I recently asked Imagine Learning‘s director of training to share some of the challenges educators encounter that prevent their students from getting as much from Imagine Learning English as they could. I thought it would be instructive to share some of her observations and offer some tips that can help you overcome these roadblocks if you’re experiencing them too.
The most common issue she hears is that scheduling frequently makes it difficult to give students enough time in the lab. Often it’s a tough decision of limiting the student’s exposure to another subject in favor of increasing their literacy or second language acquisition time. While it may be obvious to a student’s classroom teacher that more time spent using the program would be beneficial, if your school has specials teachers, more coordination between instructors may be needed to determine what will best serve the child.
So how have other teachers addressed this challenge? Let me share two suggestions that have worked for many schools using Imagine Learning English.
- Bring the lab to your classroom. Did you know that Imagine Learning’s software licenses are per student, not per computer? This means that if a student can’t go to the lab, but needs more time working with the program, you can have it installed on a computer in your classroom. This can provide greater flexibility throughout the day and allow you to more specifically choose when your students participate with other students or focus on their literacy and English learning.
- Keep the lab open. Sometimes conditions just don’t permit students more time on the computer during the day; however, many schools have tremendous success by allowing students to use labs before and after regular school hours. And most parents have wholly approved of this as well!
Another challenge that may limit the amount of time students are getting with Imagine Learning English is the lack of clear school directives that outline its use. We’ve found that average usage of the program per student is much higher when a clear school-wide standard is set. If your school doesn’t have a clear directive that facilitates students getting adequate lab time each week, developing such a plan is a crucial element to increasing that time.
We’ve found that the most important person in making sure students get enough time with the program is often the principal. However, the decision to purchase Imagine Learning English is most often made at the district level, and training on how to use the program is most often given to teachers, which means principals often get left out! How familiar are your school’s administrators with Imagine Learning English? What kind of results are you seeing with students that are getting enough time on the program? Is your principal aware of those results? We have seen that when the program is introduced and understood at all levels, it is usually used much more, and consequently the results students experience are much greater.
Whether you have questions about installing Imagine Learning English on a computer in your classroom, or need help training additional staff members and administrators on the program and its benefits, we’re here to help! Give us a call at toll-free 1-866-457-8776, visit us online at www.support.imaginelearning.com, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you’ll be contacted quickly by a support specialist that can help you take the first steps to getting the most from Imagine Learning English.
How have you helped your students spend more time using Imagine Learning English?