What's the best way to implement EduGuide's program?
People use it in a variety of ways, but it's best as a standard part of a class or as a required assignment in an advisory period or student support program. EduGuide's activities fill the Common Core requirement for critical thinking with informational text and multimedia technology. They are most commonly used in English classes as writing exercises, but can support other subjects as well.
What's this about other partners being involved with the student's activities?
If you want, you can invite other staff or program partners to work with the students on their activities too. At some schools, counselors, special educators, administrators and even outside university partners also scan targeted students comments and mentor them in 1-on-1 online discussions using the activities. Colleges and other programs can create the same kind of partnerships to support their students.
What stage is this for?
Middle, high school, and college. The program has been specifically designed around the ever-growing level of challenges and transitions that students face during these years as they strive toward completing bigger projects and achieving a degree.
Does it have to be used with the whole student body?
No, you're welcome to start it with any group you want to focus on. But you will see a greater return on investment by using it proactively and holistically, instead of just with students who are already struggling. That's because research shows that "gifted" students are just as likely as others to face obstacles in school and life that lead them to decline or dropout. EduGuide prepares them to step up to those challenges. And using it campus wide has larger peer effects, spreading a positive culture of persistence.
How does this work from year to year?
Each year students get new activities. Each builds on the last. They learn new skills so they are prepared to face bigger obstacles. They practice habits that rewire them to persist in pursuing their goals. And they are brought back again and again to a growing sense of purpose that brings out what they most want to contribute to their community.
What training do you provide?
We assign an EduGuide Results Coach to every school we work with. Your coach will provide online training to get staff started — often in as little as one hour. Because of the intuitive nature of the platform, students rarely need support, though we are happy to provide it. Your coach will also provide regular coaching opportunities to analyze your data, issue reports and offer tips to ensure results. We see this as a shared partnership; as a nonprofit, our only bottom-line is the success of your students.
What do I get?
This is more than just software. It's a program where our nonprofit dedicates a coach to supporting each of our partners in growing their impact. It's a series of activities that engage not only the student but can build relationships with teachers, other staff and mentors. It includes optional blended learning materials that make it easy for teachers to go deeper. And it's designed for campus-wide impact, building a culture of college and career success.
How do people pay for this?
Many can fit it in their budget for student materials. But it can also be paid for as part of a school improvement plan, Title I, Title IV Safe Schools, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Special Education, GEAR UP, TRIO, or college student support funding and other grants.
How much staff time does it take to administer?
It plugs right into the classroom where it saves the teacher time because the online activities are ready-made. Students do the self-paced activities on their own in as little as 15 minutes or they can be extended for the full class period. Afterwards, all the teacher has to do is scan students' comments and add follow up questions where appropriate to deepen the learning. Grades can be easily given based on the percentage of progress made and the quality of the writing transcript.
Do the activities have to be done weekly?
No, you set the schedule: whenever it fits. The more the better, but at a minimum students should be brought back to the mindset provided by the activities twice per month on average. One activity is provided for each week. We set limits against going faster than that because students need time to digest the impact of each one in their life.
What demographics is it designed for?
The program has been designed and tested to work for a diverse range of participants from urban schools in low socio-economic communities to suburban and rural schools with disparate income levels.
When should we start?
This is a flexible, year-around program that can be started at any time because it builds skills incrementally. The earlier it’s started, the sooner you can equip your students with the formative experiences to overcome challenges and strive for higher goals.
What kind of hardware do we need?
Access to an internet connected computer or tablet for each student when doing the activity. The platform is cloud-based, so there’s nothing to install and students and staff can use it from home. Some students use it on their phone, but the experience is better on a computer screen. Some groups use headphones to limit the sound. The computers should have a reasonably current web browser such as Internet Explorer 8 or later and should have internet speeds able to support video. We continually update EduGuide’s platform to increase results as part of our ongoing research.
What's the cost based on?
Cost depends on the size and level of support needed by the partner, which can be evaluated at a partnership demo meeting. People tell us that the annual partner cost is similar or less than they spend on other services — using it proactively could even save money on costly crisis interventions or summer schooling. Our nonprofit is committed to keeping it an affordable, sustainable program that each year continues to grow its impact. Together we're building a movement of people working for an education system that empowers students to pursue their potential.
What evidence do you have that this works?
The activities are based on more than a decade of research on exercises that have increased student GPA by .3 grade points, improved academic behaviors, increased degree completion and closed achievement gaps by as much as half. EduGuide’s system has been designed to deliver these activities with fidelity and to amplify their impact with the unique features of our online platform. Thanks to multiple national grants we’ve been able to research, design, develop and scale this model to deepen its impact. And we are so confident that it will make a difference for your students that we guarantee it.