(AUSTIN, Texas March 3, 2014) Today at SXSWedu, Amplify unveiled its groundbreaking digital curriculum for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade English Language Arts (ELA). The curriculum for each grade combines a year’s worth of Common Core-aligned lessons, written in collaboration with some of the world’s leading experts and intellectuals, with rich digital media from Academy Award-winning studios and stars of both stage and screen.
The curriculum will be available in classrooms at the start of the Fall 2014 school year at an introductory price of $45 per student per year. It includes an e-library stocked with more than 300 works of fiction and nonfiction. To help boost learning outside of class, the curriculum comes with more than 20 immersive, digital games from some of the world’s best independent game designers. The curriculum is built on top of an education-friendly analytics engine that is designed to help students read three times more and write three times more, as well as to help teachers provide students three times more meaningful feedback.
“Our goal was to design the most effective and engaging digital curriculum for the classroom that supports the kinds of rigorous learning goals that schools are ready for,” said Amplify Learning President Larry Berger. “I think we’ve done that.”
Today’s announcement is part of Amplify’s broader effort to produce K-12 curriculum for English, math and science. In addition to the digital ELA curriculum for sixth, seventh and eighth grades, the company will also offer a hybrid print and digital curriculum for K-5 ELA and supplemental digital curriculum in math and science in time for the start of the Fall 2014 school year.
About The Digital ELA Curriculum
The curriculum contains academic lessons authored by world-class intellectuals like Benjamin Franklin biographer Walter Isaacson, Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandel and MacArthur Genius Grant winner Danielle Allen. We’ve paired their knowledge with Common Core experts to develop a full-year’s worth of scoped and sequenced curriculum for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade ELA, with lessons around personal narrative, fiction, informational texts, poetry and foundational documents. In addition to the books anchored in the lessons, each student has access to an e-library with more than 300 works of fiction and nonfiction.
Dramatic Readings: To help make difficult texts more interesting and accessible, Amplify has brought them to life with dramatic readings by stars of both stage and screen. Students can watch actors like Chadwick Boseman read from “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” or Elizabeth Olsen’s interpretation of “A Confederate Girl’s Diary.” School-based pilots have shown that when students watch a dramatic reading of the first chapter of a book, they’re more likely to go on and read the entire text.
Story Animations: Amplify has worked in collaboration with Academy Award-winning animators to produce visually rich, artistic renditions of some of the texts students encounter in the lessons. Captivating, high-quality depictions of “The Raven” and “The Cask of Amontillado” are tied to writing prompts and designed to help students grasp difficult literary concepts, perspectives and points of view, which are key to the Common Core.
Quests: These experiential lessons immerse students in a text through role-playing, close reading, evidence gathering, discussion and expressive writing. Students can solve Edgar Allan Poe’s murder, seek treasure as Tom Sawyer or debate signing the Declaration of Independence as a member of the Second Continental Congress, among other interactive experiences. These adventures engage students in active learning and help them develop essential Common Core skills such as critical thinking and the use of primary resources.
Vocabulary Program: Our approach to learning vocabulary is centered around hundreds of essential “reveal words” per grade. Students encounter these words in core texts and supplementary materials. Amplify’s Reveal Tool is designed to encourage students to learn a definition in context and then return to the text as seamlessly as possible. Amplify also provides ELL vocabulary activities, targeting key concrete nouns and verbs that are necessary for understanding the day’s lesson.
Teachers can use results from these diagnostic exercises to determine each student’s level of comprehension, and assign activities to meet a student where he or she is. Students can track their own progress using the analytical vocabulary tool, which tells them how many words they’ve mastered and how often they’ve used the words in their writing, empowering them to self-direct their learning goals.
Upon conclusion of Amplify’s complete ELA curriculum for middle school, students will have been exposed to 4,500 reveal words and completed more than 1,500 vocabulary practice activities.
Amplify is reimagining the way teachers teach and students learn through data-driven instruction, one-to-one learning and next-generation digital curriculum. Our products and services are designed for tomorrow’s promise and today’s realities.
At Amplify, we’re creating exciting new approaches to teaching and learning that are: as immersive as the best films; as compelling as the best video games; as social as the best networking applications; as personal as the best tutors; and as analytically sophisticated as the best search engines.
We’ve helped more than 200,000 educators and 3 million students in all 50 states begin their digital transition through mobile assessment solutions, adaptive curricula and tools that harness the power of data for classroom teachers. And we’re just getting started.
Headquartered in New York City and with more than 1,000 employees across the country, Amplify is led by a team of digital education experts and has provided industry-leading instructional tools, data analytics and assessment solutions to the K-12 market for more than a decade as Wireless Generation.