An interview with Monika Mizerska and Wojtek Wiśniowski, product managers of mobile Comprehensive Curriculum. The interview was conducted by Olga Nerc from Young Digital Planet Marketing Department.
ON: What is mobile Comprehensive Curriculum?
MM: mobile Comprehensive Curriculum is a complete revision course for students who want to revise and integrate Science and Maths knowledge. Soon courses in Geography, Humanities and Business Studies will be available. Since mobile Comprehensive Curriculum has been developed in HTML 5, it is compatible with a wide range of mobile devices including Apple and Android based tablets and smartphones but can also be used on a desktop PC or Mac.
ON: Why is it called “mobile Comprehensive Curriculum”?
WW: It was our first thought when we started to look for a name for our new product. The product is curriculum-based and it includes everything that is necessary for revising knowledge on Science and Maths and soon also on Humanities, Geography and Business Studies.
ON: What is so innovative about this product?
MM: It appeals to students because it utilises the technology they are familiar with and is available on devices they know and love – smartphones and tablets. It takes learning outside the classroom, providing access to learning opportunities anywhere and anytime it is convenient: on the way to school, during breaks between classes and on a park bench. It is multimedia rich: thousands of videos, animations, interactive activities make it really engaging and encourages further research. Mobile Comprehensive Curriculum puts an emphasis on the learning outcomes. We cannot forget that our main focus is on improving students results.
ON: Who should consider buying the product?
WW: The product is meant for publishers and eContent providers who look for new generation, high quality educational content for students aged 11 to 19. It has a business potential for companies that want to enter a new market segment, for instance communication service providers ready to preinstall mobile Comprehensive Curriculum on devices they offer.
ON: Who is mobile Comprehensive Curriculum for? Who is its end-user?
MM: mobile Comprehensive Curriculum is designed and developed for students aged 11 to 19 who need a quick and efficient revision material while preparing for an exam or a class test. Our aim was to give digital natives an opportunity to learn in their natural environment – on tablets and smartphones.
ON: What are the benefits of using this product for a middle school student?
MM: The benefits are numerous. Let me mention just a few of them.
First of all, it saves time. With mobile Comprehensive Curriculum students don’t have to search the Internet for good quality, curriculum based material any more – it is all available in one place.
What is more, it is comprehensible for learners at that level of education. The lessons cover upper primary and secondary level and the language style in which the instructions are given is appropriate for that age group, so students can easily understand them.
In addition, it provides bite-sized learning content and learning with mobile devices has been proved to be more effective if short lessons are to be practised. That gives far better results and makes students improve quickly.
mobile Comprehensive Curriculum introduces modern learning environment. It makes learning appealing to students because it utilises the technology they know and love. It keeps them interested and engaged in studying as it is available on devices they spend so much time playing with – tablets and smartphones.
It also makes learning personal, private and familiar. The combination of mobile devices personal character with functionalities like highlights, notes and progress reports makes mobile Comprehensive Curriculum more a student’s private portfolio than just an interactive course.
What is also very important, it encourages reflection close to learning event – an instant feedback, a possibility to review incorrect answers immediately after a test and check the progress report at any time to analyse results and improve on past performance make learning more effective.
Because it is designed for mobile devices it gives students freedom of learning at any time and any place they want. It is also intuitive and user-friendly. Its up-to-date design, bright and inspiring colours, gesture navigation, easy to follow system of lesson organisation and clear icons that guide you through the course make learning easy and fun.
The course consists of more than 3,000 interactive activities and exercises, including built-in assessments, over 3,200 videos, animations, interactive simulations, more than 11,200 photos and illustrations and well over 16,000 pages of engaging interactive activities. All that make mobile Comprehensive Curriculum the best revision tool for any exam and class test and keep students interested and engaged in learning.
And last but not least, it supports the process of learning and revising with numerous functionalities. Due to its extensive reporting system it is possible for students to track, store and report their progress and results. It includes a number of useful features like glossaries, biographies, maps, a list of species and a periodic table as well as extra tools like a calculator, notes, highlights and bookmarks.
ON: What levels of mobile Comprehensive Curriculum are available at the moment?
WW: At the moment we have Upper Primary Maths and Science and Lower Secondary Biology and Maths.
Lower Secondary Chemistry and Physics, Upper Secondary Biology, Chemistry and Maths will be ready by the end of the year.
By the end of January 2013 Upper Primary History, Art and Music, Lower Secondary Geography and History, Upper Secondary Business Studies will be available as well.
ON: What did the process of mobile Comprehensive Curriculum development look like?
MM: We started with the premises of the project. We decided to use materials developed for one of Sanoma Group's leading publishers to be sure that the content is methodologically reliable. At the same time we decided to use HTML 5 technology to develop a new generation, mobile product. In the first step we developed the prototype and conducted usability tests in the target group – lower secondary and upper primary students. Having a proof of concept we started the development of mobile Comprehensive Curriculum. We started with the Science which is going to be followed by Humanities, Geography and Business Studies.
ON: Who was involved in the development of this product?
WW: mobile Comprehensive Curriculum is a large-scale project. At the early stage of its development the Product Development team was involved. We also invited secondary school students and brainstormed ideas with them to come up with a concept of a product that would fulfil students’ needs. After the start-up the team expanded to over 30 people including project and content managers, graphic designers, translators and proofreaders. At the same time a team of developers is working on our Mobile Content Editor to support content project needs.
ON: What are the future plans for mobile Comprehensive Curriculum?
MM: As I have mentioned, we are putting the finishing touches to Lower Secondary Chemistry and Physics, Upper Secondary Biology, Chemistry and Maths. They will be ready by the end of the year. Upper Primary History, Art and Music, Lower Secondary Geography and History, Upper Secondary Business Studies will be ready by the end of January 2013.
Monika Mizerska – Product Manager, at Young Digital Planet from 2006. In charge of mobile Comprehensive Curriculum product. Before that responsible for Universal Curriculum. Former Project Manager and Content Manager. Monika has extensive teaching experience and educational background and is passionate about using technologies in teaching and learning process.
Wojtek Wiśniowski – a biologist and biotechnologist working at Young Digital Planet from 2003. For over 3 years Wojtek was holding a position of Senior Content Manager before he moved to Product Development Department where he brings together scientific background with a technology geek vision of XXI century schools, students and teachers.
Visit Young Digital Planet at the Frankfurt Book Fair and see a live presentation of mobile Comprehensive Curriculum.
Learn more about YDP's mobile Comprehensive Curriculum Primary and Secondary Education.
About Young Digital Planet
Young Digital Planet is one of the world’s leading educational eContent publishers and eLearning technology providers with a strong global presence. Since 1990, Young Digital Planet has been at the forefront of new technologies developing a range of educational learning solutions and services that meet evolving needs of customers in the publishing, educational and governmental sectors. Young Digital Planet is part of the Strategic Business Unit Sanoma Learning.
About Sanoma Learning
Sanoma Learning is a leading European provider of learning materials and solutions in print and digital format. We provide solutions that support teachers in their everyday work. These solutions enable personalised learning and increase teacher’s efficiency by automating non-essential tasks, which frees up time for actual teaching. Sanoma Learning is part of the Sanoma Group, a strong European media group operating in diverse fields of media in some 20 countries.