It was over six months ago when an idea came to me while shopping for air filters at Home Depot; how can we evolve the Accelerated Reader idea into a web 2.0 environment? I write this in hopes Accelerated Reader decides to move to this environment. Otherwise, I have the alternative solution to the reading quiz phenomenon. For those who are not familiar with Accelerated Reader, it essentially is an independent reading program where students read books and take quizzes based on reading levels. It helps teachers monitor independent reading where students earn points for successfully taking quizzes on the books they read.
With web 2.0 technologies now readily available, I have come up with a free solution for those schools unable to afford the Accelerated Reader software. I came across a free quiz making program called MyStudiyo and I finally created my first quiz on it. I remember being on the phone with my good friend Gilbert, telling him what if there was a crowd sourcing solution to creating quizzes of children’s literature. Now it is still a raw solution and doesn’t provide the full analysis of an Accelerated Reader, however, the potential is there for a community of teachers who contribute to quizzes on MyStudiyo. I can envision an “Accelerated Reader” like community of quizzes on this site with ratings of the best quizzes. Now, if MyStudiyo can create “Accelerated Reader” like metrics, students can login to this website and take quizzes for free. I can see the traffic exponentially grow for this website if they could add the features. If MyStudiyo is reading this blog, feel free to contact me about this novel idea.
Best yet, you can embed your quizzes to private communication platforms such as Edmodo. Here is an example of my embedded quiz on Edmodo. As powerful as Accelerated Reader has become in the education world, I can see a web 2.0 version becoming bigger because we are relying on the power of the teacher population instead of so-called “experts” who create these AR quizzes.
I write this giving away my idea that I proposed months ago, but I have no capacity to create such a website. I just hope I get mentioned for the company who does make this happen. “Accelerated Reader 2.0”
It is transparent how to assess students’ academic growth using technologies such as Edusoft, NWEA, and Accelerated Reader. All these great tools help teachers comprehensively assess their students to help guide their instruction. However, I want to evaluate another aspect of technology assessment that really begs the question: How much impact does educational technology integration have on academic achievement?
After researching this subject, I have found very little information post 2002. The research found is outdated is not relevant with the tools and resources of web 2.0. I sent out a tweet about the subject, but have not heard from anyone regarding the topic. I understand that it is a difficult topic to wrap a concrete answer, however, I believe a topic that needs more attention by educational technology professionals. It may not be cut and dry like an Accelerated Reader program that will tell you a student’s reading level, but rather a model that represents growth in learning skills due to instructional technologies.
Although I have yet to see a model of assessing technology integration and its impact on academic curriculum, I feel at the bare minimum, it should have the following components.
- Measuring student engagement and interest in content area subjects
- Measuring digital literacy
- Finding correlation with schools with successful technology integration and test scores
- Measuring teacher technology growth using websites like EdTech Profile and correlating the growth with student achievement
- Measuring how differentiation using technology correlates to student achievement
- Measuring how technology enrichment projects and assignment correlates to student achievement.