5 long-term benefits of our online literacy programs

Our district's online literacy programs differentiate instruction for students, identify learning gaps and focusing on individual needs

Key points:

  • Online literacy programs help educators differentiate instruction
  • Engaging literacy solutions help students absorb learning material

When we started using a new online literacy programs 10 years ago, our reading scores were mediocre. Within a few years we had moved up to being a Level 1+ school, which is one of the highest rankings for Chicago Public Schools’ rating system (which is currently being replaced with a new system). We’re using the literacy program as a main component for grades K-5 in addition to another program for fifth graders.

We really like how both online literacy programs differentiate instruction for students, identify learning gaps and place students at the right levels for their individual needs. This functionality also lets teachers know when to pool students for the offline Skill Builders to help move past specific challenges students are facing. Additionally, the data that we get from the platforms is invaluable; we’ve become so used to looking at it and then using it to help inform our instruction.

5 reasons to be in it for the long haul

Here are five long-term benefits that we’ve seen from using our literacy program for the last 10 years:

1. Teachers decide how they want to break it down and implement it within their 90-minute reading blocks. We leave it up to the reading teachers to decide how they want to use the programs. Some teachers assign it for homework and others build it right into their classroom time. Other teachers set up different stations or centers throughout their classrooms and have students rotate through the literacy platform that way. I feel like if we just told teachers they had to use it or otherwise mandated it, they wouldn’t have been so quick to embrace the online literacy platforms. Instead, they see the power in the programs, and how they can use them with their students, plus the data that they can get out of the software.

eSchool Media Contributors