is showcasing its EasyTech system at this week’s National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) in Chicago. The EasyTech Instructional System gives students hands-on experience with computer technology while fully aligning with the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS).
Lessons also align with grade-appropriate standards in math and language arts, according to Dan Findley, director of market development. EasyTech is delivered to subscribing schools entirely over the Internet through a Web interface so it should run fine in all versions of the Mac operating system.
“We’ll be rolling the product for Mac OS X a little later, but since it’s browser based, there shouldn’t be any problem running it on just about any Mac system as long as you have a browser and Flash plug-in,” Findley told MacCentral.
The system teaches and assesses the core skills of computer technology. EasyTech’s features include: Web-delivered self-guided tutorials (10 to 20 minutes long); an “authentic learning environment” comprised of simulated software applications; real-time assessment of student performance; and reporting abilities.
Currently comprised of over 60, self-paced lessons for K-8 students, the EasyTech system addresses topics such as basic computer skills, word processor skills, spreadsheet and database skills, and the use of Internet applications such as email clients and browsers. Teachers use a Web-based management console to assign lessons. A revision of the management console available this summer will let teachers track individual student progress for assessment purposes. Findley said EasyTech is primarily focused on the K-5 market, but that there are follow-ups for grades six through adults available and/or in the works. Professional development for teachers is also in the works.
The advantage of EasyTech is that it’s “brand neutral.” Findley said it doesn’t focus on particular brand names or platforms, but instead simulates the kinds of environments that teachers or students may experience.
NECC is Learning.com’s “coming out” party, Findley said. Still, the EasyTech system is already in use in over 400 US schools and a deal has been closed for use of the product in China.
“We’re seeing a lot of offshore interest,” Findley said. “In China, for instance, they’re interested in helping students learn technology and the English language.”