The Ministry of Silly Talks?
"My hovercraft is full of eels"… Who can forget the legendary Monty Python sketch with the fake Hungarian phrasebook that spouts absolute gibberish? Now PONS wants to add a dose of British humor to learning French, too - sure sounds like fun!
Briton John Peter Sloan is an absolute trail-blazer when it comes to teaching foreign languages, having already helped more than a million people to learn English or Spanish with a healthy dose of his renowned native humor. Now he's set his sights on learners of French.
PONS boldly claims that there isn't a school student out there who wouldn't love to fall about laughing while perfecting their French - and promises to achieve this with the aid of comedian John Peter Sloan and his unique take on how to teach language. His "Instant French" concept is designed to teach grammar, idioms and usage of French not just logically but gift-wrapped in humor so as to encourage even the linguistically challenged to jump in feet first. The book is also packed with plenty of exercises to help students put what they have learned into practice. PONS is pitching the course as ideal for beginners and returners to French - including foreigners flummoxed by French "faux amis" in the past.
And for anyone still keen to brush up their English, PONS is also publishing a pocket-sized "Speak Easy" version of John Peter Sloan's original course to highlight the funniest and most memorable excerpts from the four "Instant English" books - "Instant English", "More Instant English", "Instant Business English" and "Instant Grammar English".
PONS GmbH (70190 Stuttgart, Germany), Hall 12, Stand B20
Contact: Anne Pelzer
Tel.: +49 711 89 46 2-224
21st century STEM
Teachers had their say in developing the fx-CG50 graphing calculator on show at didacta 2018 in Hannover, where CASIO is demonstrating how to display 3D graphs and record measurement data such as oxygen content and pH values.
Graphing calculators are widely permitted in final examinations at high schools nowadays, so Casio's decision to involve experienced teachers in the development of the new fx-CG50 was a logical and successful move. It's a powerful tool - not just in math lessons, but wherever scientific experiments feature as well, such as in physics, chemistry and biology. In classrooms equipped with a CLAB data logger, the fx-CG50 is designed to automatically receive and recognize the kind of data being transmitted from sensors. It can then represent these values - such as changes in temperature, distances or triaxial acceleration - in the form of a graph.
Teachers will particularly welcome the ability to emulate operating the device on a computer using the fx-CG50 Manager software. The idea is to simplify preparing lessons - by capturing screenshots for worksheets, for instance. The key-logging function also makes it easier for teachers to record both general operation of the fx-CG50 and the steps for performing specific calculations. All that's needed is a laptop and projector to demonstrate these processes to the whole class so as to optimize pupils’ use of the calculator and their involvement in lessons. You can activate a 90-day free trial of fx-CG50 Manager straight away at edu.casio.com!
CASIO Europe GmbH (22848 Norderstedt, Germany), Hall 12, Stand D37
Contact: Marleen Kort
Tel.: +49 40 890 696-12
Pen power for pupils!
Betzold is at didacta 2018 in Hannover to showcase Tellimero, a small recording and playback device shaped like a pen that makes language elements linked to teaching materials audible.
As a modern family-run company with a long tradition and a bright future, Betzold is one of the leading producers of teaching materials in Germany. Besides buying in materials from the global market and distributing them in Germany, Betzold is also continuously working to develop its own products specifically designed for use in the classroom. The latest example is Tellimero. This digital reading pen is ideal for helping kids fine-tune their language skills in their mother tongue and even learn foreign languages - whether in school or on integration courses. It could also be put to good use in therapy sessions at rehabilitation clinics.
As a small, pen-shaped recording and playback device, Tellimero makes it easy to invent your own learning and reading games. For example, small stickers linked with spoken text can be used with Tellimero to design talking educational puzzles and photo albums. The pen, which can record four hours of content, can also be used with the existing range of Tellimero learning games that includes ready-made learning games, dominoes, quizzes and much more besides. According to Betzold, Tellimero thus combines all the options associated with the digital learning pens currently available on the market. What's more, by establishing a link with a PC or notebook, users can directly arrange and listen to whole passages. All the audio files for Tellimero products, such as cards, games and quizzes, can be copied to the pen easily and for free via the Tellimero website.
Arnulf Betzold GmbH (73479 Ellwangen, Germany), Hall 12, Stand B101
Contact: Katrin Grulich
Tel.: +49 221 2902786,
Transforming learning spaces with new locker-based concepts
At didacta 2018, locker expert Mietra is looking for schools to pilot its new dual-use learning zone concepts for students and teachers - entirely cost-free for one year.
In an ideal world, students and teachers alike should enjoy spending time at school. This is particularly likely if schools go beyond learning and teaching to create a sociable environment with a pleasant atmosphere. Mietra masters the challenge created by new pedagogical concepts and the increasing number of full-day schools with its new multipurpose solutions that ensure lockers not only look good, but also enhance learning space layout. The company has spent more than 20 years developing high-quality solutions aimed at taking the weight off students'’ backs. Its TÜV-certified lockers, which cover a vast range of applications, are also specially designed and proven to reduce the fire load in corridors and classrooms by preventing fire spreading from one locker to the next, even if they are crammed full or an explosion occurs inside one.
At didacta 2018, Mietra is showcasing traditional small and large lockers together with entirely new special room designs for teaching and breaks, which besides introducing order and structure into the school day have some additional tricks up their sleeves. The lockers double up for use by students and teachers in a wide range of school scenarios as seating options for learning and quiet zones, lecterns for individual and group work, table tops and presentation surfaces for students' work and displays, counters and room dividers - besides providing classic lockable storage for satchels and rucksacks. Any schools interested in new room design solutions are warmly invited to drop by the Mietra stand at didacta 2018 in Hannover. If any further incentive is needed, the company is looking for schools to pilot its two new locker-based learning space concepts, who will get to try them out for one year entirely cost-free. The low monthly rental rate for the lockers will only kick in once the test phase has been completed.
Mietra e.K. (04651 Bad Lausick, Germany), Hall 13, Stand C30
Contact: Denise Gödicke
Tel.: +49 34345 7295138
Get the kids geared up for the future!
More than 36 million people have visited the Autostadt in Wolfsburg since it opened in 2000. The Volkswagen attraction revolves around all things automotive, and also has a strong educational focus, offering impressive out-of-school learning opportunities such as the new KidsTours launched this fall.
Smell, touch, hands-on experience - the concept behind the new tours at the Autostadt is very much focused on the needs of young researchers and explorers aged between five and eleven. The themes for the tours include sustainability, electrical power and time travel. “"The aim is to encourage kids to get actively involved and convey the content of the tours in a child-friendly way that is easy to follow," explains Dr. Michael Pries. The Head of the Autostadt Education Department is working hard to make sure the new KidsTours are more than just a bit of fun for young children. "The topics covered are centered around the mobility curriculum, which has been adopted as an official element of the UN World Decade. The content of the KidsTours is based on education for sustainable development and places a great deal of emphasis on introducing the children to the various focal points of the tours in as fun a way as possible," says Dr. Pries.
There are twelve different KidsTours in total that deal with all types of mobility and give the children the opportunity to find out what it’s like to be a scientist, designer and material researcher. For example, young visitors on the "Powered Up" tour get to know the key basics of electromobility that are involved in building a small electric motor. Children exploring the topic of water will find out how much of it there is in the world, what it's used for and how this vital resource can be preserved. Budding artists who want to put their creative talents to the test will enjoy the "Jeder ist ein Designer" (Everyone's a Designer) tour. The tour that runs through the Zeithaus museum is very literally hands-on, with children given gloves so they can appreciate the beauty of automotive treasures not just by sight but by touch, too. What’s more, they can also enjoy a spot of "Automobile Time Travel", tracking down milestones in the history of the automobile with a suitcase full of clues. Finally, the young researchers can check out the pavilions that showcase the various Volkswagen brands and learn about the history of the Group, which has faced some pretty big challenges recently. Who knows, perhaps the youngsters themselves will soon be helping to overcome these challenges based on the "sustainability" values presented on these tours?
All the latest information on KidsTours, which are included in the admission price for the Autostadt, can be found online at
, where you can also book reservations for the 30-minute tours.
Autostadt GmbH (38440 Wolfsburg, Germany), Hall 11, Stand D16
Contact: Cord Völkening
Tel.: +49 5361 406338
Lteters jmubeld? Well spotted!
For most people, as long as the first and last letters of a word are in the right place, it doesn't usually matter what order the rest are in. However, that is not always the case for people with reading difficulties. Thankfully, a new hardware and software solution on show at didacta 2018 is offering a better insight into the problems they face.
Tobii Dynavox Gaze Viewer from Frankfurt-based Tobii Technology GmbH is a tool that sheds light on the specific physical capabilities and cognitive understanding of learners. The software component is the Gaze Viewer, which is combined with Tobii Dynavox eye tracking to record accurate vision data, regardless of which application the user is viewing, whether the Internet, ebooks, pictures, games, movies or anything else. The system records how the user’s eyes move over text and where they stop or focus and depicts the data in graphical form as "heat maps" and "gaze plots".
Developed by the world's leading hardware and software supplier for eye tracking and touch devices, the system helps users establish whether school pupils can actually focus on a text and individual words and follow the flow of a text. Knowing what readers have actually seen and in what order they have viewed and focused on specific elements supports a better understanding of any reading difficulties they may have. The system is being showcased at didacta 2018 in Hannover as a tool for speech and language therapists, neurologists, teachers, parents, occupational therapists and anyone else who wants to better understand someone’s capabilities. It is suitable for a whole range of uses, including in particular analyzing concentration, evaluating reading and writing skills, investigating comprehension and processing mechanisms and conducting memory tests. What’s more, Tobii Dynavox Gaze Viewer can help create stress-free test environments for children. In short, the system is more than worth a look!
Tobii Technology GmbH (60325 Frankfurt, Germany), Hall 11, Stand G76
Contact: Tobias Bührs
Cellphone: +49 176 186 244 03
Learn to learn - and stay on the ball!
The concept of juggling is often used as a metaphor for multitasking between ever more complex day-to-day tasks - especially in the field of education. However, juggling itself also boosts creativity, relieves stress and keeps body and spirit in harmony, and FQL is at didacta 2018 to show us the REHORULI system for learning to juggle.
FQL founder Stephan Ehlers has already given a number of explanations for what the three letters in the company's name stand for - English versions could include "Fun & Quality Linked" or "Facing Questions Laterally". "Fosters Quick Learning" would be especially suitable for didacta 2018. In any case, for FQL it is clear that juggling can play an important role in a range of different contexts. Ehlers, who developed the REHORULI method for learning to juggle quickly in 1999, is in Hannover to showcase the latest formats available for his award-winning learning system - including a new app.
One major highlight is the REHORULI support program, developed specifically for target groups with responsibilities in schools, clubs, sports associations or education authorities. Visitors to the FQL stand can also rediscover for themselves how to "learn to learn" by taking part in two high-intensity minutes of throwing and catching exercises using just one juggling ball. Participants who manage to "catch on" will receive a small prize in the form of two brochures and two free eBooks on the topic of juggling and learning. The new "Jonglier-Fix" app is also free of charge, helping beginners learn to throw and catch three balls in record time.
FQL – Kommunikationsmanagement für Motivation, Begeisterung & Erfolg (80638 Munich, Germany), Hall 13, Stand F56
Contact: Stephan Ehlers
Tel.: +49 89 17 11 70 36
My desk, it has five corners...
A new version of the popular children's song about the three-cornered hat is called for at didacta 2018, because EinrichtWerk GmbH is exhibiting a five-cornered desk with a unique design that is set to make it a true communication revelation.
An analysis based on its long-standing experience in the school furniture sector led the team from Dortmund-based company EinrichtWerk to the conclusion that many conventional desk models used in schools literally create a barrier to effective modern-day teaching. In the company's opinion, even the more modern approaches using triangular desks quickly reach their limits in typical lecture or examination situations. In a world first, the team from EinrichtWerk is therefore using Hannover to unveil its new EWT.5 five-cornered desk, which is intended as a universal solution for all learning concepts and forms of teaching - from elementary school all the way through to adult education.
According to its developers, this desk will become the communication revelation of lifelong learning. Its unique design enables teaching situations to be created in which everyone can see each other properly, learn together and enjoy constructive dialog. At the same time, the new desk will respect tried-and-tested teaching concepts, for example making it easy to switch between a more traditional lesson where the focus is on the teacher and forms of teaching where the students work together.
Not only does the team from EinrichtWerk consider lively debate about educational approaches to be a good thing - it also accepts that there will never be one definitive teaching concept. Teaching situations, technical requirements and above all the individuals being taught are too varied for that. The new EWT.5 desk is not intended to force anyone into rigid models, but rather to create the ideal conditions for different teaching situations and diverse educational strategies.
EinrichtWerk GmbH (44388 Dortmund, Germany), Hall 13, Stand B20
Contact: Michael Ochsenfeld
Tel.: +49 231 99 76 00-12
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