California schools pilot new iPad algebra curriculum

California Secretary of Education Bonnie Reiss joined Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Christopher Steinhauser and others recently at Washington Middle School in Long Beach to launch a year-long pilot of the first full-curriculum Algebra app for the Apple iPad. The pilot also represents the launch of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's HMH Fuse™, a new mode of curriculum delivery using interactive platforms and mobile devices.

In total, HMH is piloting 400 iPads across Washington Middle School and Hudson K–8 in Long Beach Unified; Kings Canyon Middle School and Sequoia Middle School in Fresno Unified; Amelia Earhart Middle School in Riverside Unified and Presidio Middle School in San Francisco Unified School District.

“The launch of HMH Fuse and this app signal the beginning of a new era in curriculum development, where the goal is not just providing world-class content, but also delivering it in a variety of ways so that students and teachers can individualize the learning experience,” said Barry O’Callaghan, CEO of HMH. “We believe this pilot will provide the nation with a glimpse into the future of education.”

The app provides the year-long Holt McDougal Algebra 1 course, authored by Williams College Mathematics Professor Edward Burger, Ph.D, plus ancillary materials and resources. The app’s highly developed comprehension tracking tools provide students with customized support and teachers with real-time student-specific performance feedback.

“The app allows students to engage in the learning process and move from being passive receivers of information to active learners who determine how to display concepts, progress through equations and interpret information,” said HMH Executive Vice President Forsa. “The app’s interactive format will resonate with teachers, students and parents because it mirrors the multi-dimensional digital environment they interact with on a daily basis.”

Empirical Education Inc., a Silicon Valley-based research organization, will compare students using the new iPad-delivered content to those using the conventional textbook. A report of the research findings is expected in fall 2011.