NEW YORK – September 26, 2016 – Today Pearson announced new capabilities in WriteToLearn, its award-winning automatically scored, web-based tool for building writing and reading comprehension skills for students in grades 4-12. The personalized assessment and learning solution used in hundreds of schools around the country will now put student performance and usage data in the hands of district administrators, allowing them to learn about the impact that WriteToLearn is having on improving literacy skills.
WriteToLearn also now features 39 new literature-based prompts for essay writing. Each of the new essay writing prompts in WriteToLearn is linked to at least one piece of literature, such as The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, The Crucible and Frankenstein, and all support college and career readiness.
WriteToLearn provides students the opportunity to practice their essay and summary writing skills and expand their vocabulary. The tool instantly assesses student work by evaluating the meaning of text, not just grammar and spelling. With WriteToLearn, teachers can assign students practice writing while reducing time spent on laborious editing and scoring. As a result, they can spend more time on focused, personalized instruction.
Old Adobe School District in Petaluma, California, turned to WriteToLearn to help students at Miwok Valley Language Academy build literacy skills.
District Curriculum Director Craig Conte said, “We liked the instant feedback that students received on revising their writing. WriteToLearn shortens the feedback loop and provides teachers with time for small group writing instruction, while other students revise their work within the program.”
Miwok has the highest percentage of English language learners of Old Adobe’s schools.
Carl Triola, a sixth-grade teacher at the school, is seeing success when his students build literacy skills with WriteToLearn. He said, “I've found that my students like the immediate evaluation. Often times I hear my students say, ’I went from a 2-3 or 3-4’ [essay scores] when they look at their progress."
Participating in a beta test of this new release of WriteToLearn, Triola particularly liked that it was easier for students to see the teacher’s comments and feedback. He said, “I think it puts the responsibility on the students to take time to read the teacher responses and then go back in to make corrections. I like that students are able to work on their assignments at home.”
Achievement is high at Miwok Valley Language Academy. For the 2015-2016 school year, the school was in the top five of Sonoma County Office of Education schools in English/language arts proficiency for schools with 50 percent English learners, 50 percent socially economically disadvantaged and 50 percent Hispanic/Latino students.
“The success of WriteToLearn exemplifies the power of digital learning tools to empower teachers to personalize learning for their students,” said Aurelio Prifitera, Ph.D., managing director of Pearson’s clinical assessment group. “Since WriteToLearn’s launch more than a decade ago, we have worked closely with educators to add enhancements and content to ensure that WriteToLearn continues to meet the unique learning needs of their students.”
WriteToLearn has garnered numerous ed tech industry awards. Most recently, the tool was named Best of Show at ISTE 2016 by Tech & Learning magazine. For more information, visit www.WriteToLearn.net.
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