…equitable use of digital learning tools and content that meet the needs of each learner.
Not too long ago, I was scrolling through my email and came across an invitation to try Membean (link here). Now, all of us, especially in education, receive requests to try new textbooks, software, and hardware. Luckily, I did not delete this email, and I am not sure why it caught my eye. Membean is meant to help students with English vocabulary learning through their web-based software. I should give you some context first. As an English teacher of about 99% ESL students, I realized the typical vocabulary workbook just wasn’t good enough. My students’ English levels are different and I haven’t found anything that helps them learn new words well. I can scaffold the learning for some, but we have found, that in the end, students just memorize the word and definition to get a good grade on the test and then forget it. The word doesn’t really become a part of their vocabulary memory bank. Enter Membean.
Aside from making a teacher’s job easier in relation to teaching and assessing vocabulary, what impressed me was how their software differentiates for each student. Once students join a class, they are given a quick assessment to see their current level—basically, it creates a baseline of their vocabulary. While many students see a lot of the same words, the questions to check for understanding may be different based on the student’s level. Thus, the needs of each student are met regardless of where they are currently.