Tech boosts reading scores by double digits in Pennsylvania district
- Writing for eSchool News, West View Elementary School Principal Jesse Simpson details how a digital English language arts (ELA) program vastly improved students' reading scores.
- The program was rolled out to 6th graders, who saw the new material as "fun and enjoyable" rather than "required" and "boring," and Simpson credits this to the platform's interactivity via notes that can be left digitally by or for the instructor, analytics that let teachers see student work patterns, and the manner in which the literature is presented.
- Thanks to the increased engagement, Simpson writes, students are now thinking more critically and using more advanced vocabulary than they previously did, with one teacher's classroom pass rate on a state assessment increasing from 69% to 90% in just one year.
In many subjects, not just reading, educators have found that the key to engaging students is to make the material relevant to them. For reading, this might be the context in which a particular work of literature is framed. In math or science, it might be demonstrating how that student is already using a particular concept (or impacted by it) in their daily life without even thinking about it.
One of classroom tech's greatest benefits on this front is that it enables educators to offer that sort of personalization in their guidance and feedback to students. A number of platforms, like the StudySync ELA solution used at West View Elementary, can now target material based on personal interests expressed by students, though this also potentially presents a new challenge for educators: How to prepare students for an adult world where everything they do might not be something that interests them specifically.
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