iStudyXR Learning Management and Family Engagement Platform
Our software infrastructure is a result of our collaboration with InventXR Education. iStudyXR will examine stakeholder engagement and interest related to engineering at the family level. The Academy acknowledges the essential roles that parents and families play in the overall development of young children and the need for a robust information and communication infrastructure. Istudy fulfills this need. In order to maximize the impact of our research based curriculum, the DURANT model will be shared broadly with parents, educators, and researchers from multiple fields such as engineering education, child development, and informal/out-of-school time education in the community through iStudyXR.
The DURANT Model has a transformative impact on engineering education and it has informed the development of both our early learning educational products and conceptual frameworks that will advance the field’s knowledge of how to effectively engage young learners and their parents/caregivers in meaningful and productive engineering learning experience through the interactive communication system iStudyXR offers. In addition, links from the Zen Digital Library and the Global Digital Library can be directly shared to iStudyXR by teachers, students and parents. IStudyXR also handles administrative and school management process and is customized to the Academy’s needs.
The Zen Digital Library Platform
Access to a variety of open education resources through our partnership with Ck-12 and Creative Commons licensing allows teachers and parents to provide opportunities for students to develop Creativity, Collaboration, Communication and Critical Thinking Skills. Strong skill foundations are important to forge a path towards developing advanced cognitive skills, sociobehavioral skills, and skills predictive of adaptability in the fourth and fifth industrial revolutions. For most children, these skill foundations are formed through traditional education to provide basic knowledge. The Zen Digital Library provides our students and families customizable activity choices. In addition to digital books, the Zen Digital Library offers our staff and families the following:
- A strong and growing ecosystem of open-source eBook content exists and is being coordinated through the Global Digital Library (GDL). The primary Creative Commons licenses for the GDL are CC BY and CC BY-SA. These licenses drive innovation and creativity – including commercial reuse. Furthermore, they strongly support the overall Academy goal of sharing, translation, and contextualization of early grade reading educational materials, open textbooks and open educational resources. Wherever possible, the Foundation will draw on existing eBook content and only if necessary will author it’s own eBooks or localize existing eBooks for priority languages through third parties. This reduces costs for basic curriculum and allows the Academy to invest more in hands-on STREAM resources.
- Circle Activity for teachers which can be used for lesson planning in the beginning and end of each instructional day. Teachers also have the ability to create their own Circle activities and add to the library. Some examples can be seen at https://circleonline.uth.edu/
- Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more. Reading aloud to children has been shown to improve reading, writing and communication skills, logical thinking and concentration, and general academic aptitude, as well as inspire a lifelong love of reading. Teachers use Storyline Online in their classrooms, and doctors and nurses play Storyline Online in children’s hospitals.Storyline Online is available 24 hours a day for children, parents, caregivers and educators worldwide. Each book includes supplemental curriculum developed by a credentialed elementary educator, aiming to strengthen comprehension and verbal and written skills for English-language learners. Storyweaver and African Story Books are also a resource available with over 2000 stories.
- Vroom Application developed by leaders in neuroscience, psychology, behavioral economics, parenting and early childhood development. Vroom will help develop positive adult-child relationships. Positive, supportive experiences with parents and other adults are important to children’s brain development. These foundational interactions build brain architecture and help ensure that children will have strong and resilient brains. Vroom Tips will give parents effective, easy ways to promote learning and bond with their child. The Durant Academy believes that it’s ideal to brain build from birth, but it’s never too late to start. Vrooms guided back and forth interaction is also important for our families to reinforce skills at the academy. During the earliest years of life, back and forth interactions between a child and caregivers create millions of neural connections in the child’s rapidly growing brain. Keeping the realities of busy parents in mind, the Vroom Brain Building Basics—Look, Follow, Chat, Take Turns, and Stretch is a simple routine that turns interactions that happen during shared time into brain building moments. These Basics (and related Vroom Tips) encourage parents to build their child’s brain by making eye contact, chatting from birth on, stretching out moments with follow-up comments or questions, and more. Vroom makes it easy for parents to create connections that help their children thrive now and in the future. This application also enhances the development of life skills that promote executive function. These skills might sound complicated to learn and promote, but can actually develop naturally through positive childhood experiences. Life skills are critical during children’s earliest years as well as in the future. They include focus, self-control, problem-solving, and taking on challenges. Vroom tips help parents build their child’s skills in these important areas.