NoRedInk builds better writers in 60 percent of all US school districts

App of the Week

NoRedInk helps students become better writers in more than 60 percent of U.S. districts. The adaptive curriculum engages learners by personalizing exercises to their interests, boosting their skills through differentiated practice, and guiding them step-by-step as they draft and revise essays. NoRedInk is relentlessly focused on enabling all students to harness the power of the written word. 

 

Formats/platforms are used:

Teachers and students access NoRedInk on any internet-connected laptop, Chromebook, iPad, or tablet.

 

Primary website’s URL:
www.noredink.com

 

Problem solved:

Jeff Scheur created NoRedInk in 2012 while teaching high school English in Chicago. Like so many educators, he graded well over 15,000 papers, wondering how he could develop more efficient systems to help his students quickly address their misconceptions. It's no secret that learners need immediate feedback, curriculum that stems from their interests, and lots of practice in order to show rapid growth, and yet teachers can only do so much with large classes and limited time.

Scheur created NoRedInk to help his students improve their skills with engaging material — and to allow him to track their progress over time. It also freed him up to focus on big-picture concepts in student writing that sorely needed his attention. Now supported by a team of expert teachers, engineers, and language experts, NoRedInk's mission is to help all students harness the power of language.

 

Grade/age ranges:  
It is for students in grades 5-12.

 

Core or supplemental?

NoRedInk is used as both a core curriculum and as a supplement to existing curriculum. 

 

Standards:
NoRedInk’s curriculum aligns with state and national ELA standards, including those assessed by the ACT, SAT, MAP, and AP Language exams. 

 

Lesson time needed:
The recommended time is 15-20 minutes, 3x a week.

 

Pricing models:
NoRedInk is currently free for everyone, but access to the curriculum is limited. NoRedInk Premium, with 10x the content and features, is available for purchase for a minimum of 100 students by schools and districts.

 

Additional services:
Virtual and onsite training and professional development are available.

 

What makes NoRedInk unique?
NoRedInk is the only writing curriculum that engages students with exercises based on their interests, boosts their skills with adaptive practice, and guides them step-by-step through the writing process. NoRedInk’s digital writing program enables students with varying levels of proficiency to tangibly improve as writers in a way that a typical basal curriculum would not.

 

Characteristics:

All students have different needs and abilities; therefore, the path to mastery looks very different for each student on NoRedInk. This principle is deeply embedded in NoRedInk’s design.

NoRedink’s skill practice exercises are adaptive, adjusting difficulty level to meet students where they are and allowing students to spend as much or as little time as they need. NoRedInk’s writing activities allow students to opt into the level of support that works for them (including interactive tutorials, examples, sentence stems, etc.) or teachers can adjust writing rubrics to reflect different expectations. Finally, NoRedInk’s assessments give teachers the data they need to understand which curricular materials and activities are most appropriate for their students.

Below are a few examples of NoRedInk’s universal design for curriculum access:  

  • Big Ideas and Conspicuous Strategies: NoRedInk’s curriculum outlines clear rules, principles, and strategies that help students understand what strong writing looks like and how to produce strong writing.
  • Mediated Scaffolding: NoRedInk recognizes that feedback is essential to ensuring students understand how they’re doing and what they can improve on as writers. On NoRedInk, students receive instant feedback as they progress through skill practice. On writing assignments, NoRedInk makes it fast and easy for teachers to provide feedback with built-in rubrics and saved comments. NoRedInk’s Peer Review also simplifies the logistics of peer review and provides scaffolded support for reviewers, raising the quality of feedback and allowing students to benefit from their peers’ feedback more often. As students work independently, NoRedInk provides questioning and prompts for additional scaffolding. 
  • Strategic Integration: NoRedInk uses consistent instructional language to help students deepen their understanding of concepts across activities.
  • Judicious Review and Primed Background Knowledge: NoRedInk provides many opportunities for students to review on their own, or for teachers to embed review and reinforce previously taught content. It also draws on students’ background knowledge to prepare students to understand new concepts.

 

Here’s what users are saying:

“Writing is always a focus. We wanted to provide more tools, especially technology tools, to truly individualize instruction and meet students where they are. That’s why we chose NoRedInk.” 

-- Stephen Davis, Ed.D., executive director of secondary curriculum for Wylie Independent School District, TX

 

“We have over 1,000 students and eight different English teachers in our building. NoRedInk has made our lives a lot easier. It helps us stay on track, and students are less likely to be confused because we’re all using the same verbiage. The main benefit has been students’ success. They know they’re responsible for learning the material and they see the difference it’s making.”

-- Beth Morgan, English Department Head, Jersey Community High School, IL

 

“I love using NoRedInk [Premium]. The lessons supplement my instruction, and now that I'm teaching remotely...I know my students are receiving quality lessons without us physically being together. NoRedInk is very easy to use, and it's easy to track students' progress.”

-- Natalie Greenfield, Teacher, Batesville Junior High School, AR

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