Friday, July 9, 2010

AACTE - Alabama Association for Career and Technical Educators

I just finished KP's first summer conference at the AACTE conference in Birmingham, AL. This kicks off a busy summer as we launch and promote our new products for the 2010-11 school year. Southern hospitality is embodied by all here in Alabama. Everyone I met is warm, approachable, and has a passion for exploring better ways to reach students. We made our first announcement of KP Food Science and KP Assessments here and it was overwhelmingly accepted.

Following the improvements to our Sous Chef 7, called the KP Curriculum Suite, the KP Assessments service represents a highly requested feature that enables students to access the curriculum online. KP Assessments also allows teachers to create custom lesson plans and tests for classes or individual students. Students can be assigned user IDs to log in from any computer in the high school or from home using the Internet to view the text, activities and videos. Additionally, the students can access their assignments from mobile devices, which are growing in popularity among students. Assessments at the end of each module, and digital reports of students’ results, enable teachers and students to keep track of progress consistently.

These new features are a result of KP's desire to promote individualized instruction and semi-automated assessments while maintaining a focused modular approach to education. With KP Assessments, teachers can create dynamic lessons for classes of varying levels, catering to advanced students as well as those with special needs. This technology also broadens the influence and scope of the course by allowing students to access their instructional materials from home, fostering parental involvement and better preparation for in-class lessons.

The teachers here in Alabama see the potential of what KP Assessments can offer for their students and are excited about implementing the new "homework" model. For example, reading activities and general comprehension of material can be assigned as homework, freeing up classroom time for more labs and hands-on tasks. Furthermore, many teachers here in Alabama (and around the country) are facing increased classroom sizes. They find that digital curriculum with at-home access will help them maintain a high-quality and relevant course.

Our other featured product, KP Food Science, was also well-received by Alabama educators. With a CORE heavy emphasis on science, math and labs, KP Food Science combines the rigor of chemistry with the enjoyment and practical application of foods, cooking, and nutrition. While KP Food Science is designed for a food science or food chemistry course at the high school level, many culinary arts teachers are incorporating it to help them qualify for CORE academics credit. With over 50 interactive demonstrations, this project-based curriculum will suit the needs of any one semester or year-long course.

ALACTE was a fantastic conference and a wonderful kick start to KP's summer promotions. We always love coming to Alabama and developing new relationships with CTE educators across the state. Based on the feedback, the teachers here continue to support KP's efforts to create new educational products and services. Alternatively, maybe they are just excited about our new summer promotion to give away free iPads to teachers that review our demonstration disk! It's hard to tell whether teachers were more motivated by our upgraded software or by our free hardware (perhaps it's a tie). Either way, I think we are on track for a great summer. Thanks Alabama! I look forward to seeing you next year.

Nai Wang
KP Education Systems