Administrators know the challenge
of determining a product’s true RO I,
but without that data, we can’t justify
purchases—especially big, expensive
systems. At Vero Beach High School,
we developed a checklist of features
that, when combined, should provide a
clearer picture of a school’s investment.
1 Less is more. A solution that
addresses the needs of all grade
levels and all core content areas provides
a huge cost savings. The use of
one system eliminates the need for different
technology configurations, multiple
licenses, multiple trainings, support
2 Put it to the test. No one likes
to say we’re teaching to the test,
but it’s certainly our job to prepare
students to do well on tests. The question
is, does your system help all
students prepare for all tests?
Thousands of dollars can be saved
by employing one system that
helps prepare all students for the
state’s high-stakes exams but also
prepares high school students for
Advanced Placement tests, exit
exams, and the all-important ACT
and SAT exams.
3 Open 24/7/365. Make sure
teachers, students, and even
parents can easily access your new
solution anytime, anywhere.
4 Assessing the situation. Does it
allow for customized ad hoc and
formative assessments to coincide with
teachers’ needs and prescribe activities
to support student-specific learning?
5 Does it fall in “align?” Any instructional
program, whether supplemental
or core, must be aligned to
your state’s standards and scalable to
the Common Core State Standards. If
you can’t get that automatically without
spending thousands of dollars for
upgrades, the solution should receive
a failing grade.
6 Professional development on
demand. Be sure to select a program
that provides an economical and
easy way for teachers to gain skills
that can immediately be utilized in the
7 A penny saved is a dollar earned.
Prices for instructional solutions
vary widely, so pay attention to the
bang you are getting for the buck.
8 Adding It All Up. Make sure your
online learning solution incorporates
everything teachers need to effectively
engage learners, inform instructional
decisions, and increase student
achievement. Without it, there is no ROI.
Eric Seymour is the principal
of Vero Beach (FL)
High School. Their district
uses Study Island.