First, this is on a blog called WE ARE TEACHERS. I cannot locate much information about the site, its authors, etc. I will say there are numerous posts about products, though. Including this doozy about SRA 2.0 now with SOCIAL LEARNING (does anyone else hear that announced as if it were laundry detergent or a new car with some sort of extra something?). Now I recall the "old" SRA. The kits were in the teacher's materials closet when I entered teaching in the 70s. Many of my younger colleagues recall using those kits when they were in school. I did not elect to use them in my classroom though I was encouraged to do so because they would help me "individualize" (this was the word we used before "differentiate" took its place) learning for my students. Thanks but no thanks. I used real books in reading class (yes, I was a rebel back then, too).
Here is the first line of the review: "SRA Reading Lab has jumped out of the box—literally—and implemented a new, engaging, seriously fun online program that will get your students excited about reading. " Fun and online? Can both of those be true? What manner of social interaction is present? How does it engage?
If you read the rest of the review, it appears that there are plenty of the old skill and rill lessons there but they are, indeed, online now. Worksheets on a screen! Yay! Then, there is text delivered to the student via the program in "increasing complexity" which I am assured will leave students encouraged at their "personal growth." And there are SECRETS in each online worksheet, too. Words spin, make noise, and are worth POINTS! Wow, sign me up! Seriously, this is what we call engagement? The social aspect of it occurs naturally, according to the review (which does read as a promotional brochure) because it is all done in SRA's "community" which is secure.
Small print advisory: the review is sponsored by McGraw-Hill). And the author of the review? Here she is in her own words: "Hey there, I am a new member of the editorial team at WeAreTeachers. I am so excited to be sharing content to assist you in your awesome work serving children and families. I am the daughter of a teacher, the mother of three young children and a writer. I am also a parenting blogger, avid reader and yoga devotee."
Following links to the ads always ends up with new learning for me.