As students and teachers move further into the 21st century, technology is becoming more and more the tool of an educator.
And during their Wednesday night board meeting, Sulphur Springs Union School District trustees were given a usage update from staff on the Imagine Learning program, computer software being increasingly used districtwide by teachers and students.
Imagine Learning uses online games and activities to teach curriculum in English language arts and math, according to officials. But while the students use the activities to learn and are incentivized to play the games, teachers and administrators are given real-time progress updates.
“It helps with our assessment piece and so that we can really monitor our kids’ progress through the year before we get to the end of the year and state testing,” said Jezelle Fullwood, SSUSD’s assistant superintendent of educational services.
Not only are an increasing number of students using the program now, but also district officials have said that while Imagine Learning in SSUSD started as an intervention and enrichment program, it has expanded to giving kids currently at grade level an opportunity to learn and grow more as students.
There are approximately 4,000 students utilizing Imagine Learning and Imagine Math in the district, according to SSUSD administrators. Students are encouraged to use the program 15 to 30 minutes per day, depending on the grade level (kindergarten through 6th grade).
As students master academic levels, “they are directed to stretch their thinking by the program and engage in further grade-level material,” said Fullwood.
On average, students are on the program approximately two hours per week focused on language arts and math.
“It’s important because it helps with the differentiation. We’re always concerned how we’re meeting the needs of all kids,” said Fullwood. “We know we’re not going to just pop a kid in front of a computer but it is an option for support and differentiation and it helps teachers target really specific learning.”