Archive for Young

MetaMoJi Reports: Teacher Michael Jephcott Inspires His Young Class With Innovative Mobile App MetaMoJi Share for Classroom to Explain Introductory First Grade Geometry


Palo Alto, CA (PRWEB) May 15, 2015

MetaMoJi today reported on a unique adaption of Share for Schools. In the small town of La Puente, California, Teacher Michael Jephcott teaches First Grade in one of the smallest and most challenged school districts in Southern California. Resources are slim at Don Julian Elementary School in Bassett Unified School District. The District is located in a working class, racially diverse area in the flatlands of the San Gabriel Valley, on the eastern edge of the vast Los Angeles County.

Virtually none of the parents of Jephcott’s young students have finished college; most of the parents have never been on a university campus. But ask his class en masse where they will go to college, and they will joyfully call out in one voice, “YALE!”

This is an exceptional classroom in an exceptional school district. And on a warm spring morning in Southern California, Jephcott is using the Share for Classroom application from the MetaMoJi Education Solutions suite to teach his energetic college-bound class of six- and seven-year-olds the fundamentals of geometric shapes – years before other California children will encounter a formal geometry curriculum.

Education solutions.

The families of the young students in his classroom may not be able to afford computers at home, but each child in Jephcott’s home room is equipped with a new impact-protected Apple iPad loaded with digital instruction materials developed by their creative teacher personally and embedded inside the MetaMoJi Share for Classroom installed on each electronic tablet.

The early morning prayer chants from a nearby Buddhist monastery compete with the sound of roosters and other livestock that grace the small yards and modest stables surrounding the school. The Bassett Unified School District is more than 100 years old and lies atop lands of an even older Mexican land grant – Rancho La Puente – once just secluded farms, fields and groves that predated the entry of California into the United States.

Despite its rural remoteness from the busier urban streets of the City of Los Angeles 30 miles to the West, Don Julian Elementary School participates in a demanding national “No Excuses University” program that assigns each classroom to a specific, high-achieving university.

“No excuses” curriculum.

Classrooms enrolled in the “No Excuses University” program must meet tough academic goals. Teachers are encouraged to seek out not only with the latest mobile technology the school district can afford but also provide the class with banners and t-shirts proudly decked out with logos from the classroom’s assigned university. Jephcott’s class is focused on Yale University and has even memorized the songs and mottos of that elite Ivy League university. His first graders will gleefully belt out the Yale Bulldog fight song on the slightest provocation.

Jephcott and his wife are both talented and skilled elementary school teachers and enthusiastic world travelers. He holds a degree in environmental design from the California State University system and a master’s degree in education earned with honors at nearby Azusa Pacific University. Jephcott also has met and is identified as an H.Q.T. or Highly Qualified Teacher under tough U.S. federal criteria for demonstrated classroom competence.

Open platform policy.

Don Julian Elementary is one of only three elementary schools in Bassett Unified School District, but the District has a progressive open platform policy which allows selected and innovative teachers to design their own hardware and software environments. Jephcott, with his degree in design, is an Apple enthusiast to the core, so he delighted in designing a classroom environment at Don Julian Elementary around advanced Apple iPad tablets, going hunting then among the available education-oriented mobile apps in the Apple Store. He was very happy to discover the just released MetaMoJi Share for Education app.

Says Jephcott: “Our district believes and is passionately committed to employing technology in ways that enhance learning and teaching. I support that and I believe in using those applications that permit teachers the maximum flexibility in designing and presenting materials to even the youngest students in ways that inspire and excite them. I saw immediately that MetaMoJi Share for Education offered that kind of promise.”

Says Bassett Unified School District Superintendent Alex J. Rojas: “We believe that successful 21st century learning organizations are those who integrate the analog and the digital. In Bassett Unified, our goal is to create and maintain high levels of student achievement.”

Adds Jephcott: “Using the MetaMoJi Share for Classroom app is expanding my reach as a teacher every day as I explore its use and capability. And it never fails to energize my young students when they see that the very latest technology, even an app designed in faraway Japan, isn’t a far-off dream seen on a TV series or summer movie, but a technical literacy they can achieve and explore right here in their own California classroom. Working with Share on their iPad tablets opens them up immediately to the rich world beyond us – and brings all that the world can offer to them in an instant.”

MetaMoJi Share for Classroom™.

The teacher’s own technical prowess and skillfulness is apparent, as he first smoothly guides the young children in his care through traditional arithmetic sums, using Jephcott’s own custom-designed calculation forms inside the MetaMoJi Share for Classroom app and easily findable by each child in their individual files proudly stored in the MetaMoJi cloud.

Jephcott was able to quickly access the completed (or sometimes incomplete) calculation sheet of each student and, if needed, project it for instant improvement or praise onto the class screen using a new Epson whiteboard projector.

The second half of his curriculum that morning was particularly innovative … and also all done inside the MetaMoJi Share for Classroom app. Jephcott was leading these very young children in an advanced introductory session on geometric solids – they had done two dimensional geometric shapes on Share earlier in the week. For the customized geometric solids curriculum, Jephcott embedded a findable “dictionary” inside each child’s Share files – really a shared snapshot of a handmade picture-and-text poster he hung earlier in the week in the front of the class.

Eyes on Teacher!

Whenever the young children were a bit distracted, he would quickly bring up on each of the iPad screens this bold poster: “Eyes On Teacher!” The kids would all point to him and chorus loudly and gleefully in response: “Eyes On You!” and settle down to happy, attentive, raptured silence.

Their talented teacher then held up three-dimensional objects, one by one, and moved among them while lecturing a bit on each singular 3-D shape, making sure the kids were familiar with the names – cube, sphere, cylinder, pyramid, cone.

Jephcott had earlier scattered several odd sets of the objects around the classroom in random places, and now had the students do a joyful treasure hunt. Each child was free to roam the classroom with their impact-protected iPads in hand (still within the Share app).

Share and Whiteboard.

The mission? To track down at least one of each shaped object, photograph it with their iPad camera option linked and embedded inside the Share for Classroom app, then add the name of the object by individually typing it into a caption. Jephcott was then able to selectively pull up any single photo with or without a caption from a student’s own personal file and project it forward to the whiteboard for all the class to admire.

Finally, the students finished the lesson with a casual exercise in discovering and calling out the same like shapes inside other structures and among common objects found in any conventional classroom – globular light bulbs, cube-shaped file boxes, square windows, even cylindrical water bottles.

All can succeed and learn. Says Jephcott: “To teach in our small school district, a teacher must believe in the district’s philosophy: ‘All students can learn and succeed.’ The diversity of our student population and our school staff here is also a great asset that enriches what we can teach and what we can learn even in the First Grade. The enthusiastic technical support each of our teachers receives from the district and from the leadership at Don Julian Elementary only strengthens and accelerates our pursuit of those great ideals.”

About MetaMoJi Share for Classroom ™

MetaMoJi Share for Classroom allows teachers to customize visually engaging lesson plans and collaborate with their students in real-time interaction as they work through the lesson on their tablet computers. Students can work individually or collaborate in groups as defined by their teacher.

Share for Classroom provides all of the award-winning features of the MetaMoJi Productivity Environment, including note taking with multiple styles of pen and papers, tools to work with images and web content, voice recording, handwriting recognition and the ability to edit any content at any time. This allows students to quickly correct their work, change colors of existing writing or drawings, reposition and scale anything on a page and to add effects such as shadows and borders.

About MetaMoJi

MetaMoJi creates products to break barriers between devices and users with revolutionary applications on smartphones and tablet devices. MetaMoJi’s unique innovations give users the comfort of an analog experience with the convenience of digital technology. MetaMoJi’s mission is to contribute to the advancement of human beings with unique applications to collect knowledge, write documents, organize ideas and share them with others. Please visit the corporate site for more information: http://www.metamoji.com







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National Anti-Vivisection Society and International Foundation for Ethical Research Announce New Research Grants for Promising Young Investigators

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) November 11, 2014

The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) and the International Foundation for Ethical Research (IFER) are pleased to announce three first-time recipients of IFER Graduate Fellowships as part of the 2014-2015 grant cycle. By funding early career researchers with an interest in developing innovative alternatives to animal testing, NAVS and IFER hope to seed the scientific field with talented individuals prepared to integrate scientific discovery with ethics and respect for animals.

Recipients of IFER Graduate Fellowships, selected by IFER’s Scientific Advisory Board, have the potential to positively change the course of science by working to promote the advancement of humane methodologies that can spare animal suffering.

The investigators who are receiving first-time IFER Graduate Fellowships for 2014-2015 are:

Bryan Hassell, a Ph.D. candidate working in Dr. Donald Ingber’s laboratory at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, has received funding for his project, “Human Cancer-on-a-Chip as a Replacement for Animal Testing.” Bryan seeks to develop an organ-on-a-chip platform to determine how lung cancer cells respond to chemotherapy depending on their organ-specific microenvironment, as well as to identify new anticancer therapies. Bryan’s physics and engineering background, in combination with the extensive biological training that he is receiving in the Ingber lab, will allow him to take a multidisciplinary approach toward developing an innovative model that has the potential to replace the use of animals in cancer research.

Erica Schlesinger, a Ph.D. student at the University of California San Francisco working in Dr. Tejal Desai’s lab, received support for her project, “In-vitro 3D Flow Through System for Improved Intestinal Permeability Model.” Erica aims to develop a model in which human intestinal cells are grown on a tubular scaffold to better mimic the microenvironment of the intestine. Using this approach, experimental drugs can be flowed through the system, enabling drug absorption to be assessed. This new model has the potential to improve upon existing in vitro approaches to study drug absorption while reducing the need for more complex animal experimentation.

Sun Nee Tan, a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia under the mentorship of Dr. Martin McKeown, will be using state-of-the-art brain imaging techniques on human subjects for her project, “Structural and Functional Neuroplasticity of Parkinson’s Disease Following a Sensori-Motor Contingent Musical Walking Intervention (Ambulosono).” Her study will determine the effectiveness of a music-contingent walking exercise program as an intervention for Parkinson’s disease subjects. Neuroscience studies traditionally rely heavily on animal models, despite their limited translatability to human populations; therefore the use of imaging techniques on human subjects to study neuroplasticity may replace conventional research which uses animal testing for this purpose.

IFER Graduate Fellowships are awarded annually in amounts up to $ 15,000 to early career scientists who are developing alternatives to the use of animals in product testing, biomedical research and education. Fellowships are renewable for up to three years. More information on the IFER Graduate Fellowship Program can be found at http://www.ifer.org/fellowships.php.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ANTI-VIVISECTION SOCIETY

Founded in 1929, the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) promotes greater compassion, respect and justice for animals through educational and advocacy programs based on respected ethical, scientific and legal theory. NAVS works to increase public awareness about animal testing and experimentation, to promote positive solutions that advance science, to support the development of alternatives to the use of animals, and to effect changes that will help end the unnecessary suffering of laboratory animals. For more information, visit http://www.navs.org.

ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR ETHICAL RESEARCH

Founded in 1985, the International Foundation for Ethical Research (IFER) supports the development, validation and implementation of innovative scientific methodologies that advance science and replace the use of animals in research, testing and education. IFER is funded primarily by a grant from the National Anti-Vivisection Society.







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