What is it?
LearnZillion is a free website available to you that combines video lessons, assessments, and progress reporting. Each lesson highlights a Common Core standard.
It’s only been around for close to two years but thanks to millions of dollars funding they currently have 2,000 lessons based on Common Core standards. Currently they are employing over 100 teachers to develop screencasts of lessons and assessments. If you’re familiar with Khan Academy, think of it as a kind of Khan Academy structured around the Common Core standards with videos created by master teachers across the country. Below is a screenshot of a LearnZillion lesson:A Little History.
Here’s a quick history of LearnZillion lifted from their website, “We started LearnZillion at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. because we wanted to solve a problem. We knew what lessons our students needed but we didn’t have enough time to teach each student the right lesson. To create more time, and to share best practices across classrooms, E.L. Haynes’ teachers began to capture their expertise on screencasts. We posted them on a homemade website and coupled them with a short quiz to help us track student progress. Soon the idea grew. What if teachers from across the country could contribute to the site? What if new teachers could learn the new Common Core standards from the wisdom of experienced teachers? What if students could get a playlist of lessons that matched their needs? What if, over time, the video lessons got stronger and stronger, as more teachers contributed and the data showed which lessons had the biggest impact? Thanks to funding from the Next Generation Learning Challenge, New Schools Venture Fund, Achievement Network, and others, we are about to find out!” Here’s a link to a Marketplace article if you want to learn more.
Is it Really Free?
That’s the question I had. Yes, it really is free for teachers as well as parents. You do have to set up a username and password and agree to terms and conditions that require you to login every time you use the site. They make money by providing professional development and premium and customized features to school districts. However all of the content is available for free.
How Can I Use It?
LearnZillion has a couple of nice features. One is that you can “assign” a particular lesson. When you click the “Assign” button you get a unique number code. You can then post this code on your LMS page or give it to you student. When they enter the code in any search bar a student version of the video appears for them to watch. These links and codes can easily be embedded in your online classroom. If you find that you really want to use this resource for RTI, you can actually set up an entire class which gives each student their unique code that gives them access to the multiple lessons you’ve assigned them.
I see this as not just another web resource, but a common core resource that will integrate nicely with WUSD’s use of Galileo benchmarks, and the review of those assessments. It can be used in addition to the Galileo Intervention Tools.