Review by Jason Shiroff, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2016

ResearchReady

Versatile site helps integrate literacy skills into the curriculum

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Social Studies
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
6-12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (1 Review)

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5 images

Pros: Includes high-quality, authentic, customizable literacy lessons.

Cons: Despite supportive graphics, other accommodations such as translations and linked definitions aren't included.

Bottom Line: Detailed lessons make information literacy accessible; it's a great resource for teaching research-based units.

Imagine Easy Academy could be used in the classroom or as homework to support a flipped-classroom model. Teachers can easily track student progress on the modules and use this information to differentiate additional instruction. The modules provide social studies teachers with quality lessons to build discipline-specific literacy skills. Teachers should consider rolling out the lessons on research skills as a way to support students through the process of inquiry. The site's greatest potential lies in using the preloaded modules as a starting point; consider customizing this content to best match your class's learning targets.

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Imagine Easy Academy (formerly ResearchReady) is a cloud-based instruction and assessment platform that helps teachers integrate reading and writing standards into their curricula. Its main goal is to support discipline-specific literacy skills in social studies (and, soon, science) classes. The site includes a variety of modules covering middle and high school social studies content. Teachers can assign the modules as-is or customize any aspect of a lesson. The modules are searchable by topic, standard, grade level, and difficulty. The site integrates with Google Classroom and other LMS platforms. Students get instant feedback on their answers and can retry questions they miss. Teachers have access to detailed reports to track progress.

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Imagine Easy Academy's predefined lessons give teachers an effective way to integrate reading and writing skills into their social studies classrooms. The modules are high quality, though it's also great that teachers can modify and customize any lesson found on the site or even create their own from scratch. Using the existing modules as a starting point, most teachers could easily design and create some high-quality lessons. 

The lessons themselves are made up of a series of slides that can include videos, images, hyperlinks, and multiple-choice or free-response questions. Many lessons utilize external websites, which can promote a more authentic experience for students used to Web-based research. The student interface is easy to navigate and simplified to remove distractions. However, the ability for teachers to differentiate is somewhat limited, as specific accommodations for ELLs and students with learning differences aren't fully developed. At the time of review, the site was also missing a standards-based progress report.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Research and media-literacy skills become relevant and engaging with real-life lessons. Students work at their own pace researching content connected to the social studies curriculum. There are printable certificates for completion.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

A range of exercises helps kids develop research questions. Sophisticated lessons teach kids how to evaluate the sources they find on the Web. Students get immediate feedback, and they can opt to retake questions or entire lessons.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Kids get instant feedback, but the content doesn't adapt based on performance. Graphics and animations provide little direct support for ELLs or students with learning differences.


Common Sense Reviewer
Jason Shiroff Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 1 reviews) (1 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Michelle B. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Preparing for Research Writing

I like what it teaches. It would help if it was more eye-catching or appealing. Graphics or variations of color would be more of an attention grabber for young learners.

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