Kognity Customer Story

Clearwater Central Catholic High School

   Location: Florida, USA
  Curriculum: IBDP
  Subjects: Kognity Bundle

  Location: Florida, USA

  Curriculum: IBDP

  Subjects: Kognity Bundle

Clearwater Central Catholic High School (CCC), a National School of Excellence, has been subscribing to Kognity’s IB resources since 2015. We speak to Alan Hamacher, the school’s IBDP and Curriculum Coordinator, who has over 30 years of teaching experience and who is the past-president of the Florida Association of IB World Schools (FLIBS).

CCC’s challenges before Kognity:

  • A need to update static, paper-based textbooks with more dynamic material
  • Lack of resources for continuous practice and formative assessment
  • Difficult to track qualitative data on students’ learning
  • Course structure sometimes being unclear
  • Teachers having a lack of time to personalise teaching
  • High quality, well presented material was tricky to find

Transitioning from paper to digital textbooks

When CCC introduced a 1:1 device scheme, their teachers were struggling to find consistent web-based learning resources. In September 2015 they found Kognity, and made a full transition away from paper textbooks. Kognity became their sole provider for IB Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Business Management, and they now use Kognity for most of their IB learning resources. Alan reported that they preferred using Kognity.

“The International Baccalaureate (IB) is such a big factor in Florida, and this is a really great resource to have for it. We just decided to go with it and not try to have multiple texts or use it as a supplement. We told ourselves: ‘We are not going with something else. There are no other books, there is just Kognity.

Making the most of Kognity’s intelligence

When teachers at CCC first started teaching the IBDP, they struggled with understanding what the programme expected of them. That all changed when the school switched to Kognity. Teachers have found Kognity’s IB textbooks easy to use; they are broken up into digestible segments and they outline the connections between ideas. Teachers like how Kognity textbooks offer interactive material. It encourages students to engage with and connect to the curriculum.

Part of the journey of going digital has involved getting familiar with the different ways teachers and students might make the most of interactive textbooks. By embracing technology, CCC has been improving both students’ and teachers’ experiences in the classroom. Alan noted how important it has been to give attention to what is most important.

“While I see new buildings for our school being constructed and renovations being made to make sure our school is staying up-to-date on the outside, I also want to make sure updates are happening on the inside through our pedagogy. Kognity is a major part of that.”

Preparing for success

When teachers at CCC think about preparing their students for May exams, they appreciate how convenient it has been to rely on Kognity. Their students have easy access to course material wherever they take their iPads. Plus, Kognity’s intelligent textbooks allow for continuous formative assessment. Alan commented:

“We try and keep a balance on this. The new teachers appreciate it even more because it has helped to structure their courses. They can see where it is going over two years. More experienced teachers feel it keeps them organized, is more hands-on, and easier to grasp than the subject guides.”

Growing with Kognity

Over the years, Kognity has developed a more expansive IB catalogue, releasing subjects such as History and Theory of Knowledge (TOK). Accordingly, CCC has begun to teach more broadly across the IB curriculum. The Diploma Program Coordinator states.

“TOK has been a blessing and has had great relevance to the course. With Kognity, it’s easier to understand what knowledge questions are and how to approach the TOK essay and presentation.”

Changing the approach to education

With Kognity, teachers at CCC have developed a clearer understanding of the courses they teach. They’ve gained more insight into the IB curriculum as a whole. Kognity provides an overview for teachers of what the IB curriculum is asking of them, and it offers more readily available guidance than the school’s previous paper-based curriculum guides.

“Kognity really helps with making sure we’re not just checking off boxes and looking at just content. It changes the way the school approaches education, presents material to students, and what we ask them to do. It isn’t simply rote memorization, either. That’s not what the IB is or how they evaluate a student’s progress.”

Do you want to try Kognity at your school?