The Internet Coach is at this week’s annual National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) in San Antonio with an array of new software titles (all of which are compatible with the traditional Mac operating system), a new brand name and a special announcement from AOL@SCHOOL. Plus, the Coach has been providing quite a lot of Digital Photo Activity Kits to Mac-based schools, according to company spokesperson Mike Harris.
The Internet Coach is a series of products from APTE, a multimedia software publisher and Internet company that develops Web learning software.
The Digital Photo Activity Kit combines digital photo technology and classroom computing applications with the goal of strengthening children’s writing abilities, develop spatial relationship skills and promote technology literacy, Harris said. Students can combine their own photos with a variety of writing exercises to create newsletters, book reports, picture frames, stickers and lots more. The US$99.95 Digital Photo Activity Kit Deluxe Edition includes a teacher’s book, a digital camera and two CD-ROMs. (A version of the program without the camera is also available for $64.95.)
The instructive teacher’s guide includes camera projects and writing activities both teachers and parents can use. The Internet Coach Digital Photo Activity Kit project includes: A Writing Center, where users can create newsletters, stationary, book reports, journals and more; Movie Maker, where users can direct, edit and choose sound for their personal movie based on their own photos; The Travel Center, for making your own passport, travel journal, stamps, and personalized postcards; Special Events, for celebrating events with greeting cards, gift boxes, posters and certificates; A Craft Corner, for creating picture frames, calendars and stickers using your own images; Picture Games, for incorporating your pictures into five photo games that require logic to play.
Their new early-learning program, Ani’s Playground (for kids 3-6), like all of Internet Coach’s products is Mac compatible. Two other new products are Ani’s Rocket Ride and Ani’s Early Literacy Kit. The former is an early learning adventure involving Ani, a friendly alien. Ani traveled to earth in the previous award-winning program Ani’s Rocket Ride. This time around she returns to her planet, which is inhabited by dinosaur-like creatures called Ani-saurs, where she travels around a schoolhouse helping students collect geometric objects.
Students use the objects to explore the learning centers — music, Math (spatial relations), art and astronomy — and ultimately are able to review their own work represented inside the graphics of the program. The multi-user program includes a Teacher Management Tool that allows teachers to create a portfolio for each child that provides a detailed analysis of the students’ work (such as where they have been and for how many minutes they have been there).
Ani’s Early Literacy Kit s an all-in-one curriculum unit based on the Reggio Emilia learning philosophy. The Kit includes: an Ani program, teacher’s guide, felt storytelling apron, felt letters, laminated literacy cards, Ani’s Rocket Ride cards and a magnifying glass all housed in a colorful suitcase. Students explore the natural environments and schoolhouse of the programs, then, using the storytelling apron, the object cards, felt letters and magnifying glass, students explore their own classroom, making it easy for teachers to integrate concepts learned in the program with concrete literacy skills, Harris said.
What’s more, AOL@School has announced the Internet Coach as one of their content partners. AOL@School is America Online’s educational service, which it describes as “the first comprehensive online solution for K-12 educators.”
This alliance will give AOL@SCHOOL users access to The Internet Coach, seen weekday mornings on Discovery Channel’s “Discovering The Web With The Internet Coach.” AOL@SCHOOL is available free to K-12 schools.