As a one-man show in a crowded jungle of competitors, I often spend my time thinking of innovative ways to keep MrNussbaum.com at the forefront of educational technology, particularly in the elementary and early middle school classroom. Not everything I dream up ends up working. My first subscription system "MrNussbaum Premium" was chalk full of innovations, but in the end proved less than relevant and too student-centered (and perhaps a bit perplexing in the name) to most teachers and administrators who were looking for specific ways to track student progress on specific strands.
In reflecting on the failures and successes of MrNussbaum Premium, I came up with a new, more flexible system that takes the best games, activities and materials on MrNussbaum.com and offers them on a new system as multi-functional apps that work on any computer or tablet and that allow for progress tracking, comparative statistics, and in some cases grade level equivalencies. Furthermore, these apps allow teachers and students to extend the capabilities of the activities on MrNussbaum.com in ways impossible without the app. These are not the kind of apps that you buy from iTunes or Google Play, but rather apps purchased as annual subscriptions from MrNussbaum.com that become available to you and 100 students (three classes).
Here is how it will work:
1.) Teacher registers himself or herself and then registers classes with students. It is as simple as copying and pasting student names.
2.) Teacher visits the Educational Marketplace and learns about the apps available. Upon launch, there should be four apps available:
a.) Total Access Math - a suite of 40 common-core aligned math games complete with lesson plans, instructional videos, detailed information, printable worksheets, online picture-based math exercises, and of course, the games. Here, all sorts of progress tools including grade level equivalencies and mastery statistics available to teachers and students. Teachers can deploy games individually to students, or, the entire suite.
b.) Reading Comprehension Central - similar to my popular reading comprehension section, this app will include over 150 reading passages and question sets aligned to specific grade levels. Teachers can preview each exercise and deploy as many or as few as desired. Teachers can also customize settings to include timers and highlighting capabilities for students. Detailed reporting included.
c.) Cloze Reading (Contextual Vocabulary) - a suite of 100 cloze reading exercises aligned to specific grade levels. Teachers can preview each exercise and deploy as many or as few as desired. Detailed reporting included as well as progressive word banks awarded to students.
d.) Drag and Drop Math - aligned to over 20 Common Core Standards, Drag and Drop Math allows the teacher to customize settings and deploy any kid of addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division problems to students, who have an online drag-and-drop interface to complete the assigned problems. Perfect for kids with trouble organizing numbers. Teachers can allow the system to assign random problems based on specification (e.g. 3 digit by 2 digit addition) or can specify exact problems. Teachers can even substitute variables for numbers (e.g. rather than the typical 35 + 35 = 70, 35 + X = 70).
3.) Teacher purchases apps
4.) Within 24 hours, all teacher and associated student accounts are activated and an introductory e-mail is sent.
5.) Teacher begins deploying apps or selected sections of apps to classes and students for use.
In this way, teachers or schools only purchase exactly what they want, rather than having a suite of tools, most of which are never used.
I am hoping to launch this new system (which will replace MrNussbaum Premium) by the end of August. When the system is a bit more polished, I will be asking for ten beta-testers who will use all of the apps with their classes free of charge for one year in exchange for filling out a two-page questionnaire. Please let me know ASAP if you are interested in this opportunity and I will reserve a space for you. Please use the contact form on MrNussbaum.com, or, message me on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/MrNussbaumcom/114639385242765