Study Island is an Internet-based learning system, which is designed to supplement the core education that children receive. Edmentum offers both a school- and home-oriented version of the product. The school edition lets educators integrate Study Island into their curriculum.
Our focus in this review will be the version designed with parents in mind. The Study Island Home edition is automatically optimized for the standardized assessments used by the state in which you live, and the program can be geared toward helping a child catch up or allowing an advanced student to enhance his or learning in a number of ways.
The base system of Study Island focuses on preparing children to score well on the assessment testing used by their particular state or province. Study Island supports all 50 states as well as Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario, and there more than 30 academics who work on this product by studying standardized testing in these regions and adjusting the curriculum accordingly. The program isn’t limited to this emphasis on standardized testing. All lessons incorporate in-depth how and why explanations. Many advanced topics beyond the standardized testing for a particular grade level are available. There are also many resources available, including external resources, that the child can explore.
Study Island is really effective as a supplemental education tool. Children experience the same concepts introduced in class and have those reinforced and even expanded. The program is also highly customizable, which is great for advanced students and as option for parents to mix things up for their students who’ve been working hard. The approach is goal-oriented. All tasks provide instant feedback. Students receive stars for individual items. They also receive achievements and badges for lesson-wide accomplishments. The system is smart too. If a student is struggling with sixth-grade math, for instance, and demonstrates fundamental misunderstanding, the system will cycle back to fifth grade or earlier automatically and build them up. If a student is simply guessing to speed through the work, the program can detect this based on the speed and inaccuracy of answers and freeze the program for about 10 seconds in order to nudge the child toward completing the tasks the right way. Other benefits include:
• Parent- and child-friendly
• Constantly evolving
• Weakness targeting
• Excellent reporting and data analysis
Edmentum lets you use Study Island at no cost and without obligation for 10 days. The trial provides truly full access to the system: all available subjects, all components and so forth. You do have to provide your credit card information and choose if you want monthly or annual billing up front. If you choose to cancel, you have to contact them via a toll-free phone number or by email. Edmentum has a good customer service track record, but we’d prefer an automated Web-based cancel option.
Subscriptions and Pricing
Parents can opt for just math, just English language arts or all available subjects, which will vary based on your state but includes areas such as science and social studies. After selecting your state, you can opt for either monthly or annual billing. Annual billing does offer a significant discount, which will easily cover the summer months when you may use the system less often. If you have multiple children in school, you can choose a family license, and that will provide you with accounts for up to five children at less than what it would cost for two children under the single-license pricing structure. For most customers, all subjects for one child will cost $120 a year or $15 a month. For up to five children, the cost of all subjects is $200 a year or $25 a month.
Study Island is a highly effective and refined approach to education, which has received numerous accolades and rewards. The pricing seems reasonable, and the discount for those of us with multiple school-age children is a big plus. The carrot of having video-game-style achievements and badges is quite effective in our experience. Progress is quantified for the child, and that often makes them more eager to want to learn and explore to aspects the system. Study Island is also very user-friendly. Most children will be able to and will even want to use this program on their own. Parents will provide guidance as needed, of course, but you don’t have to give it constant attention and less as the child ages.
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If I could rate this zero stars, I would. This is not just a lazy student who doesn't want to do their work, this is someone who actually struggles with study island. For every question you get wrong, your grade goes down. That's expected. But, The more you get questions wrong, the more points it takes away and the less points it gives. This makes it extremely hard to progress. It's like trying to dig yourself out of a pit that keeps getting deeper. Another thing about Study Island is that it feels highly demotivating. Every time I get a question wrong I feel like crying. The explanations as to why you got it wrong are useless, and the crab that is in the bottom right hand corner of the screen feels like it's mocking you whenever you get a problem wrong. And getting problems wrong happens more often than you think it would. I am in 7th grade and I'm fairly good at ELA. However, these problems are the absolute bane of my existence. As an example, one question I got wrong (the most infuriating one) was a compare and contrast question. I don't remember the exact wording of the question, but it asked me to select one similarity that both passages had. the passages were about timeballs (a device used to tell time before all of them were replaced with radios and destroyed). The correct answer to the question was the one I selected, stating that both passages had mentioned timeballs being replaced with radios. Study Island, for whatever reason, marked this as incorrect. It then said that an incorrect answer was the right one. Sometimes it even glitches out and acts like I selected a different answer than I did. All in all, I hope you do not use Study Island. It is demotivating and useless.