Developments in education technology are growing more exciting every year, and, for me, never more exciting than when the most cutting-edge technology is harnessed to help teachers hammer home the most fundamental aspects of education.
Like literacy, for example, and a digital platform called Quill that’s brilliantly using technology to strengthen core language skills.
Quill is a free, easy-to-use application designed to help students develop their writing, grammar, and proofreading proficiency. It’s currently being used by over 100,000 students and 4,000 teachers nationwide, and it’s making a real difference in classrooms. How do we know? We’ve heard it from teachers.
“I’ve seen tremendous improvement in the proficiency of my students and the quality of their writing,” says Daniel Scibienski of Princeton Public Schools. “At the beginning of the year, my students were able to write using the basic fundamentals of the English language. By the end, after using Quill, my students were able to correctly write essays with consistent tone throughout and even intentionally use parallel structure to their advantage.”
Teacher Randall L. Carswell of Charlotte, North Carolina has been equally impressed. “I appreciate the fact that students are required to slow down, check spelling, punctuation and the grammar lesson at hand in order to score “GREEN!” I am noticing a much better effort by my students in their other activities, whether it be writing or literature, they seem to pay closer attention leading to a stronger performance.”
So how does Quill work? After an easy set-up process teachers can assign any of over 150 language activities which are built to Common Core standards. Each of these activities takes about 10 minutes to complete, and upon completion the students receive instant feedback on their work. Moreover, teachers and administrators receive real-time data on student progress via an in-app dashboard, so everybody’s on the same page.
And did we mention that it’s free?
“All of our lessons are free and will continue to be free in the future,” says Tom Calabrese, Quill’s cofounder and creative director. “And we recently launched a premium service which allows educators the ability to gain even more in-depth student reporting. You can sign up for a 30-day trial.”
Check out the video below for more on Quill, and be sure to visit their official website.
—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio
There’s a lot to be said for a superhero that not only fights crime with the aid of a monkey sidekick, but also helps kids build their reading, writing, and vocabulary skills.
That hero is WordGirl, and she’s out to take summer learning to a whole new level.
PBS Kids invites students K-3 to spend some fun time building their word power this summer with new episodes of WordGirl every Wednesday and Friday (check local PBS listings), accompanied by a free, downloadable Super Summer Fun Book filled with educational activities.
It’s also a great activity for families, one that will enhance a child’s education and help combat summer learning loss.
Check out the video playlist below for a sample of WordGirl’s word power.
—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio
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