North Carolina school districts combine games, learning

Two counties in North Carolina will expand their use of an educational resource that combines math, reading, writing, science and social studies with interactive games and rewards.

Each district had been using the web-based Study Island on a limited basis. Now both Pitt County Schools and Alamance Burlington School System will implement its use district-wide, totaling 70 schools with 45,000 elementary, middle and high students.

“The Study Island program has proved to be very compelling,” said Dr. Alisa McLean, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Alamance-Burlington Schools. “It teaches students in a more intuitive manner, plus the rewards and reinforcement approach really helps students to advance through the rigorous content. What we observed during our use in the elementary program made our decision to expand to our middle and high school students very easy.”

Tim DeCresie, coordinator of instructional technology and media services for Pitt County Schools, was impressed by the quality of the questions bank, which the district used for its annual Math Masters competition. Even more important, he said, is that Study Island is aligned to the North Carolina Course of Study.

The program also incorporates real-time reporting on student achievement levels, which teachers can use to individualize instruction for each student.

“We find that the daily, online formative assessments offer an additional benefit – they are paperless,” said McLean. “The financial benefits are especially helpful in these tough economic times.”