Blended learning—using technology to individualize and target instruction in addition to traditional teacher-led lessons—is awesome. It also can cost lots of money. There are countless tech-based curricula that are vying for a slice of the blended-learning pie, and it’s easy to drop hundreds of dollars on every student.
That is if you have the money. Many schools don’t have a budget for computers, let alone expensive programs.
But you still can bring your kiddos great individualized learning even without a budget. Here are four programs that stand out:
Achieve3000 has awesome non-fiction texts along with rigorous comprehension activities. The best part? They level it so that all can read the same story (say, about the African Elephant) written at their own level. It’s a great way to make all students feel included, regardless of their reading level.
I used it when I taught middle school reading, and the articles were so good they sometimes pulled me in!
Teach For America corps members get a free two-year subscription. Visit TFANet and go to the Teaching tab.
MobyMax offers an adaptive, online learning environment for math, reading, writing, and other categories. Adaptive meaning it changes its questions, going up or down in difficulty, based on a student’s level.
While it isn’t the most rigorous program for students near or at grade level, I found great success with it for students who had larger gaps in their skills.
It’s totally free and has some nice features: you can create your own writing prompts, there are fun games and rewards students can do, and you can track students’ progress.
There are a lot of great academic programs out there, but one thing that always blew me away was how many of my students were lacking typing skills.
DaneMat Typing, from the BBC, is an awesome typing program for kiddos grades K-8 that teaches typing through music, animation, and British accents. While you may not want to use it during class time, it’s a great addition to help students increase their typing speed and familiarity.
4) Reading A-Z
Reading A-Z offers awesome, leveled fiction and non-fiction texts starting at A and going through Z. While you can print them out in neat little books, you can also use the program strictly online to read the books.
Each book has specific strategies it targets, with comprehension questions.
Some TFA regions have a set number of subscriptions they can give out to corps members. Otherwise, a subscription is affordable—about $99 a year.
For more great tech tips, check out 5 Ways to Introduce Technology to Your Classroom.
Photo by: US Dept of Education