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Summer is officially over (I’d better not kid myself, it’s almost mid-autumn) and this means that the students and teachers around the world are anxious to continue their exciting collaboration in the classroom. The sleepy mornings with yawning faces, fully packed backpacks, and noisy buses are back so I’m more than happy to present you some of the mozaBook developments and features we were working on in the past few months. I know this is a busy period for all of us in the education sector, but please make sure you enjoy the ride in the meantime.
Magic pencils… for real magicians in the classroom
Teachers get a whole set of new and exciting drawing options this semester, but, in my opinion, the three absolute greats from the new pencil collection are the “fade-out”, the “shape-” and the “text recognition” pens.
For instance, in case you’d like to highlight or emphasize some very important detail on the screen, but don’t want to mess up your nicely designed and well-structured presentation, the fade-out pencil is an ideal choice.
My other favourites are totally state-of-the-art features, namely the text- and the shape recognition pens. By selecting these options we can write something, or draw any shape on the screen with our own hand, and it becomes a formatted text or, let’s say, a perfectly shaped circle on the display as the system recognizes our “occasionally-a-bit-messy” handwriting or drawing. Do I have to tell you how neat it looks on the board?
The shape recognition pencil:
Table… for thorough understanding
Teaching some really complex part of the curriculum can come with serious challenges when our main aim is to make pupils fully understand the logic behind the scenes. For many of us, visual learners, it’s much easier to realize and catch the differences, as well as the similarities via systematized comparison so a table always comes handy for a teacher to summarize the lesson or illustrate their point. With mozaBook, drawing up a perfectly customized table from scratch couldn’t be easier!
Simplified toolbar and icons.... for those who know exactly what they need on the screen and where
It can be really frustrating when something we really need is nowhere to be seen. Wait, isn’t that tiny hammer icon… no, it must be in the corner somewhere... oh, of course it’s on the tray. One of the main goals of mozaBook is appealing to all learning styles and taking into consideration the needs of the students. However, at the same time, we focus heavily on the teachers’ requirements as well to ensure their comfortable work in the classroom. Now, they are able to select the tools they use a lot (e.g. Media library, Games, Classwork) and lock these icons on the screen wherever they wish.
The selected icons along with the adjustable simple interface suit the educators’ needs: nothing more, nothing less.
When you use mozaBook on a regular basis, you are bound to encounter tweaks and updates here and there. When we enabled our 3Ds for VR goggles, for instance, everybody noticed immediately, but people are usually unaware of the upgrades as they consider it natural. For us, that is a sure sign that mozaBook becomes more and more handy for everyday use at school.
This time, we will focus on such an “inconspicuous” feature.
Work hard, preparing screenshots and saving it to your exercise book whenever you want to point out, let’s say, a particular object within a 3D? From now on, you can simply start using a brand new feature that lets you draw on each and every 3D model in real time with no need for time-consuming and unnecessary additional operations.
So, how does it work? Open your favourite 3D or grab the one you want to present to your students in the classroom (History teachers, have you seen one of the latest, Napoleonic Wars?), click on the Local Menu (accessible at the bottom corners of the window), and there you go! The new feature, marked by a pencil icon – the very first up there – awaits you to make the teaching experience as smooth as possible. Click on DRAW to enable the feature, choose the color you find most appropriate (FYI, you can also adjust the line thickness), select the pen on the left of the toolbar, and point at the object you want to direct your students’ attention to by sketching a line, a circle or an arrow.
Try it yourself as I did with my favourite, the Colosseum 3D, for my Art classes. The feature can be used literally everywhere. Below you have a glimpse at the annotated Colosseum cutaway:
And another frame from Animation:
Remember, whenever you are done with drawing, but still want the feature to remain active for other views, just deactivate it by clicking on the pencil icon. This way, all drawings disappear at once. Want the 3D to rotate again? Simply close drawing mode.
Everything what you have jotted down dissapears. However, should you like to have images taken from a 3D model in your exercise books, don't forget you can always use the Screenshot icon from the Menu bar and the image will be placed into their exercise book. Feel free to work on your pasted image further using numerous built-in mozaBook tools, e.g. with the help of the one called Edit picture.
If you feel like sharing your ideas on how to further improve mozaBook with us, feel free to get in touch either via the FEEDBACK option within the software, by filling in the website contact form, or jotting down a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d like to turn your attention towards the Media library and focus on its exceptionally versatile nature which can effectively ease the burden on teachers if they can use its advantages in the classroom. I’m well aware of the fact that our Media library doesn’t need my marketing lines here praising the content since it speaks for itself, but let me recommend you some possible ways to utilize it, first in a simple language class, then in bilingual education. Are you ready?
Imagine this: as an English teacher, you walk into a crowded and noisy classroom noticing some some of the guys have just finished copying the homework, but they already look bored of the upcoming the 45 minutes. No need to worry, today’s topic is tourism, everybody loves travelling, you’re sure it’s going to be all right. Hoping the best, you ask them the first warm up questions regarding the topic, in order to ease the nerves, set on edge by the short, but traumatizing school bell and the mere fact that they have to say something in English. Do you like travelling? Why do people travel abroad?
Unfortunately, what you can hear, my friend, is the sound of… well, silence (kudos to the great Simon & Garfunkel).
To avoid this situation you can decide to show the students one of the 3-5-minute educational videos about tourism. It’s always easier to make language learners a little more proactive if they have something to grasp, in terms of general ideas or required vocabulary.Most of the videos have English narration, but as you can see, it is also possible to watch them with subtitles, available in various languages. For instance in this short, but quite comprehensive video on tourism, you can hear about the general notion of tourism, popular destinations, and various reasons of people travelling somewhere in their leisure time. This way the passive vocabulary of the students gets activated and the lesson has already kicked into gear.
We also have the option of choosing among the exciting and very detailed 3D scenes and showcasing them in the class. Discover the mysteries of Great Britain’s most well-known symbol, the Stonehenge! It's easy to raise the students’ interest with the help of these 3D scenes, resembling their favourite video games, and make them think about the topic. Then you can simply select some parts of the written text and go for the built-in gap-filling exercise, or create a new customized test with the Test editor tool. The narrated and labelled 3D scenes can play a huge role in bilingual education as well. In many countries there is more than one official language so the immediate necessity for students to learn more languages simultaneously is a valid concern. In addition, as a result of globalization, more and more parents choose to enroll their children at a dual language institution in order to open up more and better career opportunities at home or even abroad.
In many other countries, such as the USA or Germany, people face different challenges when talking about bilingualism since the number of ‘language learner” students (who need language support services in order to succeed in school) is very high because of the significantly multicultural environment. This issue might be really controversial, as there is no general consensus about which educational system is the most effective, but these students could benefit a lot from mozaBook Multilang for sure. The language of the interface and the content can be switched at any time during the lesson so the students are able to check out the problematic terms in their mother tongue. This way, educators can make sure they won’t be left behind.As you can see, mozaBook can give you all the tools you need in a language class and put them at your fingertips in order to provide the students with a supportive and creative atmosphere where learning becomes fun and teaching becomes more efficient. Combining these possibilities with your own ideas, one thing is for sure: it’s going to be an exciting year at school!
When talking about the greatest strengths of our educational presentation software mozaBook, traditionally, science subjects such as chemistry, physics, or biology come to mind - and rightfully so. It is easy to get amazed by the visual content in the media library, since the vivid pictures, 3D scenes and the vast collection of educational videos all help the teacher to illustrate their point or a certain topic creatively, without spending endless hours preparing for the lesson.
However, with some thoughts based on my personal teaching experience, I would like to give you a few tips and emphasize how useful and exciting mozaBook can be in the field of second language teaching and learning.
Every teacher tries to pass their knowledge on to their students, but teaching practices, approaches, and educational methods are varied. According to many, without a thorough knowledge of grammar, one will have a hard time expressing their thoughts in the classroom, not to mention real-life situations, while others are extremely passionate about encouraging pupils to talk to each other in a foreign language already in the early stages of language acquisition and strongly advocate the importance of communication. In my opinion, the best you can do is always seek to find the balance, whether it is a private lesson or a language class in the school. Motivate the students in every possible way, because at the end of the day, our main goal is to make sure that language becomes a major part of their lives outside of the classroom as well.
For this reason let me guide you through some of the most important applications and features in mozaBook that can help a tutor engage students and simply turn, let’s say an English class, into a lot of fun.
Let us begin with some options in mozaBook purely designed for language teaching. For example, have you checked out the language learning related games, like Lan(g)ame or Word class?
After selecting the language pair I wish to practice, Lan(g)ame works like the penalty shootout in football as two students, or even two groups of them, have their own turns during which they try to score as many points as they can by determining the meanings of words in the selected foreign language. You can also pick the “image - word pairing” or the “gap-filling” exercise available in numerous languages, such as French, English, German, or Arabic.
Another important and useful game, called Word class, also needs to be mentioned here since grammar is usually regarded as one of the most sleep-inducing subjects; however, its importance is truly immense in reading comprehension and forming correct sentences.
As you do with activities in the classroom, make homework assignments meaningful and manageable in mozaBook. The more you emphasize the need to reinforce what is learned in the classroom through independent practice or group work, the more efficient learning and teaching will be.
Among the mozaBook applications you can find several options to improve and expand the vocabulary of the students. Give your pupils the experience of practicing words with the help of customized Word cards that are designed to provide the language learner with a word, part of speech tags, and even example sentences. Teach the proper spelling of longer expressions, or how to use false friends playfully, with the help of fun games or by competing with fellow students.
No matter what your favourite is, these apps and tools are quick, easy to use, and helpful in memorizing not only the meanings, but also the punctuation and spelling of the words.
Next time, I am going to focus on how the Media library content (3D scenes and videos) in mozaBook Multilang software (language of the interface, the applications, and all the media content can be switched any time during the lesson) can serve as a perfect tool in language teaching, especially in bilingual education institutions all around the world.
Here at Mozaik Education we are committed to the principle that “Knowing that you do not know much is knowing a lot.” Even after more than 20 years of hard work in the industry, we are not satisfied with what has already been achieved. Otherwise it feels like trying to tame a wild cat: you think you are making progress, then it gets away from you. Every day we begin our work like there is no tomorrow, pondering on how school education can be improved today. Only by putting ourselves in students' shoes can we reach our goals ,which is why Mozaik is extremely pleased to see more and more schools join with our partners .
Our Bulgarian partner, Keisem, puts a lot of effort into expanding the number of local schools using our mozaBook platform on a daily basis. We are really happy to see Mozaik solutions have caught on in Bulgaria and will do our best in their further support and development.
For instance, the first regional conference for sharing the best practices in the development of interactive content, using the educational platform mozaBook, was held in Haskova on 21st and 22nd of April. One of city’s hotel welcomed the representatives of 14 schools from Kazanlak, Stara Zagora, Pleven, Plovdiv, Pazardzhik, Lovech, Radnevo, Galabovo, Krumovgrad and Haskovo, who had the opportunity to demonstrate how mozaBook changed their way of teaching. Such burning issues as the advantages of the interactive learning and what resources and techniques of mozaBook are usually applied in the classroom were covered during the assembly.
Each lecturer stepped onstage with a 15-minute presentation, depicting how the lesson can be created and spiced up with the help of the mozaBook toolkit. The subjects were extremely diverse: mathematics, biology, health education, languages, history, as well as specialized subjects such as internal combustion engines and economics.
All attendees were strongly convinced that such an up-to-date approach of education is the next step not only to engage students, but also to affect their final results.The feedback from the teachers was extremely positive. The participants made sure that mozaBook is a platform with unlimited possibilities.
If you share the same enthusiasm as Bulgarian teachers do, download the free mozaBook demo here, or contact us at email@example.com.
Mozaik Education and Mozaik’s official distributor in Iraq, Al-Nabaa are happy to announce a brand new pilot project in Baghdad, Iraq. The project was launched this March in cooperation with Baghdad High School College. The main goal of the project was to introduce our most state-of-the-art digital education technology, also known as the mozaLearn system, to the country. It was a fun project to work on and we certainly hope that all teachers and students involved enjoy mozaBook as much as we do.
The project had several stages. During the first stage, twenty teachers received mozaBook training and learned to enrich textbooks with 3Ds, videos and exercises. All the teachers were very excited and actively participated in the training, asking questions, taking notes and practicing on their own devices. During the second stage of the project, teachers enriched local Iraqi textbooks with help of Nawfal Nadnan Ahmed from Al-Nabaa and Péter Török from Mozaik Education. All in all, 21 textbooks were enriched. The third stage was the introduction of mozaWeb Premium for students, who were provided mozaWeb Premium subscriptions so they could receive homework from their teachers, open electronic books from home, and participate in interactive classwork.
A large-scale event was held on 6th March, 2017 to celebrate the start of the project. It was attended by many notable people, such as the Vice Minister of Education, Mr. Ibrahim Abd Wali; Baghdad Governor, Dr. Ryadh Al-Adhadh; the General Manager of 1st Rusafa Education District, Dr. Falah Al-Qaysi; Dr. Hasanien Muaalah, General Manager of affairs at the Ministry; Mr. Zahid, General Manager of 1st Karkh Education District; and the Dean Of Ibn Al-Haitham Education College, Dr. Fahad Al-Gburi.
After receiving certificates and letters of appreciation and excellence, teachers performed presentations on different subjects using mozaBook. During these presentations, they demonstrated the usage of electronic textbooks enriched with Mozaik’s content, 3Ds, educational tools, and educational videos. One of the students even gave a presentation on the benefits of using mozaBook on tablets in the classroom.
The project received positive media attention in Iraq. Some of the presentations as well as interviews with officials and teachers can be viewed in this news report, and many more photos can be found on our facebook page.