Sprig Learning Expands Oral Language Learning Program

Sprig Learning Expands Oral Language Learning Program

Sprig Learning, a leader in holistic early years programming, is excited to launch our new innovative platform ​Sprig 2.0​ for the 2019-20 school year. With improved data visualization for educators, iOS assessment application features and learning resources for parents, Sprig 2.0 builds off our core mandate to provide EdTech tools that are used everyday by teachers and parents to support student learning and improve literacy and numeracy outcomes in the early years.

 

The release of Sprig 2.0 includes an expansion of our Oral Language Learning Program, Sprig Language​, to more than​ 100 classrooms​ and ​1,500 homes​ across Canada. Sprig Learning first launched its Sprig Language Program back in 2015; changing the way principals, teachers and parents are able to support early learning. Sprig uses universal language learning principles and sound pedagogical research to personalize the early learning pathway for every student.

 

“Sprig 2.0 introduces brand new mobile assessment tools and data visualization methods for all of our early years programs, allowing everyone to focus on what matters most,” said Jarrett Laughlin, CEO and Founder of Sprig Learning. “Our EdTech is designed to give t​ eachers, parents, caregivers and the community the support they need to give children truly meaningful and personal learning experiences. We aim to provide everyone with the specific tools they need, when they need them.”

 

The Sprig 2.0 release includes the following updates:

  • New iOS assessment tools​ for all early years programs;
  • New data visualization methods​ for education administrators, teachers and parents;
  • New learning activities and resources​ for parents and teachers now aligned to curriculum in five Canadian provinces;
  • Classroom resources in 11 languages​, including Indigenous languages such as Mi’kmaw, Cree, Dene, Ojibway and Tsuut’ina.

 

MORE EXCITING NEWS:​ For the first time, Sprig now offers ​parent memberships​ to those who wish to access our oral language learning programs and innovative EdTech tools​—​even though it’s not provided by their school. The membership provides parents with access to Sprig’s personalized oral language learning activities and resources that can be used at home to improve early literacy outcomes​—​when it matters most! Learn more about our membership packages and pricing:

https://s​priglearning.com/product/sprig-language-parent-subscription

 

Early Years Math Program Pilot Launches – Coming to Select Schools in 2019!

The Sprig team has been working in partnership with some amazing elementary math teachers and experts to develop a new, holistic math learning and assessment program that is launching this fall. Sprig Math will pilot in seven schools across Nova Scotia to build a deeper understanding of early math skills for teachers, parents and students.

Pilot schools will also be receiving newly developed sets of classroom materials that support math learning and work in tandem with the new edtech program. Math is a critical learning milestone in the early years and this program aims to make math learning more accessible for all learners.

 

Bring Sprig to your Home or School!

Contact us to talk 1-on-1 with a Sprig Specialist—​ ​we would be happy to answer any questions you may have or set up a free demo to see if our early learning programs are right for you!

You can also follow us on​ Facebook​,​ Instagram​ and/or Twitter ​for the latest news from Team Sprig and for contests, giveaways, special promotions, early learning tips, and so much more! Get in touch today: ​spriglearning.com/contact-us/.​

 

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About Sprig Learning

Sprig Learning is an award-winning personalized learning platform built with holistic education in mind (named Tech Edvocate’s Best Language Learning App of 2018). Sprig’s mission is to provide every student, educator, and parent with access to the tools they need to build a foundation for lifelong learning.To learn more, visit w​ww.spriglearning.com.​

For more information about Sprig Learning, interview requests, hi-res visuals or media inquiries, please contact Andrew Fraser, PR & Communications Specialist at 514.424.6500 or email media@spriglearning.com.​

 

Using Data to Drive Decisions in the Classroom

Using Data to Drive Decisions in the Classroom

There’s a change going on at my school near the Trans-Canada Highway in the southeastern Alberta town of Bassano. Teachers are turning on to how student data can be used to drive decisions in the classroom.

I’ve been the principal at Bassano School for about three years now, but I’ve been on the data bandwagon for much longer. I realized about 15 years ago, when I was a director of education in Saskatchewan, that we needed to collect more data to find out what was going on with our students and to help identify areas of concern with their learning.

Teachers have been collecting data for years. They just didn’t necessarily call it data. They called it “tests” or “quizzes” or “projects,” and so on.

Nowadays, every teacher knows there’s a huge emphasis in education on assessment – and not just any assessment, but authentic assessment. We’re collecting information on outcomes and measuring students’ understanding towards those outcomes.

That trend has helped bring us to where we are today with data. My school division, Grasslands Public Schools, is saying we need more data to help learning and to produce evidence of success for our kids.

This emphasis on data has made collecting information on individual student learning more focused, purposeful and systematic than ever before. Ideally, you’re not only collecting the data, you’re also analyzing it so you can understand what has to be tweaked so everyone is learning in the classroom.

Getting data on early learners is especially critical because how else do you implement proper interventions for learning difficulties without accessing the data? In Alberta, we’ve been able to collect that data before kids get to kindergarten thanks to Alberta Education’s PUF (Program Unit Funding) program for children with disabilities or delays.

Standardized tests are not enough. You can’t just rely on that. In Alberta, for instance, our PATs (Provincial Achievement Tests), which are given to students in grades 6 and 9, are challenging for some kids. Based on those scores, sometimes the public perception is that students may not be doing well. So, you need to draw from multiple sources of data to show the true picture.

That especially applies to a place like Bassano School. Our population of 311 K -12 kids is pretty diverse. Some are from more affluent families. Others have a lower socio-economic status. Seventy-three of them are Indigenous students from the Siksika Nation. We also have a large agricultural community, with students coming from local grain farms and cattle ranches. There are also a growing number of ESL students. On top of that, we’re dealing with a generation of kids who are more entertained by video games, not the idea of coming to school and sitting in a classroom.

Despite increasing diversity – or because of it – most public schools in Canada follow the philosophy of inclusive education, which makes individualized instruction essential.

Add it all up and teaching is more challenging than ever. Teachers by nature are very busy. They feel the pressure to meet curriculum goals, and they’re doing their best to help their students learn. In the hustle and bustle of everything that’s required, throwing student data collection and analysis into the mix seems like a burden for some. They may do it out of a sense of duty, without really seeing the benefits. Others are concerned it could be used against them.

And that’s what we’re working on now. We do a lot of talking with our teachers about data-driven decision making in the classroom. Because the truth is that sometimes teachers neglect to step back and look at what they’re doing – and what could be adjusted to get better results. Data tools can help inform them about what kind of adjustments they need to make in class with each student. And, ultimately, that can save time and lead to better results.

In professional learning communities (PLC’s) and in other ways, administrators like me need to make student data collection and analysis really practical and useful for teachers and take it out of the context of just being a bunch of numbers. It should never be about competing with other schools. It should be about making your school better for your students. It’s really all about how this is going to inform how we make solid decisions for our kids to make sure they’re learning effectively.

Right now, we’re doing our data collection and analysis manually, using box plots, bar graphs and histograms. We’re planning to introduce education technology to help our efforts, but we’re proceeding cautiously. That technology will have to offer ironclad security for our student data. And it’ll have to be something that can be easily integrated into what we’re already doing so it makes the whole process simpler – and is not just creating more work.

Some teachers are already seeing that potential. In a 2018 report I co-authored with Sprig Learning, 52 per cent of teachers surveyed said they have already experienced how technology helped them provide more individualized instruction.

Another recent survey was even more encouraging. In educational publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s 2018 Educator Confidence Report, about 96 per cent of teachers and administrators questioned in the United States said they’ve already seen how education technology and data can improve learning. And 44 per cent said they’ve also experienced time savings because of educational technology. However, 72 per cent remarked that the potential for technology to improve daily workflows has not yet been fully realized.

At our school, we would also like our data collection to include parents, caregivers and families because a lot of learning happens outside the classroom, and that’s such an important piece. It’s a matter of getting that engagement from parents so they can play a part. We are exploring how to use Sprig Learning’s holistic programs that incorporate multiple perspectives of student learning, including learning that occurs in the home, school, and community life. All done using Sprig’s online platform and iOS apps and assessment tools.

We’re entering an exciting time for data-driven decision making in the classroom, and, at Bassano School, we feel we’re moving in the right direction. Wish us luck! Our students will thank you.

Vince Hill, Principal, Grasslands School Division

Vince has been involved in Indigenous education since 1991. His experiences have ranged from working in First Nation communities in the Northwest Territories and Northern Saskatchewan.

Currently, he is principal in rural Alberta at Bassano School.

As Class Sizes Grow, So Does the Need for Efficient Data Management Practices

As Class Sizes Grow, So Does the Need for Efficient Data Management Practices

Education administrators, teachers and parents have access to more personalized data about their students than ever before. With class sizes growing and caps being removed, it is important that we learn how to process and apply the information collected effectively to result in positive changes for students.

A new report by Sprig Learning shows how data can be used effectively to manage daily workloads, as well as to create a progressive school culture that supports and sees value in the power of data-informed decision making. In doing so, timely insight and key information is provided, allowing for each child to be nurtured and engaged in a way that supports their personal learning styles and individual needs.

Sprig Learning’s report, Who’s Driving Who? Data-Informed Decision Making in Education, highlights the following key findings:

Data-informed decision-making is proven to improve early learning

  • It is important for teachers to use holistic datasets that paint a more comprehensive picture of their students, especially in the early years.
  • Approximately 96% of teachers identified benefits from the use of EdTech, with 44% noting they experienced time savings because of technology.

Data management practices are vital in today’s classrooms

  • Data management practices such as data dashboards (digital or physical) are helpful for administrators and educators to reflect on how to best support students in days, weeks, and months ahead.
  • Implementing practices like ‘data days’ provides the time and space for teachers to review, interpret and use data to greatly improve and differentiate instruction.
  • The use of education technology solutions makes it easier to collect, visualize, and understand data management tools.

Example of data dashboard for teachers.  Source: Sprig Learning (2019)

Vince Hill, Principal in Grasslands School Division in rural Alberta experienced the benefits first-hand when data management practices were implemented at in his school.

“I cannot stress enough how much time holistic, data-driven EdTech tools have saved our teachers and administrators since we first introduced them into our curricula,” says Hill. “The insight gained has an undeniably positive impact on student-teacher engagement and overall class progress. It also allows for continued development and growth at home, in the classroom and even within our surrounding communities.”

Jarrett Laughlin, Founder of Sprig Learning believes parents and caregivers have an important role to play. “Families are critical stakeholders for learning, and they need to and should be given the opportunity to understand how data is being used to inform the decisions regarding their child.”

The data collected is most effective when holistic learning methods and new-age data-driven EdTech work together in harmony. Sprig Learning has taken the necessary measures to ensure its technology is safe, reliable and accessible for all teachers. It is also important to keep in mind that education technology and data-informed decision making are both still in their early stages, and that schools and teachers must drive the agenda.

Rather than giving data and/or technology the power to lead, the creation of these game-changing learning tools, apps and programs helps to maximize instructional decisions while supporting continued student growth and success. We firmly believe this is how we can take fundamental learning principles to the next level.

About Sprig Learning
Sprig Learning is an award-winning personalized learning platform built with holistic education in mind (named Tech Edvocate’s Best Language Learning App of 2018). Sprig’s mission is to provide every student, educator, and parent with access to the tools they need to build a foundation for lifelong learning. To learn more, visit www.spriglearning.com.

For more information about Sprig Learning or for interview requests with the authors, please contact Andrew Fraser, PR & Communications Specialist for Sprig Learning at 514.424.6500 or by email at media@spriglearning.com.

About the Authors

Jarrett Laughlin, CEO & Founder, Sprig Learning

Jarrett has worked with educational organizations across the world developing holistic and innovative approaches to measuring success in education.

His recent passion involves mobilizing research into action through socially innovative, community-based projects through his educational technology company, Sprig Learning.

Vince Hill, Principal, Grasslands School Division

Vince has been involved in Indigenous education since 1991. His experiences have ranged from working in First Nation communities in the Northwest Territories and Northern Saskatchewan.

Currently, he is principal in rural Alberta at Bassano School.

SXSW EDU 2019

SXSW EDU 2019

Sprig Learning CEO Jarrett Laughlin had the opportunity to talk about how an iPad and real-time data are helping Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in Nova Scotia capture multiple perspectives of early literacy while promoting language learning in the home, school, and community.

Listen to the entire talk here.

Sprig Learning Wins Best Language Learning App of 2018

Sprig Learning Wins Best Language Learning App of 2018

We are thrilled to announce that the Sprig Learning Bookshelf has been named the Tech Edvocate’s Best Language Learning App of 2018!

The Sprig Learning Bookshelf was built in partnership with Mi’kmaw Kina’matenwey of Nova Scotia, and provides Indigenous and non-indigenous students with access to guided reading in both the English and Mi’kmaw language. It provides early literacy support through levelled readers, and a variety of interactive features.

As an extension of the Sprig Learning Oral Language Program, the Sprig Bookshelf brings the stories of the Mi’kmaw people in Nova Scotia to life and provides access to parents, caregivers, and educators looking to extend learning beyond the classroom. Readers can choose to either read alone, or have the story read to them in either English or Mi’kmaw.

Beyond early literacy, the Sprig Learning Bookshelf acts as a tool for language revitalization among the Mi’kmaw community in Nova Scotia. Each of the four titles currently featured in the bookshelf was created in partnership with a working group of educators, community members, and Elders to represent the localized experience and culture of Mi’kmaw students. Speakers and non-speakers alike can see the Mi’kmaw language come to life, and promote language adoption and retention among some of their youngest speakers.

Download The Sprig Learning Bookshelf for free on the iOS app store for iPad Air today.

For more information about a holistic approach to assessment or holistic education, send us an email at letstalk@spriglearning.com.

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