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California Schools Pilot iPad Algebra Curriculum

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Education publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has launched a new algebra curriculum delivery system for Apple's iPad. Dubbed "Fuse," the system is being piloted for a one-year period in middle schools in four California school districts.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt said the Fuse: Holt McDougal Algebra 1 app is the first full-year algebra curriculum application for the iPad. In addition to Holt McDougal content, the app's interactive tools provide feedback on practice questions, allow students to take notes and save them for later use, give students access to video-based lessons, and provide guided instruction. It also offers tracking tools focused on student comprehension, as well as real-time reporting tools for teachers.

HMH CEO Barry O'Callaghan said in a statement the new app "signals 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. We believe this pilot will provide the nation with a glimpse into the future of education."

California Secretary of Education Bonnie Reiss echoed O'Callaghan's sentiment, saying technology is helping to "transform education" and provide teachers with new tools for reaching students, adding, "This pilot project represents an important step toward embracing a more interactive learning environment that will help our fantastic teachers and school leaders meet the changing needs of California's students in the 21st Century economy."

In launching the new app, HMH also announced pilot programs designed to test the software on the iPad platform in several schools, including Kings Canyon Middle School and Sequoia Middle School in Fresno Unified School District, Washington Middle School and Hudson K-8 in Long Beach Unified School District, Amelia Earhart Middle School in Riverside Unified School District, and Presidio Middle School in San Francisco Unified School District.

Research firm Empirical Education has been hired to to conduct a study comparing performance of students using the iPad version of the algebra curriculum to those using a textbook-based curriculum. HMH said the results will be published in fall 2011.

In total, 400 iPads will be distributed during the year-long pilots.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .