Teaching with Technology
i-Ready Adds Diagnostics Updates, Improved Accessibility, Student Dashboard
- By Dian Schaffhauser
An education technology company with an online program for reading and math has gone public with the updates planned for its next release. Curriculum Associates' i-Ready is expected to be available in time for school. Among the updates: new lessons, a Spanish-language math diagnostic tool and more accessibility features.
i-Ready consists of two components: Diagnostics, which delivers an adaptive assessment to students to gauge their level of understanding about key concepts; and Instruction, which contains lessons based on students' individual skill levels and needs.
Among the features in the upcoming version:
The diagnostic program will include a better accessibility experience, with keyboard navigation, closed captioning for media and compatibility with screen readers. The company said it "aims" to be compliant with WCAG 2.0 AA, the latest accessibility guidelines for online materials, in all of its software, adding that "further accessibility improvements" were underway for its other applications.
For grades K–8, the Instruction program will include new lessons and a new student dashboard with an age-appropriate design to encourage students to track their progress and let them know what's next on their to-do lists. That includes explicit encouragement at the beginning of the lessons (and assessments) to push students to do their best.
For middle schoolers, specifically, the company will include about 100 new lessons, including 60 reading comprehension lessons for grades 6-8 with culturally-authentic texts and almost 40 new online math lessons for grades 6-7, covering algebra and algebraic thinking and numbers and operations. Students in those grades will also experience "less talking" from the i-Ready characters during their lessons.
Middle school teachers will receive new professional learning guidance, with ideas for class- and school-wide activities that reflect teen insights, including instructions for holding data chats with middle school students and recommendations on using teacher-assigned lessons.
"We are constantly working to improve our programs with content and resources that best meet the unique learning needs of all students," said Rob Waldron, CEO of the company, in a statement. "These new i-Ready enhancements will better engage students in the learning process, better support teachers in their instruction, and better inform administrators about overall student performance and growth."
Release notes and additional information about the next version is available on the i_Ready Central website.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @schaffhauser.