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Pearson Announces Upgrades, Based on Educator Feedback, to Award-Winning, Tablet-Based Reading Intervention Program

By Abi Mandelbaum
October 14th, 2014

Reading Levels, Engagement in Learning Soar for Pennsylvania Students Building Literacy Skills With iLit

Oct. 13, 2014 — At Pennsylvania’s York City Schools, students learning with iLit, Pearson’s tablet-based reading intervention program for grades 4-10, are more engaged and realizing great gains in developing literacy skills. Today the world’s leading learning company announced upgrades to the program, based on feedback from educators around the country, that will make it an even more powerful tool for helping struggling learners accelerate the development of reading skills.

iLit is designed to meet the national crisis of students who simply cannot read at the appropriate grade level and who, by the time they reach high school, are dropping out, checking out or acting out. iLit is the first complete instructional solution built and delivered on tablets that offers students personalized learning support based on their own instructional needs with engaging interactivities, and built-in reward systems that motivate and track progress.
With the new enhancements, the intervention program is now device-agnostic and can be delivered on any iOS, Android, Windows 8 or web browser, making it perfect for use in “BYOD” classrooms. New daily phonics assignments and an improved teacher dashboard were added to improve the overall learning experience.

As assistant principal at York’s William Penn High School, Sue Long Moyer regularly observed classes. During the first-year ninth graders at the school were learning with iLit, she observed positive changes in a teenage boy that illustrate the power of technology to transform learning and, ultimately, lives.

Moyer, a member of Pearson’s Advisory Board for iLit, recalled, “We had a teenage boy who was struggling behaviorally during his math class. He was being extremely disruptive, not paying at attention and was not engaged in the lesson as he was trying to get the teacher to send him out of class.”

Later that day, Moyer said she observed the same student in a classroom where he was learning with iLit and he was quietly reading on task and engaged in the activity on his tablet. Curious about this, she asked him why his behavior and attitude had changed.

She said, “He told me, ‘I get this. I can read about Tupac and that interests me.’ But, best of all he was spot on, retaining the information and able to apply it to his own life as he explained to me. It was amazing to see him in that kind of setting.”

A few weeks later, she observed him in science class, where he was working in a small group and showing his classmates how to go back in the text to find an answer to a question, which is a skill he learned in iLit. “The transfer of knowledge was incredible,” she said.

Moyer was so impressed with the results she saw with iLit at the high school level that she introduced it to her English Language Learner students in her new role as principal at York’s Jackson K-8 School. Commenting on the upgrades, she said, “Our students are finding that the examples help them grasp the vocabulary words easier. The words, definitions and pictures are more relevant and applicable, our students grasp them more quickly and, by the end of class, use them in a sentence correctly.”

Moyer also said that her students like the immediate feedback from the improved data dashboard because they can see their own growth and they find that motivating. In addition, the dashboard has sparked student-teacher conversations about progress. For example, when a student takes a dip in progress, teachers have conversations about what happened — discovering if the student is dealing with something outside of school or feels a need for more time to practice.

Moyer, who hopes to grow the use of iLit at Jackson K-8 School, said, “Students are growing at rapid rates and engagement is through the roof. I had a whole grade move three grade levels in reading in one year. They just love the program.”

About Pearson
As part of its overall commitment to literacy, Pearson recently launched Project Literacy, a major campaign dedicated to working in partnership with peers and communities to build a more literate world. Visit http://www.projectliteracy.com.

Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, with 40,000 employees in more than 80 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning. For more information about Pearson, visit http://www.pearson.com.

Media Contact: Brandon Pinette, brandon.pinette@pearson.com, or (800) 745-8489

About the Author:

Abi Mandelbaum

Abi Mandelbaum is CEO of YouVisit.