Q: What do your apps do? In a nutshell, they 1) Describe each Common Core State standard as is, along with a very simple example, 2) Provide you the tools to write a simple lesson with little learning curve, 3) Supply you with advanced tools to create engaging lessons with a long learning curve, 4) Organize lessons freely into curricula that you believe to be effective, 5) Teach students as a group, or individually with the lesson plans, 6) Share lessons with students, fellow teachers, parents privately in person or via email, 7) Publish or download timely and relevant lessons from online community, 8) Provide a structured nomenclature so the lessons are relevant
Q: Is registration required? It is only required if you wish to publish your lessons, to vote, to comment, and to download multiple lessons simultaneously. To register, simply go to Setting, select Login/Registration, tap at the [Registration] tag, and enter your name, a valid email address and a strong password. Name must be 8 to 24 characters with no space. Password must contain at least one upper case letter, one lower case letter and a digit.
Q: How do I delete a lesson? Go to the Domain Menu, and find the lesson you want to delete. Swipe either left or right anywhere on the lesson bar and a red delete button will appear. Tap the button to confirm deletion, or tap anywhere else to cancel. If you accidentally delete a lesson, you can download it from the cloud, if it was published previously. For unpublished lessons, we recommend you back them up by emailing them to yourself and saving the email in case you wish to recover them later.
Q: Can we control the path of the lesson? Currently, only lessons with audio recording allow you to move to a specific point. This is possible only during View Mode (or non-interactive mode). To move the path, simply tap and slide the audio bar left and right.
Q: What is the “Start Here” option when you are trying to exit the lesson? Good question. Let’s say you are a teacher and wish to write something on the blackboard before the class begins. Well, you can do the same with “Start Here” option. Simply create a lesson as if you are preparing for the class. You can draw, add stamps, add background and foreground images, etc. When you are ready to “officially” teach, you can tap the “Start Here” option and begin your lesson. When the lesson is played, all of the preparation will be available instantly and only the actions after the “Start Here” point will be played back in detail. Cool, isn’t it?
Q: How Do I Register (sign up)? Go to Settings -> Register/Login -> tap Register -> Enter a username or alias, your email address and a strong password, and press [Enter]. The screen should automatically take you to the Login Screen. Here, simply enter your registration code, and tap [Enter]. Once it is activated, you will need to return to the Settings -> Register/Login -> tap Login -> Enter your email address and re-enter the original password you have created. This process is done only ONCE. This security measure is to prevent spam and unwanted registrations. Thank you for your understanding.
Q: What are the Refresh Off and Refresh On options on the cloud? Great question! Once our community is well established, you may expect to see lessons being published from all across the globe. Turning the Refresh On will enable you to see the new postings as the lessons are being published, like the moving tickers on the stock market. This will also allow our administrators to conduct quality assurance.
Q: Why are most of the sample lessons are so simple and “boring?” We agree and apologize. An important thing to note is that the whole point of Engender Education is to create a thriving community with dynamic, relevant, and engaging lessons. Not a single entity can accomplish this. We designed the sample lessons to give parents and teachers a quick overview. These are NOT actual lessons. However, we will build the lessons, one at a time. The cost of the app depends on the number of quality lessons available. Your initial investment of $2.99 will entitle you to all future lessons. This $2.99 investment, at a minimum, allows you to use all the tools to build new lessons. If you teach students or help your child with homework, this app is the ONLY app that not only shows you the upcoming curriculum, but also allows you to create engaging lessons effortlessly.
Q: Why there is NO SOUND? Most sample lessons are created with no sound. To create a lesson with sound, go to Settings and turn on voice recording. Play back the lesson and you will hear your accompanying voice recording. Or, you can add sound by editing the existing lessons. If you still do not hear any sound, adjust your device volume and make sure it is not muted.
Q: Why it is NOT interactive? The lessons are NOT like video games. The interactive features include any combination of these functions: 1) answering the question by drawing, writing, 2) moving, rearranging, rotating and resizing objects, 3) playing with parents, teachers, or other students, 4) tapping objects, 5) adjusting shapes to fit or solve problems, 6) creating something new, etc. The app is NOT a consumable product that you play once and are done with it. Instead of one video game, you can create your own games, or download more from top teachers and subject matter experts.
Q: Why is your app so complicated? You can view the sample lessons that cover the entire Common Core standards immediately. The app can be learned in as little as 5 minutes. You will be ready to create your first lesson. To be able to create more advanced lessons, it might take you up to an hour to learn. To create engaging and effective lessons, it all depends on how much time you are willing to invest. This is not a magic wand; the teacher’s guide is a 21-page document. We welcome any suggestions and we will work hard to improve and simplify the app without sacrificing any features.
Q: I am a single parent, what is your recommendation for a study plan? You are not alone. There is an old saying that a mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom. You are your child’s most important teacher. First, please make an effort to understand the common core standards for your child’s current grade. Second, explain patiently with your child and assess his or her understanding of each topic. Third, research and/or download lessons that you identify as what your child needs. Share these lessons with your child and observe. If no lessons are available, you can use the tools to create the lessons or ask us to help. Yes, you can do it. Finally, make sure that your child reaches at least the second level of Bloom’s taxonomy; which is to fully understand each topic. A study plan should be scalable vertically and horizontally. Never limit it by your child’s grade level.
Q: Are you educational experts? Our company is based in Orange County, California. We have been developing educational apps since 2009. We are highly educated professionals with experience in mobile, cloud, and instructional technologies. Most importantly, we are also parents and teachers of K-12 children. We know for a fact that all K-12 students will eventually move on to colleges or start their careers. In our opinion, for them to be ready and confident in a high-tech world, they need to be given the best opportunities to excel. Our app is designed to encourage students to develop critical thinking, which cannot be achieved through scripted teaching and standardized testing. Only dedicated teachers, with a deep understanding of students’ need, and a passion to mentor their students can achieve this goal. This app provides these teachers with the best tool so their focus will be on teaching, and to engage students to assure the knowledge is gained for life. We are passionate about the future of our children. Our focus will be and will always be in education. We are the only publisher with K-12 apps for math and English, and soon Science, Social Studies, Arts and Physical Education. We believe that our apps will be the most consistent, the highest quality, and the most advanced platform in the world.
Q: How do I download lessons from the cloud? Easy, you can download lessons directly from within your app. Go to Home Menu, tap at the Cloud button (on your lower left). You will be taken to the designated website for your grade level. You can browse, preview, search and find one that you wish to download. Tap at the blue download button and it will load into your device and play immediately. You don’t need Internet connection after a lesson is downloaded. But you do need wifi connection to download the lesson. A 3-minute lesson on a broadband takes less than 10 seconds. Yes, it is super fast! Please be patient as we are still building our library. We promise you will have at least 500 quality lessons within a year, each lesson can potentially offer you variety of playing options.
Q: How do I saved my lessons without publishing them to the cloud? All lessons are saved offline. They will not be deleted unless you choose to do so. All upgrades “should” support previous versions unless otherwise mentioned. However, we do recommend that you save the lessons that you created by sending the lesson via email to yourself. Then, you can save the lessons to your desktop, or to any cloud backup such as Google Drive. These lessons can be retrieved later directly or via email. Remember, the lesson is associated with the app. When you tap at the lesson from your device’s email, it will be loaded directly to the app.
Q. What is that new setting “Save History Undo?” In our previous release, the lesson will save everything you do, including undo. Often times, you do not wish your students to see the mistakes that you made. So now the default is to turn this Save feature to OFF. So, when you undo any of your errors while creating a lesson, it will be forgotten. Turn it to ON if you wish to see all of your undo actions.
Q. What is that new “Stamps Hovering” inside the Advanced Setup? If you turn this on when you are creating your lesson, all stamps, images, text layers, shapes will automatically bring to front when it is tapped. The default is to leave it off. So, when it is off, all layers will remain unchanged.
Q: Do you support languages other than English? Yes we do. Almost all languages available to your device are supported. For example we have tested English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, etc. For the special text layer feature, if you are unable to see the characters, please select a more common font such as Arial. For Chinese, Japanese, etc. please choose the STHeiti font. In our next release, we will detect any languages automatically.
Q: What is your opinion on Common Core? This app is based on the Common Core State Standards. You are free to respect it and make the best of it. Or, you can remove them (from the app) completely and create or adopt your own standards, whether they are legacy standards, or standards from Texas, Minnesota, Alaska, Nebraska, or Virginia. In fact, you can incorporate any standard from any of the top 10 or 20 performing countries based on the most recent PISA scores by OECD.
Q: Does this app offer assessment function? The app is designed with assessment in mind. However, in our initial release, our focus is in the development of instructional material and to build a community to share quality lessons. For the time being, you are welcome to create unlimited lessons based on Bloom’s taxonomy. The assessment can be done via observation of how students respond to the lessons. We are planning to add the assessment function to this app. Your suggestions are greatly appreciated. Please email us at support@EngenderEducation.com.
Q: What are some of the benefits specifically for teachers? Good question. We wrote this [Letter to Teachers]. Please take your time and read this important letter. Thank you.Q: What is your current release? Current release is 2.2, available on September 1, 2014. We have consolidated all our releases. Look at the top left corner of your home screen to identify your most recent release. We will no longer support the iPad 1, although most existing functions will still work.
Q: What happened to some of the negative comments? Almost all negative comments/reviews were based on the original sample lessons. Yes, they were boring, and we said that ourselves. The title of this app is clearly identified as "Lesson Designer and Curriculum Builder." The app is a tool to allow teachers and parents to build lessons and to share privately and in a community. We are in the process of hiring expert teachers who love our apps and think that they can contribute.
Q: What is your policy of publishing the lessons online or use them commercially? You are free to use our apps to create YouTube videos for non-profit, educational purposes. To use any part of our app, such as the Whiteboard Animation, Speed Draw, or licensed fonts, you need to obtain written permission from us. For the licensed fonts, you need to contact http://brittneymurphydesign.com/.
Q: I would like to tutor my child, is there a Parent's Guide? Thank you for asking. We also wrote this [Letter to Parents]. Be sure to download our User's guide and visit the Youtube channel. Thank you.