By Yannis Kotsanis and Thomas Economou (Doukas School)
One of the main aims of the iRead Project is to develop a diverse set of learning apps and teaching tools that foster the learning, teaching and assessment of reading skills, including personalized and adaptive literacy games and a reader app.
For this purpose, a low-cost but reliable for educational use even by non-partner schools, tablet was chosen by the project partners.
The Novice-Greek team, coordinated by Doukas School, received the 200 out of a total of 1100 tablets (all partners) which are currently being distributed to the first of the 20 Greek public primary schools, aiming to reach at least 750 students grades 1-6 during the iRead pilot implementation. The aforementioned tablet is equipped with a 64-bit Quad-Core Processor, Android 7.0, Display 10.1″ (1280×800), Camera: Front 2MP – Rear 5MP, RAM 2 GB, Storage: 32 GB and costs less than 130 euros.
Doukas School team, based on their past experience in research projects and use of Technology in Education decided to create a more general tablet prototype with a clear focus on iRead. The other applications of this tablet can support iRead with additional activities such as reading, writing, drawing, mind mapping, etc. and at the same time it can be utilized in multiple teaching subjects and interdisciplinary projects (so as to be used in various learning activities and by more students in schools).
The organisation of the material in the prototype tablet was based on the “Open Sesame” model, as presented in “Models of Competences” (Kotsanis 2018 and an older Greek version). For this purpose we created the “iRead Pyramid” with 10 main action verbs (categories) that relate with the corresponding group of apps.
Based on the above model, a prototype tablet was organized (for an Android-based low-cost device), which contains the following two screens:
The first introductory screen contains the following:
- two iRead apps, Navigo (the 3D game) and Amigo (the Reader of the iRead e-books),
- two additional related apps, Pickable (from an iRead partner) and Play Books,
- useful links of the iRead Website, Blog, YouTube channel and others (e.g. BIK, org)
- the Greek School iRead
The second screen contains 100+ free apps (found on the Google Play Store) usable and suitable for educational purposes, organized in 10+2 folders. These apps were selected and evaluated and are for children all over the world that are at least 6+. The apps were chosen not just for their user-friendliness, reliability, suitability of content and topicality, but also for their broad, non-specialized subject, their recommendations from expert sources and for their availability, wherever possible, in languages other than the featured, English. A list of these apps will soon be available.
Already the first tablets have been delivered to the primary schools of Vivlos Naxos, the 2nd primary school of Kavala and the 3rd primary school of Agia Paraskevi for immediate use. The process of delivering the tablets will continue to the other associated partner schools…
Yannis Kotsanis, Thomas Economou, September 2018
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