Smartxt

Build Equity In Your Campus Community
Using Multisensory Digital Tools

Equity is...

Focusing on the improvement of lower performing students

Instructor Success

Psychology instructor amazed by students improvements

Student Success

Student raises her grade in Statistics from “D” to “B”

Our Mission

To support instructors, tutors and students by using multi-sensory tools to increase the success of the lower third in a class, and enabling all classmates to benefit from these strategies. To improve the instructor’s sensitivity about how they share their information with students.

How We Do It

To accomplish this we work as a team to introduce and train instructors, tutors, students, and learning communities on assistive technology tools.

For example: 

  • Using Smartpens to combine visual and audio lectures
  • Enhancing e-textbooks with Text-to-Speech and embedded teacher notes
  • Capturing lectures that can be converted into text and other languages

Outcomes

  • Create an integrated learning community
  • Improve the success of lower performing students
  • Enable instructors to share their information in a format that can be adapted to different learning needs
  • Improve instructor’s sensitivity about how they share their knowledge via a feedback loop using their digitized lectures and lower performing students
  • Assist students and tutors to access and adapt to their needs, flexible, on-demand lectures

Why Smartxt

1. Provides an avenue to help teachers self examine
2. Responds to Equity needs with flexible support within mainstream class combined with additional Learning Communities support
3. Addresses different learning styles
4. Promotes Students Success Using Assistive Technology: Improve reading comprehension / Support writing fluidity / Create multi-sensory access to math lectures / Convert lectures to text and text to additional languages / Support memory
5. Facilitates independent learning
6. Provides On-Demand support for both teachers and students
7. Inspires collaboration between administrators, support services, teachers and students
8. Cost Effective
9. Integrates Evaluation into the foundation
10. Removes learning barriers and…
Makes learning fun

Data Highlights

“The findings… indicate that students working with the Smartxt approach report that they are focusing significantly more on higher order thinking skills than the comparison group of all students who completed the CCSSE ( Community College Survey of Student Engagement ).”

Princeton Fellowship Report

Over one-third of the respondents stated that they were able to understand vocabulary better and that they “interact with the text more” for this anthropology class than in other classes.”

Santiago Canyon College

“One student scored no lower than 80% on tests in pre-Algebra using the Smartpen strategies and participating in a student support group. He had received failing grades the times he took the course previously.”

Smartpen Math Project

“An instructor using a “modified flipped classroom” approach using Pencasts saw improvements in student note-taking and overall performance.”

“The mean gain in total grades of students who were able to make it to the end of the semester in one class was 12% higher with the use of the Smartpen.”

“Contrasting a test that was given one semester without Pencasts with one given the next semester with Pencasts, the biggest difference was “a whopping 21%” increase in scores.”

Message from Director

In my own teaching of over 30 years I’ve come to see that all students want to learn. For a number of instructors this was a challenge I heard.

“Many of my students don’t care and I’m tired of it. They don’t come to class, they don’t get their work done. It’s not my job to handhold.”

What is our job? From my understanding, we are preparing students to be the educated, skilled workforce for our current and upcoming society. What are those skills? As much as we’d like to believe that our job is teaching Biology or French or Math or whatever, it’s not. Our deeper job is to teach critical thinking, collaboration skills, problem solving and study skills. With those skills intact most students can learn any subject. And, to add more fuel to the fire, we need to teach those skills using relevant platforms to our current population.

The beautiful part of this whole picture is, once the light bulb goes on for students, instructors are energized.

We are institutions for learning, as a community we have the skills to turn on the light bulbs, we just have to be committed to finding the switches, especially when they reside outside our comfort zones.

Stacey Kayden

Director of Smartxt
Learning Specialist
Laney College Faculty (1990 – 2019)
Columbia University Graduate, MA

Student Voices

“With the way things are changing in society, we need all the updated technology to get what we need and to move to the places where people think we’re not going to. To everyone, if they say you can’t do something, prove them wrong, ‘Cause that’s what I do on a daily basis.”

Danielle Dancer
Cypress College Student

“It’s hard enough to come to school, but to come to school and be successful, to get that A, is a great achievement.”

Sharon Clegg
Berkeley City College Student

“When I arrived to the United States I got a lot of problems with my English. When I met Stacey, and all the team, they told me, “Hey you know what, you should really see this program, because I think this program could help you a lot.” So I said… Alright, lets see!”

Bryan Chen
Laney College Student

Instructor Voices

I first started using a Smartpen to create Pencasts for practice exams so that students could prepare for their actual exams. And they ate that up.

Christine Will
Math Instructor, Laney College

When the opportunity came to use alternatives to our textbooks I jumped at it because 90% of my people wanted A’s. So here’s a way to get the material to them, they still have to do the old school study, but here’s a way they could perhaps relate to the material more easily.”

Mark Rauzon
Psyical Geography, Laney College

“I’m a sociology instructor who is incredibly low tech, I still like to lecture, I like to do classroom discussions. I do very little online because a lot of my students don’t have access and it becomes a huge hurdle for them. So, when my dean asked me if I was interested in this program, at first I said no way, I don’t need one more thing on top of it. But what actually happened was, in Meeting Stacey what she was able to do was show me how easy it is. And for someone who is as low tech as I am, it’s probably been 15 years since I’ve really been involved in playing around with technology to really build up my skill base. I got to the point where I was able to train other faculty on our campus, because I can go at it from a very practical perspective and it becomes very simple in the basic ways in which we can use it with our students.”

Pam Chao
American River College

Student Mentors have this to say…

I’ve always liked sharing what I learned. One of the things I was taught in my family was that whatever you learn, make sure you share it. Otherwise it’s not going to serve your purpose. And I think that’s one reason I keep coming back is, I really like sharing what I learn, and by doing so, I also learn a lot from my classmates and from the people that I work with.”

Eloy Ponce

All of these mentors, I can say this, these people are LEADERS. Some of them, they didn’t even realize what was in them until they started applying. And similarly, every single human being has something to give.”

Khalil Yasin
Laney College Student

“What really makes this program work is what’s supposed to happen in a community college. It’s supposed to be a second chance. So when they come into our program, I look at those students and give them my undivided attention, and they know, I care.”

Renita Pitts

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