Tech & Learning follows Illinois’s Oak Lawn-Hometown
District 123 as they implement Learning.com’s STEM
curriculum in conjunction with the district’s new 1:1
This is one in a series of blog posts about our year-long pilot
with the STEM Web site from learning.com. The site
allows teachers to assign math, science, and technology
lessons or units to individual students, whole class, or
specified groups. Units are leveled by grades 3-5 and
contain interactive introductions, activities, games, quizzes,
Ability to Differentiate
Our teachers are able to differentiate groups and assign individual
lessons to meet student needs. They feel this site has helped reinforce
concepts and allows students to advocate for their own learning.
For example, one student was assigned a more challenging lesson
to work through and failed the
quiz. She went over to her to
teacher to reassure her that
she would watch the videos
and lessons and retake the quiz
until she understood. Ownership over learning is always one of our
goals and we’re appreciative of sites that design this to take place.
One Gap: Testing Accommodations
When we began to implement the Web site with our resource
students, we noticed a gap: audio recording of quiz questions. Many
of our teachers were using learning.com to aid in preparing their
students for our recent standardized tests. The videos were excellent,
but when the students made it
to the quiz, they could not read
the questions on their own.
Even though they understood
the concepts, every other part of the Web site reads the directions to
the student except for the quiz and journal portion. We discovered
that our students knew what the symbols meant, but were failing the
quizzes because they couldn’t read the words. I’ve already given this
feedback to our learning.com contact and am excited to see changes to
Overall, our teachers and students can’t get enough of the Web
site and only ask me if more units will be available soon. They find
students to be engaged in the program and kids love that their teachers
can see how many points they are achieving in the games.
Overall we are pleased with the site and excited to see how we can
useit to better meet the various needs of our students.
Peg Keiner is an instructional technology coach for Oak Lawn-
Hometown District 123.