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Rapid Resources

By Susan W. Hixson - Posted Nov 1, 2007
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REPORT CARD  

Overall Rating: 5 stars

Installation: A

Content/Features: B

Ease of Use: A

Product Support: A

Located online at: www.rapidresources.com.

Company: International Learning Corp., 850 N. Federal Highway, Stuart, FL 34994. Phone: (344) 343-5189; Internet: http://www.internationallearningcorporation.com/.

Price: $109 per user. For access to a teacher’s Web site with Web-hosting services, add an additional $1 per year.

Audience:  Educators working with students in Pre-K to eighth grade. The resources are useful for teachers, classroom aides, and parents.

Format: Web-based subscription resource.

Minimum System Requirements: A computer with Internet access and a browser. Access is available at any connection speed. On a Windows system, the program runs best with Internet Explorer 6.0 or greater. On a Macintosh system, the product works best with Safari 2.0.4 or greater. To ensure that all features work, it is important that cookies, JavaScript, and scripting are enabled.

Description:  Rapid Resources offers an online teacher’s tool for differentiating instruction. The material includes more than 500 original exercises for use with students in need of additional help or enrichment.  The learning plans have been written to help teachers design lessons to help individual students at all learning levels. The lessons are aligned with state standards.

Reviewer Comments:

Installation/Access:  Rapid Resources requires no installation. After signing up, the educator enters a username and password. There is a learning curve when creating a classroom Web page; however, a template helps the process along. Installation/Access Rating: A

Content/Features: For any educator, meeting the individual learning needs of each student can be a daunting task. Teachers’ manuals often provide tips and objectives, but educators frequently need to develop additional activities to help enhance skills while offering other activities that provide more basic lessons. 

Rapid Resources is an Internet-based program designed to help teachers create individualized learning plans for their students. The program offers three resources from its home page: a teacher Web page feature, a reading list, and a lesson-plan builder.

A click on the Web Page button leads to resources that allow educators to create a Web page with announcements, homework assignments, activities for home involvement, and parent pointers. The page is built by cutting and pasting or filling in templates, allowing almost any teacher to create a useful page very quickly. The material includes a database of parent tips to paste into the Web page that cover topics such as a child’s need for sleep, nutritional tips, immunization requirements, and more.

The Reading List button links to a list of 40,000 books. This database can be searched by grade level and subject. Each book listing includes the title, author, reading level (Lexile reading level), and a summary of the book. This is a helpful and straightforward resource.

The Building Learning Plans feature leads to pages of math, reading, language arts, and science curriculum searchable by grade level. The lessons include tutorials focused on important building block skills that must be mastered before moving on to higher-level skills. Each of the activities and tutorials can be viewed in English or Spanish.

Green arrows move the user to material covering earlier skills; blue arrows move to more advanced activities. Each learning objective is accompanied by one or more activities with directions. Also included is a list of needed materials or detailed examples of how to teach the topic. The teacher will need to follow up by working on leading some of the activities or creating work sheets for practice.

If the teacher is fortunate enough to have a classroom aide or parent volunteer, the step-by-step lesson instructions are especially helpful. This is the strength of Rapid Resources. Using this program, a teacher can print out the needed activities and start right into the lesson. Content/Features Rating: B

Ease of Use: Rapid Resources is very easy to use. The teacher logs in; selects the standard in Math, Reading, Language Arts, or Science; and then prints out the suggested lessons plans. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: A Help button appears at the top right of the screen. A click on the Help button brings a list of Frequently Asked Questions that will answer most inquiries. Help is also available by email. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation:  A variety of learning approaches can make a difference in student achievement. Often, it is difficult to have a range of activities available for different skill levels and learning styles. This program can help teachers fill in the gaps.

I enjoyed exploring Rapid Resources and the many activities suggested to individualize teaching. This material is reminiscent of a detailed teachers’ manual that covers many subject areas. The print and email features are very helpful.

The price is right and the wealth of materials and ideas might be a stimulant to individualize your instruction. Sign up for the 30-day free trial to see if this resource will meet your needs. Recommended.

Reviewer: Susan W. Hixson, Integrating the Internet, Educational Consultant. 


 
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