Digital publisher with engaging, comprehensive curriculum and test prep materials for districts

App of the Week

12 word description of app/product:

Digital publisher with engaging, comprehensive curriculum and test prep materials for districts

 

Formats:

Shmoop online courses and test prep can be completed entirely online without any supplemental software or hardware. Shmoop supports all major browsers on both PCs and Macs. The full Shmoop site is also available on tablets and mobile devices.

 

Website:

https://www.shmoop.com/

 

What does it help with?

Shmoop is a comprehensive digital publisher that provides both curriculum and test prep resources. Shmoop offers more than 300 different courses and 8,000 videos, including full courses that can replace textbooks and serve as a complete digital curriculum. Shmoop also provides the most comprehensive suite of test prep materials available through any online provider; career information that enables students to search by field, take tests to determine interests and aptitude, and more; and expert-created adult education materials, including a growing library of finance content to deliver graduate-level business education to professionals. Shmoop helps teachers engage students with content that is real, relevant, and rigorous.

This short video, What is Shmoop?, gives a solid introduction into the resources and benefits for students, teachers, schools, and districts, as well as a feel for Shmoop’s unique voice.

 

What grade and age range?  

Shmoop has content for kindergarten through post-graduate learners (K-20).

 

Is this core/supplemental/special needs/extracurricular/professional development or what?

Shmoop’s digital content provides curriculum for a variety of subjects, both core―ELA, math, science, and social studies―and elective, including arts and music, along with career and life skills content, such as computer science, financial literacy, and driver’s ed. Shmoop also has test prep programs for all the widely-used standardized exams, including all AP exams, SAT, ACT, GED, and more. Content supports all learners’ needs and includes PBIS lessons, content for English language learners, Response to Intervention (RTI) in math and English, and credit recovery.

 

What subject, topic, what standards is it mapped to?

Courses in all subjects are standards-aligned (both to Common Core and other state-specific standards) and approved by the relevant governing bodies, including Quality Matters, A-G, ACE, and the College Board.

 

What lesson time does it use?

Shmoop’s flexible resources can be used in a variety of ways. You may use full courses as your complete curriculum for core and elective subjects, which would be used during main lesson time. Additionally, students can use study tools like the Essay Lab, Math Shack, and Flash Cards to support homework and out-of-class learning. Also, test prep materials can be used in or out of class time to support students’ exam-readiness.

 

What is the pricing model?

Shmoop’s Learning Guides, Essay Lab, Math Shack, and Flashcards are free resources available to all students. There are also premium plans available, which provide cost-effective access to thousands of high-quality learning materials including Online Courses, Test Prep, and Teaching Guides.

Shmoop offers customized licenses for districts and schools, with licenses varying in price. Administrators can contact a Shmoop representative to get a quote based on your unique needs: schools.shmoop.com

Shmoop.com also features teacher and student subscription plans. Plans start as low as $150 for a full 12-month teacher or student subscription. For more information about the plans and what is included in the offerings, visit this page.

 

Are there services around it?

Shmoop’s partnerships and services team provides dedicated account management for schools and districts, including trainings on the platform. Shmoop also provides customer support for all users via support@shmoop.com.

 

What makes Shmoop unique?

There are numerous unique qualities of Shmoop, many of which are listed in the other sections of this review. Some of the notable qualities include:

  • Shmoop content is student-centered: it is presented with a unique, humorous voice, with a particular focus on making content real and relevant to engage learners.
  • Shmoop has the most comprehensive set of test prep materials of any provider, including resources and multiple practice tests for all AP exams, SAT, ACT, GED, and more.
  • Shmoop’s comprehensive digital curriculum content not only covers core subjects or academics; it also includes electives, PBIS, financial literacy, life skills content, and more.
  • All content meets the highest standards of rigor. Rigor is never sacrificed in any materials, whether AP courses or credit recovery options.
  • Shmoop has content to support all elements of a School Improvement Plan:
    • Behavioral (PBIS and life skills)
    • ELL content
    • RTI (math and ELA)
    • Credit Recovery
  • Test prep content is available in Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Arabic.
  • Abundant career information enables students to search by field, take tests to determine interests and aptitude, and more.
  • Financial literacy content makes essential knowledge comprehensible and accessible to learners in school and beyond. The content includes the following and more: a video library of nearly 1,500 definitions delivered in video; a 3,000-word-and-growing text glossary covering virtually any financial term; and a suite of dozens of course modules ranging from the basics to advanced financial topics, from Personal Finance 101 to a Series 7 Prep course.

 

A description of the characteristics--how is it designed for user interface, user experience? What instructional design principles are at work here?

It is important to know that all Shmoop content is created by educators and subject-matter experts. Writers are experienced teachers with advanced academic credentials and diverse backgrounds. Content is presented in multiple formats to engage students with different learning styles. This includes thousands of humor-filled videos that deliver high-quality audio-visual learning.

The site is available on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices, and key elements of all the content are rigor and practice. Regarding rigor, all content is high-rigor and promotes critical thinking. For example, literature learning guides are not written as mere summaries of books, designed to recap something a student read, but are written in a way that poses key questions and pushes students’ thinking further, providing context for historical content, presenting alternative scenarios for students to consider, and more. When it comes to practice, Shmoop engages students in active learning, which helps content stick. For example, Shmoop is not just the only provider with test prep for every AP exam, but also has multiple practice tests for each, giving students the opportunity to become more familiar with both the material and test-taking process.

 

Teacher reviews:

“I use Shmoop in a variety of ways. As a teacher of AP World History, I use the practice tests and drills to keep my students on their game with content. In addition, I use the College section of Shmoop with my AVID students to help them search for colleges that fit their personalities and their needs. My AVID kids also use the SAT and ACT practice tests and drills to get them ready for those admissions exams…College planning is my favorite but it really depends on my needs at any given time. Shmoop is a one-stop shop for all things academic and I love it!”

Mark Houchin, Lucia Mar Unified

….

“As a special education instructor I used Shmoop for every book we read in English I, II, III and IV. It provided me with ideas to introduce the books [as well as] main points and character analysis. All of these skills my students needed more support with and all of these skills were noted on their individual educational plans or IEPs. Shmoop gave me relevant ideas for comparing, contrasting, and seeing literature through the eyes of the younger generation…The Teaching Guides include all the areas that I needed to implement, assess, and reflect upon in order to determine the level of understanding for each student. Now being a teacher of students in a special education program, my classes were smaller and I was able to analyze student data daily. Shmoop Teaching Guides also gave a multitude of activities so there was always a variety of skills taught and assessed.”

Terry Kendall-Johnson, Special Education Instructor, Baltimore City Public Schools

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“I use Shmoop for it all! If students aren't quite grasping what's going on, we Shmoop the next day after a long night's reading. It has been especially helpful while reading Shakespeare! Sometimes I even find out things on Shmoop that I wasn't fully aware of. Me and my students love to Shmoop!!”

Jade Clukey, Carrabassett Valley Academy

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When watching the Lord of the Flies video, one of my students who hated the book played the video over and over again. He warmed up to the topics we were discussing because he enjoyed the video so much.

Kristin L. Wolfe, Wooster School

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“I have a multi-faceted background. I teach, I coach, I am an independent literacy consultant (NCTE, UD), and I am a mom. I teach English 101 and 151 at a Community College and I teach future Educators at Salisbury University. I also teach a 7 week SAT prep course in which I use the SAT online Prep. I use Shmoop every single class! I'm serious! Sometimes I use it to teach a concept (idioms), a short story ("A&P"), or model an educational activity (determining rhyme scheme). I also use Shmoop with my daughter to review and reteach pre-algebra concepts. When I teach future educators I share Shmoop with them as a resource for their own classrooms and when I work with other school districts I show them how to incorporate Shmoop in their own lessons. I use it with a variety of classes—college, high school students, teachers, and middle schoolers.”

Juley Harper, Wor-Wic Community College and Independent Literacy Consultant