Actively Learn enables every student to learn deeply.

Actively Learn is an award-winning digital curriculum that drives student engagement and equity through deeper learning. Our flexible features and comprehensive, standards-aligned resources empower teachers to deepen students’ comprehension. As part of the McGraw Hill family, we offer a richer, more meaningful educational experience in ELA, science, and social studies curriculum.


The roots sprouted from the classroom

Actively Learn was founded by Dr. Deep Sran and Jay Goyal in 2012 to improve the design, practice, and experience of formal education.

Deep's doctoral work in educational psychology focused on creating an academic program that would promote students' ability to think critically and to reason about complex questions, all in a learning environment where they would be happy and motivated to learn. He evaluated how well educational software fulfilled the requirements of cognitive models and patented an electronic reading environment that would allow students to construct knowledge in ways that were impossible with traditional texts.

He founded Ideal Schools High School in Loudoun County, Virginia, and designed it around four principles:

  1. Hire teachers who know and love their subjects.
  2. Use rich, engaging content.
  3. Organize class time as a seminar discussion to explore subjects in greater depth.
  4. Treat students like junior colleagues to help create a better student experience where they would love being at school. 

Even with these ideal conditions, students did not get as much from reading as Deep and his teachers had hoped. All too often, students did not complete or merely skimmed the texts, so they were ill-prepared and uninspired.  When students read on their own, or when they could not have a discussion with their peers, they simply did not engage. Deep realized teachers needed to be able to do what they were doing in class (scaffolding, encouraging discussion and peer learning, and providing feedback and assessment) when and while their students were actually reading, and he partnered with Jay Goyal to find a solution.

Together they piloted a prototype at Deep’s school and measured the data, which showed that students performed 23% better on post-reading comprehension tests. They also found that over 80% preferred it to traditional methods. After that validation, Actively Learn was born. Today, millions of teachers and students worldwide have benefited from Actively Learn's engaging ELA, science, and social studies texts, scaffolds, and renowned accessibility and collaboration tools. With Actively Learn, teachers everywhere can help every student achieve deeper learning, improve literacy, and grow.