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Mesquite Independent School District

Educators at Mesquite Independent School District implemented Vizzle in their classrooms and haven’t looked back since.
A CATALYST FOR CHANGE

Top 10 Reasons for Implementing Vizzle

Change is hard. People often resist it. To make change successful it requires time, work, and ample energy. Adjusting to change or learning something new, especially when you’ve already got a lot on your plate, can feel daunting and overwhelming.

Take, for example, the special education teachers and coordinators of Mesquite, Texas. We spoke with two of their outstanding teachers and one coordinator who work with students with special needs. These two teachers work in different grades and both embraced the change before knowing it was the best for their students. The first change they undertook was switching from one basic online current events platform to Vizzle, a whole new platform with a powerful creation tool. This switch was soon followed by the transition from Vizzle Classic (the original version) to the newer version, Vizzle NextGen, within the last year. The reason for this second change was simple. Texas standards (TEKS) are integrated into Vizzle allowing teachers and coordinators easier and more seamless access to standards-based instruction and data milestones towards student’s ARD goals.

Moving away from a comfortable platform was hard. Learning a new platform was especially hard, but when you embrace change the outcomes are often wonderful. Once Matt and Tiffany (teachers) and Jill (coordinator) navigated their initial apprehension about trying something new with a population of students who also count a great deal on managed expectations, they haven’t looked back.

These interviews provided invaluable insight, revealing not only the sheer amount of work and responsibility implicit in the roles of teachers and coordinators, but also making abundantly clear the enormous collective desire educators share to positively impact the lives of their students. Classroom resources, in the best cases, should enable teachers to do what they do best: teach and transform ~ this is Vizzle.

Here’s a look at our top ten reasons a change to Vizzle NextGen could do you good if you’re a special education teacher or coordinator in Texas.

1. TRACK AND SHARE PROGRESS WITH THE EDUCATION TEAM

With TEKS aligned curriculum integrated into Vizzle, the team can use Vizzle data to see how students are progressing with standards and IEP goals and objectives.

We use the data from Vizzle to help move them [students] forward.

—Tiffany

2. FREE UP MORE TIME FOR ONE-ON-ONE WORK WITH STUDENTS

Vizzle lessons can be set up in blocks of time and by level for teachers to focus on students who need more personal attention.

As our population grows, it’s great that a teacher who needs to be hands-on can work with one student and the other students can be self-directed on Vizzle.

—Tiffany

3. TEACH TECHNOLOGY SKILLS

In today’s world, everyone needs to know the basics of technology. Vizzle affords opportunities to learn foundational skills as basic as logging in, while engaging students who like spending time on a computer or iPad.

Once I started putting kids on Vizzle, I saw their skills on technology blow up. They’ve never touched a laptop and all of a sudden they’re working on technology proficiently. They’ll use these skills for the rest of their lives.

—Matt

4. MEET AND REWARD STUDENTS WHERE THEY ARE

Assign lessons and activities from Vizzle’s extensive library of content based on the varying levels and needs of students in your classroom. Recognize their achievements with built-in celebrations at the end of each lesson.

Vizzle cuts down on unwanted behavior. They’re actually paying attention and also working for reinforcers.

—Tiffany

5. EASILY CUSTOMIZE YOUR LESSONS

Easily import personalized pictures and edit lessons to make materials meaningful for in the classroom or your local community! Set preferences like text-to-speech, switch accessibility, reinforcers, celebrations and more.

When you can make books and share real-life pictures, it helps pre-teach a lesson and set students’ expectations for trips into the community.

—Jill

6. GET THE SUPPORT YOU NEED TO MAKE IT WORK IN YOUR CLASSROOM

Help is just an in-app chat, phone call or email away. The responsive Vizzle team can provide on-site trainings and webinars, and often incorporates teacher feedback into product updates.

Vizzle is really willing to work with us and take feedback from customers. Teachers notice that, and they notice how responsive the technical department is, too.

—Jill

7. REINFORCE LEARNING

Demonstrating aptitude on a lesson, skill or goal is easy. Set criteria and alerts to know when students have mastered material and are ready to move on.

Vizzle gets them [students] to know and see what they’re really learning. It has been very eye-opening.

—Jill

8. EVERYBODY (TEACHERS AND STUDENTS) CAN DO IT!

Vizzle is easy to set up and navigate, and caters to students of all abilities and needs.

After seeing the full spectrum of everything it can do and how much easier it can make our teachers’ lives, I’ve been converted to Vizzle.

—Jill

9. DO LESS PAPERWORK 

The integration of standardized curriculum into Vizzle takes a lot of the guesswork out of preparing, planning, and reporting on students’ progress.

They [teachers] could see how easy it was to track data and print and download reports.

—Tiffany

10. HELP MAKE THE LIGHTBULB GO ON

Teachers live for student progress, those “aha moments” when things click and stick. Vizzle increases student engagement, excitement and helps spark those moments of success.

I definitely think that Vizzle increased her self-confidence. You can see the glow on her face because she knows that she made something happen. It’s great once you see that lightbulb go on.

—Tiffany