Tuesday, June 16, 2009

McGraw-Hill Education Announces Digital Initiative

Programs will cultivate critical thinking and teach students ways to use the Internet for problem-solving

By Lynn Andriani -- Publishers Weekly, 6/16/2009 8:04:00 AM

McGraw-Hill Education today announced the creation of its Center for Digital Innovation, a research and development center that will focus on bringing technology to elementary and secondary classrooms. The Center will be led by McGraw-Hill Education’s team of former teachers, engineers and software developers.

The Center, in Bothell, Wash., is developing digital platforms that are customized by state standards, district requirements, and individual teacher and student needs. The Center’s digital platforms will allow teachers to quickly assess a student’s proficiency level, so that teachers can alter their instruction based on the needs of each student. Programs will cultivate critical thinking and teach students ways to use the Internet for problem-solving.

Programs will address literacy, mathematics and science. Today, the Center launched two new products that will be available in August for the new school year: CINCH Project, a collection of Web 2.0 tools for collaborative learning projects, with a community-based Web site where teachers and students create digital profiles and participate in group activities; and Planet Turtle, a K-3 social network where children can interact with their peers by developing online animal-based character avatars and completing learning “challenges” that progress as their skills improve.

While college publishers are rapidly moving into digital publishing, there has been less activity at the elhi level, something MHE hopes to address with the Center. Terry McGraw, chairman, president and CEO of the McGraw-Hill Companies, said, “Our programs will be the first to create offerings based on how students use technology to bridge the gap between digital socialization and digital learning. This will help teachers, parents and students to unite around the goals of fostering growth and development; creating richer, more involved methods of learning; and more effectively addressing issues that arise.”

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