Two years ago, we began our journey with a mission to empower teachers and promote deeper engagement among readers. With insights and feedback from thousands of talented educators – many of whom have been using the app since the very beginning – Subtext has evolved from a simple reading tool into the first e-reading platform designed specifically for 21st Century classrooms. We built Subtext from the ground up specifically for teachers, and our greatest successes have come from listening every time they spoke.
We believe that this type of collaboration between teachers and technologists is essential to move education forward today. Many schools are ready to dive right into the world of the digitally integrated classroom, while others look on with a sense of hesitation. As schools and districts navigate the transition toward technology-supported education, our goal is to give teachers the tools they need to manage different workflows and types of instructional content, while striving toward new educational standards like the Common Core.
As a team of nine designers, developers and teacher advocates, we have worked hard to lay the groundwork for close reading and high level engagement in the classroom. Today we have an opportunity in front of us to deliver more personalized instruction, meet the individualized needs of every student in a diverse classroom, and bring reading into the 21st Century. This is why we are very excited to announce that Subtext is joining Renaissance Learning.
Who is Renaissance Learning?
Renaissance is best known for their expertise in student practice and assessment, through products like Accelerated Reader and STAR. Last year, students took over 48 million K-12 online STAR assessments and read nearly 400 million books – each one followed by a comprehension or vocabulary check and a student rating in Accelerated Reader. These and other touchpoints give teachers a better understanding of what students know, what they like and how they learn, all of which can inform and improve instructional reading in a digital reading experience like Subtext.
A Perfect Fit
After spending months meeting with the reading and assessment experts at Renaissance – including some incredibly eye-opening school visits – we saw how committed they are to their teachers and administrators. Renaissance brings nearly thirty years experience motivating students to read and providing teachers with the tools they need to understand how students are learning. Using insights from Renaissance’s assessment programs, teachers can more effectively provide personalized instruction, whether this means helping struggling readers, or offering new challenges to advanced learners. We’re eager to explore the possibilities for teachers to use these types of insights to choose and adapt additional reading resources and content within Subtext.
The Future of Subtext
We have a lot of exciting plans in the pipeline but our mission remains the same: empower and engage teachers and students. Today we are pleased to make the following commitments:
1. We will continue to provide the best possible experience for our teachers.
2. The Subtext team will all stay onboard, working on product direction cohesively with Renaissance.
3. We will continue to offer a free app on the iTunes and Edmodo stores.
4. We will begin to offer a premium version of Subtext that combines the power of close reading, standards-based content, and reading assessment.
5. We will now be able to deliver more types of content and features across more platforms.
6. Last, but not least, we’ll continue to deliver it under the Subtext brand and experience.
Put simply, together Renaissance and Subtext can provide a better classroom reading solution than ever before possible. Just imagine: tiered vocabulary exercises, standards-based activities, rich yet streamlined assessment, and a broadened variety of curated resources and content providers. The future of Subtext with Renaissance is fully personalized independent and instructional reading, all delivered within the pages of a digital document, available on any platform.
We are inspired by our shared vision with Renaissance and we are thrilled to be working alongside their team of seasoned educators and technologists, who share our respect for and commitment to teachers. We hope you’ll continue to help us redefine reading in the 21st century, and as always, we’re eager to hear from you.
/Andrew, Heidi, Natalie, Todd, Adam, Andy, Shawn, Gary & Jeff
(Click on the images to see a slide show of our team and teachers)