Miami-Dade partners with myON for literacy goals

District aims to transform learning through personalized approach to literacy

digital-literacyFlorida’s Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the fourth largest school district in the United States, is implementing myON in all 250 of the district’s K-8 schools for the 2014-2015 school year.

More than 259,000 students will benefit from access to the personalized literacy program, which supports the district’s vision of improving literacy outcomes for all students through effective integration of technology into the curriculum.

Through this district-wide K-8 implementation, students have unlimited access to myON, which includes more than 5,000 enhanced digital books with multi-media supports. Embedded Lexile assessments measure and predict student reading growth.

Next page: Pairing tech access with literacy achievement

The system provides students with their choice of books within guidelines managed by the school or district. Each student also receives, on their personalized myON dashboard, a recommended list of books that meet their unique interests and which are written at the target Lexile reading level to support reading growth.

The district chose to incorporate myON into its Jumpstart CONNECT@HOME program, which provides a computer device and free internet access for all students in grades 3-5 at 11 targeted elementary schools. Early data is showing positive results. During the first four weeks of the rollout, 140,000 students read more than 48,000 books. After five weeks, third graders across the district saw an average Lexile growth of 9 percent.

“Literacy is so important—getting kids to read outside of the school day, to develop that love of reading at a young age, is vital,” said Sylvia Diaz, assistant superintendent of innovation and school choice for the district. “So many of our kids go home and don’t have home libraries, so they don’t go home to environments that are rich in print–and our district lacks the digital as well. Students don’t have access to diff types of reading materials. This was a way of making sure we were sending home some great tools to support literacy.”

District leaders pointed to outcomes from a 20-day summer school pilot in 2013 as the impetus for implementation. During the pilot, more than 3,800 participating students in grades 2 and 3 experienced an average Lexile reading growth of 11 percent as measured by embedded Lexile assessments. Equally important, according to district officials, students browsed more than 320,000 digital books and read an additional 180,000 to completion.

“Providing our students with access to thousands of books to support their reading growth and overall learning is paramount for our district,” said Marie Izquierdo, chief academic officer for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. “And the real-time, actionable data on student reading activity and growth makes it possible for our teachers and administrators to collaborate with each other, helping ensure success for every student.”

“It has been extremely exciting for our team to support the transformational programs underway in Miami-Dade Public Schools,” said Todd Brekhus, myON president. “Their forward-thinking leadership has put students first with a host of innovative approaches that truly leverage technology to support access for all students. We are delighted that they have chosen to partner with myON and we look forward to helping them meet their literacy goals for all students.”

Material from a press release was used in this report.

Laura Ascione

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