Utah State Board of Education Announces State-wide Access to Scrible to Support Utah Schools with Research and Writing Amid Distance Learning

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The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) announces a statewide partnership with Scrible, a modern research and writing platform that supports distance learning. The partnership ensures that every Utah school district has access to Scrible Edu Pro, bringing the company’s full suite of online research and writing tools to more than 665,000 students, teachers and librarians in grades K-12 for the current 2020-21 school year.

 “USBE’s purchase of this innovative system will empower our educators and students with versatile tools to impact student learning and development of writing, reading and research skills,” shared Jennifer Throndsen, Director of Teaching and Learning at the Utah State Board of Education. “There couldn’t be a better time to support our teachers with technology that’s useful across subjects and grade levels.”

 Scrible is the most comprehensive platform built to support the research and writing process. It provides robust tools to curate, annotate, manage and collaborate on researched content. It supports authentic writing with citation capture, bibliography and outline editors and word processor integration. Instead of cobbling together 3 or more apps and paper methods to manage the whole process, students have one workspace to streamline and scaffold their work, helping them save time and stay organized. 

 The partnership comes at a time when distance learning is a top priority for school districts across the country, including those in Utah that have moved to virtual or hybrid learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. USBE worked with Scrible to fast-track this launch in order to bring timely support to educators looking for effective remote instruction solutions. As a result, despite coronavirus disruption, teachers and librarians across Utah’s 41 school districts and 100+ charter schools can continue the research and writing instruction vital to preparing students for success in later grades, college and the workplace.

 Research and writing instruction historically involves in-person check-ins between students and educators, who would meet with students to review their research, bibliographies, outlines and papers. Scrible centralizes that work online so educators can assign and access student work remotely to assess it and provide feedback asynchronously. This eliminates the need for face-to-face feedback meetings, which are difficult during the pandemic. A novel assignment dashboard also enables educators to monitor student progress in real-time and provide timely, individualized support for each student, which is otherwise challenging during distance learning.

 “This statewide partnership is rare in the education world, said Scrible CEO, Victor Karkar. “We’re excited to work with USBE, which quickly appreciated our ability and desire to help Utah students, teachers, librarians with one of the most complex and time consuming teaching and learning experiences - the research and writing process.”

 American students struggle with research and writing. A Pew Research Center study found that nearly 60 percent of secondary teachers reported that their students struggle with key research skills such as using multiple sources to support an argument and assessing the quality of online information. The writing skills crisis is also pervasive. The process-intensive nature of teaching writing deters teachers from assigning the kind of authentic argumentative composition expected of students in college and career contexts. A 2015 study of U.S. middle schools by the Education Trust found that only 9 percent of assignments required writing more than one paragraph. 

 “Scrible puts great tools inside the ecosystem of devices and software used in our schools,” said Rick Gaisford, Education Technology Specialist at USBE. “If students open up their computer at school or home, they can use Scrible with popular software tools native to that device, which is far better than being a separate, disjointed program.” 

 Partnered with Google and Microsoft, Scrible integrates deeply with the ecosystem of G Suite and Office applications widely used in the classroom, including Google Chrome, Docs, Drive and Classroom and Microsoft Edge, Word, OneDrive and School Data Sync. Scrible also offers single sign-on, roster sync and other integrations with widely used education technology platforms, including Schoology, ClassLink, Clever and Canvas. The connection to Canvas is noteworthy given that Utah schools also have access to that learning management system via a statewide partnership.

 Utah districts and charters can learn about getting started with Scrible by visiting www.scrible.com/utah.

 www.schools.utah.gov

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