MobyMax (Website) REVIEWS CONTINUED
[MobyMax (888) 793-8331; grades K-8]
MobyMax is an impressive educational website that provides an extensive K-8 curriculum for ELA, Math, Science and Test Prep students. After an initial (interactive) placement test, the adaptive curriculum creates a unique, individualized education plan so that gifted students can progress at a faster rate, while remedial students get the extra instruction they need.
The interface for student and teacher resembles the Windows 8 Metro - one navigates the program easily by selecting the appropriate 'tiles.' The Student Home Page provides access to Math, Fact Master, Numbers, Science, Vocabulary, Grammar, Reading, Writing Workshop, Assignments, Test Prep, Tests, and Short Answers. A separate section, called "Cool Stuff," links to creative features of the program (Vibes, Badges, Games, Contests, The Wall, and Clicker); here, students can also check on Progress, Time, Goals and Messenger. The Teacher Home Page includes additional links to access Roster, Worksheets, and Teacher Extras.
In MobyMax, lessons and tests are enhanced with stunning photos and illustrations as well as a read-aloud function. Of note are: (1) The new K-8 Science Module, where Touch CurriculumTM uses manipulatives based on over 24 cognitive skills - students learn and master science through discovery (2) Early Reading Trio, where three powerful modules work together to reinforce early reading skills - Early Words, Early Stories (using touch manipulatives) and Early Writing (3) The Learn Cycle, which breaks math concepts into small, achievable skills and creates lesson topics that consist of a short animated Teach Me with targeted practice problems and instant feedback (4) Fact Master's adaptive instruction, which enables students to develop math fact fluency quickly (5) Writing Workshop, where exemplary models and scaffolded practice help students learn to brainstorm, draft, revise, and edit their own writing projects (6) Adaptive Test Prep - students practice all skills covered in the state test, with a diagnostic pretest followed by a targeted lesson if required. An animated Teach Me lesson is presented for the struggling student.
Teacher tools are abundant, and include The Wall (a place to post announcements to students) and MobyMax's entire curriculum library (searchable by standard, keyword, grade, lesson). There is continuous progress monitoring, with scope and sequence and all reporting reflecting Common Core Standards.
MobyMax is especially effective because it not only targets areas where students are struggling, but allows students to progress immediately once mastery is achieved. The program is an EDDIES winner in the category Multi-Level: Multi-Subject Website.
[Story2 (800) 206-5530; grades 9-12]
At first glance, Story2 EssayBuilder looks deceptively simple, with clean, spare interface, clear instruction, etc. But delving more deeply will reveal a powerful writing tool and college admissions assistance.
Story2 EssayBuilder was developed by Dr. Carol Barash based on her Moments Method theory of outcome-based writing practice, and is specifically focused on college admissions and scholarship essay composition. Students begin by videotaping a personal story which recounts a moment when they changed, learned, or made a difference. Upload it (or record within Story2 EssayBuilder), and receive either written feedback and/or oral feedback via 'live' coach. The coaches guide students through drafting, mapping, building, and revising, and Story2 EssayBuilder provides 8 paths to specific admission essays: Defining moments, community, issues, influence, activities, why this college?, why this major?, and scholarships. And EssayBuilder assists students with specific essay requirements for all of the colleges to which they are applying.
Winner of the 2015 EDDIE for High School: College Admissions Essay Website, Story2 Essay Builder claims to have helped 20,000+ students, of whom 90% were accepted to top choice colleges and 82% were offered scholarships - a brilliant accomplishment. Of note: EssayBuilder is for English writers only, and the company provides a comprehensive program of professional development and curriculum licensing.