Alaska District Adopts Online Language Arts Program


Anchorage School District in Alaska has brought the MY Access! language arts program from Vantage Learning into its curriculum for the 2008-2009 school year. The district has deployed the online solution for use with about 6,500 students and supplied training for teachers who are using the system.

The MY Access! system allows students to input text for assignments through a Web interface. It then checks those assignments against various writing characteristics and scores students on their writing proficiency, style, mechanics, and other factors. It also supports multilingual students and ELL students and is able to deliver feedback and tutoring in multiple languages.

The district previously piloted the system in a "small number of elementary, middle school and high school classrooms," according to Vantage. As part of the expanded deployment, high school students using MY Access! and other programs have received mini-laptops through a grant from the Alaska Association of School Boards.

For teachers, the district provided a seven-day professional development program called "Train-the-Trainer."

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David Nagel is edtorial director, education for 1105 Media's Public Sector Media Group. A 22-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

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