Adapting to Virtual Learning Webinar

Many parents are reluctant to send their children back to school for the new academic year and are choosing online education as an alternative option.

Listen to our webinar to discover how we work with schools to develop their own virtual schools, supporting them with building capacity and digital curriculum.

If you’d like to find out more about any of our products, please contact us by emailing international@edmentum.com or calling +44 (0)1572 492576.

Implementation of Exact Path at Liwa International School for Girls

This is a recording of a presentation delivered by International Project Manager, Gareth Bradwick, and Kate Hutchinson, Head of EYFS and Elementary, and Shakila Mohammed, Assistant Principal for Early Years and Elementary, at Liwa International School for Girls. Kate and Shakila discussed how they have responded to the challenge of distance learning and how they use Exact Path to support attainment.

Intrigued to find out more? Watch our demonstration which showcases how Exact Path can help create personalized learning pathways for students, and enable you to analyze performance.
Here’s an overview to tell you how we can help you support each student with personalized instruction and targeted intervention.
 If you’d like to try Exact Path for yourself, just get in touch!

Maintaining Learning Continuity in Liwa International School for Girls

Liwa International School for Girls is an American Curriculum school that has invested in digital solutions to improve the quality of teaching and learning that are taking place in all subjects. It is a K-12 school with a predominantly Emirati or Arabic-speaking cohort. English is, therefore, an additional language for the majority of their learners.

 

Liwa International School for Girls Logo

 

Kate Hutchinson, Head of EYFS and Elementary, and Shakila Mohammed, Assistant Principal for Early Years and Elementary, were both looking for a package that would help them improve attainment results in Maths, English, and Language Arts. They decided to invest in Exact Path and it is having a significant impact which has exceeded their original expectations.

Kate explains, “this initiative has been used across the whole school and we are seeing significant improvements in attainment results. It has become the main resource for Maths, Reading and Language Arts and has improved upon and replaced many pre-existing resources that were being used and the fact that they are all sign-posted and collated within one resource is brilliant and saves preparation time.”

Shakila has been impressed with Exact Path and says “it has helped to improve parental engagement and students are coming into school early to be part of it. It has brought parents, teachers and students together. Parent demonstration videos were created and success challenges for both students and teachers have added competition and driven usage.”

Kate and Shakila have both seen huge improvements in attainment throughout the year. Exact Path uses diagnostic data (which can be your MAP results) to identify learning gaps. It then provides students with engaging lessons by using animated videos to explain skills and knowledge. It reinforces this instruction by enabling students to practise the new skills and knowledge before assessing them with a Mastery Quiz and a Progress Check. At all stages, it gives feedback to the students and provides live reporting to the teacher so that they can monitor progress and intervene where necessary. It provides live formative assessment data which is updated continuously and adapts as your students make progress.

Kate and her staff use Exact Path within lessons to assess new material as part of station rotations and catch-up courses. Some children arrive in school at 7am to use it as part of catch-up programmes, “it is firmly embedded into our schemes of work and lesson plans and has become a key component of our teaching, learning and improvement strategies. We have ‘buddying’ schemes, super users, student and teacher challenges and have created drop-in rooms where students can work on the program.”

It was very effective when ‘normal’ teaching and learning were occurring but Shakila has been very impressed by its use and effectiveness during distance learning, “it has enabled us to transition easily to distance learning and teachers can monitor formative assessments remotely and intervene through Zoom synchronous lessons. We have just set up our student summer challenges within it and hope that this will maintain the growth they have seen and limit any summer learning loss.”

Both Kate and Shakila confirm that Exact Path has enabled them to personalize learning, improve attainment and maintain learning continuity”.

 

WEBINAR

Join Kate and Shakila on 28th July at 12pm BST as Liwa International School for Girls host a webinar discussing how they have implemented Exact Path and the impacts it has had.

If you would like to learn more, please sign up for the webinar here. 

 

 

An Overview of Edmentum’s Courseware

Watch our recording from our International Project Manager, Gareth, who speaks about Courseware, which provides 6-adult students with standards-aligned digital curricula.

If you’d like more information about Courseware, you can also contact us.

Courseware Course Collaboration

Introduction to Edmentum & Calvert Learning

Calvert Learning provides full US curriculum for grades K-5 in the core subjects. Watch the video below which is recorded by International Project Manager, Gareth, to find out more.

If you’d like more information about Calvert, you can also contact us.

Projects and Calvert Learning

A Parent’s Perspective: School Breaks & Limiting Screen Time

The holidays are upon us for a lot of schools, and for some parents, this is a time to make incredible memories and spend quality time with our children. For others though, it can be a stressful time, wondering how on earth you are going to entertain the kids!

As parents, we all want what is best for our children, but sometimes figuring out what is best is the most difficult part. With social media being so prominent in our modern lives, we can’t help but compare ourselves. Maybe I should do more craft with my children? Maybe we should get outdoors more? Am I helping my child to learn enough? Are they getting too much screen time?

Depending where in the world you are, you might have quite a lot of time with no school, and we all want to ensure that we can help our children get as much value from the holidays as possible.

I have three children, aged eight, five, and four. I also work here at Edmentum International full time. Many parents will be able to relate to my lack of time, and my desire to keep the peace amongst their sibling rivalries! Therefore I hope that some of my tips below for balancing “what’s best” may give you hope for surviving the holidays.

School may or may not provide your child with homework or projects for the holidays. If they have, you won’t want your child spending the entire time working, but if they haven’t, you’ll probably not wish for your child to go throughout the holidays without picking up a book or pen and paper. Your child may even be fortunate enough to have access to some kind of online learning platform such as EducationCity or Exact Path. So how do we find the balance between encouraging them to continue their learning, whilst avoiding far too much screen time?

We have an unwritten rule in our house, if the children want to lose themselves to the television, PlayStation, or Nintendo DS, then they have to do something that will help them to grow first. This can be any of the following:

  • Reading
  • Creativity (writing, drawing, coloring, crafting, Lego)
  • Physical activity
  • Education
  • Time outdoors

If they come to me and ask for cartoons on the TV, I will simply ask them to choose one of the above first and they will. I try to avoid telling them what to do because they need time to explore their own interests. If they aren’t too sure where to start, here are some ideas they might like.

Blake, my eight-year-old son, is likely to choose to read an informative book about cars, write a story, or go for a run up and down our street in a bid to run as fast as the cars.

My five-year-old daughter, Emily, is more likely to make a card for a family member, follow along to Cosmic Kids Yoga, or put on some music and have a dance.

However, my four-year-old, Ellis, would head straight to the garden to do some digging, water the plants, and count the bees, or he’d build something with the Lego or get out his coloring book.

Quite often they get so lost in these activities that they forget all about their request to watch a movie.

All three of my children are lucky enough to have access to online learning platforms, which is good news for me because I don’t have to worry about trying to be a teacher and keep them learning. My only task is to remember where I put their login details! Many of these platforms, like EducationCity, are so fun and engaging that my children will happily spend hours after hours on them, and it is great that they are so motivated, but, if like me you want to be a little cautious of screen time, then anything between 20-60 minutes is quite sufficient.

One way to limit the screen time is by bringing the online activities to life. If your young child is working on maths, consider encouraging them to use objects from around the house to aid their counting such as fruit, toy cars, or leaves from the garden. If they’ve been set an online task to practice adjectives, see if they can get adventurous with describing their favorite toys or cartoon characters to you.

For older children, they may not be too impressed with having to use all of their screen time as educational time. Agree to compromise, if they spend 20 minutes working on their algebra, they earn themselves 40 minutes on their Nintendo Switch. When the 40 minutes is up, they have to do a further 20 minutes of any of my above suggestions before earning another 40 minutes watching random YouTube channels.

If your child is really into gaming, why not set them a task of designing their very own educational game? They’ll need to write their plan, draw their characters, do some research on what questions to ask, explain what controls to use, they could even video themselves acting out the game they have designed. If they do a great job, send it to us or tag us on social media. Who knows, if we love it too, we might just make their idea a reality!

Comment below with your best tips for managing screen time over the school holidays.

How Personalized Learning Can Benefit Students

Classrooms are changing landscapes with education moving away from a single approach to a multiple approach setting, where teaching practice is used alongside technology and the individual learner becomes the focus where their needs are met. Personalized learning is a great way of achieving this.

What is personalized learning?

We’re sure that as teachers, you’ll have many different answers for this. However, we’ve created an infographic below about the student being at the centre of personalized learning so we can explore more about it – take a look.

Personalized Learning Infographic

So, when we look into this model further, with the student taking the focal point, it’s clear to see that the student takes a much more active role in their learning than in a traditional classroom system, which is how they benefit. Students self direct their learning more and further manage the tools and strategies they use to learn with and progress. But with this, we understand that teaching comes hand in hand, which is why talented and innovative teachers are instrumental in helping propel the learning forward.

Top tips for making personalized learning successful

With these main areas that help to make personalized learning successful, there are a few other components too, such as:

Check learning progress frequently

It’s important to know what is next. Compiling data points regularly that align with student growth is ideal for seeing where any intervention may be necessary but also identifying success.

Communicate with key people

It’s not just teachers that help with students meeting their goals, but parents and other stakeholders also. It may be a good idea to formulate some ideas for open communication that can happen throughout the day.

Feedback individually to students

You know your students more than anyone, and working with them individually can be really valuable. You probably have really busy schedules already, and we know this, but the time spent can benefit progress.

Curriculum paced to the right time and level

Choosing curriculum can be difficult but you must be confident in what you choose – it should be paced to your students’ needs and built in the right way for your teaching and students’ learning.

Anytime, anywhere access

Digital tools you provide need to have proof of success and a system that provides support to students so they are progressing with their learning wherever they are is beneficial.

Utilizing online tools

Technology is being used in the classroom more frequently now, but not all solutions are the same. Not only should technology be time saving for you, but it should also support learning experiences. What’s more, the right data from these needs to be put together – we explore this in our Top Tips on How Data Supports Personalized Learning blog.

Flexible learning environments

Learning shouldn’t be situated at one site. With technology being a fundamental concept to learning, this adds flexibility to suit individual preferences. Wherever learning occurs, a personalized approach should be adopted anywhere.

Personalized learning promotes fairness as they allow students to learn with opportunities that are adapted to their own needs. What’s more, it aims to help students achieve success as schools adopt the right tools to suit students. Lastly, it helps students with their freedom with learning as they can manage progress towards their own goals. Overall, the goal should always be to enable more effective learning.

Latest Enhancements to Exact Path, Courseware and Study Island

 

Our latest enhancements are based on your feedback about how you teach and and how your students learn best and we’re really excited to share them with you!

Take a look at the latest additions to Exact Path and Courseware

Exact Path

Reporting Changes

We know teachers use Exact Path data to guide high-stakes instructional decisions so we’ve been looking at how to improve data and reporting.

  • Categorizations of assessment by national percentile rank means that a student’s score will fall into one of four percentiles that represent where their score falls in relation to Exact Path US national norms from the spring testing window. This will be available for Exact Path K-8 students to help you understand exactly how your students are performing.

  • Easier-to-understand domain level information will mean you can see the number of items scored correctly or incorrectly by domain and skills for individual students, or aggregated by class, grade, or school level. You can also explore individual performances to understand students’ assessment journeys and skill readiness.
  • Understand where your students should start learning with the new Learning Path Entry Grade (LPEG) metric. You’ll be able to see the lowest grade level skill your student will begin working on when they start their learning path to give you a holistic view of your students’ learning path.
  • Review students’ performance in meaningful ways with five updated diagnostic reports to give you more insight into your students’ performance.

Choose Assessment Starting Grade

We know that you know your students best, so if you’re using the Exact Path diagnostic, you can now set your own starting grades to support differentiation and test more efficiently.

Create Assignments from the Groups Page

Create custom assignments for your groups to provide further differentiation within your lessons, based on assessment, domain or skill performance.

One-Click Assignment Archive

Deactivate or archive assignments with the new one-click deactivate option to remove assignments from student view but retain data for your records.

Increased Flexibility for Students’ Settings

Adapt Exact Path to suit the needs of individual learners…

  • Diagnostic settings allow you to set starting grade levels of the diagnostic for each subject and then turn on or off any text to speech functionality.
  • Learning path settings allow you to adjust the content style students see to ensure it’s relevant to their age. You can choose to add all skills to a learning path for 7-12 grade remediation, or let the solution deliver key skills. You can also hide calculators for students in math.

Over 1,000 Additional Teacher Resources!

We know your time is precious, so to save you time searching for high-quality resources, we’re adding more than 1,100 printable worksheets in addition to our lesson ideas, teacher videos and worksheets. We’re also adding interactive lessons and videos for you to assign to students away from their learning paths, or for you to use in mini lessons as a group – great for extra skill reinforcement and intervention.

Study Island

Search and Assign Content

Simply type in the concept or standard, pick the activities and assign them directly to your students. You can even assign lessons and flash cards which students must complete before they can start on the Study Island topic.

Content Search and Assign Page

One-Click Clean Up

You now have more time to focus on preparing for the new year! Now you can ‘reset’ your classes for the new academic year (if you plan to reuse them) by selecting one or multiple classes and then unenrolling all the students in them and/or deactivating all the assignments in those classes – this makes it much quicker for you than having to unenroll/deactivate for each and every student.

Streamlined Class Clean-up

New Student Activity Page

See where students are logged in, and what they are working on, as well as viewing how they’ve done on activities and assignments in one place. You can also assign content from here if you notice they need some additional practice.

Student Activity Data Page

Courseware

Enhanced Reporting 

Save yourself time putting reports together with single or bundled reports for:

  • Course Progress Report
  • Gradebook Report Card

If you want to see any of our new updates in detail and speak to one of our friendly team, just give us a call on +44 (0)1572 492576 or email international@edmentum.com.

Based on Teacher Feedback: Enhancements to Study Island

Our latest enhancements are based on your feedback about how you teach and how your students learn best and we’re really excited to share them with you!

Take a look at the latest additions to Study Island

Study Island 

Assign Content Through a Simple Quick and Search 

The new content search page allows you to give content to students by simply doing a quick search. All you need to do is type in the concept or standard, and then pick the activities you’re wanting to assign. Also with this, teachers can assign lessons and flash cards and students are required to use them before getting started on the Study Island topic.

Study Island

Select Whole Classes During Your Clean-up for Time Benefits 

You now have more time to focus on preparing for the new year! Now you can ‘reset’ your classes for the new academic year (if you plan to reuse them) by selecting one or multiple classes and then unenrolling all the students in them and/or deactivating all the assignments in those classes – this makes it much quicker for you than having to unenroll/deactivate for each and every student.

Study Island

If you want to see any of our new updates in detail and speak to one of our friendly team, just give us a call on +44 (0)1572 492576 or email international@edmentum.com.

4 Questions You Should Ask When Starting a Personalized Learning Program

‘Personalized learning’ has become a buzzword in the education world over recent years and, as such, has been given lots of attention, but a clear definition can still be difficult to come by. For teachers looking to implement a personalized learning approach in their school or classroom, knowing where to start can be very confusing. Plenty of research, the right conversations, and a clear plan are key to success, so before you embark on your own personalized learning journey, we’d recommend you start by asking yourself these four questions:

How do you define personalized learning?

If you were to ask the educational community “What is personalized learning?”, you’d probably get nearly as many answers as you have participants. The answers would probably include similar themes, but personalized learning, is well, personal by definition.

Personalized learning isn’t about implementing one-to-one devices or following specific curricula (although technology and curriculum certainly play a part). At its core, the approach is much more about allowing students to direct how they learn. In a personalized learning model, students have more autonomy. The teacher’s role is not to push ideas; it’s to facilitate the learning process for each child and their unique needs.

How much freedom is too much?

When the overall goal is student autonomy, there’s a natural level of freedom that comes with that. But it can be daunting for teachers to give up control in their classroom. So, what level of control are you comfortable handing over to students?

There is no right or wrong answer here, just a best answer for you and your students.

Personalized learning can work for you, no matter your starting point. Ultimately, it’s about giving students options about what they study, how they go about learning, and what kind of work they want to produce. You can still control what the day’s schedule looks like, set parameters around the most appropriate use of time, and direct how your students interact with each other. In that respect, a personalized learning approach will not be that different from traditional classroom management practices. Just be prepared to provide students with more of a framework, and fewer step-by-step instructions.

What resources are available?

In most successful personalized learning classrooms, technology plays a major role. Online programs and devices can inform instruction, shape curriculum, and scaffold lessons. This can be a great benefit to teachers, as it frees up time, which they can spend working closely with students.

But not everyone has these technology resources at their disposal. And, to offer an authentic personalized learning experience, you have to think beyond technology. Therefore, the onus is on you to think of creative ways to use all of the resources you have to identify your students’ strengths, weaknesses, and preferences, and to build them into your lesson plans. You’re certainly capable of it – after all, teachers are pros at doing a lot with a little. It’s all about evolving the way that you plan; it may take more time and effort at first, but with practice it will get easier.

What kind of support system do you have?

It’s worth saying again that making the switch to a personalized learning model is a huge undertaking. It’s complicated, multi-faceted, and often ambiguous. Adopting the approach takes a willingness to experiment, to face failure, and may require you to make many changes to your approach before you find one that works. Having other teachers to bounce ideas off is invaluable. So, before you dive into a personalized initiative, take stock of your professional network. Do you know other teachers – whether in your building, your broader community, or online – who are already using the approach, or are also interested in embarking on it? If your network is lacking, there’s no need to worry. Look into professional development opportunities within your area, start searching for teacher blogs, or check out a Twitter chat. Teachers are an outstandingly collaborative group and learning from your peers will benefit you and your personalized learning program.

Ready to get started with personalized learning? Check out how Edmentum International’s solutions can support your initiative with diagnostic assessments, individualized learning paths, and meaningful student data!