There is a new program on the market that takes the content of a college textbook and brings it to life. The program is called "Classavo" and is created by a couple of University of Buffalo graduates.
"We have access to processors and browsers and tablets but we are not making use of them in education yet...until now," Rohan Shah, creator of Classavo, said.
Shah is a University of Buffalo graduate and now CEO of InteractiveX, the company that developed Classavo. It is an educational tool to enhance the learning process and update it for the 21st century.
"Currently, if teachers adopt a textbook, they can't really change anything," Shah explained. "They're stuck with the textbook. We give them a tool that they can not only augment it, they can add, they can subtract interactive content into the static textbooks which is pretty neat."
Classavo is a cloud-based platform that allows a teacher to take a textbook and create an online component. It is a click-and-drag set up, where teachers can manipulate the textbook to fit the lesson plan and bring the lesson to life.
"It means you can actually play with the molecules," Shah said. "Cell membrane is a moving thing. It's always moving. So the static textbook doesn't do justice to that."
In addition to the textbook component, attendance schedules and grades can be managed on Classavo. It's an in-class tool, too.
"It's also an engaging component where the students are actually actively participating in class, rather than they're fiddling on their phones or computers on Facebook or social media," Shah added.
It goes beyond interactive and engaging though. The Classavo platform gives teachers insight into how each student is doing, according to Shah.
It allows teachers to monitor things like how long students are spending on assignments.
"Classavo actually helps you recollect data for students... how they perform in the classes to give educators a better insight," Shah said. "So that could mean Stephanie's taking 10 minutes to answer this one question and John is taking 11 minutes... why is that?"
The product is sold in lieu of the actual textbook. It is sold directly to the teacher. Then each student is billed $39 per semester for the service.
Classavo is not available for every textbook. The company is only partnered with open-source, e-book publishers. The company hopes to contract with larger publishers in the future.
There are five universities already using the program, including UB and Canisius.