Kognity • 10/07/2022 • 6 min read
Shanghai Community International School
Meet Jill Sculerati, Head of Science at Shanghai Community International School. Jill has 18 years’ experience in education. She moved to China four years ago from the United States where she taught high school biology and used Kognity. Last year, Jill introduced SCIS to Kognity.
Challenge: engaging students with paper textbooks
Established in 1996, Shanghai Community International School (SCIS) integrates US and International curriculum. Students come from 40 different countries and participate in the school’s mission to develop enquiring, knowledgeable and caring learners who contribute positively to their communities.
- Students needed constant reminders to read valuable information
- Students not always fully engaged with reading
- Paper textbooks not keeping up with digital trends
- Teachers couldn’t target areas of weakness
- Lessons not personalised
- Exam prep not always digital trends
- Resources hard to pull together
When Jill taught from paper textbooks, she found that due to her students being disengaged, she needed to constantly remind them not to just skip over the captions, graphs and illustrations, as they were missing key information for their course. Now with Kognity’s all-in-one teaching and learning platform and interactive textbooks, she finds her students are so engaged that they are doing it all independently, without her needing to prompt them.
“Students are so technology-based now that they’re not even interested in opening paper textbooks anymore.”
“Teaching is different to what it was fifteen years ago. Students are so technology-based now that they’re not even interested in opening paper textbooks anymore. Kognity has all the value of a paper textbook, but it presents material in a form that students actually engage with.”
Before Kognity, Jill had few ways to determine who was doing their homework, which made it tricky to personalise her lessons. With Kognity’s assignment feature, she can now keep track of her students knowledge and progress either as a whole class, or by student, allowing her to focus her teaching time where it counts.
“I find it so frustrating when students say: ‘I just don’t get it.’ As a teacher, it can be hard to identify exactly what ‘it’ is”
“I find it so frustrating when students say: ‘I just don’t get it.’ As a teacher, it can be hard to identify exactly what ‘it’ is. Even if students can’t articulate exactly what they’re struggling with, you can see those clearly with Kognity. For example, you can set the reading as an assignment, and it will show you who has done it and who hasn’t. That allows me to make on the spot adjustments to my teaching, because if I’ve set questions that the whole class has failed, I would revise my lesson. If it’s one student, I can spend some one-on-one time with them later.”
Sets students up for success
Jill acknowledges the frustrations students can have when it comes to the IB exams. Even if a student has done a lot of revision, if they walk into an exam unfamiliar with its format, they risk performing poorly, says Jill.
“My students love the exam style questions on Kognity, because they get a lot of practice.”
“If you’re not familiar with how the IB ask their questions and what they’re looking for on their mark schemes, no matter how much knowledge you have of the subject you will not do well on their tests. My students love the exam style questions on Kognity, because they get a lot of practice.”
Saves teachers and students time
Using Kognity, everything is in one place. Teachers no longer need to source their own resources or try to put together lesson plans using multiple different sources, which saves time as well as stress. Students are also more in control of their learning and they appreciate having everything easily-accessible.
“As a teacher, I’m not scrambling to gather lots of different resources. And students can keep track of their progress in real time.”
“Kognity pulls together the textbook content and the self-assessment. As a teacher, I’m not scrambling to gather lots of different resources. Students can keep track of their progress in real time. There’s no waiting for grades to come back from me, and as I don’t see them every day, that’s really useful. Kognity is well-designed for both the student and the teacher. If a student misses something, they can go back and read it in the textbook immediately. It’s just much more cohesive of an approach.”
Top amongst students
To assess how pupils were adapting, SCIS distributed surveys to students half-way through their Kognity trial and again at the end. The feedback was unanimous. Students favoured Kognity above all other resources. Some attributed their academic success to the new interactive content, reporting things like: “Kognity is the only reason I’m passing chemistry,” or “If I’d have had Kognity in my earlier math classes, math wouldn’t be so hard for me now.”
“Kognity is the only reason I’m passing chemistry”
“I advise other teachers to try Kognity out with the trial. Make sure you’re dipping into everything Kognity has to offer. If you think of it as just a textbook or just a way to give quizzes, you’ll miss out!”