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Learning.com: How One EdTech Company is Pioneering Digital Literacy Instruction

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Keith Oelrich, CEO, Learning.comKeith Oelrich, CEO
Generation Alpha is the most technology-infused demographic to date. They are the tech-savvy children of the Millennials, born into a world of smartphones and iPads, Siri and Alexa, Twitter and Instagram. Also known as the iGeneration, these children, unlike their predecessors, are not known to be afraid of technology. Instead, they embrace it to the extent that a life without these digital gizmos seems impossible. However, it may come as a shock that these kids—though technology-driven—are not half as “digitally literate” as the world expects them to be. In fact, Learning.com, an E-Learning company, conducted several Digital Literacy Assessments (DLA) to prove this. Over the last five years, the firm has assessed children ranging from the fifth grade to eighth on their proficiency in technology. The study indicated that only 25 percent of the children who took these assessments rated as “proficient” as per the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards, which is extremely low! “Kids today are mainly using technology for consumption. They can post, tweet, and upload images but they aren’t using their smartphones for creation—like word processing, creating presentations, etc.,” says Keith Oelrich, the CEO of Learning. com. He continues, “We provide K-8 solutions to equip teachers and schools with sophisticated tools that can help their students make the transition from being consumers to becoming creators. We help them excel in the digital world.”

Understanding the significance of empowered educators and enhancing students’ digital skills, Learning.com helps educators develop future-ready kids with an engaging, viable curriculum. The firm’s flagship product, EasyTech, encompasses personalized and collaborative instructional content on subjects including typing, computer fundamentals, coding, online safety, digital citizenship, and applications like spreadsheets, word processing and, presentations. “We are the only provider in the United States that covers the most essential digital skills in a comprehensive solution,” asserts Oelrich.

Apart from developing digital literacy in children, Oelrich highlights that EasyTech helps them improve their performance and learning in core subject areas such as math, science, and language arts. In one instance, Learning.com helped a large school district in Indiana to significantly improve their students’ standardized test scores. They noticed that consistent users of EasyTech scored seven times higher in math and three times higher in language arts when compared with other students.

We provide K-8 solutions to equip teachers and schools with sophisticated tools that can help their students make the transaction from being consumers to becoming creators

By combining outcomes for digital proficiency and the science behind how students learn, Learning.com designs lessons that optimize student engagement, comprehension, and retention. Curated by educators, the curriculum is developed for a variety of implementation models, whether in a lab setting or in technology or core content areas, ensuring maximum ease of use for educators and students.

The EasyTech solution helps schools:

• teach computational thinking and coding, in alignment with Computer Science Teachers Association standards;

• equip students to stay safe online and prevent cyber-bullying;

• prepare students with digital skills required to confidently perform during computer-based assessments;

• adhere to process standards included in national and state core subject-area standards.

In a nutshell, Learning.com offers a defined curriculum to ensure instructional equity in the delivery of 21st Century skills, while providing educators all the tools required to effectively and seamlessly infuse digital skills into everyday instruction.

“We have adopted a student-led, self-paced delivery model to help teachers save time and resources while enabling children to learn and grow at their own pace. We want to continue driving improvements with ease of use, integration with core-curriculum, and continue demonstrating the efficacy of our solution,” concludes Oelrich.