Bridging the Achievement Gap With Insight 360

Lauren Williams's picture
Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Edmund G. Ross Elementary School believes all children can learn. But, as a Title I school located in an economically disadvantaged area of northeast Albuquerque, students and teachers have faced challenges meeting student-achievement benchmarks and gradelevel targets.

During the 2011-12 school year, only 35 percent of the nearly 300 students tested were found proficient in Math and less than half (42 percent) were proficient in Reading.

E.G. Ross Elementary also received an “F” school grade from the New Mexico Public Education Department.

While the school’s performance fell significantly below the statewide averages, E.G. Ross Elementary received an “A” rating in the “Opportunity to Learn” category of its school grade report card. The school was found to be effective at fostering an environment that facilitates learning, teachers were using recognized instructional methods, and students wanted to come to school.

The next step was to find a way to use this positive finding to drive student achievement and performance.

FINDING THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY

Recognizing the challenges ahead, a technology pilot project using eInstruction’s Insight 360™ classroom instruction system was launched in three classrooms — kindergarten, second-grade, and fifth-grade. Each teacher was provided with an iPad® and short training on how to use Insight 360, prior to the start of the 2012-13 school year.

Instructional Coach Carmen Trujillo recognizes one of her challenges is to pursue effective instructional strategies that provide teachers at E.G. Ross Elementary with evidence that their students are learning the content successfully. Prior to using Insight 360, data that was collected was often random and generated from an outside source. Now, teachers are able to teach and assess to Common Core State Standards with a technology that is motivating and fun for students. Additionally, teachers have more time to teach, identify students needing support, and immediately adjust their instructional strategies.

ENHANCING TEACHING AND LEARNING

As Albuquerque Public Schools moved into its second year of teaching to Common Core State Standards, assessment needed to be a continuous and interactive process between teacher and student. Insight 360 met that need and the Insight 360 Student app for iPad allowed for a more collaborative learning environment, rather than just focusing on a set curriculum.

Kindergarten Teacher John Keelin found that Insight 360 gave him back time to teach. Assessments that used to take hours to complete were done in minutes. “The data is instantly available on my iPad allowing me to teach in the moment — something I have never been able to do in my 11 years of teaching.”

Insight 360 also was found to be effective in Stephen Lamb’s second-grade classroom with English Language Learner (ELL) students. Mr. Lamb reported that often traditional whole-class methods for assessment failed to showcase an ELL student’s development. Insight 360 helped him achieve this by giving him the tools to ask short-answer questions that were paired with visual examples and descriptions, not just definitions.

THE BIGGER PICTURE

In just a few short months, E.G. Ross Elementary was seeing positive outcomes and the value of Insight 360. Reading and Math proficiency percentages increased to 36.6 percent and 45.7 percent respectively, and the school letter grade was raised to a “D.” The teachers also are continuing to grow and improve professionally with support from technology coaches and their peers. E.G. Ross Elementary recognizes it has a tough road ahead. But, with the right teachers, technology, and support, its students will benefit by developing the skills and critical thinking abilities needed to succeed in the future.

EINSTRUCTION

eInstruction® is a leading, global education technology company committed to providing interactive teaching and learning solutions that help educators and students advance learning every day. eInstruction offers innovative classroom instruction systems, student response systems, fixed interactive whiteboards, mobile interactive whiteboards, research-based software, and professional development solutions that facilitate significantly higher levels of collaboration, engagement, and student achievement across all stages of the learning process.

To learn more, visit einstruction.com or call 866.496.4949.