Test-prep giant Kaplan has paired up with publisher TOKYOPOP to offer a series of manga novels (Japanese-style comics). Released earlier this month, each of three popular stories was rewritten to include more than 300 words commonly tested on the SAT and ACT. (Cost: $9.99.)
"Van Von Hunter" stars a raven-haired hero who vanquishes evil in the land of Dikay. In just the first few pages, you'll find words like "inviolable," "nefarious," and "subvert." Underlined words are defined in a box on the same page.
"By having the combination of the visual story and the words popping out on the page, students can ... really retain the words, versus just memorizing a list," says Kristen Campbell, Kaplan's national director of SAT and ACT programs in New York. With librarians and even classroom teachers tapping into this popular genre, she says, it made sense to add it to the test-prep options.
If a CD can help rapidly boost vocabulary tests doesn't that suggest that software can both more effectively and more rapidly boost educational productivity than more teachers or higher paid teachers?
Vocabulary Accelerator, by Defined Mind Inc. in New York, serves up rock, hip-hop, and R&B songs on a CD with a workbook of related exercises (www.defmind.com, $25 for the set). One ninth-grade teacher reported that after just a few weeks of incorporating the program into her lessons, her class's average score on vocabulary quizzes went up from 40 to 84 percent.
We need games and other software that teaches and tests for a much wider range of subjects. We also need ways for high school students to earn college credits in a variety of subjects by taking tests online. We need to speed up and lower the cost of education. Make it easy for kids to learn at any time and any speed rather than when classes get held and at the rate at which classes get held.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2007 July 22 11:11 PM Education|