What do you like best?
Study Island allows for immediate data tracking in the classroom. Not only are students given assignments and practice lessons based on an initial pre-test, they are constantly provided work that is meant to improve their knowledge. The ability to differentiate student instruction, without spending an inordinate amount of time planning, means each student is receiving more student-centered instructional time than before.
What do you dislike?
The only issues with Study Island are that it always appears extremely test-based. Students are required to answer multiple-choice questions the majority of the time, and they are always it what appears to be the standardized testing environment. You are absolutely able to answer questions and help students with work, but they always have ten questions to answer on a topic, and it is always multiple-choice. The result of this testing-style approach is that most students despise using the software and must be bribed to complete work in the system. They absolutely see improvement in their abilities, but it is very much a struggle to motivate them to try.
Recommendations to others considering the product
Study Island is a great software for improving student abilities. However, students easily become burned out on the constant monotony of a testing environment, and start refusing to try or work in the program. I have found it best to designate a single day of the week for Study Island, so students are not overworked in the program. It can also be used as an enrichment activity once students finish their regular classroom assignments.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
This software was purchased for students who are behind in reading and math skills. The software was then implemented in lab classes, where students receive more individualized instructional time, and more direct counseling with teachers. This has been a great tool for those students who struggle with reading skills, or are significantly behind their peers.