By Kainoa Garo, Nethan Sivarapu, Ian Vu and Kent Williams
The Summit Learning Platform (or, as students and teachers still call it, the PLP) is used by all Summit Learning schools. The platform guides students’ education with a huge collection of educational resources. The PLP (Personalized Learning Plan) is used by Summit Public School students for everything from completing projects to learning content at their own pace.
According to Summit Tahoma Executive Director Jonathan Stewart, “Students have all the learning at their fingertips. And it also helps students communicate with teachers. The PLP was created in steps. In the beginning, it was just a series of Google documents and spreadsheets where teachers can track everything.”
Not only students use the PLP – teachers use it too. It is one of the most important tools for Summit teachers at school. They use it to grade projects, add assignments, view grades and more.
Every single one of Summit Tahoma’s 355 students knows what the PLP is. A few students and one teacher shared their thoughts on the PLP:
Tahoma freshman Jasen Pardilla
Pardilla said that when the PLP is red, it makes him work harder. He said that the PLP does motivate him because whenever a playlist becomes yellow, he feels anxious.
Tahoma junior Jordan Fierro
Fierro said, “I don’t like that you could pass playlists and be behind on a project and be failing. But it’s also good because you could go back to assignments you missed. So it’s a win-lose situation.” The PLP also gives him a feeling of nervousness. He explained that “when you see your reds, it puts you down.” On the bright side, he added that the PLP also gives him the resources to make learning easier for him.
Tahoma freshmen Gabriela Ruiz and Sandra Madrigal-Ruiz
Ruiz and Madrigal-Ruiz are close friends at Summit Tahoma, but they have different opinions on the PLP. Ruiz said that the PLP makes schoolwork at Summit Tahoma simpler compared to other schools and that it motivates her to get work done faster. However, Madrigal-Ruiz does not like it because “the line moves too fast.” She adds that the PLP does not motivate her because “it makes me rush and doesn’t give me enough time to focus on other things besides school.”
Tahoma history teacher Steven Covelman
Mr. Covelman said that he admires the PLP for its ability to let students go at their own pace and for how it motivates students. The reactions his students get whenever their playlist turns green is enough to tell him that it is able to manipulate the emotions of students. “For some students, it makes them anxious. But, overall, it has the effect to make students motivated.”
Overall, the answers of the school’s students and staff regarding the PLP were really diverse. Certain people find the PLP helpful, but others do not. The PLP was made for students, to guide them through their education. See the video below for more details about student and teacher opinion on the platform: