always beneficial results.

What is different today is that some technology giants have begun pitching their ideas directly to students, teachers and parents — using social media to rally people behind their ideas. Some companies also cultivate teachers to spread the word about their products.

Such strategies help companies and philanthropists alike influence public schools far more quickly than in the past, by creating legions of supporters who can sway legislators and education officials.

Another difference: Some tech moguls are taking a hands-on role in nearly every step of the education supply chain by financing campaigns to alter policy, building learning apps to advance their aims and subsidizing teacher training. This end-to-end influence represents an “almost monopolistic approach to education reform,” said Larry Cuban, an emeritus professor of education at Stanford University. “That is starkly different to earlier generations of philanthropists.”

These efforts coincide with a larger Silicon Valley push to sell computers and software to American schools, a lucrative market projected to reach $21 billion by 2020. Already, more than half of the primary- and secondary-school students in the United States use Google services like Gmail in school.

But many parents and educators said in interviews that they were unaware of the Silicon Valley personalities and money influencing their schools. Among them was Rafranz Davis, executive director of professional and digital learning at Lufkin Independent School District, a public school system in Lufkin, Tex., where students regularly use DreamBox Learning, the math program that Mr. Hastings subsidized, and have tried Code.org’s coding lessons.

“We should be asking a lot more questions about who is behind the curtain,” Ms. Davis said.

‘Think Bigger!’

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Marc Benioff, chief executive of Salesforce.

Mr. Benioff, the billionaire behind Salesforce, had a blunt message for San Francisco’s mayor and its schools superintendent.

It was 2013, and the two city officials had approached Mr. Benioff hoping to persuade him to pony up a few million dollars to install Wi-Fi in schools and buy some classroom laptops. But the request seemed too penny-ante to the software mogul.

“That’s when I had to say, ‘You guys need to think bigger!’” Mr. Benioff recalled in an interview in his San Francisco home. He urged the superintendent to imagine “what nirvana would look like” in his schools, if money were no object.

With that conversation, Mr. Benioff set in motion a transformation of the relationship between philanthropist and public education. He has emerged as a kind of personal venture capitalist to the city’s public schools — one intent on remaking a traditional school bureaucracy in Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial image.

Mr. Benioff ultimately pledged $100 million over a decade to the San Francisco Unified School District through his company’s nonprofit arm, Salesforce.org. Unlike conventional benefactors, he is hands-on: School district administrators now submit an annual grant wish list to the Salesforce.org board for review. And Mr. Benioff dispenses not just money, but also management prescriptions.

“He’s almost a public-sector V.C.,” said Richard A. Carranza, who was then the superintendent of San Francisco schools.

Mr. Benioff rejected the notion that his approach to education philanthropy was venture-capitalist-like. “We are not giving them a new religion,” Mr. Benioff said. “We are trying to work with them in a smart way and augment what they are doing.”

The partnership with the district kicked off in 2012 when San Francisco’s mayor, Edwin M. Lee, asked Mr. Benioff to help the city’s middle schools. The mayor wanted to give students a better chance at landing tech jobs. And he wanted Mr. Benioff to pay for it.

“I would like to give our kids the opportunity, when they graduate, to see themselves working at those tech companies,” Mr. Lee recalled telling Mr. Benioff.

The idea appealed to Mr. Benioff. At Salesforce, the leading maker of cloud-based customer-relationship management software, he had developed his own model of corporate philanthropy: donating 1 percent of company equity, products and employee time to community programs. A school project would let him test it on a larger stage.

The district has used money from Salesforce.org to hire math teachers and develop a comprehensive computer science curriculum for prekindergarten through 12th grade. Funds have also gone toward installing Wi-Fi in middle schools and hiring tech coaches for teachers.

But Mr. Benioff’s “think bigger” mandate also led to culture clashes. Chief among these: He established a Principal’s Innovation Fund, which awards annual unrestricted grants of $100,000 to the principal at each of the district’s 21 middle and K-8 schools.

The superintendent initially worried that principals might squander the money. In Silicon Valley, “they fully expect nine out of 10 of their innovations to fail,” said Mr. Carranza, who is now superintendent of the much larger Houston public school system. “We don’t have the luxury of failing with people’s kids.”

Administrators subsequently asked principals to select projects that fit with the district’s priorities. Principals have used the grants to start robotics clubs, provide English-tutoring programs for immigrant students and redesign a school library with hangout zones where children can sit with their laptops.

Mr. Benioff said he knew that his methods pushed some administrators beyond their comfort zones. “You’d have the same issue at Salesforce if somebody from the outside came in and said, ‘We’re going to help you to blah-blah-blah,’” he said. “Bureaucrats would try to stop them.”

So far, Salesforce.org has provided about $20 million to the schools. By hiring additional teachers, schools reduced the average class size across eighth-grade math to 24 students from 33 — enabling teachers to give more individualized instruction, district officials said.

“People think school districts are too bureaucratic, can’t be nimble and can’t innovate,” Mr. Carranza said. “We are proving that this is just not true.”

There are limits to Mr. Benioff’s approach: Most school districts will not be able to secure their own billionaire benefactors. But Mr. Benioff said he intended to keep working with local schools for decades to come.

“This is not just a sea gull strategy where we are dumping a bunch of money and leaving town,” Mr. Benioff said. “We are in the trenches.”

Trust the Algorithm

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Reed Hastings, chief executive of Netflix.

What does Netflix have in common with a math-teaching program called DreamBox Learning? Both services use algorithms to predict what’s good for their users.

They also share a guardian angel: Mr. Hastings, Netflix’s chief executive.

In 2009, he heard about a start-up that used artificial intelligence to adapt math lessons to students. The math program worked a bit like the software Netflix used to customize its video recommendations.

“It is probably fair to say I recognized the power of personalization maybe more than other people, because I had seen it in my own working life,” Mr. Hastings said in an interview at Netflix’s Los Angeles office.

There was just one problem: DreamBox Learning was running low on cash. So Mr. Hastings stepped in, donating about $11 million to a nonprofit charter-school fund so it could buy the math platform.

Today, more than two million students use the program for supplemental math instruction.

DreamBox takes elements from animated video games, with some math lessons populated by aliens that whoosh about and animals that cluck. When students complete a math lesson successfully, they earn points that they can use to unlock virtual rewards.

Administrators in some districts said that students so enjoyed the math program that some had begged their parents to let them play DreamBox even during trips to the supermarket. But four parents with children in public schools in Baltimore County, Md., said the program was so stimulating that they had curbed its use at home.

“It really can suck a kid in,” said Brenda Peiffer, a former school counselor, whose son, a third grader, was assigned DreamBox for homework. After noticing that he seemed more interested in spending points to customize his avatar than in actually doing math, she put the kibosh on DreamBox. “He’s not doing it at home,” she said.

Jessie Woolley-Wilson, the chief executive of DreamBox, said such concerns were rare. But she recalled a mother once asking if the program was habit-forming, because her daughter was waking her up at 5:30 a.m. asking to play DreamBox. Ms. Woolley-Wilson recommended that parents oversee their children’s screen time.

“There’s no perfect solution for everyone,” she said.

And some experienced teachers said it was preposterous to think that algorithms could be better than skilled teachers at adapting to students’ abilities. “What you are seeing right now is a heavy push to disrupt and diminish the role of teachers as experts,” said Arienne Adamcikova, a high school teacher in San Mateo, Calif.

Mr. Hastings saw it differently.

DreamBox Learning tracks a student’s every click, correct answer, hesitation and error — collecting about 50,000 data points per student per hour — and uses those details to adjust the math lessons it shows. And it uses data to help teachers pinpoint which math concepts students may be struggling with.

Mr. Hastings described DreamBox as a tool teachers could use to gain greater insights into their students, much the way that physicians use medical scans to treat individual patients. “A doctor without an X-ray machine is not as good a doctor,” Mr. Hastings said.

So far there is little proof that such technologies significantly improve achievement. Adaptive learning courseware, for instance, generally did not improve college students’ grades or their likelihood of completing a course, according to a 2016 report on some of these programs by the S.R.I. Education research group.

Is DreamBox effective?

DreamBox is among the minority of digital learning start-ups that have allowed independent academic researchers to examine and publicly report on their data. Still, the platform’s effectiveness is difficult to gauge.

A report from Harvard University’s Center for Education Policy Research concluded that DreamBox use correlated with some improved math scores. But, the researchers cautioned, if those students had more effective teachers even without the technology, “then we might be falsely attributing” student achievement gains “to the software, rather than to the teacher.”

Even so, Ms. Woolley-Wilson, DreamBox’s chief executive, described the study as good news, saying it confirmed encouraging reports from teachers. She pointed out that, unlike DreamBox, many other education start-ups lacked research to prove even the most basic assumption: that their apps did not harm students’ educational results.

“That sounds like a low bar,” Ms. Woolley-Wilson said. “But with the history of education technology, it is not.”

Mr. Hastings (who is a company director but has no financial interest in the math company) said he was enthusiastic about DreamBox’s potential and predicted wider classroom use for the technology as artificial intelligence improved.

Still, he emphasized that he did not view technology generally as a panacea for education. “I’ve always been a little cynical and jaundiced about technology,” Mr. Hastings said. “The tech can help, but it is often oversold.”

Student, Teach Thyself

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Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook.

If Facebook’s Mr. Zuckerberg has his way, children the world over will soon be teaching themselves — using software his company helped build.

It’s a conception that upends a longstanding teaching dynamic. Now educators are no longer classroom leaders, but helpmates.

In public remarks and Facebook posts, Mr. Zuckerberg has described how it works. Students cluster together, working at laptops. They use software to select their own assignments, working at their own pace. And, should they struggle at teaching themselves, teachers are on hand to guide them.

“When you visit a school like this, it feels like the future — it feels like a start-up,” Mr. Zuckerberg told an audience last fall in Peru. “You get the feeling this is how more of the education system should work.”

He is well on his way to achieving this vision. In 2015, 19 American schools introduced the software that Facebook helped develop. This school year, more than 100 schools use it. Next fall, Mr. Zuckerberg said, he expects that “many hundreds of more schools will upgrade.”

The effort began a few years ago with visits by Mr. Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician who is his wife, to Summit Denali, a middle school in Sunnyvale, Calif. There, classrooms lack walls, and students with laptops often zoom around on caster chairs.

“It looks more like a Google or a Facebook than a school,” said Diane Tavenner, chief executive of Summit Public Schools, a nonprofit charter-school network that runs the school.

Mr. Zuckerberg, she said, admired the software that Summit had created for its schools. He offered Ms. Tavenner a team of Facebook engineers to further develop it and make it available free to schools nationwide.

Summit developed its student-directed learning approach after administrators there discovered that their teachers had been so supportive of students, Ms. Tavenner said, that many of its graduates were struggling in college, unprepared to pace themselves or seek help.

That is how Summit’s platform came to show students every lesson they will need to complete for the year. They may tackle lessons in any order. At the end of each unit, they take a 10-question multiple-choice test.

Teachers use the software to track students’ work and may intervene when a child is struggling. One-on-one mentoring helps students make choices and evaluate their progress. In a Facebook post in 2015, Mr. Zuckerberg said that this learning approach “frees up time for teachers to do what they do best — mentor students.”

Not all educators agree. Four former Summit teachers said they found the system problematic. They asked that their names be withheld, saying they feared repercussions for their careers.

At Summit, they said, they were required to teach students cognitive skills (like how to construct an argument) while making students responsible for teaching themselves underlying lesson material (like how diverse plants and animals coexist). But some students raced through lessons without actually understanding basic facts, the teachers said, making it difficult to help them structure arguments on specific topics, like climate change.

Ms. Tavenner of Summit, however, said that was exactly the point: to make students discover for themselves that they cannot succeed on applied projects without learning the fundamentals.

Students think to themselves, “‘Oh, I’ve got to actually go back and deeply understand it,’” Ms. Tavenner said. “Those are the habits of success that we are trying to instill in kids that simply don’t get instilled in the normal system.”

It can be a steep learning curve.

In 2015, Urban Promise Academy, a public middle school in Oakland, Calif., introduced the platform for its sixth graders. But students, accustomed to having a teacher’s guidance, did not know how to pace themselves, said Claire Fisher, the school’s principal.

“Kids were self-pacing to failure,” Ms. Fisher said.

Teachers remedied that by helping students set realistic goals. The school is now happy with the program, she said, and has expanded it to the seventh grade. Even so, Ms. Fisher said, “We definitely have a concern about the quality of the assessments in the curriculum and whether it actually promotes deeper learning.”

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, an organization set up by Dr. Chan and Mr. Zuckerberg to manage their projects in education and other areas, plans to take over Facebook’s engineering role in developing the education software by the end of this year.

Mr. Zuckerberg has big plans in mind for the program. In his Peru speech, he noted that there were only about 25,000 public secondary schools in the United States.

“Our hope over the next decade is to help upgrade a majority of these schools to personalized learning and then start working globally as well,” Mr. Zuckerberg told the audience. “Giving a billion students a personalized education is a great thing to do.”