PHILADELPHIA - June 27, 2011 - Imagine a social studies curriculum that actually allows teachers to bring learning alive for students through interactive classroom experiences! That program has been a reality in classrooms nationwide for nearly two decades. Today at ISTE 2011, TCI, a publishing company created by teachers for teachers, unveiled a new version - fully optimized for teaching online - that allows teachers to immerse their students in active social studies using the broad spectrum of technology available in today's classrooms.
TCI's new online social studies curriculum combines best-teaching practices with great content, meaningful application of technology and interactive learning. The program helps teachers engage students in learning when teaching with an interactive whiteboard or in a one-computer classroom. The lessons use a variety of clever activities that target different learning styles to ensure that all students grasp difficult concepts. In addition, the program provides teachers with ideas for differentiating lessons for specific student populations such as English language learners and advanced learners.
"Our philosophy has always been that the more kids are actively engaged in the classroom - in discovering information - the more they'll learn. At the heart of TCI programs are classroom activities that get kids out of their seats, actively and purposefully engaged in discovering content," said Bert Bower, founder and CEO. "Our lessons are carefully thought out to be as interactive as possible, yet still remain manageable and easy for teachers to implement."
Bower continued, "Plus, we don't just use technology for technology's sake. We make careful decisions, based on proven educational theories, about how technology can best support the learning process in every TCI lesson."
TCI's instructional activities immerse students in social studies. For example, a popular instructional strategy in TCI's curriculum is Visual Discovery. Teachers use a whiteboard or other projector to share a large, rich image of a historical event or person with students. Students answer a series of questions that spiral in difficulty to help them analyze the image. Teachers might spend 20 minutes on an image, asking increasingly more complex questions. Then, students are assigned a person or object in the image and come to the screen to act out what the person might be thinking or doing. Other engaging, interactive learning activities include the American Revolution tug-of-war, the "dot game" that recreates Cold War hysteria and a search of a sunken ship to learn about European explorers.
Now with the new version of the TCI curriculum, teachers can integrate their own expertise and resources into their presentations by adding images to slides or inserting their own slides. They can save as many versions of each lesson as they like to the "cloud," allowing them to access it anywhere, anytime. And navigation in the new program is reorganized to make it more intuitive for teachers.
In addition, TCI has made preparing to teach with the program faster and easier for teachers. Lesson support materials are available with the click of a link on the web, and lesson overview videos give teachers a snapshot of what students will be learning. Embedded professional development includes video tutorials throughout the program, offering teachers on-the-fly introduction to the new features.
TCI's new social studies curriculum's online Student Text features text-to-audio, dynamic highlighting and engaging graphics. Student progress is monitored by reading comprehension quizzes that are automatically scored and posted to the teacher's subscription. Plus, the TCI Student Text and handouts are now available in Spanish, and the text-to-audio feature can be read to the students in Spanish. The program's dynamic and easy-to-use social media tools allow students to travel beyond the walls of the classroom and invite TCI teachers to communicate with their colleagues across the nation to share ideas, lesson plans and tips.
Schools and districts with current TCI subscriptions will be automatically upgraded to the new version for the life of their subscription. For more information about TCI, visit www.teachtci.com, become a fan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TeachTCI or follow on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TeachTCI. In addition, educators can read insightful posts about education issues and trends from the former classroom teachers who today are TCI's leaders on the company's blog at http://blog.teachtci.com/.
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