Two of today’s hottest topics in education are implementing the new Common Core State Standards and transforming iPads into learning tools. Now WriteToLearn 8.0, Pearson’s award-winning online tool, will help schools tackle both head-on. Previewed at ISTE 2012 this week, Pearson’s WriteToLearn reading and writing tool is now optimized for iPad. New product features include adaptive support for vocabulary development and additional tools that make it easier for all students, but particularly English Language Learners (ELL) and struggling learners, to build literacy skills. Reading and writing material is aligned with academic literacy skills set forth in the Common Core State Standards.
With the new adaptive vocabulary exercises in the summarization component of WriteToLearn, the online tool now includes the “third spoke” in the literacy skill wheel of reading, writing and vocabulary. Within selected reading passages, students will be taken through a series of adaptive exercises to help build their word knowledge for better content understanding. This practice personalizes students’ development of the academic vocabulary that will support them throughout the curriculum while building their reading comprehension and writing skills.
WriteToLearn 8.0 also features expanded tools from Texthelp, a top provider of customizable literacy and language support tools. A new highlighting tool from Texthelp allows students to highlight the main and supporting ideas within a reading passage, helping them to build their comprehension skills. It also provides teachers with a measure for evaluating whether students are able to extract the main ideas and facts from what they are reading. In addition, a new picture dictionary in WriteToLearn provides the written definition of a word accompanied by an image, to reinforce students’ understanding of the meaning of words, a tool particularly useful for ELL students and struggling readers.
“Research has long supported that the best way for students to build literacy skills is by having the opportunity to practice and revise, using immediate feedback on their essay writing and their summaries of informational reading passages. No teacher can provide instantaneous feedback to students, and even the most dedicated cannot read and provide feedback on five or more drafts per student of even one essay or summary per month – particularly at the secondary level, where teachers may be instructing 100 or more students a day,” said Lynn Streeter, president of the Knowledge Technologies business of Pearson, developer of WriteToLearn. “The newest version of WriteToLearn will provide students with repeated, personalized practice in reading, writing and vocabulary development, as well as give teachers new tools – such as observing student highlighting of reading passages to determine whether they recognize the most important ideas in readings.”
New Essay Tips in WriteToLearn help to scaffold the writing process. Students receive guidance and feedback as they develop their essays. For example, “Think about” tips ask leading questions that help students generate ideas for their writing. This kind of guidance and feedback is particularly useful for motivating struggling learners and ELL students to write more.
Developed based on more than 15 years of research and evaluation at the University of Colorado and New Mexico State University, WriteToLearn is illustrative of Pearson’s overall commitment to collaborating with educators to develop next-generation assessments that will improve student achievement.
Schools and districts with current WriteToLearn accounts will receive the update free of charge. WriteToLearn is available for purchase on a concurrent or individual student license basis, with district-level subscriptions now available.
WriteToLearn qualifies for federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. For more information, visit http://www.writetolearn.net.
Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, has global reach and market-leading businesses in education, business information and consumer publishing (NYSE: PSO). For more information, visit www.pearsonassessments.com.
For more information:
Adam Gaber, Pearson, 800-745-8489 / firstname.lastname@example.org / @apgaber (twitter)