Tablets inside the classroom
For years now, PC/Desktops have been present in the classroom providing children and students digital learning environments. These learning environments are helping the teachers by providing interactive learning aids where children and students can independently work and learn. In primary schools, classrooms are filled with just a couple of PCs in order to allow children to learn how to use a computer. Many of these PCs include special software written specifically for kids, where they can learn to practice basic mathematics, writing, language, etc. Most of the time these PCs are not even connected to the Internet, because of the nature of the applications and run on local machines. With their natural fit for interactive applications, tablets are making their way into the classrooms. Already, lots of interactive educative tablet applications are out there in the app stores, and many are successful in selling their educative, fun, and learning applications to consumers. Although many of these applications can also be used in the classroom set-up for combining fun and learning, they all have common challenges;
- Multi-user: Because of the personal nature of a tablet, apps often don’t allow for multi-user login, so thereby can not support more than any one pupil doing the exercises at the same time. In most educative organisations tablets are shared between the children, either by having a couple per classroom or boxes of 30 tablets going around the school.
- Learning Analytics: Keeping track of individual pupils progress is a must have for teachers. Most educative applications track progress within the application, but this does not suit the teacher’s need to have a good overview of the students’ individual progress.
Trifork has developed a solution to tackle the above challenges, and put it under a new label; Brightcenter. Brightcenter connects with educative applications to enable students to access educative applications individually, and track progress within these applications. This allows teachers to analyze the results of students and help them on an individual basis to reach their goals. The main features of Brightcenter are:
- Enabling multi-user classroom situations for educative applications
- Tracking progress and results per educative application
- Managing groups and students
Learning record store with TinCanAPI
Underneath, Brightcenter stores the individual results with the TinCanAPI, an open standard for learning analytics. We have implemented a so called “Learning Record Store (LRS)”, storing data of educative applications per individual student. With this data we represent a solid dashboard for the teacher to analyse the progress of the individual students and groups. The future of Brightcenter lies in the ability to provide a central hub for enabling both classroom and individual needs with educative applications. With students having easy access to tablets at home, school work can be brought home with them and progress and results can then still be tracked via Brightcenter.
Educative tablet applications working together with Brightcenter
With our latest educative iPad application, Learn to write with Tracy, we encountered the same challenge when thinking about applying this application within a classroom situation. Designed specifically for Brightcenter, we have released a special version of this application. When registered with Brightcenter, the students can either log in or select their name from a list within the application and continue with the exercises right from the point where left of in their last session. Learn to write with Tracy – Brightcenter is available in the iTunes App Store, and since Brightcenter is currently in beta phase, access to Brightcenter is free of charge. We have a list of other apps that are working together with Brightcenter as well:
- TableVault – the most fun way to learn tables
- Set the clock – can help your child to learn to tell time
- Geoflight – Practice provinces, cities and towns in various countries (iPad/Android/Mac)
- Lettertje apps – practise vocabularies, math, etc.
If you are a teacher (or know somebody who is!) we would love to get your feedback on the new Brightcenter and Learn to write with Tracy. Please download the iPad app in the iTunes App Store and then contact us via brightcenter.nl. Of course, even if you are not a teacher and are curious to have a look, you’re welcome to download it too 😉
If you are a parent and love to educate your kids on how to learn to write numbers and fonts, you can download our updated version of the Learn to write with Tracy consumer version in the iTunes App Store.
If you are a publisher or educative application developer and love to connect your application to Brightcenter or would like to have a similar integrated environment, just contact us to discuss possibilities! We are providing simple Brightcenter SDKs for the majority of platforms.
If you think this could work in your country, please feel to contact us via brightcenter.nl. Finally, if you have ideas about educative applications, we’re always happy to hear from you so just contact us so we can discuss the possibilities further!