Two Common Sense Education-reviewed products – LearnZillion and LightSail – made the finalist list for the Gates Foundation's Literacy Courseware Challenge! The challenge started in response to teachers who wanted recommendations of a narrow set of high-quality digital courseware to meet Common Core writing standards. It was a condition that products meet Common Core writing standards while providing an engaging student experience and feedback to teachers. Affordability and quality were also priorities. Therefore, products were evaluated by the best tech-forward teachers, literacy experts, and product designers in the field, and evaluated based on consistent criteria like student impact and feasibility of use.
Want to Pilot?
Now through Oct. 10, 2014, the Gates Foundation invites 4th-8th grade educators to pilot any of 12 winning products from their Literacy Courseware Challenge. Just go to the Literacy Courseware Pilot & Evaluation website to sign up. You can view product demos, request free trials, ask questions of developers, and find out what tech you'll need to get started. The school and courseware provider commitments and a pre-pilot checklist are available as well. Here are a few other details:
- Pilots will run from January 2015 to June 2015
- Each pilot will be evaluated by SRI International to help improve products.
- A control class is encouraged in order to strengthen study findings.
- Principal sign-off is required to pilot.