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Categories: Language Arts and Reading
LightSailLightSail
LightSail
by LightSail Education
GRADES / Elementary (Grades K-4), Middle School (Grades 5-8), High School (Grades 9-12)
PRICING PLANS / License
PLATFORMS / iPad, Web Browser, Android

Literacy tool providing standards aligned texts, assessments and data dashboard

Overview

SUMMARY

LightSail is a tablet-based literacy tool that encourages students to read by giving them relevant and appropriate texts, all while measuring their reading improvement. Students can select from over 80,000 non-fiction and fiction titles and take in-text assessments as they read the book, while teachers closely monitor individual progress. LightSail is available for a yearly fee and is purchased on a per-school basis.

GOALS

LightSail's literacy program features standards-aligned in-line questions and an individual dashboard feeding real-time data to teachers and administrators. The product was launched in 2013 with the goal of motivating students by giving them access to the best and most skill-appropriate books. LightSail can be used with students in grades 1-12, and has won a number of education technology awards.

APPROACH

Students open LightSail on their device and can select a book to read from a library of over 80,000 titles (LightSail partners with content distributor Baker & Taylor to make these titles available). The tool recommends books to students based on their current Lexile level and interests. Teachers can also assign books to students. LightSail allows teachers to monitor students’ activity within the app to ensure that they are on task at all times.

As students progress through the text, they can use in-text features such as a dictionary and “listen” function to enhance their understanding. Students can also write notes or comments in the book; these are immediately visible to the teacher and can be shared with other students. Both of these groups have the ability to respond to these comments, creating a dialogue with students about the book.

Each book in LightSail’s library comes with built-in assessments. As students progress through their books, they answer multiple choice and short answer questions about the text. Students are immediately given feedback on their Cloze test and multiple choice responses, while short answer questions are sent to the teacher for grading. All questions come tagged with the Common Core standard that is being practiced by the student; this standard is visible to both students and teachers. Teachers can also turn off assessments for the class as a whole or for individual students if desired.

Students’ progress through texts and assessments are displayed on their individual portfolio pages. This data is also provided to teachers, who can see information about each student’s individual reading session, and on the student or class overall. Students’ progress can be filtered by particular skills, or by Common Core competency.

IMPLEMENTATION

LightSail is currently available on iPad only, but the company says that additional platforms are in development. The company’s website describes using LightSail in independent, group reading, or whole class situations.

PRICING

LightSail is purchased on a yearly subscription basis for an entire school; prices start at $4000/school and vary based on the number of students in the school. LightSail is usually purchased by an administrator for an entire school or district. LightSail comes with hundreds of free books included with the purchase, and additional books can be purchased for use with the tool.

WHO IS USING IT

In January 2016, LightSail was being used in more than 700 schools, in more than 100 districts and more than 200,000 students.  

EDUCATOR REVIEWS

Case Studies+
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Summit Reflections 46
Chelsea Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star
Student Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, BYOD Devices

I think that the information on the scree n is slightly overwhelming. Perhaps that is just a matter of having students play with and navigate the product before integrating it. Also, I think the product could benefit from having an option to h...

PRODUCT VIDEOS

LightSail Introduction
LightSail Introduction
LightSail DILA Video
LightSail DILA Video

EDUCATOR REVIEWS

Chelsea Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star
Student Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, BYOD Devices

I think that the information on the scree n is slightly overwhelming. Perhaps that is just a matter of having students play with and navigate the product before integrating it. Also, I think the product could benefit from having an option to h...

Susan Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star
ELA teacher. School Type: Middle School, Low Income Population

I would like this to be usable on a computer, no...

PRODUCT ATTRIBUTES

Standards

Common Core Aligned Common Core Aligned

Audience

For Administrators For Administrators
For Students For Students
For Teachers For Teachers

Characteristics

Adaptive Learning Adaptive Learning
Assessment Assessment
Core Curriculum Core Curriculum
E-books E-books
Literacy Courseware Challenge Literacy Courseware Challenge

Subject Matter

Language Arts Language Arts
Phonics Phonics
Reading Reading
Vocabulary Vocabulary
Writing Writing