When visiting with school and district administrators, we encounter the fact that not all software or learning products are created equal. It is hard to assess all the options when shopping for educational tools (especially math) that will help your student populations pass the STAAR test. There are so many learning options that attest to helping master the TEKS with price points all over the place. Most of the time, the options are so complex it can be easier to stay with status quo than make the investment for big change. It is not just the cost of the new program, but the man power to implement and change the behavior in the classrooms to use the tools. Where does one start to figure it all out?
Specific questions to consider when evaluating STAAR teaching software:
- Allow student to access content directly by TEKS?
- Show progress on a specific TEKS for each student?
- Address the level of rigor required by the TEKS and tested on STAAR?
- Address the Texas and NCTM process standards?
- Be used in school and at for homework un-assisted?
There are many other factors to consider when researching education software to master standardized test benchmarks. Here are some of the top general questions to answer:
- What determines the products price? It is important to learn how the product is valued. The company can be rich in research and development, cost in making the product engaging, or are the costs simply better marketing than other products.
- What is included in the price? When considering a purchase, ensure to value each possible benefit the company provides. Looking at reporting functions, support and options in implementation are common factors to consider.
- Is there a history of success? The company usually can provide some data on the results students or schools have had using the products in action. Consider if those success rates are acceptable to your organization.
Probability of high usage among students and teachers? When making a decision on a product, imagine the user experience. If the item is difficult to implement, glitchy or doesn’t benefit all parties that will be using it. The interface the reporting and the results all have to be the best in order to ensure success.
Not all software tutoring programs are the same. With a huge investment of cost & time, ensuring you get the right fit for your school needs is imperative. If you are interested in discussing finding the right software for math education, please feel free to reach out. We at L&M Educational Resources understand the challenges and can help you screen possible alternatives.
L & M Instructional Resources, Inc.