SAM Learning - My DD finds it utterly boring

(21 Posts)
Jess39 Thu 17-Dec-15 16:17:26

My DD has been using Sam Learning in school now for 2 months (mainly used to give homework).

DD is very bright and has found it simple torture to complete tasks / homework. She says she’s not learning a sausage and the drag and dropping and constant clicking just does not stop. After 9 slides she’s ready to explode with boredom and she constantly says why do I have to do this, I am not learning, I know all this already. She spends 10 hours/week as required and feels she's waisting time. (Her score is 98% overall)

Before this the kids were given “old-fashion “tasks which were creative and one could do as much or as little as one wanted which worked for her very well on both a creative and academic level.

I have spoken to the school but they all think it’s wonderful and she’ll get used to it … hmm

All I know is she has tried for 2 months now and it isn`t working for my DD one bit. Has anyone got any experiences with this learning platform and what I can ask for to make this more interesting/fun/academically challenging for her?

ReallyTired Thu 24-Dec-15 05:50:47

I think your dd needs to grow up. Schools are not there to entertain and life is not always interesting. Sam learning is revision, it's not supposed to be learning new stuff.

However 10 hours a week of Sam learning is excessive. The teachers are being lazy as it avoids the need to do any marking. Is she set specific tasks or just told to do ten hours?

annandale Thu 24-Dec-15 05:57:31

I agree with Really in that I think 10 hours of anything sounds pretty bad.

Just went to the website and had a go. God that's awful and very hard What year is your dd in?

I'd ask school if there will be a point when she finishes with it? I know ds got pretty fed up with Mathletics by the end of primary but in year 6 the teacher didn't really bother with it, at least for those who'd demonstrated a good grasp of the basics.

mummytime Thu 24-Dec-15 17:43:37

It is pretty dull, and I doubt the quality of learning it produces. It's all a bit read this then answer questions, which I know from personal experience can be done perfectly without laying down any long term memory. Schools like it as it's easy and there are statistics which show if pupils use it they improve their grades.

Jess39 Tue 29-Dec-15 09:49:28

Year 8 and she will have it untill year 11. DD probably needs to grow up but it's hard seeing her bored, frustrated and loose interest in learning and not learning anything new or doing some creative research herself.

10 hours is also the minimum required, some girls do more as it has a platform to compare with friends, altough my DD turned this off. They get this for allsubjects except art which i guess leaves something creative left but not much. The maths is especially bad and covers most of year6+7, she recieves full marks all the time which tells me she isn`t learning anything new. sad

I just don`t know what to do. What questions can i ask the school if they are sticking with this for so many years?

annandale Tue 29-Dec-15 20:09:21

God almighty!

OK two things I would do.

1. ask the school what they will do if your dd just stops doing it
2. seriously consider moving schools.

thelaundryfairy Tue 29-Dec-15 22:33:05

I feel really embarrassed. I am a secondary school teacher and I´ve never heard of Sam learning. Would someone explain, please?

It's dreadful (I am a teacher btw). Basically it's a stupendously lazy way of setting homework that doesn't have to be marked. The Maths one at least has some point to it, ime, but the English one is an abomination.

MsMermaid Tue 29-Dec-15 22:40:24

Our school have just bought it. We're all going to be "trained" in its use over the next half term. It's being hailed as incredible and amazing, I'm not holding my breath. I shall still be setting traditional homework exercises for all my classes, and might use the Sam learning for revision before tests, but only then.

thelaundryfairy Tue 29-Dec-15 23:00:29

Ah ok thanks. My school adores the emperor´s new clothes as much as the next naked fool but luckily they´re incredibly tight with money so that should put this fresh hell out of our reaches for the foreseeable future (thank goodness!) It sounds awful. The poor students. The only potential good thing that could come of this is that homework becomes a thing of the past and instead students "study" that day´s classwork when they get home and carry out some independent research into the topics they find most interesting.

Surely the best way of making homework easier for teachers is to give us a couple more free periods (or less stupid meetings at lunchtimes and after school) to assess the homework properly!

Oh, and to adhere to a clear "behaviour management" policy that has a suitable sanction for students who don´t complete homework / complete it on time / complete it to a satisfactory standard.

Jess39 Wed 30-Dec-15 11:56:55

Sadly moving schools in not an option, apart from this Sam Learning the school has been good and the teachers are all fantastic. It's only the last 2 months since nearly everything moved onto this new platform my DD had issues.

She spends about 2 hours/day dragging and clicking and than marking her own work by clicking again ... It's torture for her (I know she's a teenager and it all might seem worse than it is, but i recently had a go and i also got utterly frustrated by it all). She asked her English teacher what she is learning by doing all this and just got a marketing speech on how great it is and how many schools use it with success.

Can we just say she is not doing this Sam learning anymore? I am not sure if we can just do that? I have been trying to talk to the school about it but i get no real answers apart that it is simple "proven" to help all students achieve better. I don`t know where to go next with this.

The homework policy is 3 tasks late = detention. My DD dreads the thought of that so keeps on clicking away infront of her little screen.

mummytime Wed 30-Dec-15 22:48:39

I would get hold of the homework policy and keep to the letter of it. If it takes her longer then send in written letters saying why you stopped her doing longer.
I would also write to the Head and Head of Academics expressing your doubts over the use of this tool. I would also make sure they realise just how much work she is getting on it. Most schools I know tend to use it as a back up and for revision, not for every homework, although it is available for students to use as a resource.

annandale Thu 31-Dec-15 17:53:44

There must be goals set for it? I mean, the aim is not 'do ten hours SAM learning' (I hope) but 'demonstrate mastery of X, Y Z' presumably? What if she asked to be given permission to use other types of work as long as she can demonstrate that she's achieved the goal?

LuluJakey1 Thu 31-Dec-15 17:56:57

I am amazed schools are still using it. We had it in 2004 and got rid of it. It is boring, lazy and a complete rip-off. Does not motivate children at all or match their individual needs.

IguanaTail Fri 01-Jan-16 01:55:16

Samlearning is utterly dull. They have tried to jazz it up with little avatars I think, but I hate it. I never used it.

CultureSucksDownWords Fri 01-Jan-16 02:23:00

It's expensive and dull, and never had much content for my subject area which meant all the INSET courses I had to sit through about it were utterly pointless. They had effective sales people, and they like to show off their stats about how much grades can improve as a result of using it.

10 hrs a week is madness - 2 hrs each weekday, or a bit less if you're prepared to spend weekends doing it too. If a school is going to use it, it should be for revision purposes and focussed by the teacher selecting appropriate tasks for the students. Doing it from Year 8 onwards is also madness.

5madthings Fri 01-Jan-16 02:23:18

Sam learning is shit. Ds2's high school use it for maths and science. Dull dull dull and as a parent I hate it.

It's also crap for ds2 who has asc and needs stuff broken down at times or for me to sit with him and help get him focused.

Suffolkgirl1 Fri 01-Jan-16 10:14:51

If they have to do 10 hours a week, what do the children without access to a computer do? Our primary school have started to use an on line maths homework programme (max 30 mins per week) and the school had to provide a lunchtime computer homework club to provide computer and internet access for those without at home. But 10 hours is massive, no child is going to be able to do that at school. What would the school do if your DD's computer "died"?wink

Suffolkgirl1 Fri 01-Jan-16 10:20:44

There is also plenty of recent research around screen time (especially in the evenings) being detrimental to teenagers ability to sleep and being linked to lower school grades which may also help to argue for traditional homework rather than on line.

JustRichmal Sat 02-Jan-16 19:25:05

I just had a go at the maths questions. The only reason I can see for a school setting this is if they are concerned their pupils are getting too enthusiastic about maths. Could you not turn it into a game by all the family sitting round the computer and doing one question each? You could then get your dd to do some actual fun maths in the time saved and hours gained when her brain has not atrophied with the tedium.
Try Hegartymaths or Khan academy. They actually have a programme which marks the answers automatically. What will they think of next?
DH is a computer programmer and would love a job with SAM Learning as he likes an easy life and their expectations are obviously low.

dadsnet69 Sun 03-Jan-16 04:45:47

Schools seem to feel they need to do something 'different' all of the time as kids just want to be entertained. It sounds like your DD is at the top end for her year group. Ask if she could have harder questions from the next year up, dragging and dropping with some thinking in between might be more useful and less dull.

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