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Will the 'Waiting for Superman' iPad App be Heroic for America's Public Schools?


Shardae Smith/Appolicious   Buzz up! 2010’s Waiting for Superman documented the failures of the American public school system as it followed students through their educational journey. Recently, an iPad application was released as an extension for users to respond and access the message of the film.   Participant Media, Paramount Home Entertainment, Expanded Apps, and Libros Publishing Group offer Super School—a social engagement tool for Waiting for Superman—for those interested and who want to get involved.   “With mobile technology becoming more relevant every day, we designed Super School as an easy and straightforward way for parents, students, educators, and concerned citizens to join our social action campaign for Waiting for Superman and become part of the movement to improve the public education system in America,” said Jim Berk, CEO of Participant Media.   The app is free and available to download in the iTunes Education section.   With Super School, users are taken through five school periods in a virtual classroom. For older participants there are short videos and articles, which inform them about the growing problems in the U.S. education system. Younger users will be entertained with classic games such as memory match and word search, as it was created to have a broad appeal for a diverse audience.   As users navigate the app and learn about the issues, they earn points as they consume the content. When the player reaches 200 points, they can post a virtual school on their Facebook profile with a message that they care about education.   There is also a “Take Action” button, which connects to non-profit partners associated with the film that are also working on the issue.   Users can instantly send a pre-formatted letter (which can be edited or tailored, if so desired) to their state congressperson or senator, directly help a classroom via Donorschoose.org, download instructions about how to host a DVD house party, or purchase the DVD and companion book, Waiting for Superman: How We Can Save America's Failing Public Schools from PublicAffairs Books.   Super School offers everybody a great opportunity to make a difference to the education system in the United States.   http://www.appolicious.com/education/articles/7286-will-the-waiting-for-superman-ipad-app-be-heroic-for-america-s-public-schools  

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Participant MediaAbout Participant Media

Founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, Participant Media’s (www.participantmedia.com) content combines the power of a good story well told with opportunities for real world impact and awareness around the most pressing global issues of our time. As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, five documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 40 hours of digital short form programming, through its digital subsidiary SoulPancake—all aimed at entertainment that inspires social awareness and engaging audiences to participate in positive social change. Participant’s content and social impact mandate speaks directly to the rise of today’s “conscious consumer,” representing over 2 billion consumers who are compelled to make impactful content a priority focus. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant is positioned uniquely within the industry to engage a rapidly growing audience while bringing global awareness and action to today’s most vital issues.

Participant’s more than 80 films, including Spotlight, Contagion, Lincoln, The Help, He Named Me Malala, The Look of Silence, CITIZENFOUR, Food, Inc. and An Inconvenient Truth, have collectively earned 56 Academy Award® nominations and 12 wins, including Best Picture for Spotlight and Best Foreign Language Film for A Fantastic Woman. Participant’s digital entertainment division, SoulPancake (www.soulpancake.com), is an award-winning provider of thought-provoking, joyful, and uplifting digital content including such widely popular series as Kid President and The Science of Happiness and reaches an audience of nearly 9 million fans. Follow Participant Media on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram. Follow SoulPancake on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram.