In an innovative & ambitious move, Universal High, a chain of ICSE/IGCSE schools with presence in Malad, Dahisar, Tardeo, Thane & Nashik has introduced the very popular iPod Touch devices as a learning tool for its school children from Nursery onwards. The iPod Touch is a portable pocket computer made by Apple Inc with a multi touch screen, a video player & an internet browser. Each child in the classroom is provided with an exclusive iPod Touch which is pre-loaded with ready-to-use software applications that aid learning. 'We've introduced the iPod Touch in the pre-school & early primary years so far,' says Pinky Pujara, UEG's Director (Schools), 'We will gradually extend it to higher classes as well. Because the iPod Touch is deeply integrated in our curriculum, our curriculum experts browse through the iTunes App Store for hours every week to carefully handpick age-appropriate & developmentally-appropriate apps. We're even custom building some apps for some of our specific needs. Our research has proven a phenomenal jump in achievement of learning outcomes of young children when they use iPods. Additionally, all apps have large clickable buttons that are helpful in developing their fine motor skills.'
The initiative is the brainchild of Jesus S. M. Lall, Chairman & CEO, Universal Education Group (UEG) and eminent academician. Zarin Virji, the principal of Universal High Malad, gives it a thumbs up while adding, 'Kids absolutely love the iPod. Each iPod has dozens of pre-loaded & neatly organised apps. Kids learn a whole host of things – including alphabets, numbers, drawing, colouring, cursive writing, maths, flash cards & memory games. There's an app that teaches you how to tell time & another one that is a virtual piano! There are dozens of stories, audio books, ebooks, nursery rhymes, videos & podcasts for kids loaded on the iPod. This tiny little device is really a whole world of knowledge in itself. It's like your imagination in your pocket.'