As we begin a new year, I believe the best way to kick it off is to review our goals for the year to make sure they align with our long-term vision for the future of Edmentum and its products. Each year, we develop product roadmaps that integrate our company vision, feedback from you, and industry trends. This post is the first in a series about Edmentum’s product roadmap and the product investments we are making in 2015 to help you meet your goals. This week, we will cover our roadmap for the entire company, and in the following weeks, you will hear details about our individual product roadmaps. Our company roadmap is driven by the following themes:
Alignment to Your State Standards
For the past few years, it has been all about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). In many ways, it still is, but for different reasons. The Common Core now, more than ever, means change. Many states are in the middle of their Common Core implementations. Other states are trying to make final decisions on their summative assessments, weighing the pros and cons of creating their own exams or adopting a Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) or Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) exam. Other states have rejected the standards altogether. At the time of this writing, at least twelve states have legislation in place to repeal the Common Core in their state.
At Edmentum, we are ready for and embrace this time of uncertainty. For decades, we have been building content directly from state standards and will continue to meet your needs through state-specific content. This includes creating new state-specific products and updating existing ones and working with your state to gain third-party and agency approvals.
If your state is a Common Core state, we will continue to build our content to the CCSS standards in a number of ways. We will provide an industry-leading number of technology-enhanced item types for our assessments and new benchmarks aligned to the PARCC and SBAC exams. Our Study Island technical requirements are also closely aligned with the published requirements of PARCC and SBAC, which allows districts to be better prepared for online testing. This year, Plato Courseware will complete the rebuild of our middle school and high school math and language arts courses that are built from the ground up to the Common Core. EducationCity will also continue to update its content to align to the Common Core and other national standards.
If your state isn’t a Common Core state or the future is uncertain, we will continue to build products and content to your needs as well. We have a team of dedicated people watching the trends and changes in standards and legislation across all states so that our content will always fit your needs.
For today’s educator, data is everywhere. Most educators have access to hundreds of reports across several school and district systems. Often, these reports only offer information, not insight, which makes it very challenging to determine what information to focus on and what to do with it.
Creating a solution to this problem provides the foundation upon which Edmentum Sensei has been built. Edmentum Sensei helps schools and districts leverage their data by putting the most important, actionable data at the fingertips of the users who need it most. The program is now available for educators, administrators, and families on Plato Courseware and for teachers on Study Island.
The upcoming year will be another exciting time of innovation for Sensei, broadening both the types of actionable data and the audiences for which the program is available.
World-Class User Experiences
People everywhere have come to expect an amazing, intuitive user experience with the online sites and products they use. Education products are certainly no exception. We recognize the significance of the limited time of both educators and students. With so many things being crammed into a school day, it is critical that students and teachers understand where to go and what to do with their technology.
We work side by side with our users doing hundreds of hours of research to ensure that our products are intuitive and easy to use. We have recently released new educator and learner user experiences for Plato Courseware, Edmentum Assessments, and EducationCity. Additionally, our award-winning Edmentum Sensei is the perfect example of a product that was created with the user experience in mind. We utilized feedback from teachers and administrators about how they use their data and built Sensei to bring that data to the surface immediately and make it actionable.
We will continue to incorporate the user experience trend in 2015 as we gather and implement the great feedback we receive from our users.
Edmentum’s solutions ultimately focus on one goal—increasing student achievement. It is absolutely critical that our solutions deliver proven results. In order to accomplish this, we partner with a variety of districts to conduct rigorous research into the effectiveness of our products.
Throughout 2015, we will be creating more case studies and white papers that showcase the meaningful implementations our customers have carried out across the country. This year will also bring technical manuals for our benchmarking products, in addition to the Study Island Technical Manual created last year.
It is Edmentum’s goal to help move education forward with proven courseware, assessment, intervention, and foundational learning solutions. Check back next week when we will dive into our online courseware roadmap. In the meantime, take a few minutes to learn about our latest product updates.