Ms. Kaplan and other teachers find the interactive features attractive because they allow the learning process to continue outside of class.
“We try to make this a supplement,” she said. “I had no one fail last year because they were all practicing online (at home). I had kids who did not have Internet access at home, and they’d go to their friends’ houses to get on, or they’d go to the public library on the weekends.”
The Web-based curriculum also allows teachers to monitor their students’ homework more closely. The software records which tutorials the students visit and how long they spend on them.
“If they’re not working, I can tell,” Ms. Kaplan said.
Students can count on immediate feedback from teachers through the interactive Web site.
“If they ran out of time in class, and I didn’t answer a question they had, (my students) can write it in their (online) journal,” said Janet Rhodes, an eighth-grade science teacher at Langely-Bath-Clearwater Middle School. “I can pull it up when I go home and answer their question. It’s a great way of communicating, and they really like writing me notes.”
Students are receptive to the Web-based technology because it’s engaging and easy to use.
This is great, and I hope it starts happening in more schools!