Teacher Tools

IBM Launches New Education App for iPad


Carla Mendoza Lopez, right, with (left to right) Mason Mulkey and Amrutha Mantha, use IBM Watson Element for Educators, the first IBM MobileFirst for iOS app for the education industry, at Coppell's Richard Lee Elementary School in Coppell, TX, on Wednesday, Oct. 19. Image courtesy of IBM.

IBM is launching its first education app for iOS and iPads. IBM Watson Element for Educators is designed to enable a new level of engagement for teachers by providing a more comprehensive view of each student, including data on interests, accomplishments, academic performance, attendance, behaviors and learning activities.

As a result, teachers are provided with more data to help them address individual needs that can potentially lead to better outcomes for K–12 students.

Coppell Independent School District (ISD) in Texas is the first school district in the country to use the app. Coppell ISD is a top-ranked district in Texas, serving the communities of Coppell, Valley Ranch, North Irving and the city of Dallas, with nearly 12,300 students and more than 750 teachers.

“Working with Apple and IBM, we are developing creative solutions and designing experiences for educators to engage learners, tap into their interests and align with their learning styles in order to help meet academic needs,” said Marilyn Denison, Coppell ISD’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, in a statement. “Using the Watson Element app, educators now have the relevant, real-time information they need in order to individualize learning and prepare students to be successful in an ever-changing world.”

IBM Watson Element provides teachers with a holistic view of each student through an easy-to-use and intuitive mobile experience. Teachers can get to know their students beyond their academic performance, including information about personal interests and important milestones students choose to share. For example, teachers can input notes when a student’s anticipated soccer match is scheduled, when another has just been named president of an on-campus club, and when another has recently excelled in a science project.

The “spotlight” feature in Watson Element provides advanced analytics that enables deeper levels of communication between teachers about their students’ accomplishments and progress. For instance, if a student is excelling academically, teachers can spotlight that student, praising his or her accomplishments across the school district.

Apple will offer the Watson Element app as part of its portfolio of educational tools for schools. Users will be charged a one-time implementation and training fee, plus an annual per-student subscription fee, which includes cloud hosting, maintenance and enhancements, a spokesman said. Pricing is not available at this time, he said.

The app is available now on iTunes and the App Store. For more information on IBM’s efforts in education, visit IBM Watson Education.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].