Hot Springs Village, AR – A case study by a teacher who develops educational apps and curriculum has revealed that using apps in the classroom assists with teaching Common Core State Standards.
Cyndie Sebourn, a Hot Springs Village resident and National Board Certified Teacher, recently conducted a study using language arts, social studies, and science lesson plans that she designed to pair with “Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island,” a book app written by Karen Robertson.
Sebourn’s lesson plans, called “Smarty Activities,” were used in Ms. Wainscott’s third-grade class at Jessieville Elementary School. The activities were aligned with Common Core State Standards.
“Technology changes the way that teachers teach,” said Sebourn, who has had 25 years of teaching experience. “There is also a need for apps in the classroom to facilitate curriculum in project-based learning, an emerging trend in classrooms. Project-based learning involves students completing a project by using teamwork and technology. It is a captivating way to prepare students for the future.”
Other findings:
– Common Core State Standards keep students on a level playing field nationally and narrow the gaps.
– Apps should be highly interactive and cover a variety of subjects.
– Students should use technology in the classroom daily because students are more engaged through visual and auditory activities versus pencil and paper activities.
‘“Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island” is highly interactive, with engaging text and rhyme scheme,’ Sebourn said.
A Language Arts educator and children’s educational app developer herself, Sebourn’s objective in the ongoing case study is to examine the effectiveness of custom-designed curriculum for children’s apps.
Sebourn is a forerunner in the area of curriculum developer for apps. “The inclusion of apps in the classroom has been an empowering tool for educators; however, apps alone are not enough. Educators need curriculum to parallel with the apps, and for many educators, this curriculum being aligned with Common Core State Standards is an asset,” she said.
The second part of the case study will use Melissa Northway’s app, “Penelope the Purple Pirate.” A third case study will pair curriculum with Julie Landry Laviolette’s app, “Brush of Truth,” in a classroom in the early fall.
Case Study Part 1 can be viewed at Sebourn’s website: http://sascynpublishing.com/case-studies/case-study-part-1/ .
Sebourn is retired from Jessieville High School. She is founder of Sascyn Publishing, Inc., which will release its first educational app, “Smarty Britches: Nouns” this summer.

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