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Pros: Well-written, engaging material that uses humor and teen-friendly lingo to clearly convey concepts.
Cons: The amount of content can be overwhelming; students and teachers will want subscriptions, which is a big investment.
Bottom Line: Cleverly written content divided into digestible sections offers solid educational value.
Shmoop can be used to deliver full courses or to supplement classroom instruction. Full access means hundreds of complete courses are available -- with auto-graded quizzes, diagnostic tools, and, of course, humor. Individual teacher and student subscriptions are available, but for the biggest bang for the buck, school or district licenses can be purchased. While content could be delivered to students electronically for them to complete at their own pace, teachers can also customize content to suit their needs for whole-class instruction and for individual instruction and assessment and intervention.
Shmoop is a website offering students a variety of study materials written by scholars. The catch? Shmoop's study guides are purposefully written in a conversational tone. Sometimes they're downright hilarious, and the fun language helps students access complex subjects and relax into learning. Teachers have to pay to access site materials designed for educators –- including hundreds of student assignments, quizzes, test prep, and activity tips. While there's free, ad-supported content like study guides, full teacher and student access requires a subscription. Teachers can manage classes from the dashboard, assigning courses, viewing progress, and curating content to deliver to students. The site's learning resources are legit: PhD and master's students from schools such as Stanford and Harvard write much of the conversational content, which is peppered with pop culture references.
Between the humor interjected throughout and the extensive, varied content, teachers and students will enjoy Shmoop. There's so much available -- from life skills (how to buy a car) to elementary RTI to ACT/SAT prep courses. It's overwhelming but there's truly something for everyone. With a subscription, students can get focused feedback on test prep, giving information on which skills need more work and the courses and practice to get those skills. Educators can choose hundreds of courses and materials across content areas and all levels, from RTI to college credit courses. Beyond the engaging humor, the ACT and SAT prep are excellent, and the literary courses are top-notch and engaging.