A new website addition to the reading and writing class has students and teachers expressing their thoughts on it


Lily Gibson, Staffer

At Smoky, the school provides a reading and writing class to give extra help to students who are showing below-grade-level reading skills. The class has recently made new changes and is starting a new website called PowerUp. 

PowerUp is a literacy website made by the company Lexia. The students in the Read/Write class this year are the first students to be using this new website. It consists of three main learning targets the students can choose from on the main page. Choosing one takes them into a lesson to strengthen those skills while also including mini videos, short stories, and engaging dialogue to keep the students interested and connected to the lesson. 

Despite all of this, students and teachers have some negative opinions about it.

“Honestly, I find it pretty stupid,” Seamus Joyce (9) said, “The website is actual hell.”

“It’s lecturing me on something over and over again and it gets annoying.” Aiden Walsh (9) said, “I think it should be an option, and not mandatory.”  

Sarah Ogide, a teacher in the English department who has now had her class taking Powerup for a while now, also expressed some of her opinions on it.

“I don’t love that they are on a computer. I think it’d be more engaging if there was some instruction tied to it or a way we can make it more interactive,” Ogide said, “But I do like the platform. Because it’s colorful, it’s the best thing I’ve seen so far on a computer for literacy.”

Students are required to finish the week with an hour on PowerUp, spending about 25-45 minutes on it in class. Walsh explains there are ways students get out of doing it while still getting minutes on the website.

“You could just hold the screen open and have it be on [the website] for the whole period, get out and go back in and it seems like you did all the time,” Walsh explains.

Students not only dislike the website but find ways to skip doing the whole assignment.

The website has been getting negative opinions but there are still some good aspects of the website.

“It’s helped me improve on spelling,” Walsh said.

Overall, the bad opinions rule out the good. Students and teachers have expressed in many ways the website needs improvement and more to it. But it still has some improvements for the students who do it. In the future, PowerUp will be continued to be improved and may make changes.