Meet the zyBooks development team

Sometimes in the midst of all the great tech that surrounds us, it can be easy to forget that the cool websites, great apps, and can’t-live-without devices that you use daily are designed and built by teams of people. I’d like to introduce one of our core teams at zyBooks, our product development team.

Zyante Awarded the Prestigious NSF SBIR Phase II Grant to Commercialize zyBooks Authoring Platform

Zyante, the company that produces zyBooks, has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Phase II grant by the National Science Foundation. The award, in the Education Application category, is the result of a rigorously competitive application process and is indicative of the innovative work being done on zyBooks. Fewer than 10% of companies who apply for NSF’s SBIR program are awarded a Phase II grant. The Phase II award is based on zyBooks’ continued development of a web­based authoring framework for university­level STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) content via curated crowdsourcing in an animated, interactive format. Under the zyBooks curated­crowdsourcing model, which differs significantly from traditional crowdsourcing, a core author/editor team creates the initial content, requiring little upfront investment. The community then adopts the content and contributes items under the core team’s curation, with the core team serving as a means of editing and streamlining the content....read more ››

The Web’s Real Power for Learning

Would you send your child to a piano instructor who teaches by playing in front of 50 students, testing and grading them every few weeks, and moving on? Probably not. Except for those with an initial knack or extra-strong commitment, most students would quit. Yet that’s how most colleges teach science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to their students. Individualized instruction is lacking.  So, the only students who persist are those with an initial knack or extra-strong commitment, and U.S. STEM attrition exceeds 50%, approaching 80% at some schools. The web can help. The web’s real power for learning is individualized instruction. A student can learn through interactive questions, simulations, and games. She can solve math problems and write computer programs, with immediate automatic feedback, and with the system adapting to her performance. Circuits can be created, chemistry experiments simulated, and virtual frogs dissected.  Less text, more action, with immediate...read more ››

Let’s breathe interactive life into the common textbook

Students learn in a variety of ways — they listen, read, create, speak, share, engage, ask, get assessed, receive feedback, get mentored, and eventually maybe become a mentor themselves. Some need to read less and listen more, others need to “do” first then read. Some need to ask, others need to share, others need to drill. The permutations are endless.

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“Learning by Doing” with the Modern Textbook

I clearly recollect my Circuits and Systems class in a freshman class of 45 students, where every 3rd period was a time for the professor to walk amongst us as we solved problems and raised our hands for help.  Learning happens by doing, and we had an opportunity to do just that with the help of our professor.

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