West Virginia Schools to Participate in Evaluation of Math Curriculum that Uses Technology to Increase Student Achievement | SRI International

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West Virginia Schools to Participate in Evaluation of Math Curriculum that Uses Technology to Increase Student Achievement

children in computer labMENLO PARK, Calif. – July 15, 2013 – SRI International has been awarded a $3.5 million U.S. Department of Education grant to conduct a study of a new elementary school mathematics curriculum in 52 West Virginia schools. The digital curriculum, created by Reasoning Mind, uses technology to increase student engagement and gives students and teachers instant feedback. Researchers will test Reasoning Mind's fifth grade math curriculum for a full school year beginning August 2014.

Reasoning Mind is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a first-rate mathematics education for every child. The Reasoning Mind system combines an online curriculum created by a team of top international mathematics and education experts with extensive teacher support and professional development to deliver an engaging, individualized experience for students.

“Although there is growing interest in online education and digital tools, there has not been a rigorous evaluation of a year-long, fully digital curriculum in the classroom,” said Jeremy Roschelle, Ph.D., co-director of the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International. “Reasoning Mind offers a complete curriculum, ready for evaluation and the state of West Virginia offers the right conditions for testing a digital mathematics approach at scale.”

SRI will conduct a randomized controlled trial that will examine whether Reasoning Mind's integrated digital approach is more successful than conventional teaching approaches that use traditional curricula and leave differentiated instruction, integration of technology and selection of additional students supports to a teacher's discretion. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh will observe participating classrooms to understand how classroom use of a digital curriculum differs from use of paper textbooks.

“The Reasoning Mind system is not just a technology wrapper on a traditional textbook,” said Alex Khachatryan, CEO of Reasoning Mind. “Our goal is to provide a curriculum that is a comprehensive, coherent approach to learning mathematics using state-of-the-art tools. This study allows us to evaluate the efficacy of this approach.”

One important area to be explored is the comparison of conventional textbook approaches with digital curricula and whether the Reasoning Mind curriculum can enable a wider diversity of students to achieve high scores on Common Core assessments for college and career-readiness. The study will examine how digital resources can increase learning for students with low or high prior math scores.

The study will also consider how digital resources can serve rural schools, now that high speed internet is becoming more widely available to schools throughout the country. Under a West Virginia Department of Education Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, the state is completing fiber optic connections to 471 schools.  More than 437 schools already have up-to-date computers.  SRI's study will help West Virginia to evaluate technology interventions and assessments in elementary education.

Reasoning Mind will be recruiting up to 60 West Virginia public schools to participate in the study. Each campus will receive one grade level of Reasoning Mind services at no cost. For more information, contact Michael Hokom (msh [at] reasoningmind.org, 832-255-2924) or Scott Darling (scott.darling [at] reasoningmind.org, 870-877-1521) or visit reasoningmind.org.

The contents of this press release were developed under a grant from the Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

About Reasoning Mind

Reasoning Mind is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a first-rate mathematics education for every child. Reasoning Mind offers students in grades 2-6 a web-based, data-driven approach to instruction guided by powerful artificial intelligence that adjusts to each child based on his or her unique needs. Extensive professional development and content-knowledge training supports teachers implementing the program. Reasoning Mind's world-class curriculum prepares students for higher-level courses, builds critical thinking skills, and changes the way students think and feel about math.