Pearson and Commonwealth of Virginia Launch iPad Social Studies Curriculum

While some schools across the country may still be struggling to get their students updated text books, that's not stopping others from moving right along and grasping the next stage of education. The Commonwealth of Virginia and Pearson have announced today their brand new social studies curriculum, which has a main focus on Apple's tablet device, the iPad. With applications specifically created for the program, like games and self-testing applications, the new curriculum is meant to target Pearson's US History and World History programs for 7th and 9th graders.

Pearson has created four new iPad applications, aligned with a whole new digital curriculum set up for the program. The whole deal is part of Virginia's "Beyond Textbooks" initiative, and it's set to kick off beginning on November 1st. The program is set to last for 12 weeks, and it will take place in several schools across Virginia. Pearson has created a complete, digital, instructional solution that incorporates the company's Virginia editions of America: History of Our Nation (for the 7th grade), and World History: Volume 1 (for the 9th graders).

The program consists of three components: applications, eText, and the personalized assessment tests. All of these are handled directly on the iPad, from the learning to the participation, as well as the testing. The Virginia Department of Education is working with Radford University, in hopes that after the program completes, a research study can be done to show the results of the program, to see if it's a viable option. Check out the full press release below.

Press Release

Pearson and Commonwealth of Virginia Launch First-ever iPad Social Studies Curriculum

Students Bring History to Life with Personalized eTexts, Games and Self-Test Apps

Martinsville, VA, September 29, 2010 – Pearson and the Commonwealth of Virginia today launched the nation's first-ever complete social studies curriculum for the iPad. Pearson has developed four new iPad Apps plus digital curriculum aligned to the Virginia editions of Pearson's U.S. History and World History programs for seventh and ninth graders. The new iPad program will be piloted in several schools for 12 weeks beginning November 1 as part of Virginia's Beyond Textbooks initiative.

"In exploring the instructional potential of digital content, it makes sense to partner with Pearson, whose technologies and traditional textbooks are widely used in Virginia schools," Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said. "The experiences of students and teachers with the applications and digital history content created by Pearson will help shape decisions and practices as schools move thoughtfully and carefully beyond textbooks and deeper into the age of digital learning."

Middle and High School students participating in the Pearson iPad Social Studies pilot program include: Washington Lee High School in Arlington County, Achievable Dream Middle School and High School in Newport News, Menchville High School in Newport News, Pulaski Middle School and Pulaski County High School.

"We are always looking at the newest technologies to advance our goal of personalizing learning for every child," said Pearson's CEO for K-12 Curriculum Peter Cohen. "We have been side by side with Virginia since they first introduced their education technology initiative more than a decade ago, and are privileged to be chosen to participate in this latest mobile learning pilot program with the popular new iPad." He added, "Over the next few months, we expect to learn a great deal from these students that will influence the next generation of school products we develop at Pearson. These findings will ultimately benefit children all across the country – youngsters who have been immersed in the digital world their entire lives."

Pearson Apps and Digital Curriculum for iPad – 7th and 9th Grade History Students

Pearson has created a complete instructional solution to support the company's Virginia editions of America: History of our Nation (7th grade) and World History: Volume I (9th grade). The iPad program includes three components: App with interactive learning games that introduces concepts to students through puzzles and fast-action challenges; eText on iPad where students access the social studies curriculum and take control of their learning by creating their individualized texts; and the personalized assessment with remediation App for students to review and self-test.

Cohen noted that these new social studies programs for Virginia are the latest in Pearson's global digital and mobile learning initiatives. The company has created more than 100 Apps for learners of all ages, including its Algebra Prep App series which ranked #1 on the iTunes App Store when it debuted last year.

Superintendent Wright chose the Rich Acres Elementary School in Henry County to make the public announcement of Virginia's K-12 iPad mobile learning initiative which will include more than 260 students in four regions across the state. Earlier this year, the Governor's Productivity Investment Fund allocated $120,000 for purchase of the iPads for the pilot study.

The Virginia Department of Education is collaborating with Radford University to conduct a research study on the results of the pilot program. In her announcement today, Superintendent Wright said, "The knowledge gained will help policy makers, educators and our private sector partners better understand the potential instructional uses of interactive digital media and wireless technology."

Pearson, along with Virginia Secretary of Education Gerard Robinson, and Apple, is among 50 technology visionaries recently selected for the new Digital Learning Council established last month to accelerate personalized learning through the use of technology in America's schools.

For more information and to preview the social studies iPad program, go to

About Pearson

Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education, teacher training, education technology and school solutions, provides innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. Pearson's other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information about Pearson School, go to