Teacher Review for Accelerated Reader

They took Subtext and ruined it ... for now

Andy T.
Classroom teacher
The Hamlin School
San Francisco, CA, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It No
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It No
Setup Time More than 15 minutes
Great for Homework
Small group
Student-driven work
How I Use It
In theory, this should be a great app for literature circles, as it not only allows students to interact outside of class while reading their books, but also allows teachers to keep monitor student interaction with each other and with the text. However, ever since the changeover from Subtext to AR 360, this app is extremely difficult to set up with purchased books, and some books didn't work with the app at all, so students just ended up reading their books in Google Play. Even worse, tech support is basically nonexistent at this point, as Renaissance Learning does not seem to know how to use their app yet. The former tech support people from Subtext don't seem to be there anymore, and the current support staff said they didn't know how to solve many of the problems we ran into.
My Take
When Renaissance Learning bought Subtext and renamed it Accelerated Reader 360, it seems that they forgot to learn how to use and support the app. While Subtext had its share of glitches, Renaissance Learning was unable to provide even basic support when we had issues downloading books to use in the app. Maybe someday Renaissance Learning will figure out how to use the app. When they do, I might be able to recommend it again. For now, it is a frustrating mess.