Posts Tagged "instructional materials"

When Selecting Materials, Relying on Numbers Is Not Enough

At Learning List, we are often asked, “Which material is the best?” While some organizations rank and/or rate materials, we do not. We do not sum a review up in a number or set of numbers or tell you which materials will be best for your students, because many variables affect the efficacy of a material. For example, how the material will be used, whether the material has the adaptions your students need and whether the district’s technology will support the full implementation of the product are all variables that affect which product is “best” for your students.

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Trends in Materials Designed for NGSS

Trends in Materials Designed for NGSS

As of January 2020, twenty states have adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which are based on the National Research Council Framework for K-12 Science Education. An additional twenty-four states have adopted their own standards that are based on the National Research Council Framework for K-12 Science Education. Consequently, the standards are impacting science education for approximately 71% of United States students.

As teachers across the country have realized, NGSS changes the expectation for what science instruction looks like. NGSS moves students beyond just knowing science and demonstrating their knowledge through completing scripted science experiments and demonstrations to doing science and solving problems like scientists and engineers. This means the materials for science instruction have to change, too.

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5 Considerations When Selecting Credit Recovery Materials

5 Considerations When Selecting Credit Recovery Materials

The goal of credit recovery programs is to help students recover credit and increase the likelihood of on-time high school graduation. Credit recovery is challenging to schedule and manage and is frequently a significant expense for districts. State requirements for credit recovery vary, but one element they have in common is the need to provide quality instructional materials that meet the needs of the students.

Learning List has reviewed numerous credit recovery materials. We share the following 5 factors to consider when selecting instructional materials for credit recovery.

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5 Things to Look For If Selecting Online Materials

5 Things to Look For If Selecting Online Materials

Recently, at a friend’s birthday party, the conversation quickly turned to back-to-school issues. Several friends began discussing their school district’s continuing adoption of online materials. One friend commented that when her older son’s school had moved to online materials almost exclusively last year, he did fine in his Economics class but really struggled in Physics. She told him to check out a textbook for that course, and almost immediately, his grades improved. My friends then began comparing how their children each learn and debating the relative virtues of printed versus online materials.

That conversation reminded me of the blog post we published recently about a Hechinger Report article titled, “A Textbook Dilemma: Digital or Paper?” Several of the points in this article align with distinguishing features we observe in our reviews of online materials. 

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Print Versus Digital Materials: What the Research Says

Print Versus Digital Materials: What the Research Says

If your district is gearing up for an adoption this year, part of your selection calculation likely will be whether to purchase print or digital/online materials.  An article in the Hechinger Report  titled, “A Textbook Dilemma: Digital or Paper?” may be useful.

The article discusses Patricia Alexander’s review of research on this topic. Ms. Alexander is an educational psychologist and a literacy scholar at the University of Maryland. Despite numerous (878) potentially relevant studies on the topic, Ms. Alexander pointed out that “only 36 [studies] directly compared reading in digital and in print and measured learning in a reliable way.” Despite the need for further research on this topic, Ms. Alexander found that numerous studies affirm the finding that: “if you are reading something lengthy – more than 500 words or more than a page of the book or screen – your comprehension will likely take a hit if you’re using a digital device.” This pertained to college students as well as students in elementary, middle, and high school.    

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