Durham Academy Is Leading the Way with Progressive Learning Tools Such As Membean

Karl Schaefer

Karl Schaefer
Middle School Digital Learning Coordinator

Durham Academy
Durham, NC

Karl is the Middle School Digital Learning Coordinator at Durham Academy, where he is responsible for helping teachers and students use and find technology that promotes and advances learning opportunities. When Durham Academy rolled out iPads in all its classrooms, faculty began testing out various programs that could be used in English classes. At the time, vocabulary was being taught by asking students to memorize a list of words each week, followed by testing every Friday. After that, students would simply move on to new words ‐ they were never revisited or reinforced, which led to low retention rates.

“Not all kids learn the same way. They definitely don’t process the same way. The way we were teaching English vocabulary was in need of innovation.”

A parent of a student with learning differences recommended Membean to Karl as she was always looking for new ways to help her daughter learn. After setting up a Membean pilot for the sixth grade classes, Karl quickly learned about the administrative capabilities that Membean offers. He noticed that the administrator dashboard provided him with a birds-eye view of how individual students and classes were performing overall. Teachers also discovered that they have access to a wealth of data about how their students are using Membean, such as training frequency, accuracy, and quality. Teachers could even see when students were cheating or wasting time during training.

Teachers meeting together

“Our students are not only expanding their vocabulary but are also learning how to learn. I credit Membean’s effective pedagogical structure and methodology with guiding our students in the right direction.’

Karl has been impressed with Membean’s phenomenal support and communication. “It is far better than any other app we use at the school, and it only gets better and more prompt each passing year,” he says. He is also very happy that students are not only expanding their vocabulary but are also learning how to learn. He credits Membean’s effective pedagogical structure and methodology with guiding his students in the right direction.

Karl Schaefer

“I often overhear kids saying ‘that’s a Membean word.’ Recognizing words like this never happened with the way we taught vocabulary before.”

The English Department at Durham Academy is delighted with Membean. If its teachers weren’t, Karl knows that they’d be bugging him to find something else to meet their needs. The biggest payoff has been that Membean has helped all their students learn and grow their vocabulary, regardless of their grade, reading level, and learning style.

Differentiated vocabulary for your students is just a click away.