Computer-Assisted Learning, Mentoring, and the Future of Personalized Instructions
The Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE)’s research-practice partnership with the University of Toronto (UoT), the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez, and Khan Academy addresses persistent mathematics achievement gaps in Puerto Rico that were exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Academic studies highlight the promise of computer-assisted learning to close achievement gaps, but this approach remains difficult to achieve at scale in high-needs districts. Our partnership empirically investigates solutions to this challenge in its ATEMA (Aplicación de la Tecnología en la Enseñanza de Matemáticas) program, which provides teachers with individualized mentoring on how to effectively leverage computer-assisted learning in the classroom. ATEMA aims to put personalizable and effective tools in educators' hands and has provided promising short-term results that highlight how computer-assisted learning can address students' diverse educational needs in underperforming districts.
University of Toronto – St. George Canada Research Chair in the Political Economy of Development 2014 – present Professor 2017 – present Associate Professor 2011 – 2017 Assistant Professor 2005 – 2011 Center for a New Economy Non-Resident Senior Fellow 2007 – present Chief Economist and Director, Economic Analysis Unit 2016 – 2017
Kelli Hill created the Efficacy & Research function at Khan Academy in 2017 and has broadened her reach in 2020 to head the new Data Insights department at Khan Academy, which also includes analytics and data engineering functions. She has over 20 years of experience working in early childhood through K12 education research.
Dr. Olgamary Rivera Marrero is the project director for the ATEMA project. She is a Mathematics professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. She received her bachelor's degree in Computational Mathematics from the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao Campus, and her master's and doctoral degrees in Mathematics with a specialization in Mathematics Education from Virginia Tech University. In addition to teaching, Dr. Rivera Marrero served as an associate director and director of the Mathematics Department at UPR Mayagüez for 10 years. She has collaborated in various workshops and proposals aimed at elementary and high school teachers.
Damarys Varela Vélez (Ed.D., Pontificia Universidad Católica de Puerto Rico) is Operations Manager of the PRDE Institute for Professional Development and University Relations. In this capacity, she leads all collaborative projects between the PRDE and universities across Puerto Rico and the mainland United States. She also leads all professional development initiatives targeting the PRDE personnel. She has served the PRDE as Undersecretary of the Institute of Professional Development since 2016 and in other teaching and administration capacities since 1999. Dr. Varela Vélez is Co-PI of the University of Toronto-PRDE RPP. She leads consultation with PRDE leadership to receive input on how the analysis might be adjusted to make the results useful to policymakers and practitioners