My buddy Noah Kravitz has been working on an important educational tool/technology called Tabula. We all know kids are little sponges but we need to give them something to learn and make it as easy as possible to do that learning. That’s where Tabula comes in. I’ll let Noah explain a little further, I’m happy to introduce Tabula!
The Tabula Project’s aim is to apply leading edge technology-based innovations to the education community. Our initial focus is on the use of tablet computers in classroom situations, as we believe tablets offer a unique blend of power, affordability, portability, flexibility and battery life ideally suited to the educational community. We will provide software tools and professional development services to end users while also forging strategic partnerships with schools as well as for- and non-profit organizations committed to supporting teaching and learning.
Specifically, we’re building tools that let teachers manage student tablets in real-time: One-on-one and one-to-group messaging, distributing content (interactive worksheets, Web links, etc), tracking usage data, and administering informal and formal assessments with real-time feedback. Teacher collection and organization of student work has also been identified as a pain point of current iPad school programs, and we are working on a solution to that problem as well. Our approach is that we’re building a very basic first version of teacher tools and our own web browser/e-reader student app to work with the system. We’re also building a very lightweight authoring environment to help teachers create lesson plans that double as tablet-based interactive activities, and we’re talking with third party content makers about hooking into our system via an API that essentially layers our tools on top of their apps and eBooks. The API/platform will also allow for funneling any learning analytics from the apps collecting them to a school’s backend data system (or, perhaps, our own future data toolset).
We’re lining up pilots with a few Bay Area schools and nonprofit content creators and also talking to the corporate learning community about possible applications of our technology in their sector. Our first suite of apps is being designed for iPad, but the core architecture will support Android and other tablet platforms as well.