Teacher Review For Actively Learn

Active Learner - setting my expectations high for future e readers since...now!

James T.
Classroom teacher
Saint Benedict Prep, Chicago, Illinois
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies
EdTech Mentor
My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 3
Pedagogy 5
Support 5
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Homework
Knowledge gain
Small group
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
I began by implementing this as a differentiation strategy within a classroom. The classroom teacher, having many ELL students within her classroom, was having a problem with students not understanding the vocabulary, and not knowing how to take effective notes, This double whammy lead to low comprehension levels, non existent motivation, low scores, and disruptive classroom behavior. However after implementing Actively Learn, drastic improvements were seen quickly. Fortunately students were able to all have tablets, and the novel "Bridge to Terabithia" was already set up on the site. The guided notes allowed students to view more examples of how notes should be taken, and providing more examples. The ability to write in notes in real time and even pose questions to other students was the main draw for the students. The students actively participated in debating, conversing, and asking within their notes. The teacher required the students to read independently, instilling a silent classroom environment. After the initial reading time, the class would review the reading material the next class and cover any questions posed by the students. This allowed the students time to think about any question or any answers beforehand in class. This gave the class more confidence when answering questions and more of a relaxed feel when in reading class.
My Take
Actively Learn is a fantastically interactive e-reader great for differentiation or for ELL students. I will say that it is not the most thrilling app, but the content and the ability to assess in real time gives ample reasoning for teachers to highly consider using this within their class. Supporting note taking skills, encouraging classroom questions, discussions, built in dictionary, and pre -made assessments will help teachers teach, and not just be one more item teachers need to incorporate. I would suggest the creators of Actively Learn incorporate some type of point system, or badge system that gives students more excitement to actually use the app.