Our corporation is currently looking at computer based literacy programs for our elementary schools (to improve our AYP goals for NCLB). My school is in the restructuring phase since we have not met AYP for the last 5 years. I would like to know if there are any fellow users that might have experience, thoughts, or reviews on any literacy computer based software. We have already looked and piloted Waterford Reading Program and are not impressed at all. Any comments would be greatly appreciated since we need to make the choice in the next few days. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
May be you might like to checkout MathBuddy (http://www.mathbuddyonline.com). This is a math learning website whose fundamental aim is to help learners understand the underlining concepts in mathematic. The activities at math buddy are designed to help learners develop critical thinking. The assessments/diagonistic tests at the end of the modules are more interactive and engaging to work with. These assessments can be used to assess the childs understanding of the topical area from the concept part. The easy to use workable area enables learn to interact seamlessly with the tools with MathBuddy.
Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it. We are actually looking more for a reading program that will help students increase their phonological awareness and increase English Language Learners for AYP. The programs we are looking at are possibly Fast Forword, Waterford Reading, and Autoskills Academy of Reading
We have used Fast Forward on our campus a while back. Still have the CD's that came with the program. I found that it wasn't very successful with our students. One of the difficult things was fitting in the schedule of exposure that the students were to have according to the program. We did it for one year and then abandoned it. Don't know if this helps but thought i would give you my 2 cents.
The research on computer-based reading literacy systems is pretty dismal. People keep hoping for the magic bullet that will solve AYP issues, but it just isn't out there. I know it's a tough argument to make in a world where computers seem to magically solve all problems, but you can't just strap a "learning system" onto the classroom wall like an ATM and expect the learning to come out when you push the buttons.
A rich, varied classroom library, creating a culture of reading, and time to read is the best choice.
I would urge you to read Stephen Krashen before your district wastes a LOT of money.
Let's just hope the NCLB will be reauthorized and no one will be looking for drill and kill software solutions. IMO, scripted software is not the answer and may take away what little time students have with the computers in their buildings.