April 16, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Articles | No comment
Social networking has become an integral part of today’s education. Students can better engage in the learning process when combining classroom activities with online activities. Parents can better guide their children with homework if they are well informed. Now if only teachers can control who can participate in these online social communities, information can freely flow similar to a traditional classroom setting. Now you can with Novachi’s Teacher Classroom Collaboration (TCC).
TCC is a social learning platform designed to facilitate online learning by providing virtual classrooms on top of a social network and can be launched from within Novachi Apps launchpad. With similar features you would expect from popular social network websites, TCC combines the best of social networking features with private classroom level security to create a whole new way to learn and communicate.
TCC enables teachers to communicate with students and parents in a classroom-like setting with confidence that the classroom activities are restricted from the general public. Teachers have access to create new classes, invite students and parents, and act as the owner and administrator for their newly created classrooms. Student accounts can find their list of classes, participate in classroom activities and discussions, upload assignments, review shared content, class requirements and calendars, access learning trees (created by teachers or fellow peers), view photos and videos. Parents can be invited into the classroom by the teacher that owns the class. Parent accounts can view any information that is made public to them via classroom sharing. Parents can also access class calendars and events, and assist in their child’s education process.
Teachers who already have an account on Novachi will automatically see a new Teacher Classroom Collaboration app. All Florida Teachers should already have an account on Novachi. Contact Novachi Support if you need help accessing your account. Additional details about the TCC is available at http://goo.gl/rPdyh. For additional information, visit Novachi website at www.novachi.com.
July 10, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Articles | No comment
All across the nation today district administrators, superintendents, and purchasing agents are in meetings, demos, and workshops trying to determine which technologies would be best for their district’s needs. The technologies they are looking at range from in-class tools like digital projectors, smart boards, and web-cams to scan scantrons. Others include software platforms like SIS, LMS, HR programs, and more. The bottom line is, come the new school term, many schools will be learning right along with their students as new technology is integrated into the way they educate.
With all the different options available to educators, and all the different promises being made by companies hoping to secure districts dollars, it is important to remember why we are purchasing these upgrades. Whenever adopting a new technology, one must first weigh the cost/risk benefits of said product. Furthermore, it is important to determine whether or not the technology you are purchasing is leaning towards the future, or simply picking up pieces of the past in a bid to salvage the familiar.
There are a lot of things to consider, so what are some criteria for avoiding the pitfall of bad investment? Below is a list of some criteria that may be beneficial:
- Who does the product actually benefit?
- Will it improve student achievement rates?
- Will it make your classrooms more efficient?
- Does it better engage students in learning?
- Considering the previous four criteria, does it do all of the above at a cost and scalability that won’t tie your arms and constrain your budget in other areas?
Take the various smart-boards out there that vendors are offering, do they actually improve student achievement rates, make classrooms more efficient, and better engage students in learning? Or, is it simply that it is a really neat toy to play with?
If smart-boards meet the criteria, then it is certainly a worthwhile tool to have in the classroom. However, considering number five on the list of criteria, is it really practical to purchase hundreds of smart-boards, one for each of your classrooms? Is there perhaps a better way to engage students, improve achievement rates and make classrooms more efficient without the scalability issues one might see with an expensive physical product?
What about webcams that scan scantrons? Is that an actual necessity? The old systems graded scantrons just as quickly, if not faster, not to mention the fact that such technology is looking backward, not forward.
Take LMS and SIS platforms for example, they are much more easily installed, significantly more scalable, and do not normally require the same kind of capital investment that other technologies might. SIS products were originally designed to help monitor student achievement rates and make the clerical processes involved with education more efficient. LMS products are designed to facilitate learning and help students better engage in learning.
As we can see LMS and SIS seem to fit the top four criteria pretty well, but how do they line up when we consider number five? That’s where the question gets a bit more complicated, but the way we solve it ends up being the same. If a product exists that meets 1-4 on the list, then we need but consider the cost and scalability.
Let’s take a look at some SIS/LMS leaders. We have PowerSchool, Blackboard, Genesis, K12, and Novachi. All of these companies provide a product in the same category; all of them have different price points. Some charge per student, others by contract, but only one of them provides its service for free – Novachi.
Very rarely do we come across solutions so easily, but in the realm of SIS/LMS, it really is simple. If a product does everything you need it to do and more, and is significantly cheaper than the alternative, we owe to our schools, our students, and our taxpayers to make the smarter choice. Contact a Novachi representative today to learn more about our permanently free SIS/LMS solution by email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Articles, News | No comment
Today, July 5th, 20ll South Korea announced they will be making their curriculum completely digital. Here, in the United States, the education world is abuzz today with talk about the move. Some concerns are rising about where the United States stands in comparison to S. Korea, leaving many educators worried that America is falling behind in education reform.
For now, the conversation is largely about which tablet and OS South Korea will adopt, with little consideration being given to how they will implement these plans, and what kind of software or application they will be using in conjunction with them. Many schools in the United States have begun adopting iPads and similar tablets as learning tools in the classroom, but so far the US has seen nothing roll out like the scale now being seen in South Korea.
Early in his term, President Barrack Obama announced his Race to the Top Initiative that encourages schools and districts to adopt more modern standards of education, and to apply technological innovations to our classroom. While the initiative has certainly gotten the ball rolling, American schools are still falling behind other countries like South Korea.
Novachi, an emerging leader in classroom technology, already provides the tools necessary to adopt a completely digital curriculum for use with mobile devices such as iPads and Samsung’s Galaxy tablet. Novachi, a Silicon Valley company based in Santa Clara, California, has developed the solution to help American schools modernize education with collaborative learning technology. Using state of the art enterprise solutions commonly applied in the business sector, Novachi enables safe online access to classroom materials from anywhere in the world using any device such as a tablet, desktop PC, laptop, or mobile phone.
A Novachi representative, when asked about how Novachi is doing its part to spur education reform, had this to say, “We hope that providing a free and flexible solution to American schools will allow us as a country to compete with the rest of the world. The main hurdle to implementation is cost, and Novachi has put a significant amount of energy into helping schools leap that hurdle. We see no reason the US can’t do the same thing Korea is doing right now in the near future.”