Verso Learning Provides High-Impact Teaching Resources Through a Cloud-Based Platform

App of the Week

12-word description of app/product: Verso Learning provides high-impact teaching resources through a cloud-based platform.

 

Formats: Web/Cloud-based as well as apps for iOS & Android devices

Website: versolearning.com

What does it help with? Verso Learning’s platform has been designed to use evidence and data from the classroom to make it easier for teachers to move learning forward for every student. The platform offers teachers over 50 high-impact teaching strategies categorized by focus areas including learning intention, collaboration, feedback and ELL. The platform uses student response data, along with feedback and reflections from teachers to tailor professional development for each teacher. With Verso Learning, teachers have access to model lessons, practical guides, and personalized support that help them to quickly and easily build new or update their existing lessons using evidence-based best practices that engage every student in learning. In the process, schools and districts build a knowledge base of high-impact teaching strategies (HITS) and curriculum-aligned lessons that have been tested and proven to work.

What grade and age range?  3-12

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

Supplemental in professional development and classroom management.

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

Verso Learning can be used to teach most curriculum areas including social sciences, English, ELL and science. It is based on the evidence-based best practices and the research of Michael Fullan, John Hattie and Alan November. It aligns with to the Australian Teacher Professional Practice Continuum (AITSL), the New York State Teaching Standards and several other US State Teaching Standards.

 

What lesson time does it use?

Verso’s resources are available on demand from any device, so educators and administrators can access them when they need to prepare or deliver lessons in any subject, as well as to use in their ongoing professional development.

 

What is the pricing model?

Verso Learning offers Teacher, School, and District licenses: Teacher licenses are $200 a year; School licenses start at $2,490 a year; and District license pricing is available upon request.

Are there services around it?

Through its platform Verso Learning offers teachers professional classes, a high-impact teaching activity creator, vocabulary word-cloud feature, individual student-engagement tracking, a curriculum aligned library and a My PD Progress tracking tool. For Schools and Districts, it offers additional coaching and training on leadership, high-impact teaching and getting the most from Verso.

What makes Verso Learning unique?

Verso Learning is the only platform that uses evidence directly from the classroom to inform how teachers, schools, and districts develop and deliver high-impact lessons for every class. Rather than having teachers attend long generic PD sessions offsite, Verso Learning embeds teacher development in the classroom. This means their professional learning is an ongoing process that is delivered in small increments via easily digestible best practices and personalized resources that teachers can implement in the classroom and see the impact of immediately.

With the platform, teachers can easily group students based on their individual feedback to personalise student instruction, as well as collaborate with other teachers to refine activities, share and access high-quality activities to adapt for their classroom, and manage their PD by using evidence from their own past activities. Verso Learning currently plays a role in supporting thousands of schools in more than 100 countries.

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

Verso Learning is designed specifically for both teachers and students to use, while gathering valuable insights and much needed visibility on teaching and learning for district leadership. Educators can use the platform as both a teaching and professional development resource in the classroom that provides evidence of their impact on every student’s learning.

The reports and feedback provided by Verso Learning lay the foundation for teachers to apply evidence-based teaching strategies that align to their activities and daily lesson plans. The strategies and structures provided are designed to help teachers at every level from graduate to highly accomplished. Teachers can refine these at any step along the way, enhancing the lessons’ effectiveness not only for them, but for their students and their colleagues throughout a school or district.

The platform, which integrates with Google Classrooms, enables teachers to deliver lessons and also provides a visual representation of how engaged students are through graphs that compare students’ response rates and participation. In addition, teachers can review recently completed activities and see tailored “strategy cards” offering advice on best practice aligned to their specific focus areas or needs.

With PD training courses such as “Engage with New Concepts” and “Independent Practice/Metacognition,” and a purpose-built teacher training mode, schools and districts can deliver highly-relevant, on-demand PD either individually or collectively. The inbuilt lesson structures are designed to help teachers ensure every student performs at their best. Verso Learning focuses its PD on increasing the quality and quantity of student-to-teacher and student-to-student engagement, with an emphasis on transitioning from surface-level to deep and developing future-ready skills such as collaboration, communication and critical thinking.

Platform and Access?

 

Students and teachers can sign-up and access the platform using their existing Google or Microsoft accounts and the lessons are easily accessible via a laptop, iPad or phone in class or at home. At a school or district level, administrators can access reports at a district, school, teacher or student level.  In addition, there are district libraries that houses district specific lessons and curated content accessible by all their teachers and district wide professional learning networks. 

Technical Support?

Verso Learning is dedicated to supporting teachers and students every step of the way. The platform has a “Support” button that provides articles with FAQ’s, user tutorials, and the option to submit questions or requests with direct access to US and Australian based support. There is additional on-call support, coaches and additional training available for School and District customers.

Teacher review:

Dr. Ross Kasun, Superintendent, Freehold Township, New Jersey

“[With Verso] our students are asking better questions now; they’re collaborating and providing feedback by commenting on other student’s posts. Students who were previously reluctant to share have found their voice, and many are now excited to obtain peer feedback. The professional development we’re seeing with Verso encompasses the entire student/teacher experience: helping teachers improve student engagement, providing visibility on student thinking, and helping to transition students into a noticeably deeper stage of learning.”

 

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