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simSchool Launches Version 2.0 with Global Reach(October 19, 2011)
Westlake Village, CA, October 19, 2011 --(PR.com)-- simSchool today announced the release of version 2.0 of its “flight simulator for teachers.” The new version of simSchool was funded in part under the “simSchool modules Project” sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) in collaboration with CurveShift (simSchool) and Pragmatic Solutions, Inc., (Leverage) and under a grant from the Next Generation Learning Challenge (NGLC).
Version 2.0 is an ongoing effort to improve teaching effectiveness worldwide, with simSchool taking the next leap in building a full ecosystem for playing, learning and sharing around topics in teaching and education. This new release allows users to have access to expanded content creation tools, profile building features, an open library of resources to play and edit, course management tools for students and instructors, and enhanced reports that detail choices and impacts in played sims.
"simSchool promotes global collaboration on a new model of preparing and supporting professional growth of teachers. Its simulation of teaching and learning is a platform for verifying existing theories and developing new models for discussion, debate and implementation across the world. Universities join the project to advance their own research and teaching agendas and to contribute to a better global understanding of teaching and learning,” explained David Gibson, Founder of simSchool.
“Global interest has been significant,” says Stacy Kruse, Director of Serious Games. “Our goal for Fall was to re-release simSchool with significant improvements that would be useful and engaging to our Next Generation Learning Challenges partners, the nearly 95 (and counting) higher education institutions around the world that have signed on to use and investigate simSchool this year under our EDUCAUSE Modules Project.” http://simschool.org/simPartners
“We wanted to serve them well and make it simple and enjoyable for users at all stages in their professional growth and at all levels of technical expertise to feel comfortable authoring and playing content in a simulated environment – this is unfamiliar for a lot of people,” Kruse continues. “The response and feedback we’ve received in these few weeks since our soft launch has been amazing. We’ve had close to 1,000 new users create accounts, close to 500 pieces of new content created and shared to the library, and over 50 courses created by instructors, and partners in five countries.”
By providing users an opportunity to create virtual students, tasks and classrooms, browse libraries of content shared by others, and play simulated teaching experiences, simSchool offers a chance to test different teaching strategies, learn about the needs and behaviors of students with varying needs, explore different conversational tones, and investigate pacing and sequencing of in-class tasks.
simSchool will be building it’s libraries to be leaders in not only Pre-Service Education for Teachers, but also specialty areas like Professional Development, Special Education and Compliance.
For more information on simSchool, please visit www.simSchool.org.
About simSchool and CurveShift:
simSchool is a classroom simulation that supports the rapid accumulation of a teacher's experience in analyzing student differences, adapting instruction to individual learner needs, gathering data about the impacts of instruction, and seeing the results of their teaching. It’s a virtual learning environment where instructors can explore instructional strategies, examine classroom management techniques, and practice building relationships with students that will translate into increased learning. The students may be virtual, but their very real behaviors are based on decades of psychological and behavioral research. The results teacher users experience are real and measureable, too, and include improvement in general teaching skill, improved confidence in using technology, and an increased belief that the teacher-user has the skills and ability to make a difference in a child’s life. Using simSchool has even been shown to improve pre-service teachers’ performance in teacher preparation courses and attitudes toward inclusion of special needs students. In these ways and more, simSchool enables transformational experiences for teachers to help them become more effective leaders in their classrooms and learning communities. For more information on simSchool, please visit www.simSchool.org.
CurveShift designs and distributes high quality digital tools and resources for K12 teacher and organizational effectiveness. CurveShift owns over $12 million worth of digital content, platforms, authoring tools and courseware aimed at K-12 teacher preparation and development. CurveShift's founders and their colleagues developed these assets over the past decade through government grants and contracts. Many of the products are already successful and in use across many industry segments. For more information on simSchool, please visit www.curveshift.com.
About Leverage™ Adaptive Learning Platform and Pragmatic Solutions, Inc.
Leverage™ Adaptive Learning Platform was developed by Pragmatic Solutions, Inc. under military specs to support large-scale, simulations, virtual environments, and learning management systems. Central to Leverage’s capabilities is the ability to seamlessly manage millions of user accounts, collect terabytes of data, execute thousands of business rules, and deliver real-time analytics and feedback to multiple classes of end users without impacting the flow or delivery of content or game play. Leverage currently serves as the backend framework for programs in government, business, education, research, corporate training, and commercial entertainment. Tens of thousands of content objects, dynamic media tools, game scenarios, and user-specific items and messages flow in and out of Leverage’s centralized database and interfaces hourly to users in 40 countries around the world. For more information on Leverage or Pragmatic Solutions, Inc., please visit www.pr-sol.com.
Pragmatic Solutions, Inc. headquartered in Westlake Village, CA, is a data modeling innovator with extensive organizational expertise in creating stable, scalable database and server architecture conducive to business information and learning management systems. Over the past decade, Pragmatic has worked at the leading edge of systems design, exploring how advanced data collection, inference and analysis tools can be used to impact performance, engagement, and learning in simulations, games, virtual worlds, and other interactive web environments. Pragmatic’s systems currently influence tens of millions of users’ online experiences around the world.
Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)
AACE (founded in 1981) is an international, educational, and professional organization dedicated to the advancement of the knowledge, theory and quality of learning and teaching at all levels with information technology. For simSchool Modules, AACE will house "modules" created by participating partners in EdITLib, an open source library of education and information technology digital resources. http://aace.org/
Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE)
SITE promotes the development and dissemination of theoretical knowledge, conceptual research, and professional practice knowledge through the SITE conference, books, collaborative projects with other organizations, and the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education. SITE (founded in 1990) is a society of the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). During the simSchool Modules project, SITE will operate as a communications hub, both promoting the project to its global constituency of higher ed institutions and helping disseminate news on going progress and research results. http://site.aace.org/
University of North Texas (UNT)
UNT is a student-focused, public, research university located in Denton, Texas. One of Texas' largest universities, UNT offers 97 bachelor's, 88 master's and 40 doctoral degree programs within the university's 12 colleges and schools. During the simSchool Modules project, UNT will serve as the Research Center on Teaching and Learning with simSchool. http://www.unt.edu/
Boston-based FableVision Studios creates award-winning websites, games & activities, animated films, interactive graphic novels, museum kiosks, digital storybooks, desktop applications, and iPhone apps. FableVision is dedicated to helping ALL learners reach their full potential and to telling "stories that matter, stories that move." During the simSchool Modules Project, FableVision's team will help direct creative and business development toward improving user experiences and enhancing the simSchool brand. http://fablevision.com/
NGLC reflects a unique synergy resulting from the blended expertise, leadership, and credibility of both institutional and technology leaders who share a commitment to resolving the educational challenges our students – and the country - faces , and to expanding the adoption of proven innovations within timelines that will demonstrate measurable impact on the problems of the day. NGLC is led by EDUCAUSE in partnership with the League for Innovation in the Community College, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Funding is being provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
For More information on the Phase 1 NGLC Program: www.nextgenlearning.org.
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