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The Truth About Game-Based Educational Software

Math-fact gamification Ask a typical educator about game-based learning and video games in school, and expect at least some skeptical responses. Many educators and parents worry about gaming as an educational tool. Research on the educational worth of video games has been mixed, and some educators point out the fact that most data come from short-term studies. While research on educational software is still young, increasing evidence points to positive outcomes for today’s students—despite the prevalence of headlines linking video games to bad behavior or lukewarm learning outcomes. According to James Gee, an education professor at Arizona State University, blaming all video games for poor results is like blaming all food for the existence of obese people.1
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Working together in West, Texas

When the community of West, Texas was rocked by a devastating fertilizer plant explosion, the school closest to the blast was severely damaged. Teachers were unable to salvage supplies and curriculum that had taken years to develop. But because the people from West and the surrounding communities pulled together to offer help, students were back in school receiving instruction within three days. Shortly after the blast, Imagine Learning heard about the loss of West's English learner and literacy programs, and arranged for West Elementary to receive a site license—which means that every English language learner is able to use the Imagine Learning program at no cost. Denae Buzbee, the District ESL director, says that since the implementation of Imagine Learning, she has seen students gaining confidence and improving their reading levels. “It’s brought us together as a community. It could have been a lot worse—we know that. We’ve had this horrible event, but we’re going to stick together and we’re going to be okay,” said West Elementary Principal Michelle Scott
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Study: students see 36-65% greater gains with Imagine Learning

SEG Study Executive Summary SEG Measurement, an independent research firm, announced the completion of the first phase of a study of nearly 1,000 English language learners in grades two–five in a large California school district. Study results demonstrate that students in programs using Imagine Learning’s curriculum show greater improvement in reading than students not exposed to Imagine Learning software. The study compared growth in reading skills of students who used Imagine Learning to comparable students who did not use Imagine Learning. Students used the Imagine Learning software for approximately six months between December 2012 and June 2013. Students in second grade using Imagine Learning showed 36% greater gains in reading than students who did not use the program. Imagine Learning students in grades three–five showed 65% greater gains in reading than non-users. "Students using Imagine Learning showed statistically significant gains in reading skills and outperformed students who did not use Imagine Learning," said Scott Elliot, president of SEG Measurement. "These findings are particularly important, given that students only used Imagine learning for half of the school year. More extended use of Imagine Learning may yield even greater gains for the students."
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Happy Holidays from Imagine Learning

At this holiday season, we express profound gratitude for our dedicated partners in education. Thanks for making a difference.   Click on the card to see how doors are opening for children everywhere. (And you might want to grab a tissue.)
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Somali first-language support added

Imagine Learning recently introduced Somali first-language support. The new addition makes it easier for even more students to gain language and literacy fluency. As students use Imagine Learning and become more proficient in English, the language support gradually fades, preparing students for English-only environments. Imagine Learning now offers first-language support in 15 languages: Spanish, Portuguese, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, Marshallese, Tagalog, Cantonese, Hmong, and Somali. Somali language support is just one of the many features included in the latest update, Imagine Learning version 13. Packed with new curriculum, iPad delivery, and the new Action Areas tool, version 13 provides language and literacy instruction better than ever. Watch the v13 video.
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