REVERE Award Profile: Innovation in Materials for Beyond the Classroom

Recognizing that education is now a 24/7 endeavor, the REVERE Awards for Beyond the Classroom honor excellence in products used for informal learning. The Innovate category celebrates the originality and creativity in these resources; the products (and the teams behind them) are leading the way in advancing learning outside of traditional settings. Find out more about the diverse group of 2015 Beyond the Classroom Innovate finalists and winner from their stories below. 

Through My Window (finalist), a non-profit, grant-funded collaboration of professors from Smith College and Springfield Community College (MA)

Through My Window was inspired by a need for meaningful engineering education resources at the upper elementary and middle-school levels—resources thoughtfully designed in the ways that children engage and learn and make engineering approachable, relevant, and fun for children, educators, and parents.  Challenging stereotypes with idea-centered learning that appeals to a wide spectrum of children—that is inclusive and fosters diversity of thought—Through My Window aims to portray engineering as societally impactful through broad, interesting connections to the important ideas and global challenges of our time.

Pianomouse’s Musical Circus (finalist), the brainchild of teacher and music lover Kathleen Tyberg (Pianomouse Productions)

I developed Pianomouse’s Musical Circus to make the world of music come alive and to show the child that music is fun! Today’s research proves that experience with music, and specifically music training, provides an opportunity for young children to enhance cognitive and abstract thinking skills. I believe that all children deserve this experience and only need to have a quality program available to them to continue their growth and better their lives. As a final product, Pianomouse’s Musical Circus fills a need that many parents said they were looking for – an opportunity to develop and nurture their child through a meaningful program that they themselves could teach, even with no music background.

Gojimo (finalist), an app inspired by George Burgess’ test prep experience as a seventeen year old student

Exams are hell, but Gojimo aims to take some of the stress out of them by offering students an engaging, easy-to-use way of preparing for them using their mobile phone. The quick quizzes can be taken on the go, and offer students an immediate picture of their performance - what do they know already and what do they need to improve upon. Explanations for every answer reinforce knowledge and fill in the gaps, whilst the ability to share their score gives them major bragging rights when they do well.

The interactive Annotated Pride and Prejudice (winner), brought to you by the delightful minds at Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

We challenged ourselves to find a digital format that would bring classic works of literature to life in a way that deepens students' appreciation and understanding. We wanted interactivity to enhance the content, without being either a distraction or an afterthought; in other words to create an interactive eBook that served our content’s purpose rather than trying to fit it into a pre-existing technology box. By making use of the most recent advances in ePub3 technology with fixed layout and interactivity, we were able to do just that while at the same time developing some unique technology features. The interactive Annotated Pride and Prejudice is one of the most technically advanced designed-for-screen ePub3 books brought to market, which augments the understanding of this beloved novel in new ways while always honoring the text itself.

Find out more about the 2015 REVERE Award winners in the REVERE Awards Gallery. Contact Linda Swank to receive updates on the 2016 REVERE Awards.

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