Increasingly, schools across North America are being judged based on how their students perform on standardized tests. Whether at the district, state/provincial or national levels, administrators and politicians – through laws such as the U.S. No Child Left Behind Act – are calling for mandatory testing as a way of judging the merits of a child’s education. In the United States, the amount of money received to help pay for classroom computer technology and other necessities is now dependent on how well the school or district performs on a particular test.
As one can imagine, this puts a lot of pressure on teachers and principals to make sure that the students can live up to expectations. To help boost pupil performance, many educators are turning to classroom software designed to boost test scores. For example, Willis Intermediate School in Delaware, Ohio, has started using the internet-based Study Island program to help its students perform well on tests, This Week Community News reported.
Benefits of online study tools
According to the news source, the program is an at-home supplication paired with traditional in-person learning. Not only does the classroom management program specifically reinforce the learning needed to do well on standardized tests, but it also tracks student progress so that teachers can more easily identify problem areas.
“Study Island combines rigorous content that is highly customized to specific state standards in math, reading, writing, science,and social studies with interactive features and games that engage students and reinforce and reward learning achievement,” the Study Island website said. “Study Island’s programs enable educators to track student performance in real-time to address individual learning gaps, while allowing administrators to monitor student progress and measure teacher effectiveness.”
Josh Page, Willis Intermediate School’s assistant principal, told This Week Community News that the program is ideal for students and teachers. Study Island educates the pupils in a way that is typically more entertaining than other learning methods while also playing off the students’ natural inclination toward online tools.
“Students would rather do things online than use paper and pencil,” Page said to the news source. “They are of the generation where it’s more fun and enjoyable for them to use a computer.”
What other methods should schools employ to leverage online learning tools? If you are/were a parent, would you want your child to use a program like Study Island? Leave your comments below to let us know your thoughts about this program!