1. What is a “flipped classroom” and how does SummitU fit that model?
“Flipping” the classroom is a trend in education where the lecture and readings are done at home and work is done in the classroom. For instance, traditionally in a math class, a teacher would teach how to do an algebraic equation and then the students would practice their equations at home. But because of the surge in technology, teachers can now upload their lectures for the students to watch at home and then spend classroom time helping the students do the work.
This shift in the classroom is a wonderful option for the Understanding the Times series. Because we believe that content flows through relationship, we believe that the student/teacher relationship is central and engaging the content together is essential. By moving the Understanding the Times series to a digital platform, not only will students have access to the textbook, but also to supplemental materials, and videos. This frees up scarce classroom time for activities, discussion, debate, playing devil’s advocate, small group discussions, etc.
2. Why make the switch to the digital edition?
While there is much that we love about the Understanding the Times series, both the textbook and curricula, we have always worked to bring significant improvements and tools to the course. The digital edition is a giant leap in that direction.
You can see a complete video tour here, but below are some highlights:
- Updated references and resources (over 550 individual sources are cited)
- A restructured textbook that provides an introduction to the six worldviews followed by an explanation of the ten disciplines.
- Equalized chapter lengths (around 10,000 words each) for easier assignment and pacing.
- We’ve made the whole thing digital. This allows for easy navigation, note taking, real time search, instant assignment updates, and much more.
- You can see a the digital textbook in action in the video below:
3. How can I preview the digital curriculum?
You can sign up for a six-week trial of the digital course here.
The videos below will give you some starting points for different materials within the platform:
Syllabus Tutorial Video
Textbook Tutorial Video
4. Is there a Homeschool version of SummitU?
Yes! The Homeschool Version of each course in the Understanding the Times series includes all the same, great resources as the School version — tailored to fit a homeschool environment:
Each course comes pre-populated with a Weekly Syllabus. All assignments are arranged and distributed per week and intended to be completed by the following class period, when a test will be taken, assignments collected, and the next week’s coursework distributed. As always, the teacher has full ability to rearrange, remove, or add assignments to the syllabus.
5. I host a Co-op. Which version should I select?
If you have three + students or more than one teacher, you should select the Christian school version.
6. How long does a digital license last?
Teacher and Student Licenses are valid for 350 days from your License Start Date (selected at check out). Teachers may access their materials prior to the start date to set up and prep for their classes.
7. What are the technology requirements for Understanding the Times Digital?
Understanding the Times Digital has been designed as a web application and is currently functional on any device running the Google Chrome browser.
Since Understanding the Times Digital is a web-based application, every student and teacher will need a subscription and internet access to use the course both in and out of class.
For more information, visit the SummitU system requirements page.
8. What if we don’t have internet in the classroom?
We offer a printed version of the curriculum with textbooks, student workbooks, and a teacher guide. The only online feature in the printed version is the online videos.
9. Can I print or copy the textbook from the digital application?
No. The text of the textbook sits inside the digital application and as such cannot be printed. However, printed textbooks will be available for purchase for $27.95 (Summit.org). Or a print edition can be added to a digital subscription during checkout for only $19.95.
10. Is the Textbook available in PDF or EPUB?
No. The digital edition of the textbook is only available through the web application. However, print editions of the textbook are available for purchase through summit.org
11. What do I need to get started?
In order to use the course to its fullest potential you will need:
- A Teacher License for each teacher. (Or a Teacher’s Manual & Textbook).
- A Student License for each student. (Or a Student’s Manual & Textbook).
- You will also have the option to add one textbook per digital license at a discounted rate at the time your order is placed. Textbooks ordered apart from digital licenses cannot receive discounted pricing.
Because there are a number of purchase options, a print vs. digital comparison & pricing breakdown are available here.
The video below will walk through the contents and purchase options for the digital curricula.
12. How do I order SummitU materials?
You can purchase all digital materials from our order page. Account creation, purchase, and setup are covered in the following walkthroughs for homeschool use and for classroom use.
Printed resources—including printed teacher/student manuals & textbooks purchased without a digital license—may be ordered through Summit’s Webstore.
Homeschool Order Information:
Classroom Order Information – Tutorial, Part 1: setting up an account, purchasing courses.
Classroom Order Information – Tutorial, Part 2: creating course sections, adding and activating teachers and students
13. Can I use 4th edition curriculum videos and articles with the digital edition of Understanding the Times?
Because both the Understanding the Times textbook and curriculum have gone through a major revision and the 4th edition materials will not have a natural place in the digital edition of either the textbook or curriculum. But may certainly be used as a supplement.
14. Can I still purchase the 2nd Edition Textbook/4th Edition Curriculum?
Summit Ministries has no remaining stock of any previous edition of Understanding the Times.
1. I already ordered…can I add another student?
Yes! Sign in to your Administrative portal and head to “Course Management”. Click on “+ Licenses” to the righthand side of any licensed course.
2. My students are not receiving emails. What can I do?
- Please ensure that you have clicked to send a welcome email to your student.
- Ensure that the email address you’ve entered for the student is accurate.
- Please speak with your IT department to have “@summit.org” added to the incoming server whitelist.
If you continue to experience difficulties, please reach out to email@example.com for additional technical support by filling out the help form!
3. How do I customize and edit my class schedule?
The syllabus editor is a powerful tool. The below 5-minute video will give you a quick overview that will show you how to take advantage of these great features.
4. How can I add a custom assignment?
Click on the “Class Schedule” tab on the left-hand side; that will open your Class Schedule.
In the top right corner is a gearbox, tapping/clicking on that will open up the settings for the syllabus tool. Click the “Edit Schedule” button. That will give you the option of customizing your syllabus:
To add a custom assignment, click on the “Event + ” button and you will see this window:
That gives you the option of linking to an assignment. We don’t have the ability to upload one (yet), but an online storage program like Dropbox or Google Drive gives you the option of uploading a file and creating links to them.
There’s nothing worse than losing your changes, so once you’re finished updating your schedule, make sure to save your work by clicking on the gearbox again and clicking “Save Schedule”.
5. Who should I contact if I have technology questions?
The SummitU Team is available to answer your questions! Just click here to send us a note! Or click on the “Help” Button at the top of the page to submit a help request.