Editor Victoria Galligan spoke to Gareth Bradwick, project manager at Edmentum International, about how the global edtech company is reducing workload for teachers thanks to its simplified assessment of personalised online learning…
Edmentum is the global learning resource which offers platforms for learners from nursery age up to secondary and beyond – you may be familiar with their products such as Reading Eggs, Study Island or Education City.
The US-owned company has adapted its software to the UK curriculum and Gareth told me: “There have been a lot of changes in education over the past five years or so – the new curriculum in 2014 was an opportunity for Edmentum to fit its UK products around the learning which was required.”
Education City is a popular primary resource which covers maths, science, English and e-safety. Around 5,000 schools in the UK are subscribed, allowing teachers to use the cartoon-style question and answer snippets in lessons, to set work in class for children and also to encourage them to log on at home and complete homework.
Reading Eggs focuses on phonics in the foundation stages and, like Education City, is built around games where children select the right letter or word options to complete a task.
The emphasis is on the fun and Gareth said: “The games are user-friendly and can be played in any format – on a PC, iPads or laptops. There’s an app which is simple to log onto and the interface and illustrations are friendly so students don’t feel like they’re learning when using the games.”
As with all Edmentum products, the emphasis is on personalised learning. Teachers can use differentiated games to ensure all children can access the lesson and to extend learning to push higher ability pupils. The assessment tools are both formative and summative, and the thousands of questions which pupils answer are recorded under their own user name for future reference. This allows the teacher to quickly spot gaps in learning and identify patterns across a whole class or work further with individual students on their weaker areas.
Teachers can also set their own questions to fit particular areas of a topic and the existing content across all platforms is continually updated to ensure the games never get repetitive.
For older students, the company has already conquered the US market where schools place most schoolwork online and pupils work through modules to work towards a US diploma. This approach, Chris tells me, is making its way towards the UK and is something Edmentum is working on as the digital transformation of education continues.
The future is exciting and if such learning platforms engage students, make life easier for teachers and help improve attainment then we can’t wait to see what the edtech sector comes up with next…
EDMENTUM CASE STUDY:
Ulaanbaatar Elite International School, Mongolia
Established in 2005, the school has approximately 500 students, of which 397 are international. The school has been using EducationCity for two years.
Mustafa Soydemir, Primary Principal, said: “For teachers, lesson planning right through to marking and assessment are visible in this website. Teachers simply search for the right content related to the topic recently discussed and they will be given options based on the level of the students.
“Teachers are also able to differentiate work for individual students, groups or classes, which exactly meets the needs of those specific students.
“Teachers can make revisions or add further content later on. If parents and students have any questions, they can easily help them. In other words, it’s very flexible and useful for the teachers.
“Students find the website enjoyable and challenging. They always look forward to the classwork and homework given to them. The school allocates an hour every week for EducationCity and the students look forward to that hour. They enjoy the graphics, the design, the sounds and the way the site is user-friendly for everyone.
“For the parents, EducationCity’s been a very useful tool to make connections with their children. Parents help them, especially the younger ones, to find their homework. Furthermore, parents who need help with their own English learn with their kids; they enjoy the activities and find them challenging themselves.”