PRODUCTS, SERVICES & EVENTS

4/17/14

ASCD Presents Inaugural Whole Child Symposium

Alexandria, VA (4/17/2014)—ASCD, a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading, is pleased to present the inauguralWhole Child Symposium (WCS), themed “Choosing Your Tomorrow Today.” Building on the success of the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Whole Child Virtual Conferences, the symposium will take effective education discussions to a new level, expanding the global ASCD community role in education insight, analysis, and improvement discussions. With ongoing discussions throughout the spring, the symposium conversation will uncover what ASCD and education leaders want for our children’s future and what is needed for their education today.

The symposium began on March 16 with a town hall discussion at the ASCD 69th Annual Conference and Exhibit Show in Los Angeles. Building on that kickoff event, the symposium will continue with WCS Live in Washington, D.C., on May 8WCS Live will take place in the Knight Studio at the Newseum, and will feature a discussion with ASCD’s CEO and executive director, Dr. Gene R. Carter, and a panel of education experts.

“ASCD is proud to announce the inaugural Whole Child Symposium, enhancing the discussion of important issues that will influence the future of education,” said Dr. Carter. “We look forward to the next event, WCS Live, in which we will explore further what should be taught in schools for children, societies, and economies to be successful tomorrow.”

Sean Slade, ASCD director of Whole Child Programs, will moderate the WCS Live panel. Education columnist Valerie Strauss of The Washington Postwill also appear at the event, conducting a one-on-one interview with Dr. Carter between panel sessions.

The other panelists joining Dr. Carter are

  • Yong Zhao, an internationally known scholar, author, and speaker who focuses on the implications of globalization and technology on education;
  • Andy Hargreaves, the Thomas More Brennan Chair in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College;
  • Charles Haynes, director of the Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum; and
  • Karen Pittman, President and CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment.

The WCS Live panel discussion will also be streamed live online, where viewers may follow along with the panel discussion and join in the dialogue. TheWhole Child Blog will feature ongoing discussion of the symposium topics throughout the spring.

Later in the spring, the WCS Virtual online event will continue the symposium on May 14 and 15. Audiences will hear from panels of school leaders, policy experts, teachers, and students. Panelists will include Pasi Sahlberg, Peter Dewitt, James Stronge, Angela Maiers, Jose Vilson, and students from around the country. Participants can register, view the event live, and join in the discussions on social media.

Each of the four panels will answer the question, “What currently works in education, what will we need in the future to be successful, and how can this be accomplished?” The two May 14 panels will ask this question as it relates to

  • Schools
  • Global education policy

The May 15 panels will relate the question to

  • Classroom strategies
  • Students’ current and future success

Participants are encouraged to register now for the May 14 and 15 virtual sessions by visiting the WCS Virtual site. Visit the Whole Child Symposiumpage throughout April and May for updated information on each of the symposium events.

For more information about ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative, visit www.ascd.org/wholechild. To read about topics related to a whole child education, visit the Whole Child Blog at www.wholechildeducation.org/blog. You can also find out more about ASCD’s other programs, products, services, and memberships at www.ascd.org.

ASCD is a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. Comprising 140,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, and advocates from more than 138 countries—the ASCD community also includes 56 affiliate organizations. ASCD’s innovative solutions promote the success of each child. To learn more about how ASCD supports educators as they learn, teach, and lead, visit www.ascd.org.

**********************************************************

Ed Table Talk Airs, Science Education: The Next Generation

Education Table Talk (ETT) has announced that they will be hosting a new show centered on
science education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Science Education: The
Next Generation, will air Tuesday April 22nd at 11:00am PT/2:00pm ET. The show will be
available by web broadcast at http://www.edtabletalk.org.

Ed Table Talk, sponsored by MCH Strategic Data, is a fast-paced, interactive monthly radio
show discussing some of the most controversial topics in the education industry.

National scale standards in the US level have been controversial and the science standards are no
different. The NGSS have taken an inventive approach to describe and represent the inherently
complex process of how we engage learners in making sense of the world around them. Host
Michael Jay and guests will discuss the effective change of Science Education and how it will
impact generations to come.

Pull up a chair at the table and join in the active and spritely discussion around science standards.
The Guests at ‘The Table’ this month:

• Peter McLaren, Science and Technology Specialist, R.I. Department of Education
• Pat Shane, Ph.D., Executive Director, North Carolina Science Leadership Association
(NCSLA)
• Ted Willard, Program Director, National Science Teaching Association (NSTA)

The guests are leaders in the Education sector who are interested in sharing their knowledge,
multiple perspectives, and expertise with the Education community.

“Whether you’re a pro or a newcomer to the industry, everyone benefits from the deep-dive
forum discussion around hot topics in education,” says founder of eScholar Shawn Bay. “ETT
provides a helpful platform to connect and exchange ideas.”

Ed Table Talk strives to provide a forum where issues critical to education are discussed around
the table in a spirited debate, attempting to present the content in a format that is a contrast to
some of the heavier and more standard web presentation formats.

“ETT provides a light, fun, engaging conversational format to review high-interest topics in
education,” comments Knovation’s Chief Academic Officer Steve Nordmark.

***************************************************************************************

Califone Releases Ear Bud Headphones For Audio Learning Activities

New listening devices help schools meet the testing needs of the Common Core State Standards.

  • Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail a friendRepost This
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, and Smarter Balanced require the use of audio for online testing purposes as part of the Common Core State Standards.

San Fernando, CA (PRWEB) April 14, 2014

The demand for audio equipment in the classroom continues to grow, as students increasingly turn to online instruction and mobile devices for language learning. The new E2 and E3 Ear Buds from Califone International, Inc., a leader in the design, development and manufacturing of audiovisual (AV) and supplemental curriculum products for use in education, are designed to meet this demand.

The lightweight Ear Bud headphones deliver full-bodied stereo sound, and are iCompatible with iOS, Windows and Android-based tablets (including *Chromebooks, iPads, Galaxy, Nexus 7, Surface, Kindle Fire HD) and smartphones (including iPhones, Galaxy, HTC One, Lumia), as well as Windows, Android and Macintosh computers.

“The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, and Smarter Balanced require the use of audio for online testing purposes as part of the Common Core State Standards,” said Tim Ridgway, vice president of marketing for Califone. “The E2 and E3 Ear Buds provide schools with the listening equipment they need for a wide variety of devices to help students succeed under the new standards.”

The Ear Buds feature a non-replaceable 3.9′ straight cord with 3.5mm plug for use with computers, tablets and smartphones, and are made from shatter-resistant ABS plastic for increased student protection. Noise-reducing ear covers filter external ambient sounds, and analog inline volume control is included.

Califone is committed to providing products that support the speaking and listening portion of the Common Core English Language Arts anchor standards. For more information on the full line of Califone products, and to view and download the entire Califone catalog, visit http://www.califone.com.

About Califone
Califone was founded in 1947 and continues to be a leader in the design, development and manufacturing of audiovisual and supplemental curriculum products for use in education. The company’s products enable educators to incorporate rich audiovisual resources into lessons that help students build speaking and listening skills, critical to the English Language Arts portion of the Common Core State Standards. Califone offers a complete line of audio solutions, wireless systems and multimedia products for small, medium and large presentation needs, and serves millions of educators and students in the PreK through higher education school environments.

*Macintosh, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Apple is not affiliated with Califone, nor endorses Califone products. Kindle is a trademark of Amazon Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Amazon is not affiliated with Califone, nor endorses Califone products. Chromebook, Nexus 7 and Android are trademarks of Google Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google is not affiliated with Califone, nor endorses Califone products. Windows & Surface are trademarks of Microsoft Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Microsoft is not affiliated with Califone, nor endorses Califone products. Galaxy is a trademark of Samsung Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Samsung is not affiliated with Califone, nor endorses Califone products. HTC One is a trademark of HTC, registered in the U.S. and other countries. HTC is not affiliated with Califone, nor endorses Califone products.

 

 

*************************************************************************

Cheryl Crazy Bull to Speak at 

45th Annual ACCT Leadership Congress

 WASHINGTON – The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) today announced that Cheryl Crazy Bull, president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, will be a featured keynote speaker at the 45th Annual Community College Leadership Congress, which will take place at the Hyatt Regency Chicago this October 22 – 25, 2014.

 

“Community colleges are a primary gateway to opportunity for the majority of their students,” said ACCT President and CEO J. Noah Brown.  “This is unquestionably true of the role that tribal colleges play in the lives of American Indian students.  We are honored to feature Cheryl Crazy Bull and the institutions and students she represents at the ACCT Leadership Congress.”

 

President Crazy Bull shared, “I look forward to offering insights about this nation’s indigenous people’s experiences and knowledge including the value of identity, the important of our lands and our governance systems, and the necessity of supporting educational attainment.  Deliberate actions are critical to the success of American Indian and Alaska Native students and ACCT offers a perfect forum for discussion of those actions as they must be generated through policy and partnerships at all organizational and governmental levels. “

 

The American Indian College Fund transforms American Indian higher education by funding and creating awareness of the 34 accredited tribal colleges and universities in the United States, and by offering students access to knowledge, skills, and cultural values which enhance their communities and the country as a whole. In 2012-13, the American Indian College Fund distributed more than $5 million in scholarships and program support, which directly translated into 6,158 scholarships for American Indian students, of which 1,549 were first-generation college students.

 

Cheryl Crazy Bull, D.Ed., has more than 30 years of expertise in higher education and has worked to increase post-secondary education access for American Indians and revitalize cultural heritage. Crazy Bull served as the president of Northwest Indian College (NWIC) for the last 10 years, previously serving as the chair of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium board and member-at-large of the AIHEC executive committee.

 

The ACCT Leadership Congress is the largest national gathering of community college trustees, presidents, and administrators. More than 2,000 people from around the country and abroad are expected to be in attendance. The theme of this year’s Congress is “Winds of Change: Staying the Course to the American Dream.” Topics to be covered throughout the Congress include: strategic industry alliances and partnerships with K-12; student success and completion; innovation and technology; fundraising; serving at-risk and underserved populations; and effective board governance.

 

About ACCT

The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) is a non-profit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,200 community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States and beyond. For more information, go to www.acct.org. Follow ACCT on Twitter @CCTrustees.

4/16/14

AASA Announces Summer Chinese Delegation
AASA Members and Staff among Educators Participating in ‘Discover China’ Program

Alexandria, Va. –AASA, The School Superintendents Association, announced  the educators who will participate in the organization’s “Discover China” program. AASA members and staff among the delegation include:

  • Andrew Lee Smith, superintendent, Antelope Union High School, District #50, Wellton, Ariz.
  • Christine Marie Syriac, superintendent, Seymour Public Schools, K-12, Seymour, Conn.
  • Sonia E. Beckford, principal, James Ryder Randall Elementary School, Clinton, Md.
  • Judith Sue Grow, supervisor of modern language, Lenzpe Valley Regional High School, Stanhope, N.J.
  • Sana Deloris Sims, principal, Cooper Lane Elementary School, Landover Hills, Md.

Sponsored by SLG-Sino Language Gateway and the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, the delegation leaves for Beijing on June 23 and will stay in China for two weeks.

Topics to be discussed include the U.S. and China’s K-12 education system, U.S. and Chinese student exchange programs, cross-border learning, online Chinese and English learning, teacher exchange, collaborative learning, establishing sister schools, and joint-diploma programs. Additional topics may be added throughout the tour.

###

About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 10,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visitwww.aasa.org. Follow AASA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AASAHQ or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AASApage. Information on AASA Children’s Programs on Twitter @AASATotalChild.

************************************************************************

Follett Challenge Reveals Semifinalists, Video Winners

Two New Jersey schools join Illinois, Michigan schools among final four

 

MCHENRY, Ill – For the third consecutive year, the $200,000 Follett Challenge has provided a forum for K-12 schools from around the country to share inspiring stories of how their innovative programs are preparing students for the demands of the 21st century. In a live webcast today, contest organizers announced this year’s four semifinalists plus the “People’s Choice” winners —those schools whose video submissions received the highest number of online votes from the public.

 

From the four semifinalists, a grand-prize winner will be selected and announced May 16. The overall winner will earn a $60,000 prize in Follett products and services, while the other three semifinalists will each earn $30,000 in products and services.

In today’s webcast, Tom Schenck, president and COO of Follett School Solutions, announced the four semifinalists:

 

Ten $5,000 prizes (also in products and services) will be awarded to the “People’s Choice” winners. All four semifinalists placed among the top 10, in addition to these six winning schools as announced by Schenck:

 

A total of 103 entrants completed an online application and uploaded a three- to five-minute video describing their program. The judges scored entries based on critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration between students and among teachers and other members of the school staff. More than 233,000 votes were cast in the online competition for favorite videos.

 

“The innovation and creativity taking place in our schools today never ceases to amaze us,” Schenck said. “The videos are proof that exemplary 21st century teaching and learning is taking place in classrooms throughout the country, and we hope people will take the time to view them. They are truly inspiring, and Follett is proud to shine a light on what passionate educators and motivated students can accomplish.”

For more information on the Follett Challenge, visit www.follettchallenge.com.

 

# # #

 

 

About Follett’s PreK-12 Business 
Follett is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. Follett distributes books, reference materials, digital resources, ebooks and audiovisual materials, as well as pre-owned textbooks. Follett also is one of the leading providers of integrated educational technology for the management of physical and digital assets, the tracking, storing and analyzing of academic data, and digital learning environment tools for the classroom focusing on student achievement.

About Follett Corporation

Since 1873, Follett has served as the trusted partner in education for students and educators at all levels of learning. Today, Follett delivers physical and digital learning materials, retail services, school content and management systems to more than 70,000 early childhood, primary and secondary schools, and on more than 1,000 college campuses. Headquartered in River Grove, Illinois, Follett is a $2.7 billion privately held company.

*************************

Odysseyware improves student experience with enhanced Notes feature

Update created in response to customer feedback

(CHANDLER, Ariz.) April 16, 2014 — Just months after unveiling their new user interface, which includes a highly anticipated Notes feature, Odysseyware has added even more refinement to their online curriculum platform.

“Our product development team put in long hours to make sure our improved Notes feature is as sleek and user-friendly as possible,” said Beth TeGrotenhuis, the president and COO of Odysseyware’s parent company, Glynlyon. “We’re thrilled with the results, and I hope our customers will be too.”

The previous version of Odysseyware allowed teachers to write notes in an individual box on lessons. Although customers appreciated this ability, teachers asked for a way to leave multiple notes in a single assignment. They also wanted to extend this function to students. Responding to this user feedback, Odysseyware gave customers what they asked for.

With the redesigned Notes feature, both students and teachers can now write multiple notes directly in the margins of every assignment. This allows teachers to create more context-specific notes, and saves students the hassle of flipping between tabs to study more effectively. For intuitive organization, teachers’ notes appear in red while students can choose from a variety of note colors. All notes can also be printed for offline learning.

“The feedback we receive from customers is valuable to everyone at Odysseyware. It helps us make our content even more student-friendly,” said TeGrotenhuis. “We always welcome ideas to enhance Odysseyware, and the Notes feature is just the latest example.”

For more information, visit odysseyware.com.

About Odysseyware

Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Odysseyware is an innovative, multimedia-enriched online curriculum. Completely web-based, Odysseyware provides 21st century educational solutions by offering the core subjects of history and geography, math, language arts, and science along with enriching electives, CTE, placement testing, diagnostics and professional development. This curriculum is sold directly through regional education specialists. To learn more, visit http://odysseyware.com/ or call 877-795-8904.

*********************************************************************

Follett Renews Partnership with

MetaMetrics to Promote Reading Growth

Lexile measures – a staple in Follett products, services – help

educators connect students with appropriate content

MCHENRY, Ill., April 16, 2014 – Follett, the largest education solutions provider in the U.S., has solidified its ongoing partnership with MetaMetrics®, the developer of the Lexile® Framework for Reading. This marriage of education-focused content and reading data helps ease educators’ struggles to connect students with age and reading level appropriate books, ebooks and digital resources.

 

Lexile measures, used in all 50 states, are receiving renewed attention as districts work to align their content and implement the Common Core State Standards. Readability, as represented by a reading level (Lexile measure), is a quantitative measure – one of three components that comprise text complexity, a critical theme in Common Core and literacy. Each year, more than 30 million Lexile measures are reported from reading assessments and programs, which represents over 50 percent of students in the United States.

 

Lexile measures are a staple in Follett’s Titlewave, the company’s popular book search and ordering tool.  Educators can search for and buy titles based on Lexile measures, while students can search the library catalog by his or her Lexile range using Follett’s Destiny Library Manager.

 

“We use Lexile measures in Titlewave to fill in gaps in our collection to make certain we have good, interesting books available,” said Ann Fondren, who recently retired as district library coordinator at Spotsylvania (Va.) County Schools after a 32-year career at the district. “Searching with Lexile measures in Destiny Library Manager allows students to independently search for topics, genres and books within the appropriate level.”

 

Now, Follett is weaving Lexile measures into new products such as Follett Shelf Classroom Connections, an interactive, eContent-based instructional tool for teachers and students.

 

“Teachers can create reading paths or ebook reading lists by various approaches, including by reading level,” said Dr. Margaret Ronnett, director of classroom, Follett School Solutions. “They can build ebook lists of different Lexile ranges for individual, small group, and whole-group activities. The Lexile measures and ranges give teachers the information they need to know if a book is well within a student’s reading skill ability or higher up within the Lexile grade level range, which would offer that student greater challenge and support their skill development.”

 

This same approach is being integrated into many other Follett products, including WebPath Express, an educational search tool that provides students with more than 85,000 safe, trustworthy and relevant websites while filtering out questionable content.  Students can sort these results by Lexile level as well.

“We are thrilled our metric for text complexity is incorporated into Follett’s powerful classroom tools,” said Dr. Malbert Smith III, president and cofounder, MetaMetrics. “The use of Lexile measures to promote targeted reading supports our shared goal of bolstering student engagement and achievement.”

 

According to George Gatsis, Follett’s vice president of strategy and strategic partnerships, “This represents the continuation of a long and valuable partnership. Both of our companies share similar missions in helping PreK-12 students to achieve their goals at every stage of development, plus preparing them for college and career demands.”

 

For more information on Follett, visit follettlearning.com.

# # #

 

About MetaMetrics
MetaMetrics is focused on improving education for learners of all ages and ability levels. The organization develops scientific measures of academic achievement and complementary technologies that link assessment results with real-world instruction. MetaMetrics’ products and services for reading (The Lexile® Framework for Reading, El Sistema Lexile® para Leer), mathematics (The Quantile® Framework for Mathematics) and writing (The Lexile® Framework for Writing) provide unique insights about academic ability and the potential for growth, enabling individuals to achieve their goals at every stage of development. Connect with the organization at: http://blog.lexile.com.

About Follett’s PreK-12 Business follettlearning.com
Follett is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. Follett distributes books, reference materials, digital resources, ebooks and audiovisual materials, as well as pre-owned textbooks. Follett also is one of the leading providers of integrated educational technology for the management of physical and digital assets, the tracking, storing and analyzing of academic data, and digital learning environment tools for the classroom focusing on student achievement.

About Follett Corporationfollett.com

Since 1873, Follett has served as the trusted partner in education for students and educators at all levels of learning. Today Follett delivers physical and digital learning materials, retail services, school content and management systems to more than 70,000 early childhood, primary and secondary schools, and on more than 1,000 college campuses. Headquartered in River Grove, Illinois, Follett is a $2.7 billion privately held company.

 

4/8/14

PLEASE NOTE THAT WE WILL BE AWAY FROM WEDS 4/9 THRU TUESDAY 4/15/14.

_______________________________________________________________

CoSN Files E-Rate Comments With FCC
Washington, DC (April 8, 2014) – In an official filing this week with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) called on the Commission to increase E-Rate funding, expedite application processing, and set aside significant funding for internal connections – beginning immediately with a $2 billion down payment.
CoSN’s filing, responding to the Wireline Bureau’s March 6 public notice, echoed the education and library community’s consensus view that E-Rate is an indispensable national resource that must be strengthened for the next generation of American students.
“E-Rate has been a powerful force in advancing teaching and learning. To ensure its long-standing impact on education and the nation’s future economic prosperity and culture of creativity and innovation, the FCC must act boldly to improve and expand the program,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “One key focus for the Commission should be equipping E-Rate to deliver high-capacity educational broadband to every classroom. Lack of additional investment and administrative improvements will leave our schools and students largely disconnected to high-capacity broadband and further behind other countries.”
CoSN’s 2013 E-rate and Broadband Survey demonstrated a clear need for a targeted investment in internal connections, particularly given the near absence of Priority Two funding below the 90 percent discount level in recent funding years. For example, school LAN “backbones,” which represent a key challenge to high capacity broadband delivery, require immediate attention, with 26 percent of school districts reporting use of slow copper backbones. Likewise, approximately 40 percent of classrooms lack Wi-Fi.
CoSN also encouraged the FCC to dramatically improve the Universal Service Administrative Company’s (USAC’s) ability to lead E-Rate. CoSN recommended building USAC’s technology infrastructure and recalibrate staffing to promote improved programmatic transparency and faster processing of applications, appeals and other administrative functions. Weak high-quality technical support is particularly pronounced in the nation’s poorest and most geographically isolated communities.
Krueger is available for further comment.

About the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) 
CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. The mission of CoSN is to empower educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments. Visitwww.cosn.org or call 866-267-8747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areasannual conference and events,  advocacy and policymembership, and the CETL certification exam.

***************************************

EDmarket iQ Debuts for the Educational Products Marketplace

 

(Silver Spring, MD) — The Education Market Association recently partnered with Agile Education Marketingto provide a new member service to help educational product manufacturers and dealers access the most comprehensive and accurate early childhood, K-12 and higher education database available. Attendees at ED Expo were shown demonstrations of this powerful search engine and were excited to see for themselves how to drill down within the data to identify the key contacts making decisions within the school building and district-level offices.

 

EDmarket iQ is an industry resource that allows for quick and easy identification of districts, schools and educators to target for sales and marketing promotions to expand market reach. This cloud-based service is an exclusive benefit of membership in the Education Market Association. It includes the opportunity to search a full database of schools, districts, and colleges for real-time key information on those institutions that can help identify sales opportunities. Users can also quickly find a school or district office address or phone number from a mobile device. And for an additional fee, members can generate and download mailing and email lists to use in marketing their business.

 

Visit, the EDmarket website to learn how EDmarket iQ can help companies locate and reach potential customers both locally and across the U.S. Click here to learn more.

 

About Agile Education Marketing: Founded in 2009, Agile Education Marketing is an innovative education information firm that supports the marketing initiatives of businesses selling products and services to schools. Customers can utilize Agile’s robust database of preK-12 and higher education schools and personnel along with custom data analytics, creative services and tactical consulting. Agile’s at-school and at-home mailing and e-mail lists, coupled with their knowledge and insight, help education businesses improve their marketing results and maximize their marketing investments. For more information about Agile and their partners, visit www.agile-ed.com.

 

About Education Market Association: The mission of the Education Market Association (EDmarket) is to serve the educational products marketplace by providing high quality tradeshows that increase the productivity of the channel; networking opportunities to build relationships with trading partners; and market information on which to make solid business decisions.

************************************************************************************

Listen for Life Launches ‘Travels With Music’

 

Multimedia program for K12 uses music to explore world cultures

 

Oakland, California – April 3, 2014 – Listen for Life™, a global nonprofit music-media organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of music culture worldwide, created Travels With Music™ to introduce students to world cultures, using music as the gateway. The multimedia program explores the richness and diversity of 15 world cultures – Bulgaria, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, the Philippines, Trinidad, and the USA – through the use of 300 video and audio segments that comprise six hours of classroom instruction.

 

The unique and engaging content in Travels With Music is ideal for instruction in history, geography, ESL/EFL/TESOL, cultural diversity, cultural literacy, music and tolerance. Available as both an online subscription and on DVD, Travels With Music introduces each culture by providing perspective on its origins and history, its surrounding geography, and what makes that culture unique in terms of its customs, traditions, language(s), and music.

 

“Listen for Life has amassed the largest and most unique collection of broadcast-quality video and audio assets from music cultures around the globe, including performance footage of Master Musicians playing native instruments, and in-depth interviews with them about their culture, their inspiration, their way of life and their music,” said Mark Mallardi, CEO of Listen for Life. “We have shaped this rich video and audio content into a highly engaging instructional program that helps teachers immerse students in world cultures, whether that teacher is in a traditional classroom or homeschool setting.”

 

Travels With Music introduces the musical instruments native to each culture, and enables students to see and hear Master Musicians showcasing their instruments through instruction and performance footage. A comprehensive downloadable Teacher’s Guide provides background information for each culture and musician, a Glossary of Music Terms, and a series of multiple choice questions for assessment of each unit. Individual subscriptions, as well as DVDs or DVD-ROMs, are sold for $69.95 each. Teachers with online subscriptions may purchase student accounts for $10 per student.

 

To learn more or purchase Travels With Music, visit www.travelswithmusic.com.

 

About Listen for Life™ and Travels With Music ™

Listen for Life is a global non-profit music-media organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of music culture worldwide. Headquartered in Oakland, California, Listen for Life has affiliate studios/production facilities in 45 countries worldwide, and owns over 400 hours of proprietary, fully rights-cleared video content of Master Musicians from around the globe performing original music compositions on instruments native to their cultures, and being interviewed in their native languages about their culture, their customs, their inspiration and their way of life.

 

Travels With Music, a production of Listen for Life, leads K12 classrooms and homeschoolers on an interactive exploration of 15 world cultures, with Master Musicians as their guides. Students will experience the richness and diversity of our world’s cultures through 300 video and audio segments, arranged in 30 Units (two Units per culture), comprising a total of six hours of course content. For more information about Travels With Music, visit www.travelswithmusic.com. You can also connect with Travels With Music on Facebook and BuzcastTV.

 

*****************************************************************************

Learning First Alliance: Give Educators More Time to Successfully Implement Common Core State Standards

Voices Representing More than 10 Million Teachers, Administrators, Parents and Community Leaders Call On States To Hold Off on High-Stakes Consequences

WASHINGTON, DC (April 8, 2014)—The Learning First Alliance today called on policy makers to allow more time for the formal implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), particularly the high-stakes consequences tied to CCSS testing, to ensure the required instructional alignment and supports necessary for meaningful college- and career-ready standards.

“Rushing to make high-stakes decisions such as student advancement or graduation, teacher evaluation, school performance designation or state funding awards based on assessments of the standards before they have been fully and properly implemented is unwise,” the LFA statement said.

“We continue to see growing opposition to the standards as officials move too quickly to use aligned assessments in high-stakes accountability decisions. Such actions have the potential to undermine the standards themselves – and thus our opportunity to improve education for all students. We must take the necessary time to ensure we succeed in this endeavor,” it continued.

The Learning First Alliance is a partnership of leading education organizations representing more than 10 million members dedicated to improving student learning in America’s public schools. Its member organizations include: American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), AASA: The School Superintendents Association, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), American School Counselor Association (ASCA), International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Learning Forward, National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), National Education Association (NEA), National PTA, National School Boards Association (NSBA), National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA), Parents for Public Schools and Phi Delta Kappa International.

“The more than 10 million teachers, principals, superintendents, school board members, parents and community leaders are clear. We must take action now to allow more time for the implementation of college- and career-ready standards. It is the only way we can ensure we get this right,” LFA Executive Director Cheryl Scott Williams said. “Despite good intentions, educators and other voices represented by LFA have been largely left out of decisions around the implementation process, and decision makers have largely avoided issues of curriculum and instruction to date.”

“We call on policy makers in those states where implementation is clearly struggling to heed the voices of the more than 10 million closest to these standards and allow the time necessary to do this right,” Williams said. “We must take the time to look to those states where implementation is going well, learn from their experiences and ensure all children have access to the college- and career-ready learning they need and deserve.”

To help facilitate the identification and sharing of best and promising practice on CCSS implementation, LFA announced that it has constructed a new website to serve as a home for implementation success stories, providing it as a guide to help policy makers and educators construct a timeline and execution plan based on what is necessary to implement the standards in classrooms and communities across the nation.

“Right now, too many states, districts and schools simply are not prepared to make high-stakes decisions such as student advancement or graduation, teacher evaluation, school performance designation or state funding awards based on assessments of the standards before they have been fully and properly implemented,” Williams said. “We should look to the states, districts and classrooms that are making progress, despite challenging circumstances.”

She noted states like California, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky and Massachusetts offer particular promise as models of successful CCSS implementation.

As states and districts focus on these important issues, LFA made clear holding off on formal implementation should not turn back the focus on accountability at all levels of the learning process.

“We urge a continued commitment to accountability. We recommend that states and districts continue to hold educators and schools to a high standard as determined by the components of their accountability systems that are not solely based on standardized tests, including other evidence of student learning, peer evaluations, school climate data and more,” the LFA statement said.

About the Learning First Alliance
The Learning First Alliance is a partnership of leading education organizations representing more than 10 million members dedicated to improving student learning in America’s public schools. We share examples of success, encourage collaboration at every level, and work toward the continual and long-term improvement of public education based on solid research. For more information on the Learning First Alliance, please visit www.learningfirst.org.

****************************************************************************

ACCT Logo Banner Blue/White
Ellen Alberding to Speak at 45th Annual ACCT Leadership Congress
April 4, 2014 – WASHINGTON – The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) today announced that Ellen Alberding, president and board member of the Joyce Foundation, will be a featured keynote speaker at the 45th Annual ACCT Leadership Congress, which will take place in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency Chicago this October 22-25, 2014.

 

“Our country’s more than 1,200 community colleges play a pivotal role in their local economies as well as the national landscape,” Alberding said. “As more jobs require some type of postsecondary credential, community colleges are essential in teaching adults the skills they need to get good jobs in their communities. These institutions are powerful economic engines that have potential to build a competitive workforce, lower unemployment, and improve the quality of life for so many deserving people.”

 

The Joyce Foundation works to improve the quality of life in the Great Lakes region, advancing educational outcomes for low-income children and employment and workforce issues. Alberding is vice chair of the City Colleges of Chicago and a board member of Skills for America’s Future, which works to improve community college training programs through business partnerships. Alberding is a board member of Advance Illinois, which advocates for public education reform in the state, and vice chair of the National Park Foundation.

 

“As a chief executive of a major philanthropic foundation who also serves on the board of a community college, Ellen Alberding has a truly unique and important perspective to share,” said ACCT President and CEO J. Noah Brown.  “We are excited to bring her insights to our members this October.”

 

The ACCT Leadership Congress is the largest national gathering of community college trustees, presidents, and administrators. More than 2,000 people from around the country and abroad are expected to be in attendance. The theme of this year’s Congress in Chicago, Illinois is “Winds of Change: Staying the Course to the American Dream.” Topics to be covered throughout the Congress include: strategic industry alliances and partnerships with K-12, student success and college completion, innovation and technology, fundraising, serving at-risk and underserved populations, and effective board governance.

 

About ACCT

 

The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) is a non-profit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,200 community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States and beyond. For more information, go to www.acct.org. Follow ACCT on Twitter @CCTrustees.

********************************************************************************

‘Inquiry’ Named SIIA Education CODiE Award Finalist 
Learning.com earns prestigious education industry recognition in ‘Best Instructional Solution in Other Curriculum Areas’ category


Portland, Ore. (April 8, 2014) – Learning.com, a leader in delivering digital curriculum and assessments to districts and schools, announces that its  Inquiry solution has been named a finalist in the “Best Instructional Solution in Other Curriculum Areas” category for the 2014 Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) Education CODiE Awards. Inquiry provides a project-based approach to teaching 21st century skills and preparing students for success in today’s digital world.

Specifically developed for K-8 students and created to support Common Core State Standards, Inquiry includes six core curriculum projects per grade level. Each project is based on a theme that continues from grade to grade, building on previously acquired subject-area knowledge and technology skills.

“This recognition is especially significant because of the rigorous evaluation and selection process,” said Keith Oelrich, CEO of Learning.com. “We’ve had a great response so far from educators and we are pleased to learn that the CODiE judges, software and education experts, also see the value Inquiry provides teachers and students.”

The  SIIA CODiE Awards is the premier award program for the software and information industry.  This year’s program features 31 education categories, several of which are new or updated to reflect the latest industry trends and business models. Winners will be announced during a special awards dinner at the association’s education technology conference, the Education Industry Summit, in San Francisco on Tuesday, May 13.

“This year’s finalists are breaking ground with new business models and innovative products. We are pleased to recognize the best in educational technology with these 119 products,” said Karen Billings, vice president of the SIIA Education Division. “I look forward to honoring them all in May at the Education Industry Summit.”

Inquiry provides ready-to-use projects that begin with pre-tests that ensure students have the technology skills required for the project and prescribe individualized instruction based on the results. Students then complete the projects by conducting research, collaborating with their classmates, creating digital media and giving presentations. After finishing a project, students complete a short reflection assignment to evaluate their work. Teachers can track individual progress throughout the project and record final work in an online grade book.

A full list of CODiE Awards finalists can be found at http://siia.net/codies/2014/finalists.asp.

To learn more about Inquiry, visit the Learning.com solutions page.

About Learning.com
Learning.com provides digital curriculum and assessments that help students develop 21st century skills to prepare them for success in college and their future career opportunities. With Learning.com’s digital content management tools, teachers can organize and customize how they deliver content to students. Learning.com provides implementation and professional development services to support educators as they integrate technology into instruction and move to digital content. Founded in 1999, Learning.com currently partners with more than 2,700 districts. For more information, visit www.learning.com and connect with us at www.facebook.com/learningdotcom and www.twitter.com/learningdotcom.

About SIIA
SIIA is the leading association representing the software and digital content industries. SIIA represents approximately 800 member companies worldwide that develop software and digital information content.  Information technology (IT) and software security are critical issues to SIIA’s members, many of whom strive to develop safe, secure and state-of the-art products that effectively serve their commercial and government customers alike, while protecting their intellectual property. The SIIA Education Division serves and represents more than 200 member companies that provide software, digital content, and other technologies that address educational needs. The Division shapes and supports the industry by providing leadership, advocacy, business development opportunities, and critical market information. For more information, visit www.siia.net/education.

4.7.14

myCore from Insight named 2014 EdTech Digest Best Professional Learning Solution

The Common Core lesson planning and sharing platform also named a 2014 CODiE finalist in same category

(ENCINO, CA) April 7, 2014 — Insight Education Group is thrilled to announce that its flagship cloud-based lesson planning and coaching platform, myCore, has earned top honors in this year’s EdTech Digest awards, being named the best professional learning solution in education for 2014.  In addition to earning this top honor, myCore has also been named a finalist in the 2014 SIIA CODiE awards in the same category.

Built on Strategic Design for Student Achievement, a backward lesson design methodology, myCore offers teachers on-demand support in creating and customizing rigorous, engaging, standards-aligned units and lessons. In addition to providing coaching and support, myCore offers educators access to a rich library of hundreds of Common Core-aligned lessons with the ability for users to pull the lessons into their myCore dashboards and customize them for their classrooms.

myCore gives teachers and administrators the ability to track and manage what standards have been planned and taught. With permission from teachers, the platform also provides administrators and coaches access to their lesson plans for observations and feedback to further support teachers’ growth and effectiveness.

“We believe teachers are the ultimate instructional designers as they know what their students need to achieve. myCore provides teachers the support they need to design units and lessons to meet the rigors of the Common Core in their instruction,” commented Insight’s CEO Dr. Michael Moody.  “To see myCore named the best professional learning solution in 2014 by EdTech Digest and be recognized as a finalist by SIIA’s CODiE Awards is very exciting for us at Insight.”

A distinguished panel of industry influencers and veterans conducted this year’s evaluation proceedings for EdTech Digest. “There is a lot of talent and quality out there, and we’re excited to recognize these cool tools, leaders and trendsetters in the education technology space,” said Victor Rivero, who oversees the program as Editor-in-Chief of EdTech Digest.

The SIIA CODiE Awards are the premier award for the software and information industries, and have been recognizing product excellence for 29 years. The awards have over 75 categories and are organized by industry focus of Content, Education, and Software.

“This year’s finalists are breaking ground with new business models and innovative products. We are pleased to recognize the best in educational technology with these 119 products,” said Karen Billings, vice president of the SIIA Education Division. “I look forward to honouring them all in May at the Education Industry Summit.”

“Educators deserve timely, relevant and actionable feedback and support so that they can grow and perform their best. This is at the heart of everything we do at Insight.  We’re honored to have our work acknowledged by these two prestigious organizations, EdTech Digest and SIIA,” stated Moody.

A full list of this year’s EdTech Digest award winners can be found at http://www.edtechdigest.com.

Details about each of the SIIA CODiE finalists are listed at: http://siia.net/codies/2014/finalists.asp

About the EdTech Digest Awards Program

Recognizing cool tools, trendsetters and leaders in the education and technology sector, the mission of the annual awards program is to get workable technology solutions for education widely known about and well thought of with the purpose of reshaping the education culture and creating a new and better future for students. Over the years, the best products and brightest minds have been featured helping millions of students, teachers, parents, administrators and others in and around education.

About SIIA

SIIA is the leading association representing the software and digital content industries. SIIA represents approximately 800 member companies worldwide that develop software and digital information content.  Information technology (IT) and software security are critical issues to SIIA’s members, many of whom strive to develop safe, secure and state-of the-art products that effectively serve their commercial and government customers alike, while protecting their intellectual property.  The SIIA Education Division serves and represents more than 200 member companies that provide software, digital content, and other technologies that address educational needs. The Division shapes and supports the industry by providing leadership, advocacy, business development opportunities, and critical market information. For more information, visit www.siia.net/education.

About Insight Education Group

Insight Education Group is an educational consulting firm that supports the growth of teachers and school leaders. Since 2000, we have partnered with schools, districts, charters, states, and education organizations across the country to understand their challenges and provide matching solutions that get results. Our ultimate goal is to ensure all students get a great education.  Learn more at: http://www.insighteducationgroup.com/

****************************************************************************

New California Charter School Saves $245,000 on Refurbished Apple Products

(SONOMA, Calif.) April 7, 2014 – Opening a new school can be costly, especially when you’re equipping students with the latest technology. But students at one new California charter school have access to the best EdTech devices on the market, and school leadership has room in the budget to spare.

Since the Academy of Arts and Sciences opened, administrators have purchased more than 350 refurbished MacBooks from Mac to School, the K-12 sectors leading provider of refurbished Apple devices.

“We searched everywhere for the highest quality technology available within our budget, and Mac to School was a perfect fit,” said Sean McManus, CEO of the Academy of Arts and Sciences. “Each time we’ve ordered from them, their customer service team has worked with us to make sure we get exactly what we need.”

While the district could have paid more than $350,000 to buy new technology directly from Apple, Mac to School was able to save them $245,000 on purchasing refurbished technology.

“We want every school system to be able to afford the best technology, no matter what size their budget is,” said Robert Baker, Mac to School’s co-founder and president. “We love helping new schools like the Academy of Arts and Sciences set their students up for success.”

In addition to providing school districts with an option for purchasing refurbished computers, Mac to School also offers to purchase Apple products from districts that are looking to upgrade or make room in their budget for new computers.

To learn more about Mac to School and the Apple products currently in stock, visit them online at www.mactoschool.com

To learn more about the Academy of Arts and Sciences, a leading network of California charter schools, got to www.aascalifornia.org for additional information. And while your there check out their free summer school and enrichment programs.

About Mac to School:

Mac to School buys, sells and refurbishes all types of Apple computers and equipment. We serve the public and private education market, working with small schools up to large districts throughout all 50 states. Our mission is to deliver the best value to our customers while providing the highest level of customer service. Our team of Apple Certified Technicians employs customized tools to generate detailed audits and provide quality refurbishment.

4/3/14

 

‘Teaming’ to Advance the Digital Conversion Across K-12
CoSN Accepting Applications for Hybrid Professional Learning Opportunity –
Teaming for Transformation 3

Washington, DC (April 3, 2014) – The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) is accepting applications for its Teaming for Transformation (TFT) 3 – a hybrid professional learning opportunity for district and school leadership teams committed to digital conversions. TFT 3 will build on TFT I and II with a blended model of professional learning, allowing educators to get connected to resources, tools, colleagues, experts, and learning activities both within and beyond schools.
Completed applications are due by May 15, 2014Interested participants are invited to complete a brief application at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZPWPYLY.
“Participation in online communities of practice is a key way for educators to connect, strengthen teacher and leader effectiveness and improve student achievement,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “Teaming for Transformation, now entering its third cohort, provides this pathway for education leaders, and we’re encouraged districts committed to a digital conversion to join the network.”
TFT 3 participants will meet face-to-face at a launch event and continue to collaborate in an online community of practice that enables peer-to-peer learning and sharing of best practices. The group will explore a range of topics, including:
  • Change management that fosters coaching for principals and teacher leaders
  • Technical requirements for a digital conversion (bandwidth, network design, outside school access)
  • Fostering equity by leveraging community, state and federal funding
  • Proven practices for enabling successful 1:1 or BYOD initiatives
  • Evidence-based instructional practices that foster engaging learning environments
The TFT 3 group will convene in person at Baldwin County Public Schools (AL) on October 19-21, 2014 to learn about their successful community-based Digital Renaissance, which has been recognized by the White House.
“It is an incredible honor to be asked to host Teaming for Transformation 3. The students, teachers, administrators and members of our great communities in Baldwin County, Alabama, look forward to sharing with our peers across America the great accomplishments that can be achieved when everyone rallies around the vision to provide students the very best academic opportunities possible,” said Dr. Alan T. Lee, Ph.D, Superintendent, Baldwin County Public Schools. “We have a great passion to share with others what we’ve been able to achieve, and CoSN provides the perfect opportunity for all of us to learn more, to network and to build a support system for greatness that supports our students, teachers and administrators.”
To learn more about TFT 3, please visit: www.cosn.org/OnlineCop.
About the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) 
CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. The mission of CoSN is to empower educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments. Visitwww.cosn.org or call 866-267-8747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areasannual conference and events,  advocacy and policymembership, and the CETL certification exam.

********************************************************************************************

Animal animations, sign language engage young students in phonics

Pittsburg, Kansas (April 3, 2014) — One of Pitsco Education’s newestLetter X Fox and Boyelementary programs — Phonics: Animals in Motion — has actually been fine-tuned for more than 20 years by developer Cindy Jones.
“I have been testing this program much longer than any other program I have developed,” said Jones, physical education teacher at Clover Hill Elementary in Midlothian, Virginia, and developer of the popular STEM in the Gym™ – Simple Machines program. “I started designing this for my daughter to help her learn phonics when she was two years old — she has ADD, and we are both kinesthetic learners. She enjoyed it so much and it was so helpful that I decided to start using it in my classes.”
Phonics: Animals in Motion uses kinesthetic activity to teach and reinforce phonics learning while keeping students active and engaged. Using a video featuring animal animations and children executing the activities, six different flash card sets, a teacher’s guide, and a student workbook, the program also incorporates counting and sign language. There are classroom and gym versions, which were developed for students ages 4 through 8.
Jones, who is also the director for the Children’s Council of International Technology and Engineering Educators Association and Children’s Outreach Chair of the Virginia Children’s Engineering Council, says the program works well because it engages so many different styles of learning: audio, visual, and kinesthetic. Pitsco Product Development Specialist Bill Holden says the program fits the company’s hands-on emphasis.
“The potential for Pitsco to assist in moving this concept from the idea stage to a real product was worth pursuing, as Cindy has a proven track record of incorporating kinesthetic learning within academic topics in her physical education courses,” Holden said.
The class and gym versions may be purchased as packages, and the individual elements may be purchased separately. Learn more about the Phonics: Animals in Motion programs by visitingwww.pitsco.com or by calling 800-835-0686.
Highlights/Multimedia:
Pitsco Education is the leading provider of age-appropriate, student-centered K-12 STEM learning solutions. Our standards-based curriculum, products, equipment, and materials promote student success through positive and challenging learning experiences, and our hands-on solutions teach core concepts and career skills in science, technology, engineering, and math.

*******************************************

Wildlife Acoustics Announces Be Like A Bat Playhouse Program at NSTA

 

Kindergarteners through second graders will become micro bats

(BOSTON) April 3, 2014 — Wildlife Acoustics is giving young students a chance to peek at the world through the eyes of a bat with its Be Like a Bat Playhouse Program.

The worldwide provider of bioacoustics recording and analytical technology will be giving away three custom-designed, oversized bat playhouses at the National Science Teachers Association Conference (NSTA).

Each playhouse is more than 5 feet tall and is modeled after a real bat house, letting the imaginations of 4-to-7-year-olds run wild as they become micro bats.

“The Be Like A Bat Playhouse effort was a creative collaboration in the very best sense of the term,” said Robert Gierschick, director of marketing for Wildlife Acoustics. “Our partners donated their time and talent to make this project possible, and we had fun thinking like 4-to-7-year olds for a change.”

As students explore the playhouses, they will experience a day in the life of a bat, from roosting (hanging out with buddies) and echolocation (communicating with others) to “flying” in and out of the bat house.

The boxes for the playhouses were donated by Rand Whitney, and the colorful “Bat Facts” graphics that cover the playhouses were donated by Shawmut.  Bat Conservation International developed a special K-2 curriculum that ties the playhouse into group activities.

“Because the children get to act like bats, the program delivers lessons in bat biology and bioacoustics in an active and engaging way”, said Andrew Walker, CEO of Bat Conservation International. “Perhaps we’ll even lead some youngsters into the fields of science and animal biology.”

About Wildlife Acoustics

Wildlife Acoustics is the leading provider of bioacoustics monitoring systems for researchers, scientists, conservationists and government agencies worldwide.  Its mission is to serve the needs of biologists and conservationists around the globe and create tools that enable them to better understand the changes in the global environment

Our innovative and affordable hardware, software, and curriculum increase teacher effectiveness and student engagement and promote the cause of the Citizen Scientist in K-12 classrooms. For more information, visit wildlifeacoustics.com.

Follow Wildlife Acoustics on Twitter @WildlifeAcoust and “Like” us on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/WildlifeAcoustics.

About Bat Conservation International

Bat Conservation International is dedicated to the lasting conservation of the world’s 1300+ species of bats.  BCI works throughout the world with local communities, government and civic leaders, businesses, scientists and other conservation organizations to identify, protect and manage critical habitats for bats and raise public awareness and appreciation of these remarkable creatures.  More information on BCI and its work can be found at www.batcon.org.

About Shawmut

Shawmut was founded in 1951 with a commitment to providing quality, service, and value. Today, we are a full-service solutions company, offering our clients design, writing and marketing services as well as printing, mailing, fulfillment, and online fulfillment and inventory in real time.  Visit us at www.shawmutprinting.com

About Rand Whitney

Rand-Whitney Container has built its reputation in the packaging industry on delivering creative, cost-saving packaging solutions.  Independently owned and operated by The Kraft Group, Rand-Whitney invests substantial capital in new technologies, expanded in-house capabilities, and a quality paper supply to ensure it always meets the emergent demands of its local and international customers.  To learn more about Rand-Whitney visit www.randwhitney.com.

***********************************

FOURIER EDUCATION ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF THE INAUGURAL einstein™STEMathon

Top competing teacher will be awarded $7,500 worth of prizes today

 

WHAT:            TODAY,  FRIDAY, April 4 at 12 noonFourier Education, makers of the award-winning einstein™Tablet+ and the einstein™Science Learning Platform, will announce the winners of the first-ever einstein™STEMathon in a live press conference. The event will be held at booth #1015 of the Boston Convention Center as part of the 2014 National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference.

              

The inaugural einstein™STEMathon, occurred yesterday (Thursday, April 3) on the first day of the NSTA conference. Nearly 50 science teachers participated in a live challenge against one another to create the most original and creative science experiment using theeinstein™Activity Maker tool.

 

Participants’ activities were judged on the scientifically valid principles they include, as well as their suitability for use on a tablet, computer, and sensor-based experiments, their creativity and how well they follow topic guidelines set forth by the judges in addition to their demonstration of certain core ideas outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Submissions were evaluated by the following einstein™STEMathon judges:

At 12 noon today, Fourier Education CEO, Ken Zwiebel will award the first-place winning teacher with  $5,000 worth of einstein™Science Learning Platform products and $2,500 in personal winnings. Second and third place participants will also be honored with substantial awards.

 

WHERE:    National Science Teachers Association 2014 Conference at the Boston Convention Center

Boston Convention & Exhibit Center

Booth #1015

415 Summer Street

Boston, MA 02210

WHEN:     TODAY: Friday, April 4, 2014; 12 noon

 

ALBERT EINSTEIN and EINSTEIN are either trademarks or registered trademarks of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Represented exclusively by GreenLight. Official licensed merchandise. Website: einstein.biz

 

*****************************************************************************

Hooda Math debuts free cool math games at NCTM

Educational versions of viral games Flappy Birds and 2048 available for free 

(NEW ORLEANS) April 03, 2014 – Normally, playing Flappy Birds or 2048 during class might get you in trouble with the teacher. But thanks to Hooda Math, educational versions of both games are now available for free on the popular math games website.

Michael Edlavitch, the CEO of Hooda Math, will officially launch the games in New Orleans at the 2014 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Annual Meeting and Exposition. From April 9-12, Edlavitch will be at the company’s exhibitor booth, 1601, to show teachers the best way to use Hooda Math’s games in the classroom.

“We want to show kids that you can practice your math skills and have fun at the same time,” said Edlavitch. “We’re always creating new, engaging games, and with the immense popularity of Flappy Birds and 2048, they were a natural fit.”

Hooda Math’s version of Flappy Birds is called Flappy Factors. Just like in the original game, students maneuver a bird through a maze of pipes. To add a math twist, each pipe is labeled with an integer, and students must fly through the correct factors of a given multiple to avoid running into the pipes with incorrect answers. As the student progresses, the multiples become higher and higher.

Once a student has “flown” to the multiple 14 or higher, Hooda Math automatically generates a report that can be emailed directly to a teacher or parent tracking the student’s progress.

The site’s version of 2048 is essentially identical to the original. Students slide numbered tiles around the game board, adding matching tiles together in hopes of reaching the elusive 2048 tile.

“Many people don’t realize it, but these viral games actually involve quite a bit of math,” said Edlavitch. “We release new games on our site every week, so whatever the next hot game may be, look for a ‘math-friendly’ version of it on Hooda Math!”

Both games are optimized for mobile devices and can be accessed from any device, be it desktop, smart phone or tablet.

For more information about Hooda Math, visit www.hoodamath.com.

About Hooda Math

HoodaMath.com is a free online math games site. Founded by a middle school math teacher, Hooda Math offers more than 500 free math games that are played online by more than 3 million students a month. With more than 50 HTML5 games, students can now access HoodaMath.com on any tablet browser or mobile device.

****************

Survey Conducted for Mimio by MDR’s EdNET Insight Service Shows Mobile Devices Have Deep and Positive Impact on Student Learning, But Are Still in Early Adoption Stage

 

Educators Polled Share Thoughts and Practices Regarding Mobile Learning

 

Cambridge, MA – April 3, 2014 – Mobile devices are well on their way to becoming an integral part of K-12 instruction, and they are having a noticeably positive impact on students’ learning experiences. These are the major findings from a recent survey conducted by MDR’s EdNET Insight service on behalf of Mimio. The survey was the third annual survey authorized by Mimio to gain a deeper understanding of educators’ and students’ experience and needs within the interactive classroom.

 

While mobile devices are best known for their use in 1:1 or BYOD programs, the school administrators, technology directors, and coordinators who were the survey’s targeted respondents revealed that mobile learning is not at all restricted to such environments. In fact, 75 percent of respondents indicated that their districts or schools were purchasing the devices for use by select grade levels or in specific content areas, rather than the more universal approaches of 1:1 implementation and BYOD programs.

 

More than two thirds of respondents (74 percent for all mobile devices and 69 percent for tablets) use the devices primarily as a general-purpose device for both instruction and assessment. Assessment was never cited as the sole primary use. However, 78 percent of respondents anticipate that mobile devices will be useful tools for the Common Core Assessments in the 2014-15 school year. This means that assessment may become a key use of mobile devices in the future.

 

“This latest survey confirms that the use of mobile devices is not a fad,” stated Manny Perez, president and chief operating officer, Mimio. “It’s a real paradigm shift in the way educational technology supports learning. Right now, we’re seeing that mobile devices are being used more as test phases or pilots for certain grades or content areas. However, according to 69 percent of respondents, over the next two years we should see mobile-device use expand across school grades and content areas.”

 

The survey also polled educators on the types of mobile devices that their schools or districts were considering for future purchase and implementation. The majority of respondents (82 percent) selected the iPad. Chromebooks received the second highest response, with 35 percent of respondents choosing that particular option. The reason behind the relative popularity of the Chromebooks could be that this device includes a keyboard, making it more convenient for student writing. A keyboard has to be added to many other devices.

****************

 

GuideK12 Named SIIA Education CODiE Award Finalist for Best Education Cloud-based Solution

 

GuideK12 Earns Prestigious Education Industry Recognition

Eagan, MN. (April 3, 2014) GuideK12, geovisual analytics for education,  today announced that it was named a finalist for the 2014 SIIA Education CODiE Awards for best education cloud-based solution.   The SIIA CODiE Awards are the premier award for the software and information industries, and have been recognizing product excellence for 29 years. The awards have over 75 categories and are organized by industry focus of Content, Education, and Software.

This year’s program features 31 Education categories, several of which are new or updated to reflect the latest industry trends and business models. Winners will be announced during a special awards dinner at the nation’s leading education technology conference, the Education Industry Summit, in San Francisco on Tuesday, May 13.

GuideK12 enables administrators to visualize student and county characteristics on an interactive map and instantly understand how various changes would affect their district. This information can then be used to inform numerous decisions, such as boundary realignments, school choice impact studies, crisis planning, and more.

 

“Schools are awash in data,” Chuck Amos, CEO, says. “They don’t need more data. What’s missing is the insight from the data they already have. We provide a lens into the data and bring it to life in a way that really empowers key leaders in districts to make better decisions affecting their student population, their community and how they allocate resources. We are thrilled to be recognized again this year by SIIA as an innovative product bringing value to the education community.”

 

“This year’s finalists are breaking ground with new business models and innovative products. We are pleased to recognize the best in educational technology with these 119 products,” said Karen Billings, vice president of the SIIA Education Division. “I look forward to honoring them all in May at the Education Industry Summit.”

Details about each finalist are listed at http://siia.net/codies/2014/finalists.asp

 

About SIIA

SIIA is the leading association representing the software and digital content industries. SIIA represents approximately 800 member companies worldwide that develop software and digital information content.  Information technology (IT) and software security are critical issues to SIIA’s members, many of whom strive to develop safe, secure and state-of the-art products that effectively serve their commercial and government customers alike, while protecting their intellectual property.  The SIIA Education Division serves and represents more than 200 member companies that provide software, digital content, and other technologies that address educational needs. The Division shapes and supports the industry by providing leadership, advocacy, business development opportunities, and critical market information. For more information, visit www.siia.net/education

 

About GuideK12

 

Based in Eagan, MN, GuideK12LLC is a geovisual analytics software company, which enables education decision makers to instantly explore and analyze school district data by adding a geographic and visual dimension to their student and community information. By visualizing information spatially, decisions on everything from boundary analysis, to policy changes to resource planning and forecasting enrollments can be more insightful and faster. Named one of SIIA’s 2012 10 most innovative education technology products, GuideK12 serves large metro, suburban and rural school districts throughout the United States. It is owned by private investors and a private investment group based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more information, visitwww.guidek12.com

************************************************

FOURIER EDUCATION HOSTS INAUGURAL einstein™STEMathon at NSTA’s NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Competition will pit science teachers against one another to create the best experiment using the einstein™Activity Maker for up to $7,500 worth of prizes

 

WHAT:     On THURSDAY, April 3Fourier Education, makers of the award-winning einstein™Tablet+ andeinstein™Science Learning Platform, will host the first-ever einstein™STEMathon at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) 2014 Conference. The event will be held at the Boston Convention Center where approximately 50 teachers will compete in a live challenge to create the most original and creative science experiment using the einstein™Activity Maker tool.

 

Participating teachers and educators will meet in room #258B of the Boston Convention Center at 9 a.m. for the announcement of the activity topic.  At that point, they are free to spend as much or as little time building their activity with the assistance of the Fourier Education staff, who will be available until the close of the competition at 5:00 p.m.

 

Participants’ activities will be judged by some of the top influencers in STEM education including:

 

Activities will be judged on the scientifically valid principles they include, their suitability for use on a tablet, computer, and sensor-based experiments, how well they follow topic guidelines set forth by the judges and how well they demonstrate certain core ideas outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and creativity. The winning teacher will take home $5,000 worth of einstein™Science Learning Platform products and $2,500 in personal winnings. Second and third place participants will also receive substantial awards.

The award ceremony will take place at a press conference in Fourier Education’s booth (#1015) at 12 noon on Friday, April 4.

 

WHERE:    National Science Teachers Association 2014 Conference at the Boston Convention Center

Room #258B

415 Summer Street

Boston, MA 02210

WHEN:      Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • 9 a.m.: Doors open for participants to arrive, and the activity topic for competition is announced.
  • 9:15 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Participants will work with the innovative einstein™Activity Maker to create the best, most creative science experiment.

 

CONTACT:  Katie Kennedy: 610-731-1045katiek@gregoryfc

4/2/14

Learning Upgrade Releases Math Upgrade 6 Courses, Previews Math Upgrade 7 at NCTM

All courses aligned with Common Core, featuring music and games to engage students with varying learning styles

(SAN DIEGO) April 02, 2014 – Dedicated to help students meet the rigors of the Common Core through songs, videos and games, Learning Upgrade will unveil its Math Upgrade 6 course at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Conference April 9-12.  Attendees will also get a sneak peek at Math Upgrade 7 before it is officially released in April.

Math Upgrade 6 is designed to support student mastery of all 6th grade Common Core standards for math.  Students are guided through 60 step-by-step lessons to ensure they meet the rigors of the Common Core.  Each lesson provides practice problems accompanied by immediate intervention and remediation with multimedia supports.  Students repeat low scoring lessons to mastery, earning a gold certificate when proficient on every Common Core standard.

“Districts across the country are working hard to prepare for the Common Core.  Providing practice lessons that engage all levels of learning abilities and learning styles to reach all students is a challenge shared by many district administrators. Lessons from Learning Upgrade are a great way to help struggling learners catch up and help all students master every Common Core standard,” said Learning Upgrade co-founder Vinod Lobo.

The Math Upgrade series of courses, designed by educators, cover each standard benchmark in grades 1-8.  Designed from the ground up specifically for the Common Core, these courses feature practice problems in the style of the various new digital tests like those from PARCC and Smarter Balance: multi-step word problems, drag-and-drop answers, and interactive graphs.  Teachers can use the courses individually or as whole-class lessons with projectors or interactive whiteboards.

Learning Upgrade provides a unique opportunity for teachers to incorporate popular music, video and interaction to make math lessons engaging.

In addition to introducing the new courses at NCTM, Learning Upgrade will host a session on “Math Upgrade Common Core Lessons using Songs, Video and Games.” The session will be held at 2 p.m. on both April 10 and 11 in Room 208 at the New Orleans Convention Center.

For more information about Learning Upgrade and their sessions at NCTM, please visit them online at www.learningupgrade.com

About Learning Upgrade

Founded in 1998 by educators, musicians, artists and programmers in San Diego, Learning Upgrade designs innovative, engaging lessons to support struggling students in reading and math. Through the incorporation of songs, video, games and educational research, Learning Upgrade has helped over 1 million students make learning breakthroughs.

For more information about Learning Upgrade, please visit them online at www.learningupgrade.com

***********************************************************************

Teachers Gather for Latest in Math Education at NCTM Annual Meeting
Reston, Va., April 2, 2014—The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) will offer more than 700 sessions and workshops, covering all levels, pre-K–grade 12, at its 2014 NCTM Annual Meeting & Exposition. The four-day conference, April 9–12, will feature presenters from New Orleans and all across the country. Topics will include the Common Core State Standards, STEM education, achieving equity and social justice, and classroom use of technology.“Whether you’re a classroom teacher, coach, administrator, preservice teacher, or math specialist, NCTM’s Annual Meeting has something for you,” said NCTM President Linda Gojak.Keynote speaker Steven Strogatz of Cornell University will kick off the conference with the session “The Joy of x.” An award-winning math scholar with a broad interest in applied mathematics, Strogatz studies how synchrony occurs spontaneously in nature (Wednesday, April 95:30–7:00 p.m.).

Continuing its tradition of mathematics education leadership, NCTM will unveil Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All to define and describe the principles and actions, including specific teaching practices, that are essential for a high-quality mathematics education for all students. What’s exciting about NCTM’s new blueprint for mathematics education? The writing team will present several sessions at the conference about the publication’s focus on teaching and learning and how to engage students in mathematics thinking.

Rote memorization through drill and practice does not lead to fluency. Join NCTM President Linda Gojak to look at the ways to help students use strategic thinking to develop fluency through reasoning and sense making (Thursday, April 10, 2:00–3:00 p.m.).

In spring 2015, the Common Core assessments will be administered for the first time. What actions will best prepare teachers and students for these assessments? NCTM President-Elect Diane Briars will discuss opportunities and challenges (Friday, April 11, 2:003:00 p.m.).

Bill Amend, the cartoonist who created the comic strip FoxTrot, has been injecting math and science humor into the funny pages for more than 25 years. He’ll share examples and stories and discuss the joys and challenges of bringing math to the masses (Saturday, April 12, 12:30–1:30 p.m.).

Conference activities will take place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. Attendees may register on-site at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center at the following times: Wednesday, April 9, 8:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.; Thursday, April 11, 7:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.; Friday, April 10, 7:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.; and Saturday, April 12, 7:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.

In addition, hundreds of the latest education products will be on display in the NCTM Exhibit Hall at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on Thursday, April 10, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; Friday, April 11, 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; and Saturday, April 12, 8:00 a.m.–noon.

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is the public voice of mathematics education, providing vision, leadership, and professional development to support teachers in ensuring mathematics learning of the highest quality for all students. With 80,000 members and more than 200 Affiliates, NCTM is the world’s largest organization dedicated to improving mathematics education in prekindergarten through grade 12. The Council’s Principles and Standards for School Mathematics includes guidelines for excellence in mathematics education and issues a call for all students to engage in more challenging mathematics. Its Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics identifies the most important mathematical topics for each grade level. Focus in High School Mathematics: Reasoning and Sense Making advocates practical changes to the high school mathematics curriculum to refocus learning on reasoning and sense making. NCTM is dedicated to ongoing dialogue and constructive discussion with all stakeholders about what is best for our nation’s students.

 

***********************************************************************

Vernier and NSTA Honor Seven Teachers for their Innovative Use of Data-Collection Technology in STEM Education

 

2014 Vernier/NSTA Technology Award winners each receive a prize valued at $5,500

BEAVERTON, Oregon, April 2, 2014 – Vernier Software & Technology and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) named seven innovative science and STEM teachers as winners of the 2014 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards. The winning educators — one elementary teacher, two middle school teachers, three high school teachers, and one college-level educator — were selected by an NSTA-appointed panel of experts for their use of data-collection technology using a computer, graphing calculator, or other handheld device in the science classroom.

 

Each winner will be formally recognized at this year’s annual NSTA National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts on April 4, 2014, and will receive $1,000 in cash, $3,000 in Vernier products, and up to $1,500 toward expenses to attend the conference.

 

“The use of data-collection technology provides students from kindergarten to college with the opportunity to engage in hands-on scientific learning,” said David Vernier, co-founder of Vernier and a former physics teacher. “Each of this year’s award winners demonstrated truly innovative ways that probeware can enhance the teaching and learning processes in science and STEM classrooms.”

 

This year’s Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards’ winners include:

 

Category: Elementary School

Bill Burton, The Lamplighter School, Carrollton, TX

Bill Burton uses the Vernier Force Plate during a lesson that allows his first grade students to explore friction. During the investigation, students experience the forces required to overcome friction as they pull themselves across several hundred tennis balls. As they experience this activity, real-time data collected by the Force Plate is projected on the interactive whiteboard for class discussion.

 

Category: Middle School

David Auerbach, Cardigan Mountain School, Canaan, NH

Encouraging hands-on scientific discovery, David Auerbach has students participate in the C-Prize project, a takeoff of the X-Prize, in which students construct and test rocket prototypes to learn about speed, velocity and acceleration. They additionally identify variables, develop hypotheses and analyze data collected using a Photogate and data-collection devices.

 

Christine Gleason, Greenhills School, Ann Arbor, MI

Focusing on the themes of energy and sustainable resources, Christine Gleason has her eighth-grade students build a classroom-sized alternative energy system as part of an end-of-year project. Students collect electrical power data, comparable to those being made on the school’s rooftop wind turbine system. Students then use the data to improve their own designs.

 

Category: High School

Gary Garber, Boston University Academy, Boston, MA

Unlike many traditional high school pendulum experiments, Gary Garber’s students use sensors — including the Photogate, Motion Detector and Accelerometer — as well as computer modeling to further their physics understanding. In addition to analyzing their own findings, students are able to analyze data Garber collected using the Vernier Wireless Dynamics System during a pendulum experiment on a NASA reduced gravity flight.

 

Brian Bollone, Northview High School, Grand Rapids, MI

Students in Brian Bollone’s class use an array of sensors to research quantitative questions regarding the measurable chemical factors during animal decomposition. During the activity, students correlate their data with daily qualitative measurements of entomological activity and photographs, and they test their hypothesis using still-born fetal pigs in a secure location on the school campus.

 

Ashley Webb, DeSoto Central High School, Southhaven, MS

With the help of teacher Ashley Webb, the “Creating Leaders in STEM” program at Central High School in Southhaven, Mississippi provides innovative opportunities for AP Physics and AP Environmental Science high school students to review for their AP tests. At the same time the students are helping sixth-grade students at the junior high school engage in hands-on, inquiry-based STEM education using Vernier technology.

 

Category: College

Dr. Paul Adams, Fort Hays State University, Hays, KS

Dr. Paul Adams’ engineering students use technology to conduct high-altitude ballooning challenges. To further expand on these challenges, Dr. Adams will have students migrate the Vernier sensors to an Arduino open-source electronics prototyping platform to create a lighter system, which reduces the cost of the balloon launch.

 

To learn more about the Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards and to find details for the 2015 application, visithttp://www.vernier.com/grants/nsta/.

 

About Vernier Software & Technology

Vernier Software & Technology has been a leading innovator of scientific data-collection technology for 33 years. Focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), Vernier is dedicated to developing creative ways to teach and learn using hands-on science. Vernier creates easy-to-use and affordable science interfaces, sensors, and graphing/analysis software. With world-wide distribution to over 130 countries, Vernier products are used by educators and students from elementary school to college. Vernier’s technology-based solutions enhance STEM education, increase learning, build students’ critical thinking skills, and support the science and engineering practices detailed in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Vernier’s business culture is grounded in Earth-friendly policies and practices, and the company provides a family-friendly workplace. For more information, visit www.vernier.com.

**********************************************************************************

NASDCTEc/NCTEF Star of Education Award Winners Announced 

 

Washington, D.C., April 2, 2014 - Today the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) was proud to announce the winners of this year’s Star of Education Awards at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Demonstrating leadership, vision and dedication to Career Technical Education (CTE), each of these honorees has made extraordinary contributions to the practice and expansion of CTE.

 

This year’s awardees include two Distinguished Service-Congressional Award winners Representative Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Representative Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (R-PA), the recipients of the State CTE Director Emeritus Award are Dr. Kathy Shibley of Ohio and Dr. Patrick Ainsworth of California, and Russ Weikle of California is the first-ever State CTE Director Rising Star honoree.

 

“The CTE community is blessed with an abundance of talented and passionate individuals who work all day, every day to realize thevision of high-quality CTE,” said NASDCTEc Executive Director Kimberly Green. “Today’s honorees have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Each has dedicated years of faithful service and visionary leadership to the CTE enterprise, and we all owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.”

 

As Co-Chairmen of the Congressional CTE Caucus, Representative Thompson and Representative Langevin have been vocal champions of CTE and have a proven track record of raising awareness and understanding of the CTE enterprise among their colleagues in the legislative branch. The CTE Caucus Co-Chairmen have held congressional briefings on the importance of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, spearheaded letters to the executive branch and congressional leadership on the value of investment in CTE and have consistently made a compelling case for CTE’s positive economic impact and return on investment. Their years of tenacious advocacy on behalf of CTE was the driving force behind the NASDCTEc Executive Board’s decision to honor each of them with this Distinguished Service-Congressional Award.

 

“As co-chair of the Congressional CTE Caucus and a longtime supporter of job and skills training programs, I am honored to accept the Star of Education Award,” said Congressman Langevin. “It is our duty to provide a strong education for all students, and that must include robust career and technical programs. These programs prepare our youth for the careers that are available today and will continue to grow in the future. Investments in CTE are returned many times over through a skilled workforce that serves to strengthen our economy.”

 

“It’s a distinct honor to receive the Star of Education Award,” stated Congressman Thompson. “I want to thank the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium for their work to expand and improve career and technical programming across the country.  As Co-Chairman of the bipartisan House Career and Technical Education Caucus, I look forward to continuing our shared advocacy on behalf of aspiring learners of all ages to ensure they have access to the training and tools necessary to succeed in career and educational endeavors.”

 

Also honored were two new inductees into the ranks of State CTE Directors Emeriti. Dr. Kathy Shibley of Ohio and Dr. Patrick Ainsworth of California both retired in 2013 after long careers of exceptional service to their states and to the CTE community. Since assuming the mantle of State CTE Director of California in1996, Dr. Ainsworth affected major change to the CTE landscape in his state, increasing gender equity compliance, developing business and industry partnerships and cultivating a modern CTE curriculum for his state. In her term as State CTE Director of Ohio, Dr. Shibley cultivated a reputation for making data-driven decisions and pursuing visionary reform. In particular, Dr. Shibley made significant contributions to the development and implementation of the National Career Clusters® Framework and prioritized student preparation and support services.

 

At ceremony’s close, Mr. Weikle received the first-ever State Director Rising Star Award. Even before taking the reins as State CTE Director of California, Mr. Weikle convened the CTE Plan Resources Group, which helped lay the foundation for the California State Plan for Career Technical Education. Mr. Weikle is also responsible for pioneering work in the distribution of Perkins funding, adopting the Perkins Grant Management System to streamline the distribution of Perkins funds throughout California.

 

About NASDCTEc

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education (NASDCTEc) was established in 1920 to represent the state and territory heads of secondary, postsecondary and adult career technical education (CTE) across the nation. NASDCTEc, through leadership, advocacy and partnerships, aims to support an innovative CTE system that prepares individuals to succeed in education and their careers, and poises the United States to flourish a global, dynamic economy.  Learn more at www.careertech.org.

4/1/14

2014 Smithsonian Online Education Conference Series Presents “Urban Waterways”

 

Conference Will Encourage Students to Become Environmental Stewards

The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access is hosting a free online education conference for teachers and studentsApril 9. An expert from the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum will discuss the “Citizen Science: A Watershed Study” program, in which Washington, D.C., high school students explore the Anacostia Watershed. As a project-based educational immersion experience, this Citizen Science program guides students’ understanding of the definition and features of a watershed, the importance of rivers, the effects of pollution on water quality and the impact water quality has on the health of the community.

Tony Thomas, education program coordinator at the Anacostia Community Museum, will present “Urban Waterways: Thinking about Environmental Stewardship,” Wednesday, April 9, at 4 p.m. EDT. Thomas will encourage students to take an active role in environmental stewardship and environmental justice issues. Students who participated in the summer 2013 exploration of the Anacostia Watershed are scheduled to share their experiences and present their findings. Educators and students will be inspired to embrace responsibility for the waterways in their regions and learn about ways to take action in their own communities.

The conference is part of the monthly 2014 Smithsonian Online Education Conference Series, which provides an online space for teachers and students to engage with Smithsonian experts and make connections from textbooks to today’s world. Each online conference features a live Q&A, and includes free digital-learning resources and teaching strategies that educators can use to explore cross-curricular lessons with their students.

The “Urban Waterways” session also will introduce the “Waterways Watcher” badge. This is the newest digital badging opportunity available to students through Smithsonian Quests, a program that invites anywhere, anytime exploration in support of self-directed, project-based learning.

About Smithsonian Institution

Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. There are 6,300 Smithsonian employees and 6,500 volunteers. Approximately 30 million people from around the world visited the Smithsonian in 2013. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at 137 million.

 

*********************************************

KAJEET SMARTSPOT™: IN THE SPOTLIGHT

The Kajeet SmartSpot was all the “buzz” at the CoSN 2014 Annual Conference last month. Designed for education leaders to better understand the changing landscape of education technology and the new face of learning, COSN provided a unique opportunity for Kajeet to introduce the solution for keeping students connected after the school day ends.

Hyper-Connected

School districts came from all across the globe to explore how digital learning ecosystems challenge and inspire students, encourage innovation, and deepen the learning initiatives. And staying connected was a large part of the discussions. Kajeet participated in spotlight presentations and showcased its Kajeet SmartSpot solution to more than 350 education leaders.

Hall of Fame

In recognition of the his unique commitment to CoSN, Michael Flood, Vice President of Education at Kajeet, was inducted into CoSN’s 2014 Volunteer Hall of Fame. At this special event on, the CoSN Board honored volunteers, new Certified Education Technology Leaders and companies with unique vision and participation among the elite CoSN community.

Equity in the Digital Age

By far, one of the more popular spotlight sessions of the event, was presented by Michael Flood of Kajeet. His session– Equity in the Digital Age–examined the critical issues surrounding student equity in this new era including device equity, access equity and digital cultural equity.
NEWS

Detroit Schools Project Always Keeps Virtual Classroom Open
Detroit Public Schools educates the largest number of children in the state — nearly 50,000 — yet outside school, its students are among the most disconnected, with 70 percent lacking Internet access at home. A pilot project is attempting to narrow the digital divide outside school and create an infinite classroom for DPS students. Kajeet deployed 500 of its Kajeet SmartSpot Wi-Fi hotspot devices into the homes of DPS students last fall. Read more »

National School Board Association Recognizes Kajeet for Innovation
Kajeet is one of six companies selected to present at the National School Boards Association Technology Innovation Showcase during the NSBA Annual Conference in New Orleans, April 5-7, 2014.  Kajeet will be showcasing the Kajeet SmartSpot Wi-Fi device that provides safe, affordable and intelligent mobile broadband to students in school districts around the country.  Read more »

Bandwidth for All
With more and more students using mobile devices for learning, districts are finding creative ways to provide enough bandwidth for everyone to do their work outside of school. Forsyth County Schools talks about how Kajeet is helping provide disadvantage students with equal access to connectivity.  Read more »

UPCOMING EVENTS

Florida Virtual Schools Symposium
April 2, 2014
Lake Mary, FL

NSBA
Technology Innovation Showcase
April 5, 2014
New Orleans, LA

Council of Great City Schools
June 10, 2014
Denver, CO

ISTE
June 28-July 1, 2014
Atlanta, GA

**********************
QK LOGO JPG 2
QUICK KEY IS PILOTED IN TURKEY, BRUNEI AND THE UNITED KINGDOM, WHERE SCHOOLS ARE PUTTING TEACHER CREATED TECHNOLOGY TO GOOD USE.APRIL 1st, 2014, TURKEY, BRUNEI AND THE UNITED KINGDOM. Schools in Turkey, Brunei, and the United Kingdom have started to pilot the Quick Key Mobile App.  Quick Key Mobile turns a smartphone or tablet into a mobile scanner to grade paper quizzes and surveys in a flash.Quick Key is free for teachers, and anybody can sign up for an account by visiting the Company’s Web page www.quickkeyapp.com. Quick Key Mobile – the mobile companion application that scans paper quizzes and surveys – is available on Apple’s iPhone App Store at tinyURL.com/QuickKeyMobile.

Before Quick Key it would take me at least a week to grade 400 exams, now with Quick Key it takes me an hour. Quick Key is amazing, perfect, and super!”, said Younis Aydin the Computer Instructor at Omangazi Middle School, in Istanbul, Turkey.

According to Simon Renshaw, Geography Department head in the Leicester Education Authority, in the United Kingdom “I have found Quick Key to be a spectacularly useful tool. Not only does the app allow me to save time marking, I can quickly analyze whole class assessment data to make immediate and appropriate adjustments to my instruction, live in class. Essentially, Quick Key is the education app I have been waiting for!”

“I’ve cross-checked two classes’ answers and it came out perfect”, said Lim Kok Wei, a teacher in Brunei.

More than 180,000 quizzes have been graded with Quick Key. Teachers are grading more than 2,500 quizzes and tests every weekday with Quick Key Mobile. Now schools around the world are leveraging the power of the free teacher created app.

Quick Key was created by a career teacher-turned-entrepreneur named Walter Duncan. According to Duncan, “Teachers are under increasing pressure for their students to perform on standardized tests. Quick Key puts the power in their hands to do something about it, without resorting to teaching to the test. As a teacher myself, our #1 goal is helping teachers succeed. Teachers are Quick Key’s heart and soul.”

# # #
Quick Key first made a splash last March when a video (http://youtu.be/UUqZYcAnUlw) of an early prototype was viewed more than 460,000 times. Working teachers supported bringing the app to market through a successful Kickstarter campaign last June. Since then, thousands of teachers on six continents have begun using the app.  To date, more than 180,000 quizzes have been scanned with Quick Key.
*******************************
Wildlife Acoustics Launches iOS-Powered Bat Detector App at NSTA

Echo Meter Touch App allows students to identify species of flying bats in real time

(BOSTON, MASS) April 1, 2014 — Wildlife Acoustics, worldwide provider of bioacoustics recording and analytical technology, introduced its new Echo Meter Touch bat detector/recorder/analyzer at the National Science Teachers’ Association Conference (NSTA) in Boston.

The Echo Meter Touch is a key-fob-sized ultrasonic module that plugs into an iPhone or iPad that accompanies a free Echo Meter touch app. The module-app combination provides teachers and students with a fully functional spectrogram viewer, allowing budding biologists to listen to and record bats in real time.

“Echo Meter Touch has student discovery stamped all over it,” says Wildlife Acoustics’ product manager, Sherwood Snyder.  “It’s an innovative way for teachers in 1:1 and flipped learning classroom environments to get students excited about biology. Wildlife Acoustics is committed to providing science educators with engaging tools to further awareness around the value of including bioacoustics and environmental awareness solutions in their curriculum.”

The app accurately identifies a bat’s species by capturing ultrasonic sounds in seconds, giving students an opportunity to learn more about the bats they’re monitoring within the app. A GPS tracking feature automatically tags all recordings with location information.

Live bats will be on hand at the company’s NSTA exhibitor booth (#425) to help demonstrate the app’s capabilities for attendees.

To complement the Echo Meter Touch, teachers and students have access to Bat Conservation International‘s comprehensive bat biology studies curriculum guide to create in-class activities, field work and at-home projects.

“Science teachers are constrained when it comes to class time, so it’s vital that class material is both relevant in terms of 21st century skills and easily integrates into existing lesson plans,” said Andrew Walker, CEO of Bat Conservation International. “Not only is our guide designed with creative and engaging classroom content, it allows students to explore the world of bats even further after hours.”

For both Bat Conservation International and Wildlife Acoustics, that is the ultimate goal.

“Our work is dedicated not only to biologists and researchers around the world, but to our planet’s future biologists and bioacousticians—the K-12 students of today,” echoed Wildlife Acoustics’ founder and CEO, Ian Agranat. “With the Echo Meter Touch, ultrasonic is now ‘ultra cool,’ and we hope students will see that too.”

About Wildlife Acoustics

Wildlife Acoustics is the leading provider of bioacoustics monitoring systems for researchers, scientists, conservationists and government agencies worldwide.  Its mission is to serve the needs of biologists and conservationists around the globe and create tools that enable them to better understand the changes in the global environment

Our innovative and affordable hardware, software, and curriculum increase teacher effectiveness and student engagement and promote the cause of the Citizen Scientist in K-12 classrooms. For more information, visit wildlifeacoustics.com.

Follow Wildlife Acoustics on Twitter @WildlifeAcoust and “Like” us on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/WildlifeAcoustics.

***********************************************
SIIA Announces Education Finalists for 2014 CODiE Awards
146 Education Technology and Service Products Recognized in Peer-Reviewed Awards Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 31, 2014) – The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, today announced the 146 finalists in Education categories for the 2014 SIIA CODiE Awards. These finalists represent applications, products, and services from developers of educational software, digital content, online learning services, and related technologies across the K-20 sector.

This year’s program features 31 Education categories, several of which are new or updated to reflect the latest industry trends and business models. Winners will be announced during a special awards dinner at the nation’s leading education technology conference, the Education Industry Summit, in San Francisco on May 12.

“This year’s finalists are breaking ground with new business models and innovative products. We are pleased to recognize the best in educational technology with these 119 products,” said Karen Billings, vice president of the SIIA Education Division. “I look forward to honoring them all in May at the Education Industry Summit.”

The SIIA CODiE Awards are the industry’s only peer-reviewed awards program. Educators and administrators conduct the first-round review of all education nominees. The judges are responsible for selecting the CODiE Awards finalists, and SIIA members then vote on the finalist products. The scores from both rounds are tabulated to select the winners.

Details about each finalist are listed at siia.net/codies/2014/finalists.asp. For more information on the Education Industry Summit, attending the CODiE Awards dinner, and to see a full schedule of events, visit siia.net/eis.

About SIIA
SIIA is the leading association representing the software and digital content industries. SIIA represents approximately 800 member companies worldwide that develop software and digital information content.  Information technology (IT) and software security are critical issues to SIIA’s members, many of whom strive to develop safe, secure and state-of the-art products that effectively serve their commercial and government customers alike, while protecting their intellectual property. The SIIA Education Division serves and represents more than 200 member companies that provide software, digital content, and other technologies that address educational needs. The Division shapes and supports the industry by providing leadership, advocacy, business development opportunities, and critical market information. For more information, visit www.siia.net/education.

 

**********************************************************************

 

Promethean ActivEngage2 Receives 2014 EdTech Digest Award for Best Mobile App

 

Solution Delivers Immediate Results to Assess and Address Student Needs

 

Atlanta, Georgia (April 1, 2014) Promethean, a leading provider of educational technology & training, announces that ActivEngage2 has been named the 2014 EdTech “Digest Award COOL TOOL winner for Best Mobile App for Middle and High School.”

 

The distinguished EdTech Digest Awards Recognition Program honors tools, trendsetters and leaders in the education and technology sector. The Cool Tool awards recognize new, emerging and established technology solutions for education.

 

“There is a lot of talent and quality out there, and we’re excited to recognize these cool tools, leaders and trendsetters in the education technology space,” said Victor Rivero, who oversees the program as Editor in Chief of EdTech Digest. “There are now thousands of startups, apps, and companies working in edtech, more than ever before. Shining a spotlight on the best and brightest, we intend to generate even more activity in this sector to continue pushing forward a slow revolution for the benefit of future generations.”

 

Gauging student progress while promoting engagement and participation throughout a lesson can be challenging, even when each student has a mobile device in hand. ActivEngage2, Promethean’s virtual assessment and student response solution, puts those devices to work, offering educators and students feedback and data that drive differentiated and personalized instruction.

 

“We are pleased to have ActivEngage2 recognized by EdTech Digest for allowing districts to leverage their existing technology and BYOD initiatives with native client apps,” said Jim Marshall, CEO of Promethean. “This award underscores the importance Promethean places on differentiated and personalized instruction along with ourdisciplined investment in education.”

 

About the EdTech Digest Awards Program

Recognizing cool tools, trendsetters and leaders in the education and technology sector, the mission of the annual awards program is to get workable technology solutions for education widely known about and well thought of with the purpose of reshaping the education culture and creating a new and better future for students. Over the years, the best products and brightest minds have been featured helping millions of students, teachers, parents, administrators and others in and around education. For more information, please visithttp://edtechdigest.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/2014-finalists-winners

 

 

About Promethean

Promethean is a global education company that improves learning productivity by developing, integrating and implementing innovative 21st century learning environments that make everyone more engaged, empowered, and successful. The company is headquartered in Blackburn in Lancashire, England, with U.S. headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, please visit www.prometheanworld.com

 

 

***************************************************************

Teaching Channel Features New Tech Network

in Video Series on Deeper Learning

 

Napa, CA April 1, 2014– New Tech Network (NTN) was recently featured in a Teaching Channel Series on Deeper Learning.  The series focused on students and teachers in classrooms around the country who exemplify what can happen when the Common Core is approached with innovative teaching models that emphasize real-world experience, character development, academic mindsets, and collaborative work.

The five videos were:

·        The Building Blocks of Project-Based Learning

·        Critical Friends – Looking at Student Work

·        Group Contracts for Collaborative Work

·        Student Profile – A Self-Directed Learner,

·        Collaborative Teaching for Interdisciplinary Learning

The videos were filmed at Tech Valley High School in Rensselaer, New York. Just last year, Tech Valley High School and the State University of New York College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) joined forces in an innovative partnership announced by NY Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

The partnership will build on the deeper learning taking place at TVHS. Featured in the videos, this learning style better prepares students for the growing nanotechnology industry and creates a world-class workforce in upstate New York.

Tech Valley High School, founded in 2007, was designed as a regional training center with the intent of bringing project-based, student-centered learning to the greater Albany region. The school’s creation was based in part on the strong concern expressed by business leaders in the region of a lack of a skilled workforce for the dynamically growing high tech economy.

According to Tech Valley Director Dan Liebert, “This type of partnership, between educators, local businesses and the community-at-large is a critical component of the path we must take to assure our students have access to the type of high school education they need to succeed.  We also believe a focus on Deeper Learning is critical to assure student success.”

According to Tim Presiado, NTN acting President, “We were pleased to be  part of the Teaching Channel’s focus on Deeper Learning.  At NTN, we provide our students with the an education that enables them to graduate high school college and career ready.  We emphasize the tenets of Deeper Learning — which means they are using their knowledge and skills in a way that prepares them for real life.”

When using Deeper Learning skills, students are mastering core academic content like reading, writing, math, and science, while learning how to think critically, collaborate, communicate effectively, direct their own learning, and believe in themselves (known as an “academic mindset”).

“Deeper Learning enables our students to graduate from school ready to successfully join the workforce or attend an institution of higher learning,” continued Presiado.

In discussing Deeper Learning skills, Paul Curtis, NTN’s Director of District Development, recently authored a blog entitled:Easing the Pain of Student Collaboration.

“One of the most valued skills employers are looking for in an employee is the ability to collaborate.  This doesn’t just mean being ‘nice,’ it means being able to be part of a productive and efficient team that gets the job done,” said Curtis.

About the New Tech Network
The New Tech design is a blueprint, accompanied by a set of core beliefs, tools, and strategies to help each school fulfill its purpose. New Tech design principles provide for an instructional approach centered on project-based learning, a culture that empowers students and teachers, and integrated use of technology in the classroom. Through extensive professional development, personalized coaching and access to Echo, a learning management system, NTN empowers principals, teachers, and students to develop compelling, relevant and meaningful learning communities.
NTN is a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks, a social enterprise focused on ensuring that every student experiences meaningful personalized learning that allows him or her to thrive in college, career and civic life.

Contacts

 

 

************************************

 

BUDGET NEGLECTS MORE THAN HALF OF ALL CHARTER SCHOOLS IN NEW YORK STATE
Fundamental Flaws in State’s Charter School Law Must Be Addressed to Ensure Equity; Politics Do Not Trump Good Policy

WASHINGTON, DC – The New York Legislature, together with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, crafted a budget passing lateMonday night that financially favors a select few charter schools in New York City rather than giving charter schools – and the students they serve – statewide equitable treatment.“Claims that the New York budget is exceedingly friendly to charter schools is little more than political spin,” said Kara Kerwin, president of The Center for Education Reform. “Some charters have been granted protections from opponents they surely deserve, and this is a good thing. But overall this budget creates a tiered system in its treatments of charter schools, and the fundamental funding inequity flaw in the state’s charter school law remains intact.”The new state budget provides facility support  that is limited to new and growing charter schools in New York City only. City schools in private facilities and all charter school students outside of New York City get nothing. This means that more than half of all public charter schools in New York state will receive absolutely no school facilities aid.Additionally, the budget agreement contains an extension of a freeze in base per pupil aid for charter schools for another three years while spending on other public school students goes up, representing a distinct funding disparity for charter school students across the state.“State policy needs to enact what’s best for all children, and the budget agreement passed Monday favors a select number of charter schools at the expense of many others,” said Kerwin. “Playing politics with schoolchildren as pawns like this is downright wrong and unacceptable.”

“An equitable budget treats a student in Brooklyn the same as a student in Utica or a student in Buffalo, regardless of whether they attend a charter or traditional public school,” said Kerwin. “To truly improve the quality of education in New York for ALL students, fundamental flaws in the state’s charter school law must be addressed rather than looking for band-aid solutions year after year. Ignoring funding inequities means more and better opportunities for underserved students will continue to fall prey to the whims of politicians.”

 

###
Founded in 1993, to bridge the gap between policy and practice, The Center for Education Reform is the pioneer and leading voice for substantive change that transforms learning opportunities and outcomes for America’s children. Additional information about CER and its activities can be found at www.edreform.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.