1. What training is required to teach the Understanding the Times series?”
The required ingredients for a successful SummitU experience are solid content flowing through genuine relationships.
Relationship: There is no replacement for relationship—either with God or with God-fearing teachers.
Content: Relationship, by itself, doesn’t produce growth. But when challenging content flows through strong relationships, then growth happens.
In the 50+ years that Summit Ministries has been bringing worldview education to young people, we’ve found that if you have relationship and content, you’ll have a great course. And with the digital editions of the Understanding the Times series, we are providing more material than ever to help you bring great content to the relationships you have with your students.
We have also teamed up with Wheatstone Ministries who will guide you through the process of leading meaningful discussion no matter what the subject, class size, or time frame. Their training is available to any teacher to holds a current SummitU License.
2. 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.
3. Why make the switch to the digital edition?
Because it’s better! 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:
These improvements don’t come at the expense of what makes Understanding the Times so great.
- The worldview chart is still front and center to help students identify and trace the various worldviews.
- The textbook quotes and footnotes the teachings of each worldview, helping students see how strongly Christianity can stand when put next to the competing worldviews of our time.
- Our goal remains the same: to cultivate the rising generations to resolutely champion a biblical worldview.
4. Can I see some preview materials?
Absolutely! Sample chapters, slices of a variety of available syllabi, sample discussion questions, and more can be found here. We also have a Free App option available to those who are not already SummitU users. To sign up for Free App access, please click here.
5. I am a Trial Account user: how do I get started?
We’re so glad you are taking the time to check out the new, groundbreaking SummitU app! Keep an eye on your inbox for login instructions and credentials. If your credentials do not arrive within 3 business days, please alert us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The videos below will give you some starting points for different materials within the app:
6. 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.
7. I host a Co-op. Which version should I select?
This decision will be determined by your class size, the number of teachers, and how many times per week you plan to schedule “classroom” use.
- A complete comparison between the homeschool and Christian school versions of the SummitU Digital App may be viewed here.
- If you are interested in comparing the print vs. digital (Understanding the Times only, at present), a comparison chart can be viewed here.
8. 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.
9. How much do the courses cost?
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. New in 2017, Understanding the Times only)
- A Student License for each student. (Or a Student’s Manual & Textbook. New in 2017, Understanding the Times only)
- 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 the discounted pricing.
Because there are a number of purchase options, a print vs. digital comparison & pricing breakdown is available here.
The video below will walk through the contents and purchase options for the digital curricula.
10. 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 (New, 2017 for Understanding the Times only) & 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
11. What are the technology requirements for Understanding the Times Digital?
Understanding the Times Digital has been designed as a cross-platform web application and is currently functional on:
- Any device running Apple iOS 8.2 or higher
- Any device running the Google Chrome browser
The app is not functional on:
- iPad 1
- Any device running Android (native app forthcoming)
- Any Amazon Kindle Fire device
- Any Microsoft Surface tablet
- The Mozilla Firefox browser
- The Apple Safari browser
- The Microsoft Internet Explorer browser
- The Microsoft Edge 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.
12. What if we don’t have internet in the classroom?
The digital curriculum is actually designed so that a student has access to and may complete all their assigned in-app work, as well as view all video materials, prior to class. Those precious in-class hours may be reserved for discussion, activities, quizzes, review of assignments, rendering in-class internet access unnecessary!
New in the fall of 2017: We’re please to announce a print format for Understanding the Times Teacher and Student Manuals. To compare the print and digital formats, please click here.
13. Is college credit available for the digital editions?
Both Understanding the Times and Understanding the Faith have been approved for credit through Bryan College for the 2017-2018 school year. Any other college credit opportunities will be updated here when available. To receive email updates, join the Summit mailing list here.
Complete details regarding college credit for Understanding the Times and Understanding the Faith digital can be found here.
14. 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 $29.95 (Summit.org). Or a print edition can be added to a digital subscription during checkout for only $20.00.
15. 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
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. May I purchase only a Teacher’s License?
The cost for a Teacher’s license alone is the same as the cost of a Teacher’s License with three student licenses: $189.80.
19. Current User: I already ordered…can I add another student?
Yes! Sign in to your Administrative portal and head to “Course Management”. Click on “Add Licenses” to the righthand side of any licensed course.
20. Current User: 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 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!
21. Current User: 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.
22. Current User: 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 gear box, 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, clicking 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 programs 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 gear box again and clicking “Save Schedule”.
23. Current User: 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.
24. Current User: I am the Teacher and the Administrator. May I use my email address for both?
Yes! The Teacher’s username must be an email address. But that is not the case for an Administrator.
When you set up your Administrator account, just make sure you create a username that is not your email address. That will leave your email address free for use as the Teacher username.
If you have already set up an Administrative account using your email address as the username:
- Please log back into your Administrator account here
- Click on “Menu” and head to the “Account” page.
- Just change that username to something other than your email address to clear it up for use in the Teacher account.
- Add yourself as the teacher using your preferred email address as a username!