Novel trends and innovations have enhanced contemporary educational environments. When applied properly, these computing advances can create enriched learning opportunities for students. Mobile Technologies and Augmented Reality in Open Education is a pivotal reference source for the latest academic research on the integration of interactive technology and mobile applications in online and distance learning environments. Highlighting scholarly perspectives across numerous topics such as wearable technology, instructional design, and flipped learning, this book is ideal for educators, professionals, practitioners, academics, and graduate students interested in the role of augmented reality in modern educational contexts.
Gulsun Kurubacak, Anadolu University, Turkey. Hakan Altinpulluk, Anadolu University, Turkey.
Microsoft Teams provides a digital platform that can be used to streamline and centralize classroom resources and operations. This course helps you learn how to create a class, add class members, manage assignments, and engage in meaningful conversations with students. Join Oliver Schinkten as helps you get started using Microsoft Teams for your classroom. He shows how to organize your class and classwork using channels and tabs, and then demonstrates how to add and manage learning activities. He covers working with students, the grading process, and communicating using meetings and chat sessions. He also explains how to integrate with OneNote Notebooks to create lessons plans that can be quickly disseminated to students.
* Accessing Microsoft Teams
* Creating a class
* Customizing class settings
* Adding students to a class
* Adding tabs and channels
* Adding resources using connectors
* Chatting with students
* Managing student communication
* Starting a meeting
* Getting alerts about activities
* Sharing files and resources
* Distributing and grading assignments
Lynda Video Training
Size: 286 MB | Duration: 1h 28m
Genre: eLearning | Level: Beginner | Language: English
Adobe Spark is a versatile tool you can use to create graphics, stories, and animated videos you can post on the web for marketing, education, and training. In this course, instructor Sandee Cohen shows how to create resources using Spark Post, Spark Video, and Spark Page. Sandee take you through a sample project, creating content for a travel agency. Along the way, she provides tips and tricks you can use, whether you are posting to your social media account, learning management system, or website.
* What is Adobe Spark?
* Finding images and icons
* Using themes
* Creating a base Post project
* Adding and formatting text
* Working with images
* Creating a post of multiple images
* Animating text and backgrounds
* Adding narration and music
* Inserting videos with transitions
* Creating a webpage
* Adding buttons, links, and videos to pages
How to create amazing courses,videos, posts and pages quickly using Adobe Spark
In this course, you will learn step-by-step how to use Adobe Spark. It is a one-stop content shop for creating and sharing your visual stories (video, posts and pages) on any device.
Build amazing videos, posts and pages to take your online content to new levels with this tutorial for beginners.
Easily create videos in minutes
Use professional themes
Royalty free photos, images and music
Auto resize your designs for all Social Media Platforms
Design courses, presentations, social media posts, and YouTube videos in no time at all.
Works on any ios or web device
A Powerful Skill At Your Fingertips
Learning how to use Adobe Spark puts a powerful and very useful tool at your fingertips. Adobe Spark is free, easy to learn, and will be your go to App when designing content for the web.You will really be able to wow your audience with the skills you will learn in this course
Content and overview
The course is split into three sections (one each for video, posts and pages.) In each section you will get an overview, full details on how to create your project and then finally an example so you can see how the skills you have learned work together in practice.
In the Adobe Spark Video section, you will learn how to create compelling, animated video in minutes. You will be able to use the software to choose from thousands of stunning icons and images to create your video, whilst adding cinematic motion with no design experience necessary. You will then be able to add text and a soundtrack from a large choice of royalty free tracks, with the option of adding your own voice as narration.
In the Adobe Post section, you will find out how to turn your text and photos into a professional looking graphic, by simply applying your favorite theme. You will be able to resize your text for any social media platform and apply beautiful typography on the fly.
With the Adobe Page section, you will get skills to turn words and images into beautiful, magazine-style web stories that will impress readers on any device.
This course will show you how to get the best from the free software and increase your creativity. You can achieve all of this in under an hour.
Title: Create Amazing Images, Videos & Web Stories With Adobe Spark
2 h | Video: AVC (.MP4) 1280×720 30fps | Audio: AAC 44.1KHz 2ch | 504MB
Genre: eLearning | Language: English
Learn how to create stunning Social Media Images, Animated Videos And Web Stories (Zero skilled required).
So you can create amazing graphics & videos for free using a fully-featured cloud based program which is called Adobe Spark.
Adobe Spark Is Really A Game Changer Online Tool For Authors, Marketers, Content Creators and Online instructors. Adobe Spark is the only integrated web and mobile solution for creating and sharing impactful visual stories.
And unbelievably it is completely FREE!
This online course will teach you how to use Adobe Spark tools & features to create PROFESSIONAL LOOKING REAL WORLD projects for any business or brand.
Do you want to create social media images for your own or for others, but don’t know how and where to begin?
Want to create compelling web pages to tell your story?
Want to create promotional videos?
Want to create super effective animated videos in minutes?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re in the right place!
I am Masuk Sarker Batista & I have been doing professional graphics design for 4+ years and can’t wait to show you this awesome tool.
After learning the skills in this course, you will never again hire a graphic designer or video editor to create your marketing images & promo videos. Save your money for more worthwhile purposes! I will guide you every step of the way and are here to make sure you succeed in your journey.
With our 30-day 100% money back guarantee, there is nothing holding you back from jumping in right now and trying the course out.
I hope you are enjoying the course. Please contact me anytime for additional questions/support. I’m always here to help you to achieve your learning goals and looking forward to your success.
What are the requirements?
A Computer With Internet Connection
Basic Knowledge Of Using Internet
And The Most Important Is Your Enthusiasm
What am I going to get from this course?
Create Beautiful Animated Videos In Few Minutes Using Adobe Spark Video
Create Amazing Web Pages To Share Their Ideas In Online Using Adobe Spark Page
Share Your Images, Web Pages & Animated Videos As Private Or Public
Be The Master Of All The Features And Functionalities Of Adobe Spark
What is the target audience?
Those Who Want To Create Social Media Images
Those Who Want To Create Animated Videos
Those Who Want To Create Web Pages To Share Stories
Those Who Want To Attract Targeted Audience & Gain Followers/Customers
Those Who Want Complete Control Over Their Branding
Beginner, Intermediate And Advanced Users Of Adobe Spark
Author: Pamela Woolner
English | 1 July 2010 | ISBN: 1855397749 | 132 Pages
Learning can take place anywhere. So does the detail of the physical surroundings provided by schools matter? After many years of minimal investment in school premises, schools in the UK are in the midst of a wave of planning, building and using new schools. This includes all English secondary schools, being renewed through Building Schools for the Future (BSF), as well as schemes for English primaries and programmes of school construction in Scotland and Wales.
Title: Virtual Immersive and 3D Learning Spaces: Emerging Technologies and Trends
Immersive learning has grown in popularity with the development of open-source immersive 3D learning spaces. Those in e-learning have been working to find ways to capitalize on immersive learning through simulations, digital kiosks, live virtual events, live interactivity, instructor-facilitated learning, AI-driven robots, and hyper-realistic experiences. Virtual Immersive and 3D Learning Spaces: Emerging Technologies helps push the conceptual and applied boundaries of virtual immersive learning. Virtual immersive spaces bring with them plenty of promise, of sensory information-rich learning experiences that will enable a much wider range of experiential learning and trainingdelivered to computer desktops, augmented reality spaces, digital installations, and mobile projective devices. This work explains how these spaces may be exploited for effective learning in terms of the technologies, pedagogical strategies, and directions.
Title: Methodological Challenges When Exploring Digital Learning Spaces in Education
Author: Greta Bjork Gudmundsdottir
English | 30 May 2014 | ISBN: 9462097356, 9462097364 | 154 Pages
Over the last decade, the practices by which scholarly knowledge is produced – both within and across disciplines – have been substantially influenced by the appearance of digital information resources, communication networks and technology enhanced research tools.
Title: Children and their Environments: Learning, Using and Designing Spaces
Author: Christopher Spencer
Cambridge University Press; 1 edition | March 6, 2006 | English | ISBN: 0415498244, 1107405513 | 296 pages
Examining theories of children’s perceptions of space and place, this book explores how these theories are applied to the world of children. Its focus is on children in large real world spaces; places that children live in, explore and learn from. These include classrooms, playgrounds, homes and yards, towns, communities, countryside, natural environments, and the wider world. An international team of authors compares the experiences of children from different cultures and backgrounds by linking research on children’s comprehension and daily lives to recommendations for practice.
Title: Human-Experiential Design of Presence in Everyday Blended Reality: Living in the Here and Now (Human-Computer Interaction Series)
Author: John Waterworth
English | 18 May 2016 | ISBN: 3319303325 | 120 Pages
This book explores how our lives and social interactions have become split between two intertwined, but not integrated, realities: the physical and the digital. Our sense of presence in the here and now has become fragmented, and yet earlier design approaches reinforced the problem, rather than leading to improvements. The authors address these issues by laying out a new human computer interaction (HCI) design approach – human-experiential design – rooted in a return to first principles of how people understand the world, both consciously and unconsciously. The application of this approach to the design of blended reality spaces is described in detail. Examples and scenarios of designing them to overcome the problems inherent in a variety of mixed reality settings are provided.
Human-Experiential Design of Presence in Everyday Blended Reality will appeal to undergraduate and graduate students and researchers in interaction design, psychology, HCI and computer application studies, as well as practicing interaction designers and computer professionals. It will also be of interest to communication, media and urban design students, and to all readers with an interest in the technology-mediated future.
Simple and effective classroom management software. Put classroom management to a higher level. This software lets you see what everyone’s doing – without leaving your desk. You can monitor the activity of all student computers in your classroom remotely. Plus, you can share your screen with your students’ record activity, control computers, make demos, limit the internet usage, block applications and much more.
Take Control Now
It is hard to teach a group of people how to use a computer. Discipline in classroom can be an issue. We can truly help you with this. Yes, such training isn’t easy. For someone who’s doing something right, there are probably two others doing it wrong, playing games, checking email, shopping…
• Displaying a live picture of a remote computer.
• You can take control of a remote computer by controlling its mouse and keyboard.
• More remote screens can be displayed in a table.
• Computers can be organized in computer groups (e.g. classrooms)
• A remote screen can be zoomed to an actual size.
• The name of the connected user is displayed.
• Record remote computers screens to MPG4 files.
• Show your desktop to students or show student desktop to students
• Power on/off, restart, hibernate, suspend remote computers
• Log off desktop users
• Lock workstation
• Clear desktop
• Control screen-saver
• Block Internet
• Block applications
• Mute remote computers
• Limit remote computers audio volume level
• Disable printing
• Disable Ctr+Alt+Del
• Blank screen
• Start program on remote computers and see the output
• Open web page on remote computers
• Multi-monitor support
• Control over running processes and applications
• You can lock selected remote computers
• You can display a message on selected remote computers.
• When lower bandwidth is required, the refresh interval can be enlarged.
• Automatic connection to a remote computer is optional.
• Settings for the agent are encrypted and password protected.
• Connection to a remote computer is password protected.
• Access to monitoring the console is password protected. If more users use the same computer, different profiles and access passwords can be set.
• More monitoring consoles can be connected to the same remote computer – you can monitor your students from different locations.
• Agent can be remotely installed.
• Fast users switching is supported.
• Multi-session support for Remote Desktop, Terminal Services, Citrix,…
• Console can be used on smart phone or tablet
What are the major benefits of using Classroom Spy Pro?
• Installation and use of the application is very easy since all of the functions can be accessed with a few mouse clicks.
• You have complete control over what remote users are doing.
• This application provides you with a live picture of the remote computer screens.
• You can make the presentation by showing your live screen to students or presenting student screen to others.
• Application allows you to take over the remote computer by controlling its mouse and keyboard.
• The remote computers´ screens are represented in the table with a customizable number of rows as thumbnails.
• Schedule remote computers desktop recording to MPEG4 files
• Execute several actions on all remote computers with on click
• Block applications and Internet access
• Log visited web pages
• Log used applications
• Log keystrokes – keylogger
• …and much more – see feature list and screen-shots
What’s New in Classroom Spy Pro 4:
• Classroom monitoring – see live screens of all students’ computers
• Show your screen to students
• Take a control (mouse & keyboard) over student computer
• Lock all students’ computers to get the attention
• Record remote computers screens to AVI files
• Execute several tools like power off, restart, hibernate, lock workstation,…
• Prevent Internet browsing (block ports, block / allow individual web sites)
• Start or stop applications and processes on remote computers
• Monitor thin clients, Terminal Services (RDP) sessions
• Can be remotely configured and installed
• Works on LAN, WLAN, VPN and Internet
• Password protected
• Multi monitor support
Supported Desktop Platforms:
• Windows XP, Windows 2003 Windows Vista (32/64) bit
• Windows 7 (32/64) bit
• Windows 8 / 8.1 (32/64) bit
• Windows 10 (32/64) bit
This book focuses on developing methods for constructing learning paths in terms of e-learning resources (learning contents), e-learning approaches (learning method), and e-learning quality (learning performance) to support learning. This book defines different teaching approaches for learning activities and organizes them into a learning path which indicates the learning sequence. This book introduces how to automatically generate well-structured learning resources for different students.
Also, this book introduces a method about how to generate adaptive learning approach to learn learning resources for different students. Finally, this book introduces a method to monitor and control learning quality. The adaptive learning path expresses well-structured learning contents, using which approach to access those learning contents, and in which sequence to carry out the learning process. The learning path comes with a monitoring tool to control the learning progress, which helps to make students having a balanced development on different knowledge and abilities.
Researchers who worked in E-learning area, both education and computer sciences people.Educators who worked in educational institutes, such as Universities, Schools, etc. They would like to use or study E-learning tools/technologies/methods in their own work.And technicians who run/design educational websites will understand the appeal of this work.
Title: E-Learning Systems: Intelligent Techniques for Personalization
This monograph provides a comprehensive research review of intelligent techniques for personalisation of e-learning systems. Special emphasis is given to intelligent tutoring systems as a particular class of e-learning systems, which support and improve the learning and teaching of domain-specific knowledge.
A new approach to perform effective personalization based on Semantic web technologies achieved in a tutoring system is presented. This approach incorporates a recommender system based on collaborative tagging techniques that adapts to the interests and level of students’ knowledge. These innovations are important contributions of this monograph.
Theoretical models and techniques are illustrated on a real personalised tutoring system for teaching Java programming language.
The monograph is directed to, students and researchers interested in the e-learning and personalization techniques.
Title: Smart Education and e-Learning 2016
(Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies)
Authors: Vladimir Uskov, Robert J. Howlett, Lakhmi C. Jain
2016 | ISBN: 3319396897 | English | 567 pages
This book contains the contributions presented at the 3rd international KES conference on Smart Education and Smart e-Learning, which took place in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Spain, June 15-17, 2016.
It contains a total of 56 peer-reviewed book chapters that are grouped into several parts: Part 1 – Smart University: Conceptual Modeling, Part 2 “ Smart Education: Research and Case Studies, Part 3 “ Smart e-Learning, Part 4 “ Smart Education: Software and Hardware Systems, and Part 5 “ Smart Technology as a Resource to Improve Education and Professional Training. We believe that the book will serve as a useful source of research data and valuable information for faculty, scholars, Ph.D. students, administrators, and practitioners – those who are interested in innovative areas of smart education and smart e-learning.
Author: Lynda.com and Oliver Schinkten MP4 | Video: AVC 1280×720 | Audio: AAC 44KHz 2ch | Duration: 1 Hours 11M Genre: eLearning | Language: English
Technology is changing the way we teach, and Google’s leading the charge. Google Classroom is the latest offering from Google Apps for Education. It gives educators access to a free tool that’s already seamlessly integrated with Google Drive, and is designed to simplify elearning, including paperless assignments and grading. In this course, staff author Oliver Schinkten explores how to create and administer a brand-new course in Google Classroom.
He covers adding students, sharing content, communicating with students, creating assignments, and integrating with other Google Apps. Plus, get a look at Google Classroom from the student perspective: Oliver simulates what it’s like to join a class, take an assignment, and communicate with a teacher.
How to use Google’s free online storage service and word processor.
Do you have 30 minutes to spare? It’s all you’ll need to get up to speed with Google Drive and Google Docs, two free programs in Google’s online productivity suite. Millions of people use Drive and Docs every day on their computers and mobile devices. You, too, can use Drive and Docs to perform the following tasks:
Write reports, letters, and resumes with Google Docs
Collaborate online with classmates and colleagues
Sync files from your home computer to a work computer, and vice versa
Perform limited editing of Microsoft Word documents
Print documents using Google Cloud Print
Publish documents and spreadsheets online
Use the Google Drive app and the Google Docs app on your Android phone or tablet, or iPhone or iPad to create and edit files on the go
This 30-minute class is narrated by the author of the top-selling guide, Google Drive & Google Docs In 30 Minutes. The course includes lectures on registration, finding and organizing files, creating documents and formatting them, working with Microsoft Word documents in Google Docs, and a complete review of the interfaces for Google Drive and Google Docs on the Web and mobile devices. The tone of this guide is friendly and easy to understand, with lots of step-by-step instructions and examples that show exactly what to do.
In addition to serving as a solid introduction to new users, it’s great for people making the transition from Microsoft Office, not to mention teachers using Google Drive for education and Google Docs in the classroom.
Title: Google Drive: A Beginner’s Guide to Google Drive: Master Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides Now
Author: Steven Dota
English | Feb. 8, 2016 | ASIN: B01BLL9KUW | 79 Pages | AZW3/MOBI/EPUB/PDF (conv) | 2.36 MB
This book contains proven steps and strategies on how to use Google Drive to the fullest.
This eBook will explain the basics of Google Drive and how people can benefit from it. By reading this book, you will know how to create, upload, edit, share, remove, and restore files using the Google Drive system. In addition, you will learn how to use Docs, Sheets, and Slides – powerful services from Google that you can use for free.
Google Classroom for Beginners: Learn How to Use Google Classroom Effectively
One of the latest innovations from online giant Google, Google Classroom is deemed as an online web-based educational platform that’s set to change the face of academics anywhere in the world.
This book contains proven steps and strategies on how to understand Google Classroom—from what it is, to how it works, and everything else you can do with it, you’ll find them all right here!
Even proponents of educational technology admit that a lot of software sold to schools isn’t very good. But they often highlight the promise of so-called “adaptive learning” software, in which complex algorithms react to how a student answers questions, and tailor instruction to each student. The computer recommends different lessons to different students, based upon what they already know and what they still need to work on.
Wonderful in theory, but does it work in practice?
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation sought to find out, and gave money to 14 colleges and universities to test some of the most popular “adaptive learning” software in the marketplace, including products from a Pearson-Knewton joint venture, from a unit of McGraw-Hill Education called ALEKS and from the Open Learning Initiative. Most of the universities combined the software with human instruction, but a few courses were delivered entirely online. Almost 20,000 college students and 300 instructors participated in the experiment over the course of three terms between 2013 and 2015. It’s probably the largest and most rigorous study of adaptive learning to date. Then Gates hired SRI International, a nonprofit research institute, to analyze the data. (The Gates Foundation is among the funders of the Hechinger Report.)
What SRI found was sobering. In most cases, students didn’t get higher grades from using adaptive-learning software, nor were they more likely to pass a course than in a traditional face-to-face class. In some courses the researchers found that students were learning more from adaptive-learning software, but even in those cases, the positive impact tended to be “modest”. (Lessons Learned From Early Implementations of Adaptive Courseware: almap_final_report)
“I wouldn’t characterize our report as cynical, just cautious,” said Barbara Means, director of the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International and one of three authors of the report.
Although the study was conducted exclusively at colleges and universities, Means said she suspects researchers would find similar results with adaptive software used at elementary, middle and high schools.
Means emphasized that it was an analysis of the technology available back in 2013, and that better products have come to market since. “It shouldn’t be regarded as though this is the last word. It’s just a very early snapshot,” Means added.
Still, two important lessons emerged from the report, which may continue to apply even as the software improves.
1. The software in and of itself isn’t a magical teacher
“Every piece of learning software I’ve ever studied gets positive effects in some places and not others,” said Means. “When you try to understand why that is, you find out that students and instructors used it in very different ways.”
When instructors use the same language that’s used in the software during the face-to-face instruction, it’s more potent. It also matters when teachers look at the data that the software is generating, and spend class time reinforcing ideas that were troublesome after students used the software. And on a most basic level, students need incentives to use the software. Sometimes, the instructor just says, go use it, but doesn’t monitor whether students log in or not. Not surprisingly, usage is low or sporadic. “Sometimes instructors give students the impression that what they do in the courseware doesn’t matter,” said Means.
The research also highlighted that the technology was more effective when the professor or the university completely redesigned the course around it. One example is flipping the classroom, where lectures are delivered online and the entire classroom time is spent in smaller groups with instructors who can review difficult problems, or conduct a socratic dialogue.
Another example is to use the technology to allow students to skip some prerequisite hurdles. Students still had to learn the material, but it could be taught online, by the adaptive-learning courseware, to fill in holes while the student was learning in a more advanced class. That can help students graduate on time within four years.
“We can’t expect all the power to be in a piece of software. Because we know it’s not,” said Means.
2. Universities aren’t monitoring whether the technology they’re using is working
In conducting the study, Means frequently found that colleges and universities weren’t prepared to measure student learning in a way that would stand up to academic scrutiny. To measure how much students are learning, you need to know what students knew before they started a course. You can’t just compare student grades in an adaptive-learning class with those in a traditional class because you might have stronger students in one of them. It was a particular problem to compare different semesters, because students who fail an introductory course in the fall often retake it in the spring, and the spring classes were filled with students who struggle more.
A lot of the data collected in the study couldn’t be analyzed because it was hard to make apples-to-apples comparisons.
“I think education institutions making major changes in the instruction, such as a reliance on adaptive courseware, have a responsibility to be monitoring the effectiveness of what they’re doing,” Means said. “And then try to improve it, in a kind of continuous improvement framework that you would see in some of the leading companies in any field.
“They don’t really know if what they’re doing is a change for the better, or not,” she said. “Given the cost of higher education today, which we all know a lot about, students and the public really have a right to expect this kind of attention to the quality of the product.”
This is not just in the public interest. SRI is also in the business of selling analytical tools to universities. But if universities were to start tracking student learning, it might eliminate the need for “snapshot” reports like this, which quickly become obsolete.
Gail Robinson is a writer who specializes in education and other public policy issues. Based in New York City, she also is an adjunct professor
Is this the future of education? What digital learning looks like when third-graders use it all day in one suburban district.
MINEOLA, N.Y. — When the 24 third-graders in Morgan Mercaldi’s class arrive at the Jackson Avenue School every morning, they take their iPads out of their backpacks and put them on their desks. The tablets will remain there, or in hands and laps, until the children put them in their packs to take them home.
Last year Mercaldi had her students stash the iPads away when they weren’t using them. But she has abandoned that. “Putting them away serves no purpose. We use them constantly,” Mercaldi says.
Mercaldi’s class in Mineola, N.Y., is in the fifth year of a district initiative that now provides iPads to all students in grades three through nine. At Jackson Avenue, which houses the third and fourth grades, all 417 children, including those in special education, have their own tablets, and they spend about 75 percent of their instructional day on the devices, more than many other schools that have embraced digital learning.
Despite a lack of hard data on how digital learning affects student achievement, Mineola, a fairly affluent New York City suburb, is betting heavily on technology to help children meet an array of tough Common Core standards. By embracing iPads while keeping the traditional model of one teacher working with 20-some children, the small school district offers a vision of what the future of digital learning might be.
Here’s a typical day in a third-grade classroom.
10 – 11:20 a.m.
At around 10 a.m. on a late-winter day, Mercaldi’s students sit scattered around the sunny classroom, some at their desks, some perched on a shelf running along one wall and some on the bright blue rug. All the children have their iPads out as they read and do English language arts exercises. Many use eSpark, which creates a “playlist” of education apps geared to each student’s needs.
After about 25 minutes, Mercaldi calls the students together to revise the first-person pieces about frogs that they each researched and wrote. Like so much in the class, the assignment has had digital and paper elements. Mercaldi’s students received their iPads in October, and now move smoothly from pencil to touch screen and from paper to tablet. The children did their frog research both online and in books, organized the materials on their iPads, and did their writing on paper.
Now, Mercaldi tells the students to begin revising their narratives. “I want you to work on communication skills with a partner,” she says. The children leave their iPads on their desks and sit on the floor in two concentric circles. Working in pairs, they alter words in their texts. One suggests changing “scary” to “frightening”; another, “animal” to “creature.”
At 10:45 a.m., after a short snack break, the students take out their iPads for the first of several math lessons that Mercaldi will sprinkle throughout the day. Today, the main topic is finding the area of rectangles and the multiplication needed to do that.
As Mercaldi stands at a large interactive whiteboard, the children follow along on their tablets, trying to figure out the area of a 7-by-13 rectangle. “Do we know 7 times 13 just like that?” she asks the students. Most agree they do not, and so break the number down, eventually coming up with 3 times 7 plus 10 times 7.
Staying with math, the students then use their iPads to answer questions Mercaldi has posted on Edmodo, which helps students and teachers communicate electronically and lets Mercaldi see the children’s answers. (Last year Mercaldi used regular email and was bombarded with messages. She finds Edmodo “more efficient … a little more teacher-student.”) Reviewing the students’ work, Mercaldi says, lets her assess whether every child is meeting the standards and, if not, where he or she needs help.
Now in her second year with the iPads and her seventh year as a teacher, Mercaldi seems unfazed by the technology. “I kind of grew up with technology. It’s the future,” she says.
Most children also seem comfortable with the devices. “I have one at home but I was excited to get it at school because I thought it would be an interesting experience,” Brianna DiVirgilio says.
11:20 a.m. – 12:55 p.m.
When students finish their math questions, they can move on — to reading on eSpark, working on an app or watching a video. Then, at around 11:20, the class divides again, this time into four groups, each designated by a color. The group assignments are geared to the students’ individual levels and what they need to know. One group reads with Mercaldi. The other three do lessons on their iPads: one on eSpark, one answering language arts questions on Edmodo and the third on MobyMax, a provider of electronic curricula.
The students seem to like MobyMax the best because it begins every day’s task with a joke. While the technology may be new, the gags aren’t (“What has four wheels and flies?”). The children also like the badges — usually a nature photograph — that they get when they answer a set of questions correctly.
At Mercaldi’s prompting, three girls explain how they made videos about the imaginary organizations all the students created: Clothes Court, Rockin’ Socks and Shoes and Books for Reading. The videos are accessible by scanning a QR code with a mobile device.
A couple of boys are big fans of a drawing app. Demonstrating how it creates various visual effects, Brendan Ludwig observes, “You can do all the basics. You can make a perfect house, and if you want to make changes, you don’t have to delete it.”
With two dozen third-graders using all these apps and programs, technical glitches are inevitable. One girl discovers that the camera on her device is not activated, something Mercaldi promises to fix.
Working on MobyMax, Angelica Moreira cannot call up the math quiz she wants. Other children try to help her, something the school encourages. “We teach the kids how to troubleshoot,” Jackson Avenue principal Janet Gonzalez says. “Some of the kids are teaching the teacher.”
In the meantime, Angelica selects new backgrounds for her tablet. “I do this a lot while I wait around,” she says. But even after her new wallpaper is in place, the quiz will not load. Eventually someone realizes that MobyMax is preventing Angelica from trying a second quiz too soon after taking the first.
Despite being so-called digital natives, the students vary in how expert they are on the iPads and how much they like them. “Some people know more than other people on the iPad and they get jealous,” says Joshua Parr. Joseph Parrino has had trouble with the iPad’s flat electronic keyboard — “my fingers slip,” he explains — and so has brought a plug-in keyboard from home. And several children say they prefer old-fashioned books to the digital alternative.
By 11:40 it’s time for the second of the day’s math lessons, a drill — Mercaldi calls it a “sprint” — in which the students use paper and pencils to rapidly solve a series of problems, this time involving number patterns. After that, they will break for lunch.
12:55 – 2:30 p.m.
Shortly before 1 p.m., the children return from lunch for another math lesson and open their paper workbooks to exercises on finding the area of a rectangle. At Mercaldi’s urging, the students offer various strategies for the same problem. “Use what works,” she says.
After several students depart for music class, those left behind alternate between iPads and paper to solve problems about rectangles and the properties of multiplication.
The tablet has one advantage with the children. “They’re engaged and they like it; it doesn’t seem like a job,” Mercaldi says. But the device also can be too much of a good thing. “It can’t consume their every day,” she says, adding, “The hardest thing was finding the balance.” In general, she tries to take the students off an app after 20 minutes. With several hours during the school day on the iPads, plus homework time and other afterschool use, it’s not hard to imagine that some Jackson Avenue students may look at their tablets for six hours or more a day.
The day’s math lessons end with a problem set, to be done on the iPads. Most students come to the rug to work on the questions with Mercaldi and the other children. A few, though, go it alone. Mercaldi tells the children to list all possible rectangles with an area of 48 square centimeters and to consider what the various shapes might look like.
“When the numbers are closer, don’t they kind of look like squares?” Brianna proposes.
Once they have completed their work and submitted it to Mercaldi, the children can read on eSpark. One boy, though, finds something more enticing to call up on his screen: “Road Crossing.” Some students quickly call him out — “Isn’t that a game?” one asks. Mercaldi picks up on the buzz and asks the boy what he’s doing. Caught, he answers, “I’m playing a game.”
While some parents may have had qualms about giving young children access to the web, Gonzalez says there have been surprisingly few difficulties. The students clearly know the situation: “If you do stuff that’s bad on it, you can have it taken away,” they say.
The day’s final lesson has the children gathered on or around the rug with their iPads for a science class on climate and seasons. Mineola is in the midst of a severe cold spell, and the students chatter with the teacher about this. As that dies out, Mercaldi takes up a reading that is posted on the whiteboard, and the children follow along on their tablets. The text has lots of information and complicated vocabulary, so Mercaldi offers tips. “I would definitely use highlighter to mark something interesting or something you learned,” she advises.
Once they have completed reading the passage, Mercaldi challenges the children to write down something interesting from the reading and to post on Edmodo a picture of the climate zone where they would like to live. She advises anyone who’s not certain of the assignment to take a picture of the whiteboard.
“Can I send you back to your seats? Can you do this without talking? Then you’ll earn three marbles,” she tells them. Students can cash in the marbles for purchases at a classroom store or for a class prize (the children have chosen unstructured tablet time).
The posting of the pictures is a bit slow, and they overlap one another when Mercaldi tries to put them on the whiteboard. She pledges to return to the project the next day. Now it is 2:40, and the children pack up their iPads. It’s time for a hockey game in the gym, and, for now at least, there is no app for that.