Mobile social studies curriculum piloted

The Commonwealth of Virginia has launched the nation’s first complete social studies curriculum for the iPad. The new iPad program, developed by Pearson education, will be piloted in several schools for 12 weeks beginning November 1 as part of Virginia’s Beyond Textbooks initiative. Included are four new iPad Apps plus digital curriculum aligned to the Virginia editions of Pearson’s U.S. History and World History programs for seventh and ninth graders.

“The experiences of students and teachers with the applications and digital history content created by Pearson will help shape decisions and practices as schools move thoughtfully and carefully beyond textbooks and deeper into the age of digital learning,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright.

Pearson has created a complete instructional solution to support the company’s Virginia editions of America: History of our Nation (7th grade) and World History: Volume I (9th grade). The iPad program includes three components: App with interactive learning games that introduces concepts to students through puzzles and fast-action challenges; eText on iPad where students access the social studies curriculum and create individualized texts; and the personalized assessment with remediation App for students to review and self-test.

Superintendent Wright chose the Rich Acres Elementary School in Henry County to make the public announcement of Virginia’s K-12 iPad mobile learning initiative, which will include more than 260 students in four regions across the state. Earlier this year, the Governor’s Productivity Investment Fund allocated $120,000 for purchase of the iPads for the pilot study.

Schools participating in the pilot include: Washington Lee High School in Arlington County, Achievable Dream Middle School and High School in Newport News, Menchville High School in Newport News, Pulaski Middle School and Pulaski County High School. The Virginia Department of Education is collaborating with Radford University to conduct a research study on the results of the pilot program.

"Over the next few months, we expect to learn a great deal from these students that will influence the next generation of school products we develop at Pearson," said Pearson’s CEO for K-12 Curriculum Peter Cohen. "These findings will ultimately benefit children all across the country – youngsters who have been immersed in the digital world their entire lives.”