Finnish software company Connexor and SAS Curriculum Pathways are helping to meet the challenges of educating the Internet generation. At the same time, they're revolutionising the way schools teach writing.
"Low-skill jobs are vanishing, yet our education system fails to reflect the changing world," said Jim Goodnight, CEO of SAS. "Schools should be more rigorous and relevant, and take better advantage of technology. All students should be using technology so they are ready for the 21st century workplace."
SAS Curriculum Pathways provides online content – at no cost to US educators and students – in the core academic disciplines for grades eight through 12. The product is engaging, interactive and standards-based.The product includes Writing Reviser, which provides immediate feedback and enables students to correct and improve their work on the spot. Writing Reviser encourages students to ask questions experienced writers ask automatically - at every stage of the composition process.
Unlike a grammar checker, Writing Reviser searches for opportunities rather than errors. Students transform weak or passive verbs, monotonous sentence patterns, choppy prepositional phrases, clichés, misplaced clauses, wordiness and other problems into vigorous prose. The module goes beyond conventional handbooks, tailoring advice to the student's own work.
“The Writing Reviser has a strong potential to help students at all levels - from middle school through university-level composition classes. It is certainly the best computer-assisted writing program I have seen," said Michael Grimwood, PhD, Distinguished Professor of English, North Carolina State University.
After comparing available syntactic analysers, SAS selected Connexor's Machines Syntax because of its low error rate, tolerance for student mistakes and speed. Connexor technology plays a key role in the analysis of students' writing by identifying the syntactic relationships among words in a sentence.
Daily access to SAS Curriculum Pathways helps motivate students, improve behaviour and increase achievement. At Centennial Campus Middle School in Raleigh, North Carolina, passing rates on the state-mandated computer test jumped 16%.
Writing Reviser and SAS Curriculum Pathways have garnered several awards, including a Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) 2009 CODiE Award for Best Reading/English Instructional Solution and a Duke's Choice Award for Java Technology in Education.
SAS Curriculum Pathways is used by thousands of educators in all 50 states. In 2009, the total number of SAS Curriculum Pathways account holders increased 65%, and the governors of Virginia and West Virginia recently advocated the product's use state-wide.
Though SAS offers SAS Curriculum Pathways at no cost, the company's investment in innovation continues. Enhancements to the award-winning Writing Reviser in the English module help students master sentence fundamentals. Writing Reviser for grades six through eight will soon be released.
"We are delighted to work with SAS in providing innovative solutions which actually deliver significant value. This is not just about providing value to the users, but to society as a whole," added Dr Pasi Tapanainen, CEO and co-founder of Connexor.
SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions delivered within an integrated framework, SAS helps customers at more than 45 000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976, SAS has been giving customers around the world 'The Power to Know'. http://www.sas.com and http://www.sas.com/sa
SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA and other countries. ® indicates USA registration. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies. Copyright © 2009 SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved.
Our comments policy does not allow anonymous postings. Read the policy here