By CHRIS MORRIS
NEW ALBANY —
New Albany High School is not only the oldest public school in Indiana, but it is now the first school in the country to be selected to use the einstein Tablet+ in science classrooms.
The einstein Tablet+ is a revolutionary mobile science exploration tablet for learners of all ages, according to a press release. And thanks to Indiana University Southeast’s Science Education Program and Fourier-Education, New Albany is the first high school in North America using the tablets.
“I am really excited for the kids. Having the opportunity to be first in the country doesn’t come along much,” said New Albany Assistant Principal Bill Krammes. “I think it’s great.”
The opportunity became available after James E. Hollenbeck, professor of science education at IU Southeast, was approached by Fourier Education, makers of the einstein Tablet+ at a national science conference in April. Hollenbeck had worked with the company before and liked what he saw.
He applied for and received a Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County grant to purchase 27 tablets. Now, 18 of those devices are at NAHS and being used by science teachers Jeff Williams, Shannon McIntyre, Jill Anderson and Stephanie Lone. Hollenbeck and a representative of Fourier will be in one of the classrooms Thursday, March 13, watching students use the tablets.
“New Albany High School has long been an academic partner with IUS and this opportunity only strengthens the ties between our programs and most importantly promotes student learning,” Hollenbeck said. “This is cutting-edge technology. These are Wi-Fi equipped and does everything an iPad does at half the price with science gadgets built in. These are like little tanks.”
The einstein Tablet+ includes eight built-in sensors that are commonly used in standard science curricula, enabling students and teachers to conduct experiments together. They include humidity, heart rate, temperature, light, accelerometer, microphone and GPS.
Teachers and students can add an additional eight external sensors for running more complex and creative experiments. The einstein Tablet+ acts as a data-logger, but running on the Android OS platform so students can complete entire assignments, not just the experiments themselves, on the tablet.
Fourier Education is a global leader in science education technology. Founded in 1989, the company’s flagship product is its einstein Science Learning Platform. The company is based in Jerusalem.
Hollenbeck said New Albany High School science teachers have gone through training and are now implementing the tablets in the classrooms.
“They are the only school in the country using them right now. New Albany has come a showcase,” Hollenbeck said. “I am really happy to be working with New Albany, and the administration who got behind the teachers to get the training they needed.”