Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

"Teacher First" Station Puts Interactive Curriculum on Portable Cart

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

"Teacher First" Station Puts Interactive Curriculum on Portable Cart

Article excerpt

A new teacher presentation station developed by Jostens Learning Corp., Teache r First puts a new spin on the integrated learning system concept by providing interactive courseware--loaded with full-motion video, animation, sound and graphics-in an environment that departs from the standard ILS computer lab.

Providing a more personal approach via very familiar hardware, the portable media cart, Teacher First places a 486-class DOS computer, large-screen monitor, video camera, CD-ROM drive, keyboard and trackball on a mobile cart similar to the ones currently transporting VCRs, televisions and other media equipment across K-12 schools nationwide.

As the first implementation of Jostens Learning's InterActiveMedia technology, the product allows instructors to introduce and demonstrate curriculum concepts to either the entire class or small groups.

Many Faces

Teacher First ships with its own library of videos, reference materials, news clips and sample lessons. Documentation, lesson descriptions and samples, implementation guides, suggested activities and tips on how to integrate Teacher First with Jostens Learning's Learning First network are also included.

Unique are the video capture and playback capabilities, which allow instructors to create their own presentations by incorporating video from distance learning programs, educational TV, library materials, staff-development tapes or even student projects.

Three configurations are available. The first is as a stand-alone unit with curriculum, audio and video delivered from the local CDROM drive. Video capture and editing capabilities are included; items are stored on the computer's hard drive.

Another option is to connect a Teacher First station to a Learning First network, relying on the station's CD-ROM drive for video and audio and the network's file server to provide lesson information. Video would continue to be stored on the local hard drive.

Lastly, several Teacher First stations could be connected to a media server in a full InterActiveMedia network. Online database and student lessons, off-line products and video-based teacher training programs could all be incorporated. In this configuration, captured and edited video would be stored on the media server.

Math Courseware

The first courseware offering for the system is Teacher First Mathematics, which correlates major mathematics basal text series and Learning First courseware. Designed for grades 1 to 3, the software initially runs on Windows computers; by this fall Mac versions will be available.

Of importance to educators, Teacher First Mathematics was developed with guidance from nationally recognized experts in mathematics and incorporates the latest instructional theories. Not only is it correlated to major texts, it also reflects state and national objectives.

The main thrust of the courseware is to provide real-world applications of math concepts. Technology is used to demonstrate topics in action outside of the classroom, with presentations leading to problem-solving techniques that are useful in real situations.

Students watch as people use math to solve real-life problems in a format that appeals to students' visual, auditory and kinesthetic senses. Short video or animated segments introduce a topic; teachers may stop the lesson for discussion purposes or input data and manipulate objects to illustrate a concept.

Students help their instructor interact with the lesson, then see the results of their suggestions. This enables instructors to fill a number of roles. They are presenters, guides, facilitators and coaches, helping individual students as well as small groups or entire classes. Courseware is further supported with manipulatives and classroom materials.

The complete K-6 math program on both platforms is slated for availability by the end of the year. Jostens Learning is also developing Teacher First reading/language arts courseware for the 1995 school year. …

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