Study Island is a comprehension, online learning tool that allows students to master the Common Core Curriculum and more, through supplemental practice and assessment measures. Study Island is available for math, science, social studies, reading and language arts. Study Island allows teachers to assign activities and quizzes to students. Students will earn ribbons, which acts as an additional motivator for students.
Wide Range of Subjects
Study Island Provides a wide range of subjects for some grade-levels. For example, online learning for math, reading, science and social studies are available for third, fourth and fifth grade students in Georgia to help them get ready for the Georgia Milestones Assessments; formerly the CRCT’s.
Teachers and administrators are able to keep track of the skills that have been attempted or covered by students. This allows accurate decisions to be made regarding student performance.
Teachers can quickly assign practice and quizzes to individual students, classes or groups to drive instruction. This makes it a great tool for blended learning in the classroom and at home.
Teachers are able to provide pre-assessments to determine how students are starting out on a unit. This makes it very useful for teachers to determine how students are currently performing. This is especially useful for teachers who need data to determine how to group students in the classroom.
By default students have access to all of the programs subscribed to by your school. Therefore, teachers can go in and fine-tune the activities that students have at their disposal. This makes it a great way to offer differentiation inside the classroom. For English Language Learners (ELL’s), the text-to-speech feature allows students to select text and press play to have the text read aloud through the computer's speakers or headphones; this is great way to provide additional support to those students who may be reading or performing below grade-level.
Compare to Other Classrooms and State:
Study Island provides insights into the way other groups of students may be using the software. This insight allows you, the teacher, to see how your class may compare with other populations inside and outside of the school.
Teachers may also access lesson plans for specific skills if necessary. This may reduce the amount of time a teacher spends preparing lessons targeted at a specific skill or objective.
Teachers may be able to download worksheets to use for whatever reason.
Teachers can adjust the percentage correct required to achieve the blue ribbon in the classroom. This makes it a great tool that can be used as a way to motivate an entire class, grade or school. Students will need to keep practicing and earning more and more ribbons. For advanced students, the percentage required to earn a ribbon can be increased making it a good tool to use to motivate students to do their best.
Many of the questions that are generated on Study Island are not different than a regular downloadable worksheet. However, the main difference is that it is on a screen.
Many of the students find the activities to be a little boring. Therefore, Study Island is not really the kind of program that the average student is eager to jump on and get going. However, I have found that making a big deal out of earning badges and providing additional rewards may alleviate some of the boredom for some students. Maybe, rather than having a dedicated game mode, Study Island should have embedded, into activities, a smart educational game to act as a reward for earning a ribbon. This will provide an added incentive for students to keep working and earning ribbons.
Hard to Navigate:
Taking into consideration the amount of time that Study Island has been around, I am disappointed that the program is still so hard to navigate. I think that some minimal changes to the administrative end of the software will go a long way in improving.
Lack of Better Display of Mastery Tracking:
Many of my students ask me which skills they have mastered. It would be really beneficial for the students, parents, teachers and administrators to have a display of the standards and a way for them to see the standards mastered by the students, classes and the entire school.
One of the major problems that I have with Study Island is that the program does not generate new questions based on the skills or standards being covered. As a result of this, some of the students will go through activities and determine the correct answer to a problem and then go through the same activity again knowing what the correct responses are for each problem. This gives an inaccurate score.
Better Adaptive Learning Mechanisms:
With the widespread use of adaptive technologies, and when you think of the fact that Edmentum is now the Publisher behind Study Island, I think that it is disappointing that they have not improved Study Island to include better adaptive technologies that would improve upon the way in which questions are presented to students. Remember, a student may be in the 5th grade, but they may be working on a third grade level. Therefore, if a parent went and purchased this software it may not be very beneficial because the content presented will be above their current performance. On the other hand, if the software had better adaptive measures, the software would better be able to determine the current grade level performance of each student. This would end up being way more useful for all users.
Lack of More Cross-Curricular Reading Comprehension Activities
Taking into consideration that Study Island has a wide range of content areas under focus, I think that it would have been very beneficial for some of the reading comprehension passages to include more content that involves science and social studies content. This would have been very beneficial for students as they prepare for the Georgia Milestones Assessments.
From the Publisher- Edmentum:
Founded in 2000, Study Island, an Edmentum product, helps students in kindergarten through 12th grade master state-specific, grade-level academic standards in a fun and engaging manner. We provide standards-based instructional, practice, assessment, and productivity tools that improve the performance of educators and students via our web-based platforms.
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. 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.
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