Learning Technology Boosts Academic Performance

August 7, 2019

Technology in the classroom? Yes, indeed. The Barry Robinson Center (BRC) School uses adaptive learning technology that’s resulting in higher academic achievement for residents. And, it provides useful data for teachers that helps them with future instruction and planning.

Staying on track with schoolwork often presents challenges for children and teens with mental health issues. And many of them associate classrooms with stress and anxiety.

BRC teachers understand these challenges and experiences. They work with each child and information received from home schools to design an individualized academic program. During residential treatment, the goal is to keep children on track academically and provide remediation where needed.

Low teacher to student ratios and residential counselors assisting in the classrooms allow for more personal attention to support each student’s academic and behavioral needs.

In recent years, BRC’s investments in technology provide another level of support. Hardware and software upgrades are helping residents succeed in the classroom. Among the upgrades are two educational software platforms to support residents at all academic levels.

Elementary-age students use the online academic program, Imagine Learning, to assist in reading and math instruction. Older students may use Edgenuity to study extra academic subjects, recover credits for graduation and progress through coursework at their own pace.

Imagine Learning for Elementary Students

“One of my students who was a year below grade level and had problems decoding moved up a grade level after using the program,” said Beth Hall, elementary reading teacher. “It suits individual needs, and the data for each student is very needs-specific. I used it for years in public schools and I recommended it here. It’s the best language arts program ever!”

Imagine Learning offers engaging and motivational content with games, points and avatars that reward students as they learn. Individualized instruction blended with the use of Imagine Learning helps students gain skills and confidence.

“I absolutely love how the program is tailored to meet the unique needs of each student,” said Michele Young, lead elementary teacher. “It’s based on functional level, and their level moves up or down depending on where the student is functioning. Students are not getting frustrated. I’m able to meet with them in a small group to work on any area in which they’re struggling and need remediation while other students are using the program.”

With standard-aligned lessons, Imagine Learning includes assessments to provide quality data about student progress. Young began using Imagine Learning this summer and quickly began seeing results among her students.

“The biggest difference I’ve seen is that they are beginning to develop a love for reading. They will pick books for free time. which makes my teacher heart happy!’ she said. “Also, and most importantly, their self-esteem has increased, and they’re proud of their accomplishments, saying things like, ‘I did it, Ms. Michele!’ ‘Look what I did!’ and ‘Look at how many books I read!’”

BRC teachers learn about new Edgenuity features
Edgenuity for High School Students

“We’ve had multiple students use Edgenuity to earn a required language credit to graduate from high school.  BRC does not have licensed foreign language teachers, so this gives us the unique opportunity to still help these students earn credits from a licensed instructor with Edgenuity’s online platform,” said James Rainey, a high school teacher.

High school students benefit from Edgenuity’s cutting-edge digital tools and research-based instruction. As Rainey noted, Edgenuity’s credit recovery courses help students who have fallen behind to focus on exactly the skills they need and graduate on time. The program’s flexibility allows students to work at their own pace to recover credits so they can complete required classes and have the opportunity to graduate on schedule.

Edgenuity also allows teachers to offer more resources based on each student’s individual needs, such as slowing down or speeding up certain sections of a course.

“Education is always evolving, and Edgenuity gives our instructors the ability to keep up with the times. Not only does this program benefit us as instructors, it truly helps ease the mind of students and their parents,” Rainey explained. “Education is a big concern to a lot of our residents and their parents. Knowing their children will be able to stay on track academically while in our program helps alleviate additional stress and anxiety.”

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