DALLAS, Sept. 9, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Archipelago Learning Inc. (Nasdaq:ARCL), a leading subscription-based online education company, today announced the release of the latest version of The Island, part of Archipelago Learning's leading subscription-based Study Island product offering for high school students and teachers.
Completely revamped with relevant, online collaborative learning environments, The Island will offer high school students more complex and age-appropriate games; self-paced digital writing assignment portfolios; a comprehensive college readiness section rich with test taking strategies for SAT, ACT and AP exams; and extensive career planning guidance. Teachers will find The Island full of robust lessons aligned to current standards and scalable to future Common Core State Standards. Also new are custom assessment builders for ad hoc diagnostic and formative assessments, easy online and real-time reporting functions, and an improved school-to-home communications component.
"Our instructional design team has worked tirelessly to make a good product great," said Allison Duquette, chief marketing officer for Archipelago Learning. "Developed solely with today's tech-savvy teachers and students in mind, this economical and engaging learning tool will serve as the perfect online destination for today's digital natives. It taps their enthusiasm for technology, their need for collaborative learning situations, and a hip format that will help them succeed in the classroom while preparing for life after high school."
Today's Tech-Savvy Students
To begin working in The Island, students choose their own unique avatar or profile image from an internal library of images. Once online, students travel through self-paced, standards-aligned math, reading, writing, science, and social studies content, gaining "passport stamps" for successful mastery and completion in each activity. The 24/7 anytime, anywhere learning gives students access to high quality lessons and questions with instant feedback and built-in remediation for the ultimate individualized learning experience. Because of The Island's collaborative design, students can easily work on group assignments from home, create study groups to prepare for upcoming tests and discuss classroom lectures, and exchange ideas and tips for excelling in the classroom.
"Study Island students don't memorize the answers, they learn the topics," added Duquette. "That's made easier by giving students choices based on how they best learn. We offer our standard test mode or a more challenging high school game format. With either option, students are motivated to answer the questions correctly and the best part, they are practicing and mastering key concepts learned earlier in the classroom."
College and Career Readiness
For upper high school students, the college readiness and career planning activities are some of the most progressive in the education market today. College-bound students will appreciate the online, interactive test preparation programs with pointed test-taking strategies as well as content necessary to succeed on ACT, SAT and AP exams. For students who want to get a jump-start on their careers, The Island gives the opportunity to create professional resumes, write business letters, or build recommendations with the Resume Builder function. Using embedded flash video, students will see first-hand examples — good and bad — of real job interviews. Additionally, students will learn how to make follow-up calls and inquire about jobs with the Interview Tips section.
Students aren't the only ones who will benefit from incorporating The Island into their day-to-day activities. For example, the new Custom Assessment Builder enables teachers to easily build both ad hoc diagnostic and formative assessments in core subjects giving them the real-time data they need to make informed instructional decisions.
The new Digital Writing Assignment Portfolio fuses content and technology to deliver a paperless assignment tool that not only helps develop student writing and vocabulary skills, but also allows teachers to provide immediate, electronic feedback. Tracking students' individual progress from the first day of school until the last will now be much easier with Online Reporting. The Island records every student session in a real-time report card. This allows teachers to easily view student strengths and weaknesses so prompt intervention and remediation can be delivered.
Duquette added, "We've tried to incorporate most everything educators need to maximize their efforts to effectively engage learners and increase student achievement."
About Archipelago Learning
Archipelago Learning is a leading subscription-based online education company that provides standards-based instruction, practice, assessments and productivity tools that improve the performance of educators and students via proprietary web-based platforms. Study Island, the core product line, helps students in kindergarten through 12th grade master grade-level academic standards in a fun and engaging manner and is utilized by over 10 million students in approximately 22,800 schools in the United States and Canada. EducationCity, used by 8,200 schools in the United Kingdom and 4,800 schools in the United States, provides online K-6 instructional content and assessments for reading, mathematics and science. Northstar Learning, for the post-secondary market, offers online instructional content and exam preparation products across a variety of core curriculum and vocational topics.
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