It's not often that I am accused of "misrepresenting the mission and values of" anything, yet Mr. Tim McEwen, the CEO of Study Island, did just that today.
I do not know what the missions and values of the corporate folk over on the island. I suspect that their primary mission is to make money, and I've lived in this land long enough to know not to question that--in turn, I ask Mr. McEwen not to ride some mythical high horse. He makes a fatuous accusation. I will respond with his own company's words.
Nashworld has already made a spirited defense in the comments of the last post, but there's still plenty to chew on.
And yes, I am having fun.
And yes, I am having fun.
I stand behind my words--teachers monitoring a child's time on-line is more creepy than Santa's Naughty or Nice fetish. Let us be clear--we are talking about 9 year olds.
This is from a Study Island Training Manual:
When introducing Study Island to students, be sure to communicate the data that is available to teachers on what they do. This will help hold them accountable for all they do in the program.Dana is a third grader. She can show her age without using all her fingers. She is a child. She worships her teacher. She has dry heaves at night because of your program.
Create a fake student user and record some stats under that user. Then, in class, pull up the reports that are recorded for that fake student on a projector screen. Go through the stats with the students and show them all of the stats that teachers can pull such as time spent on each topic, missed questions, etc.
By doing this, you will be demonstrating that work in Study Island is tracked and off task behavior should decrease.
Tell me how creating a fake user account to demonstrate her teacher's power differs from bullying?
It gets better. Suppose it's May, 78 degrees outside, and some slick tyke elects to blow through the test bank.
If the website senses that the child might (*gasp*) be guessing, it will automatically activate a "guessing detector" that forces the child to wait 10 seconds before allowing the child to enter an answer.
10 seconds of staring at a frozen screen. Welcome to power, little one.
Still not sold?
You can convert the questions to a game called the "Splat Game." Children must get their lady bug across the road before a car runs over it, hence the, um, splat.
Mr. McEwen, do you have any children under your roof? Do you see Dana as anything more than part of your market share?
Moreover, doing well on high stakes assessments is a by-product of content mastery gained through Study Island, not a goal in and of itself.
I'm all ears--how is Study Island more than a test bank tailored specifically to state testing?
What appeal does Study Island hold for administrators beyond a promise of improving their students' test scores?
I do not want to minimize the pressure felt by administrators today--the NCLB goal of 100% proficiency by 2014 reflects either an inexplicable grasp of math by our previous administration or a cagey attempt to cripple public education. (Maybe both?)
You are providing a service. No need to hide behind a banner of righteousness or chase after a small-time blogger with some nonsense about misrepresenting values.
Hey, I'm a retired board certified pediatrician--why not offer me a reasonable fee to endorse your product? It's a win-win.
I get a little pocket change. You get a bona fide pediatric endorsement.
And Dana? Hey, she's just a neurotic 9 year old who's going to be tested no matter what we do. We're just here to help.
It's in our mission statement.