You might remember our lovely partner school from Haiger, Germany as last semester they were kind enough to write a short summary of their experiences of using our digital solutions. In October 2018 we had the chance to meet their media team in Frankfurt at the annual Buchmesse and conduct a quick interview about how things are going in the school, how kids are doing, and you know, about mozaBook itself.
Do you feel you were able to successfully integrate mozaBook into your daily lessons?
Absolutely. Following our visit to the Mozaik training center in Szeged, Hungary, we gradually integrated many functions into our everyday lessons. We’ve held short internal training sessions so more and more teachers were able to start working with mozaBook. Currently, almost every teacher has access to the program so we can cooperate with each other within the institution.
We use the mozaBook software for various subjects, but most of our experiences come from traditional subjects, such as German, Mathematics, History/Social Studies, or “Sachunterricht” (Sachunterricht in German primary schools covers Biology, History, Physics, Geography, Chemistry).
What’s more, mozaBook is frequently used for teaching small groups of dyslexic students who have difficulties in reading and writing, and in groups of students who need additional support in Mathematics.
In your experience, has mozaBook cut or increased the preparation time for your lessons?
Based on our experience, every new software, textbook or program needs a little bit more time. As a result, the daily preparation was more time-consuming in the beginning, but once our teachers got familiar with the program and gained some experience, their preparation time was greatly reduced.
The illustration and presentation features are especially time-saving. For example, preparing overhead slides is not necessary anymore, plus we don't have to cut or laminate flashcards, and spend hours with searching for images online.
Overall, the use of new or lesser-known functions require more time, but mozaBook helps teachers in other areas. The workflow has changed in the sense that we spend more time on the computer, but less time with other preparation activities.
Do you find mozaBook easy to use?
Our teachers, who had the chance to attend a training in Hungary, find the basic operation of the software self-explanatory and intuitive. Naturally, there are always questions about certain functions and these questions require some further explanation, but the built-in video tutorials are very helpful in these cases.
Overall, in what ways has mozaBook made your work as a teacher easier? Can you demonstrate the topic of your lesson more easily with the help of the software?
Although we see some necessity to adapt more specific content for the primary school level, the demonstration of different topics is much easier with the Media library items. For primary school students, it is necessary to actively deal with the subject matter in order to get to the bottom of a new topic so using 3Ds and videos is a very appealing way of approaching a subject. This way the initial demonstration of the topic is much easier and more effective.
Do you find pupils are more interested in the subject of your lessons since you have been using mozaBook? How often do they work at the board in class?
Students like the visual appearance of the software, for sure. As they work with mozaBook in class, they can quickly learn how to use simple functions and they find it particularly easy to use different pens, colours, and erasers. Solving exercises and practicing with the Test editor are also quick and easy for them, and you can tell how much they enjoy working on the board with mozaBook by the high level of participation in exercises. The frequency of active use of the software varies, of course, as it depends on the structure of the lesson and the learning objective.
"Since we have been working with mozaBook in class, it is easier to keep the attention and focus of the kids. Through the interactive features, students are more directly involved in the teaching process."
Frontal teaching phases have become more attractive, however, the main deciding factor for the motivated cooperation of pupils remained the teacher, and the student-teacher relationship.
Just for fun, could you please name your three favourite features in mozaBook?
Huh, that’s a tough one. Importing PDF documents into the software is certainly a great feature. Once the PDF is imported, we can display, edit and segment the document so quality print materials and new materials can be also used in mozaBook. It’s also great that we can access the Internet within the software so online content can be also quickly integrated into our lessons.
Another popular feature is using images from the Media library and placing them into an exercise book [presentation]. The Test Editor is another great tool to create interactive exercises for students to prepare for tests, but pencils are also very popular as well as the colour palette which is very often used during class.
What is your general impression of mozaBook?
mozaBook is definitely a software we love to use in class. During the process of equipping our primary school with interactive whiteboards, we came across other solutions as well, but none of them convinced us as much as mozaBook. The possibility to present all types of content within one software is simply amazing and makes our everyday work much easier. In future, we would like to further and expand our work by cooperating with German publishers.
(Approximately, 350 pupils attend the Mittelpunkt Elementary School of Haiger and 34 teachers work part-time or full-time at the school. In 2017/18 mozaBook was installed on six interactive whiteboards in six different classrooms, while this year (2018 / 2019) another five classrooms were equipped with an ActivPanel)