We have some success stories to share. But first, a personal story from our Founder, Lionel Sandner, about how Edvantage Interactive products work in some of the top schools in North America.
Before starting Edvantage Interactive Lionel was fortunate to have a range of experiences within the education system. From teaching science and technology to Board consultant to building national curriculum frameworks and authoring science resources K through 12, he has experienced many different facets of the educational system. His career started in the mid- 80’s opening a brand new computer lab provided by AT&T. The lab consisted of 18 IBM XT computers with a StarLan network running Unix on a 3B2 400 and MS DOS 3.1 on top. His favourite memory of this time is having a total 140 Megs of hard drive space and thinking he was king of the world in educational technology. At the time, it was a side note to mention the lab was connected to a global network via the phone; A network soon to be commonly referred to as the World Wide Web.
During this time, Lionel’s students did the usual things with computers like word processing, computer programs and of course playing games, but they also were able to send messages to other students throughout the world. It was pretty heady stuff 30 years ago. During this time we even had a graduate student receive her PhD through investigating student communication behaviour as we connected with students from places like South Africa and Australia.
But, after three years the leaders within the Board moved on to the next “best thing” and the budget slowly evaporated and as the computers got slower the computer lab died a slow and painful death. And this is the problem that is still prevalent in today’s educational systems. The bottom line is every technological solution to various educational problems are not sustainable solutions. Let me give you a current example….
Many educational boards and districts currently have a tablet pilot occurring in one or more schools or maybe they’re using an Apps for Education type platform. The hope is that somehow with minimal training, poor infrastructure and no high quality curricular content, a solution to using technology in the classroom in a manner that will improve student achievement will emerge. Unfortunately, this model is not going to work. It is a way to show the use of technology in the Board without actually moving forward. What is needed is a sustainable solution that includes consistent funding, infrastructure support, technical training and professional development. And to date this doesn’t exist anywhere.
But all is not lost. Taking the many different experiences from Lionel’s educational journey, Edvantage Interactive has created a program that provides a foundation for moving forward. And, Edvantage Interactive is part of this solution with the first fully customizable print and digital program called Edvantage Science.
Our program takes teachers and students from where they are and provides multiple pathways to support them as they begin the process of integrating technology and digital information into their daily practice. As evidence to support this claim, the following Case Studies will showcase different schools and their journey into the changing of their practice.