LAWRENCEVILLE, GA. – April 18, 2012 – In January, Apple® shared that 1.5 million iPads® are already in use in educational settings. While schools are adopting new devices at an exponential rate, education experts point to the scarcity of instructional materials that are proven to increase student achievement. To help K-12 administrators make their hardware purchases worthwhile, Curriculum Advantage, Inc., developer of the award-winning Classworks® comprehensive instructional improvement system for kindergarten through high school, is developing a multi-prong approach for iPads and Tablets.
“We’ve been exploring this space for the past two years, and what is really interesting is that this is very similar to what happened over 25 years ago when educational software first came out. Early Adopters are buying the hardware first and then looking for ways to use it,” explains Melissa Sinunu, President of Curriculum Advantage. “Our approach includes both teacher and student tools, allowing the new technology to be easily integrated into the classroom environment.”
The first prong is Teacher Tools, which are available now. These include tools to make the teacher’s life easier and more efficient. The Student Observation tool gives teachers a fast way to make behavior and academic notes in real time without returning to their desks, which is especially helpful with RtI Tier III students. These notes can then be shared and viewed by the entire Support Team. Another tool is the ability to manage Classworks Alerts. Teachers can also grade student projects using the embedded College and Career Readiness Rubrics, which measure student performance from kindergarten through high school.
The second prong combines popular Apps with Classworks Projects, which give students an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of critical concepts. Classworks has over 1200 unique projects, which include graphic organizers and extend learning beyond the classroom. Recommended Apps are being added to key projects at every grade level. “This lends itself to conquering two challenges at once – putting iPads to work and using performance-based projects to support the Common Core standards. This is a critical way to support the classroom teacher,” Sinunu explained. These are slated for release by Fall 2012.
The third prong is to optimize the Classworks FIND® Assessment Suite for iPads and Tablets. Teachers will have the flexibility to give assessments not only in the computer lab but also on hand-held devices – wherever the student is. This also makes it more convenient for RtI specialists to give Classworks Curriculum-based Measurement probes to Tier III students. The assessment feature is expected to be available as Beta in early 2013.