Mimio Global Press

Headsprout Celebrates a Big Anniversary

District Administration

Seattle, Wa. - Oct 27, 2011 - “Beauty without utility is an ornamental lump”- Duke Ellington

Headsprout’s Director and Learning Scientist Joe Layng quotes Ellington to remind educators that technology is only a vehicle to help students learn. Without the proper content and teaching strategies, technologies such as the iPad and other tablets or netbooks are just an "ornamental lump".

The DA editorial staff had an insightful conversation with Layng yesterday about the 10th anniversary of Headsprout Early Reading, a research-based program that guarantees results. “Some products may have cuter graphics, but it’s the research behind Headsprout that has made it so successful,” said Layng.

Headsprout was founded ten years ago using Sprout Learning technology via the Internet. Headsprout Early Reading is comprised of 80 online lessons that take the typical learner about 20 minutes each to complete. Headsprout guarantees that ANY student who completes all 80 lessons will attain a 1st grade reading level and the typical student will achieve a mid-2nd grade reading level.

Teaching kids to read is a difficult task, and any program that can guarantee literacy is worth a shot. As any early reading teacher knows, personalized learning is ideal for teaching reading because every child is at a different level. Headsprout adapts to each student and provides specialized routines based on error patterns of the student. Even advanced readers can benefit from this program.

The “Read with Me” activity is the perfect way to form a bond between older students who are mentors to younger students. The high level student reads a passage first to model, and then there is another passage the younger student can read. The mentor and mentee have a chance to work together rather than sticking to the usual role of teacher and learner. Activities like this would establish camaraderie and cooperation among the mentor and mentee. This could be used in the classroom or at home through programs such as Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The DA editorial team was impressed with the success of this product and would love to hear stories from districts that currently use any early reading program.

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