October 30th K-12 Webinar: 
‘Leading the Digital Leap’ with AASA, CoSN, & NSBA
Washington, DC (October 23, 2014) – Join the leaders of AASA, The School Superintendents Association,CoSN (Consortium for School Networking), and NSBA (National School Boards Association) on Thursday, October 30th at 3:00 pm EDT for a free one-hour online discussion on how K-12 district leaders can take the digital leap.
AASA, CoSN, and NSBA are teaming to empower superintendents, district technology leaders, and school boards to build digitally-enabled learning environments through the sharing of knowledge, resources, and networks.
  • Dan Domenech, Executive Director, AASA
  • Keith Krueger, CEO, CoSN
  • Tom Gentzel, Executive Director, NSBA
Thursday, October 30, 2014
3-4 p.m. EDT
Webinar participation is free and open to all association members and the media. Click here to register.
Press should contact Michael Kaplun at for details. 
Featured guests will provide brief presentations then open up the discussion to questions from webinar participants.
For more information about the October 30th event, please visit:
About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA advocates for the highest quality public education for all students, and develops and supports school system leaders.
About 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. or call 866-267-8747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areas, annual conference and eventsadvocacy and policy, membership, and the CETL certification exam.
About NSBA
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is the leading advocate for public education and supports equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. NSBA represents state school boards associations and their more than 90,000 local school board members throughout the U.S. Learn more at:


Triumph Learning Named to ‘20 Most Promising Tech Solution Providers’ List

CIO Review recognizes company’s innovative blended learning solution for the education sector

New York, NY (PRWEB) October 23, 2014

Triumph Learning, producer of critically acclaimed K-12 texts and interactive digital tools, has been named as one of the “20 Most Promising Tech Solution Providers” for the education sector by CIO Review. Selected from more than 500 companies, Triumph Learning was recognized for providing solutions for the education sector and helping its customers solve the challenges they face on a daily basis.

“This list represents the very best of what the education market has to offer,” said Pradeep Shankar, Editor-in-Chief of CIO Review. “Triumph Learning’s commitment to providing its customers with an innovative, personalized learning program such as Waggle embodies the spirit of this list.”

Triumph Learning was recognized for launchingWaggle, its new personalized, smart practice solution. The innovative tool personalizes learning pathways for each student, helping them engage in productive struggle and develop the skills they need to succeed in mathematics and English language arts. Waggle, together with supplemental resources from Triumph Learning’s Common Core Coach, create an ideal blended learning environment.

“We are always listening to our customers to understand their challenges and develop the solutions they need to help educators and students be successful in the classroom,” said Aoife Dempsey, Chief Technology Officer at Triumph Learning. “Being named to CIO Review’s list of ‘20 Most Promising Tech Solution Providers’ is a testament to the effectiveness of Triumph Learning’s offerings.”

CIO Review is a technology and business magazine for corporate decision makers of enterprise IT. Each year it publishes a special edition focused on the education sector, featuring the “20 Most Promising Tech Solution Providers” and the “20 Most Promising Tech Consulting Providers.”

About Triumph Learning
Triumph Learning, LLC, is a leading educational content company and publisher of print and digital K-12 resources, standards-aligned instructional materials and effective literacy programs, serving more than 6 million students in 36,000 schools in 2013. Triumph Learning offers unique student solutions, robust teacher support, and professional development opportunities. Triumph Learning is committed to serving all students with a mix of interactive digital tools and innovative student texts with products such as Coach, Buckle Down, and Waggle. For more information, visit




Hi Friends,

I was asked by the US Dept of Edu Office of Ed Tech to serve on a panel tonight to discuss #futureready schools and classrooms.  It’s a free webinar.  I’d love if you could please share it out today.
Here’s the link:



Newly Released Touch Board with Touch 360° Interactivity Allows up to Six Simultaneous Users


Cambridge, MA – Oct. 21, 2014 – With its entry into the interactive touch board market, Mimio has expanded its award-winning MimioClassroom™ suite of products to a full range of interactive teaching technology options for collaborative activities and lessons. The company’s newest addition, the MimioBoard™ touch board, features six-point Touch 360° interactivity – the highest number of standard touch points available – for best-in-class performance.


The Touch 360° interactive technology accommodates up to six single-point touch users or three dual-touch and gestures users. Whether users write or manipulate objects above, below, or parallel to one another, their control and touch experience will remain uninterrupted.


Available in 78-inch and 87-inch models (diagonal size), the MimioBoard touch board provides a 16:10aspect ratio for widescreen views. The Porcelain-on-Steel surface is classroom-rugged, projection-optimized, and erasable, so teachers can also use it as a conventional whiteboard.


“Mimio now has a complete selection of interactive classroom technologies – a selection broader than that of any other interactive white board company in the market,” said Mimio President Manny Perez. “The MimioBoard touch board comes with a higher number of touch points than competitors’ standard products, and its collaborative performance is beyond compare. We’ve entered the interactive touch board market with a product that’s erasable and lightweight, and that typically installs in less than 10 minutes. We think our touch board gives customers the biggest benefit for their money.”


The MimioBoard touch board is fully integrated with the MimioClassroom family of products and comes with the same award-winning, intuitive MimioStudio™ classroom software for creating lessons, collaborating, and performing real-time assessments.


About Mimio

Mimio is a global leader in interactive teaching technologies that offer a better way to learn and an empowering way to teach. Our award-winning, innovative, and affordable hardware and software increase teacher effectiveness and student engagement in K-12 classrooms. For more information,


Follow Mimio on Twitter @MimioTechnology and “Like” us on our Facebook page


EdTech Icons Launch GreyED Solutions for the Education Marketplace

Dr. Julie Carter and Rob Dickson to provide personalized EdTech services to solution providers and educators


Minneapolis, MN (October 21, 2014) – Today the K-12 and EdTech industries are getting the solution they have been seeking with the launch of GreyED Solutions.  The new company, headed by nationally recognized education leaders, will help schools plan and execute their technology implementation and integration goals.  GreyEd will also supply EdTech providers with industry insight to aid in the development and refinement of their products and services.


GreyED Solutions was co-founded by Julie Carter, former executive director of technology for Minnetonka Public Schools, and Rob Dickson, current executive director of information management at Omaha Public Schools. Carter brings years of successful consulting experience in both the K-12 and EdTech industry. During her time at Minnetonka, she oversaw one of the best 1:1 computing efforts in the country and was named a Tech & Learning “Leader of the Year” as well as one of NSBA’s “20 to Watch” in 2010.  She has since continued consulting with districts nationwide to support various implementations.


Recently named 2014’s “20 to Watch” from NSBA, Dickson’s other accomplishments include leading the first VBlock cloud data center installation in K-12 education, launching one of the fastest growing virtual schools in the nation as well as advising district leaders nationwide with their technology planning and integration efforts.


“With the growth of technology and digital content in the classroom, EdTech vendors need to hear the voices of educators now more than ever,” Carter stated. “We facilitate the discussion between supplier and consumer; it is our mission to utilize the dialog to foster the development and improvement of EdTech products and services, thus ensuring the most innovative and successful technologies in the hands of students.”


Drawing from years of experience in technology and administration, GreyED Solutions’ industry expertise provides districts nationwide with technology implementation solutions, designed to empower today’s learners. Through their personalized LEARNing (Listen Engage Analyze Recommend Next Steps) process, GreyED Solutions helps schools and districts achieve their technology goals. By gathering leading national educators and administrators together for Feedback Forums, GreyED Solutions also aims to help organizations within the EdTech industry develop and refine their products and services based on current market needs.


“We could not be happier to make this announcement. As current and former district administrators, we recognize the challenges that administrators and EdTech service providers face in today’s tech focused environment,” said Dickson. “We are here to ease the strain on both sides.”


For more information about GreyED Solutions, please visit


About GreyED Solutions:

GreyED Solutions believes every school and organization has its own unique culture and fingerprint. We seek to understand your environment and your needs through careful analysis of people, processes and technology. We believe that the success of products, programs and implementations are driven by a personalized approach to embracing the individual needs of stakeholders. Instructors at heart, and technologists by trade, we at GreyED Solutions work from your level. We recognize that not every district or company possesses equal amounts of technology experience, maturity or leadership, and we design commensurate solutions suitable to your unique needs.




CoSN 2015: K-12 Leaders to Discover Making the Digital Leap
March 2015 Annual Conference in Atlanta Now Open for Registration 
Washington, DC (October 21, 2014) – CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) today announced that its 2015 annual conference in Atlanta, GA, is open for registration. Themed “Enabling Your Digital Leap,” the 2015 conference will feature K-12 public and private sector technology leaders from across the globe for a four-day exploration on making critical digital investments and the requirements for a successful digital leap.
Set to take place March 16-19, 2015, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, early bird registration is availablenow until December 12. Click here for registration details.
“Enabling your district to make the digital leap requires fundamental changes and a culture that is flexible and continuously improving,” said Pete Just, Chief Technology Officer, MSD of Wayne Township (IN), and Chair, 2015 CoSN Annual Conference. “At the 2015 CoSN Conference, we’ll explore the successful strategies that empower the transformational learning potential of digital resources and examine what it takes from school leadership to make this shift for our students.”
CoSN 2015 will comprise conference breakout and networking sessions, remarks from world-renowned education thought leaders, professional development workshops, and two site tours, among other activities.
Included below are key conference details.
Monday, March 16
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
  • Opening Plenary Session: Rethinking Pedagogy for Deeper Learning, featuring Michael Fullan, OC, Former Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.
Tuesday, March 17
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
  • My Digital Leap / State of CoSN & Awards, featuring perspectives from leading district technology leaders on strategies they are using as their districts make the digital leap.
Wednesday, March 18
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Closing Plenary Session: CoSNx, featuring visionaries who will help participants move from the “why” of a digital leap to the “how.”
Learn more about the plenary sessions here. Explore the full list of breakout sessions covering the themes “Ubiquity and Access,” “Vision and Leadership,” and “Pioneering Innovation” here.  
Monday, March 16 
8:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Leveraging Technology in Education to Empower Girls and Women, featuring Carolina Belalcázar, Project Officer, Education Sector, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, among other premier leaders. Learn more here.
Monday, March 16
  • 8:00 am – Noon: Education Data and Student Privacy – The Trust Imperative, featuring Bob Moore, Founder, RJM Strategies LLC; and Jules Polonetsky, Executive Director and Co-Chair, Future of Privacy Forum.
  • 9:00 am – Noon: Leadership for Mobile Learning, featuring Marie Bjerede, Founder, e-Mergents.
  • 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Smart Education Networks by Design, featuring Marie Bjerede, Founder, e-Mergents.
  • 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Defining a Pilot Project Using Disciplined Entrepreneurship, featuring Eric Braun, CEO and Co‑Founder / Adjunct Professor, 30hands Learning / Tufts University.
Thursday, March 19
  • 9:00 am – Noon: Grant Writing Workshop: Funding EdTech Dreams, featuring Rita Oates, President, Oates Associates; and Sheryl Abshire, Chief Technology Officer, Calcasieu Parish Public Schools. Learn more here.
Tuesday, March 17
  • 6:00 – 9:30 pm: Monumental Impact! Advocacy Dinner & Auction, will take place at the historic Fox Theatre, providing a showcase of noteworthy transformational education and learning opportunities achievements. Learn more here.
Site Tours
Sunday, March 15
  • 9:30 am – 1:30 pm: Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site VIP Tour, an exploration of Dr. King’s home, Dr. and Mrs. King’s tomb, the visitor center, the renowned Ebenezer Baptist Church, among other sites. Learn more here
Thursday, March 19
  • 9:30 am – 1:30 pm: Henry County Schools Site Visit, an interactive visit to see how Henry County Schools is using technology in their commitment to create personalized learning opportunities for students. Learn more here
CoSN 2015 is supported by:
Platinum: Filewave
Gold: Gartner, Lightspeed Systems, SchoolDude
Silver: Amplify, Cisco, ENA, Google, iboss Network Security, iDENTiTY  AUTOMATiON, Ipswitch, JAMF Software, Presidio, Sprint, Verizon
Crystal: School Messenger
Bronze: Kajeet
Media interested in attending CoSN 2015 should contact Michael Kaplun at
For more CoSN 2015 information or to register, please visit:
About 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. or call 866-267-8747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areas, annual conference and eventsadvocacy and policy, membership, and the CETL certification exam.


TeacherMatch Announces Elizabeth Fadil as New Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing

18-year IT business veteran will lead market expansion

CHICAGO  October 21, 2014 — TeacherMatch, a revolutionary teacher candidate assessment solution, is excited to welcome Elizabeth Fadil as the new Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Liz has joined TeacherMatch from SchoolMessenger, the nation’s leading provider of K12 mass notifications, where she was Senior Vice President of Sales. Liz brings fresh performance initiatives and new efficiencies to the TeacherMatch team.

Liz began her career at Xerox Corporation, where she developed a passion for working with K12 school districts, and other public sector entities. She continued to provide technology alternatives to the education marketplace at Sun Microsystems, and Information Builders

“I’ve always had a passion for expanding the use of technology in schools, and am very impressed with how TeacherMatch uses technology in the teacher hiring process,” said Fadil. “I firmly believe that in order to sell a product you need to have faith in its ability to improve the lives of your consumers. TeacherMatch does just that; it maximizes the administration’s ability to hire the most qualified and appropriate candidates. I look forward to expanding the market potential and helping school administrators.”

As the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Elizabeth will lead and oversee sales staff development, business processes, strategic planning and market expansion.

“Liz brings a tremendous amount of experience in education technology and a style that enriches our company’s values,” said Don Fraynd, PhD, CEO and co-founder of TeacherMatch. We are lucky to have her on our team and look forward to her leading our efforts to expand our reach to more and more partners across the education space.”

For more information about TeacherMatch, visit their website at

About TeacherMatch

TeacherMatch is a comprehensive education talent management system that facilities all stages of the teacher hiring process from recruitment and interviewing through onboarding and professional development. TeacherMatch offers an all-in-one solution to help schools find, hire and develop more effective teachers in an effort to give students the best opportunity to succeed. For more information, please visit


Califone Offer Helps Districts Prepare for Common Core Testing Deadlines

Company guarantees audio equipment shipment in time for spring assessments

San Fernando, Calif. (Oct. 21, 2014) – The clock is ticking, and school districts are running out of time to acquire the audio equipment required to administer Common Core assessments this spring. Many districts have not ordered the tech resources needed for the new tests, and the longer they procrastinate, the more difficult it will be to procure the equipment. To make the process less stressful for district administrators, Califone International LLC is going the extra mile. The premier manufacturer of quality audio technology for schools introduces a new headphone, earbud and headset program guaranteeing in-time shipment of the essential audio equipment that districts need for spring assessments.

The stakes are high. Mandatory use of headphones for the English language arts testing sessions has been specified by PARCC, Smarter Balanced, and other key Common Core assessments, and to accommodate students who require such tools as text-to-speech in the mathematics tests. Under the new Califone program, districts that place orders through authorized Califone dealers by Nov. 21 will have their headphones, earbuds and headsets ship from Califone as early asMarch 3, 2015.  If a headphone or headset order is delayed past the ship date of their choosing (if March 3 is too early, from then until June 26), the order will be free of cost.

To view the full news release online visit,


CULTURAL EDUCATION GROUP Bridges of Understanding award dinner to honor fashion designer Reem Acra in New York City

New York, NY—Bridges of Understanding, a not-for-profit organization aimed at bridging the cultural divide between Americans and the Arab world, will honor Lebanese fashion designer Reem Acra with the Building Bridges Award for her work at a dinner and fundraiser chaired by philanthropists Cathie Black and Tom Harvey in New York City on Wednesday, October 15th, 2014. Steven Kolb, Chief Executive Officer of the CFDA, will present the award.

The organization focuses on education, including in-school initiatives such as YouthTalk: A Bridges of Understanding and Global Nomads Group Initiative, which pairs high school classrooms in the U.S. with their peers in the Middle East through a videoconferencing-based curriculum.

“The goal is just as much to educate American youth about the Arab world as it is for Arab youth to better understand Americans,” says Executive Director Faisal Al-Juburi. “Through showcasing student commonalities, the programming helps the next generation to overcome the culture divide, shift perception, and grow towards a more empathetic future among nations.”

Previously held in the greater Washington, D.C. area, this will be the first Building Bridges Award Dinner in New York City. The award honors those individuals who further the mission and ethos of the organization. Acra is a perfect example of just that.

Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, Acra learned to sew by way of her mother. Defying the stereotype that women in the Arab world are not empowered, Acra’s success grew out of a basic cultural tradition that she later used to become an entrepreneur and one of the world’s top couture designers. She exemplifies the importance that the arts have on building an understanding between peoples, especially during times of sociopolitical unrest.

“The Council of Fashion Designers of America is proud to count Reem Acra among its prestigious membership of creative talent,” says Steven Kolb of the CFDA, “Fashion is an universal language of which Reem has a powerful voice. Her beautiful clothes empower women around the world and there is no better example that similarities of cultures are greater than their differences.”

The evening will include the presentation of the award by Kolb as well as the premiere of an original piece by Arab-American playwright Heather Raffo (9 Parts of Desire) in tribute to Acra and featuring famed Syrian opera singer Lubana AlQuntar.

Funds raised will in part allow Bridges of Understanding’s education programs to find a home in New York City. Later this year, a New York City public school in the Bronx will be the first school to bring YouthTalk to the area and will simultaneously pilot a new middle school curriculum, Bridges at School.

“As an educator and school principal, my role is to help students develop socially and emotionally, so that they can become thoughtful, engaged, global citizens,” says Brandon Cardet of the Urban Assembly Bronx Academy of Letters, “Bridges of Understanding’s programs allow students to participate in rich content acquisition, while also strengthening their ability to interact and build relationships with young people from another part of the world—a part of the world that may often feel foreign for our students. Together, we are providing our students with global access through bi-national exchange; skills that will position our young people for success.”

The Building Bridges Award Dinner will take place at The Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, Samuel B. & David Rose Building, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza (165 West 65th Street), New York, New York 10023. For more information, visit:


As Many as Two Million Students Could Receive Associate Degrees
through National Student Clearinghouse’s Reverse Transfer Project

Lumina Foundation Grant Awarded for Landmark Reverse Transfer Project

Herndon, Virginia, Oct. 21, 2014 – The National Student Clearinghouse™ has been awarded a Lumina Foundation grant to work on a landmark project to provide the first national automated solution for exchanging reverse transfer student data. Through this initiative as many as two million eligible students could be awarded associate degrees.

Reverse transfer of credits occurs when a four-year institution transfers student credits back to any two-year institution from which a student has transferred. It doesn’t matter if the student transferred to another associate degree granting institution first or a bachelor’s level institution, attended public or private institutions, or transferred across state lines. If eligible, the student is then awarded an associate degree.

Seventy eight percent of students transfer from a community college to a four-year institution without a degree, according to a Lumina-funded study. Eligible students will now have the opportunity to be awarded a first associate degree that reflects their educational achievement and allows them to compete more successfully in advanced higher education pursuits as well as the workforce.

Lumina seeks to encourage partnerships between community colleges and universities, thereby significantly expanding programs that award associate degrees to transfer students who complete the requirements for the associate degree while pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

“The Clearinghouse Reverse Transfer project is a major step in improving higher education outcomes, which will benefit us as a nation. More students will get the degrees they deserve. Community colleges will be recognized for the value they add to education. And – by granting more degrees — states will be better positioned to attract new business,” said Dr. Walter G. Bumphus, President and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

“Reverse transfer also boosts college completions rates. Our research shows that those transferring to a four-year institution, after having received an associate degree, are more likely to complete,” added Dr. David Pelham, Vice President, Higher Education Development and Client Relations at the Clearinghouse

The importance of reverse transfer of credits has quickly gained national recognition. Many states are developing programs, including Texas, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee. More are expected to follow suit. This past summer, Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced the Correctly Recognizing Educational Achievements to Empower (CREATE) Graduates Act legislation to encourage states to establish or expand reverse transfer programs.

For its Reverse Transfer project, the Clearinghouse is creating a standardized, streamlined, and technologically enhanced process to assist four- and two-year institutions in transferring student credits more efficiently, securely, and successfully. There will be no fees for the service. The Clearinghouse is the largest education electronic data exchange service provider, performing more than one billion exchanges annually with its over 3,600 participating institutions.

During the initial phase of the Reverse Transfer project, four-year institutions will send academic data files to the Clearinghouse whenever a student who has provided consent reaches a specified number of credit hours, thus indicating his or her possible eligibility for an associate degree. Upon receipt of the file, the Clearinghouse alerts the appropriate two-year institution(s) that the record is available for downloading. Two-year institutions can download all records from all four-year institutions to which their students have transferred, for consideration of a reverse transfer degree. The Clearinghouse is working with institutions in Missouri, Texas, and Wisconsin on phase one development.

The second phase introduces enhanced data transparency tools, such as allowing individual students to access all information on them held by the Clearinghouse and providing mechanisms to dispute the information held. Because all data is provided to the Clearinghouse directly by institutions, students will be directed to the appropriate party at his or her institution to resolve any perceived discrepancies, as required today by FERPA. Also as part of phase two, the Clearinghouse plans to roll out a nationwide data mart to enable enrollment records to be cross-checked against the student’s academic records to ensure greater data accuracy.

“We’re pleased to support this effort to help increase associate degree completion through reverse transfer,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “The data capacity of the Clearinghouse will allow institutions to assist students who have transferred from a community college in one state to a four-year institution in another state. Institutions will now have better data to conduct degree audits on students’ accumulated records and students will have recognition for achieving their associate degrees.”

Details of the project will be presented by Dr. Pelham on October 28 at the 2014 AACRAO Strategic Enrollment Management Conference in Las Vegas. Dr. Pelham will also participate in the Reverse Transfer Policy Summit, jointly sponsored by the National Student Clearinghouse and the Institute of Higher Education, University of Florida, in Orlando, Florida, on January 24 and 25. There national, state, and institution-level higher education officials from all 50 states will gather to learn about facilitating the reverse transfer of credits.

About the National Student Clearinghouse®

The National Student Clearinghouse (a nonprofit formed in 1993) is the trusted source for and leading provider of higher education verifications and electronic education record exchanges, handling more than 700 million verification requests and over 250 million education record exchanges annually. The Clearinghouse serves as a single point of contact for the collection and timely exchange of accurate and comprehensive enrollment, degree, and certificate records on behalf of its more than 3,600 participating higher education institutions, which represent 98 percent of all students in public and private U.S. institutions. The Clearinghouse also provides thousands of high schools and districts with continuing collegiate enrollment, progression, and completion statistics on their alumni.

Through its verification, electronic exchange, and reporting services, the Clearinghouse saves the education community cumulatively over $500 million dollars annually. Most Clearinghouse services are provided to colleges and universities at little or no charge, including enhanced transcript and research services, enabling institutions to redistribute limited staff and budget resources to more important student service efforts. Clearinghouse services are designed to facilitate an institution’s compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, The Higher Education Act, and other applicable laws.

In addition, the Clearinghouse provides accurate, timely enrollment and degree verifications to student loan providers, employers, student credit issuers, the U.S. Department of Education, and others who access its registry more than half a billion times annually.

For more information, visit


Provide children with autism
a safe, effective way
to practice social skillsIntroducing
Robots4Autism™ curriculum

Watch Video

Research-based. Robot delivered.
The Milo robot provides children with autism a low-pressure way to learn and practice their social skills. Milo models facial expressions and appropriate social interactions as he delivers the research-based, multi-phase Robots4Autism curriculum.Why is Robots4Autism so effective?
Children with autism are intrigued by robots and are excited to engage with them.
Robots present perfect lessons repeatedly, without frustration or anger.
Milo interacts verbally with students as well as displays video and other visuals through a connected tablet.
Offers educators a proven way to teach children with autism about social skills at a fraction of the cost.
This revolutionary robot is an exciting and affordable new tool for those working with children with ASD. Milo provides children with a safe, engaging way to practice human interaction and enhance their social skills.
To learn more about Milo and the Robots4Autism curriculum, watch a short video
featuring Dr. Pamela Rollins, Associate Professor, University of Texas-Dallas, Callier
Center for Communication Disorders.

www.robots4autism.com800-494-1206 ext. 102


Expert Panelists to Tackle How to Keep

K-8 Libraries Relevant for Teachers, Students

Nov. 4 webcast co-sponsored by Rourke Educational Media


VERO BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 20, 2014) –An expert panel of educators will analyze how using technology, understanding informational text, and improving literacy are keys to keeping K-8 school libraries relevant for teachers and students as part of a webcast set for Tuesday, Nov. 4.


“Keeping K-8 Libraries Relevant” – co-sponsored by Rourke Educational Media and School Library Journal– is scheduled from 3 to 4 p.m. EDT. The webcast panelists will examine how to:


  • entice and engage students through quality informational text and technology;
  • use audio-assisted or interactive eBooks to support all students, including English Language Learners (ELLs) and striving readers;
  • select and use technology that promotes literacy strategies for reading digital texts;
  • curate a collection to find informational text to curriculum connections for teachers; and
  • connect teachers to digital resources.


The expert panel features Dr. Sandra Agle, current coaching specialist and former longtime director of media services in The School District of Lee County (Fort Myers, Fla.), whose entire career has been focused on education and lifetime learning; and Carl A. Harvey, school librarian at North Elementary School, Noblesville, Ind., who is a well-respected industry thought leader and author, as well as past president of AASL (American Association of School Libraries).


Rounding out the panel are Jenny Meyer, curriculum and professional development specialist for Rourke Educational Media, who as a certified teacher has worked with all types of learners including those in special education and ELL programs; and Ramana Earley, national library relations manager for Rourke Educational Media, who has spent his career assisting media specialists with the selection of educational materials. Webcast moderator will be Rocco Staino, former school librarian and current columnist and contributor for School Library Journal.

To register for the webcast, visit For those who register but can’t attend the live webcast, an archived version will be made available later for on-demand viewing.

All webcast attendees will receive 500 Frequent Buyer Points from Rourke Educational Media, the equivalent of 12 library books.  To sign up for Rourke’s Frequent Buyer Points program, visit

About Rourke Educational Media
Rourke Educational Media, based in Vero Beach, Fla., helps to improve student learning through digital content, traditional print publishing, and response-to-intervention learning solutions that support the Common Core, Next Generation Science, and state and national standards.A global leader in educational technology, print, and distribution, Rourke Educational Media promotes literacy/reading, science and math for the preK-12 market, and offers interactive eBooks, assessment tools, print resources and other learning resources for the classroom, library and parental involvement.For more information, visit


Find Rourke Educational Media on Facebook

Follow Rourke Educational Media on Twitter @RourkeBooks


Special Report Finds The Detroit Free Press Only Ten Percent Reliable on ‘State of Charter Schools’

 WASHINGTON, DC –  Measuring the Reliability of the Detroit Free Press: State of Charter Schools released today by The Media Bullpen©, found the major news outlet to be only ten percent reliable in its June 22-29, 2014 series on charter schools.The Media Bullpen© – an entirely separate, editorially independent news arm of The Center for Education Reform (CER) — analyzed the 8-day, 42-article series based on its reliability, objectivity and whether the full context of the issues were presented. This special report found the Detroit Free Press failed to take “journalistic integrity and impartiality seriously.”Through its own investigation, The Media Bullpen© also discovered that the Free Press reprinted the series, intentionally omitting any counter editorials from charter school operators, parents, authorizers, and supporters that originally ran over the summer. On September 18, 2014, every legislator in Michigan received the reprint from theFree Press, which happened to be the very same day legislators opposed to charter schools introduced legislation to place a moratorium on these innovative public schools.”The fact that this series failed to present all sides of the story is troubling enough,” said Kara Kerwin, CER president. “But what’s even more concerning is that a news organization that is supposed to educate the public and lawmakers by presenting fair and balanced information unethically used this so-called ‘investigative’ series to engage in state politics in a really blatant way.”

“Contrary to the Free Press’ claims, Michigan spends $13 billion of taxpaers’ dollars on K-12 public education, yet not a single traditional public school has been closed by the Michigan Department of Education or a Michigan school district for academic reasons,” noted Kerwin. “Michigan’s charter school closure rate is twenty-two percent, while the national charter school closure rate is 15 percent. The fact that Michigan has one of the highest charter school closure rates in the nation shows that authorizers in the state take accountability and the public’s trust to educate students to their fullest potential very seriously.”

Measuring the Reliability of the Detroit Free Press: State of Charter Schools examines the most egregious statements from all articles in the Free Press series regarding achievement, authorizers and accountability, approvals, education service providers, funding and student demographics. Download or access the Special Report from The Media Bullpen©  here.


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


Education Social Media Icons Launch Edchat Interactive

Steven Anderson, Tom Whitby and Mitch Weisburgh Revolutionize online Professional Development


New York, NY (October 20, 2014) – Today Edchat Interactive announces the platform that replaces talking head webinars with an interactive, online Professional Development web experience.

Nationally recognized authors and social media icons, Steven Anderson, and Tom Whitby join with humanitarian and veteran edtech consultant Mitch Weisburgh to launch Edchat Interactive, transforming the way educators participate in live online professional development.

The inaugural Edchat Interactive web event takes place Wednesday October 22 at 8:00 PM EST. The first session will highlight Anderson and Whitby’s co-authored book, The Relevant Educator: How Connectedness Empowers Learning. Participants in this interactive session will examine how connectedness empowers educators to be better professionals, to share tips and techniques to save time, to overcome obstacles, and to develop new skills.

“There are so many incredible educators out there doing absolutely amazing things with their students,“ explains Mitch Weisburgh. “But we saw that there is no effective way to transfer these practices across the country and around the world. Live face to face PD isn’t scalable, and webinars just don’t teach the way we all learn.”

“The three of us saw an opportunity to conduct PD that is more in tune with the way we learn,” stated Steven Anderson. “Educators are far too busy to sit and watch a lengthy talking head presentation. They want to interact, reflect, and participate in their learning. We believe the Edchat Interactive model fits into the busy lives of educators. Five years ago we started the Edchat Twitter chats because we saw an opportunity for educators to direct their own development by interacting with other educators. We see a next generation opportunity today with Edchat Interactive.”

“We wanted to replicate the presence, interactivity, and social learning that takes place in great face to face PD with the scalability offered through the Internet and we believe that Edchat Interactive provides the platform for learners to be in charge of their learning,” stated Whitby. “Participants will work in small groups to discuss the challenges faced by connected educators and how we all can over come them.”

Together these education experts and founders of Edchat Interaction bring years of successful teaching and consulting experience in both the K-12 and EdTech industry.

Steven Anderson, a former teacher and Director of Instructional Technology is highly sought after for his expertise in educational technology integration and using social media for learning.


Tom Whitby, founder of Edchat Interactive, is a highly recognized expert in Social Media for Education. He served as a social media consultant for SmartBrief and a contributing Editor for SmartBlog on Education for SmartBrief. Currently, he blogs for Edutopia.


Mitch Weisburgh, co-founder of Academic Business Advisors, applies his knowledge of business, instructional design, and systems to help organizations align their products and services with academic needs and education market funding requirements so that they can scale and make a difference to kids and educators.

For more information about Edchat Interactive and to sign up for the event, please visit

About Edchat Interactive:

Edchat Interactive utilizes technology, pedagogy, and education innovators to transform education outcomes and to revolutionize the way we participate in online Professional Development.


NASBE Leaders Learn from Leaders
DENVER—Oct. 17, 2014—Inspiring words, backed up with examples of strong action, took center stage today at the National Association of State Boards of Education annual conference. Aneesh Chopra, the first U.S. chief technology officer, implored state board members to “liberate the data” created in education in order to spur greater innovation in the K–12 system.
Leaders from Georgia, Massachusetts and Oregon shared how they have implemented innovative policies to improve teacher effectiveness.
NASBE also honored Dr. Terry Holliday, Kentucky Commissioner of Education, as its Policy Leader of the Year for his leadership during the state’s the transition to new college and career readiness standards. Dr. Holliday noted that the percentage of high school students meeting readiness benchmarks rose 28 percent over the last four years.
During a breakfast session, attendees learned about the link between health and academics through a presentation from Melissa Fahrenbruch with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a panel on career readiness, business leaders urged state boards to help schools make better use of their expertise in helping students develop the skills they need to enter the work force.
Other panels covered advancing education in science, technology, engineering, and math; and improving the recruitment and preparation of school principals.
Election Results
NASBE attendees selected Kansas State Board of Education member Jim McNiece as president-elect for 2015. McNiece has 39 years of experience as a teacher, coach and principal in Kansas, serving both public and private schools. He is a former Principal of the Year and recipient of the “Excellence in Public Service” award.
Maryland board member Madhu Sidhu was selected as a NASBE board member and Southern Area Director. Oregon board member Dr. Samuel Henry was selected as a NASBE board member and Western Area Director. Michigan board member Dr. Richard Zeile was voted in as NASBE treasurer and Central Area Director. Allan Taylor will serve as Northeast Area Director.
Washington, D.C., board member Mary Lord will serve as president in 2015. This is the largest annual gathering of members of state education boards. The theme this year is
“Leaders Leaning from Leaders.”
The National Association of State Boards of Education represents America’s state and territorial boards of education. Our principal objectives are to strengthen state leadership in education policymaking; advocate equality of access to educational opportunity; promote excellence in the
education of all students; and assure responsible lay governance of education. Learn more


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Trillium Creek Primary School Named 2014 James D. MacConnell Award Winner


WASHINGTON, DC (October 15, 2014) — After reviewing over 25 exceptional projects and narrowing them down to four finalists, the jury unanimously selected Trillium Creek Primary School in Wilsonville School District (West Linn, OR) designed by Dull Olson Weekes – IBI Group Architects, as this year’s winner of the James D. MacConnell Award.  Presented at the recent Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) Annual Conference in Portland, OR, this prestigious award recognizes a comprehensive planning process that results in educational facilities that serve the community, enhances the educational program, and meets multiple goals.


Through a very authentic process that engaged students and their voices, one student shared: “I want to be the Captain of My Own Learning,” which became the basis of how the project developed.  Named for the headwaters of a creek that begins within the schoolyard, Trillium Creek embraces multiple elements of sustainable designs and unique, playful features stemming from the collaborative planning process engaging the students, district and community from the outset.


The inclusive design process challenged standard practices and shaped a beautiful setting and delightful spaces that support re-imagining education.  The slide in the library and the way the cafeteria addresses issues of health and wellness are indicative of the aspirations of contemporary education.    A strong sense of community drove the use of interior glazing and the “see-through” design of the building.   More than one of the jurors stated during deliberations: “This school makes me want to go back to school.”


Renée Alexander, AIA, Chair of the James D. MacConnell International Award Jury, remarked, “Through the collaborative and inclusive planning process, Trillium Creek emerged as a kid-friendly, delightful facility with innovative spaces for learning.”


Three other exceptional schools were selected as MacConnell Award finalists.  Marine Science Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut, Learn Regional Educational Service Center, designed by JCJ Architecture, was the result of a decade-long commitment to develop a new type of school reflecting the culture and values of the community and region and prepare their students for  higher education and/or marine-related careers.  The unique design of this learning facility supports the innovative management, curriculum and great variety of spaces for learning.


Integrus Architecture brought the diverse interests of a small community together to create its only high school – Vashon Island High School, Vashon Island School District.  As a one-high-school district, the challenge to be all things for all people in this highly educated, informed and activist community was paramount. An extensive community planning process shaped a complex yet elegant Vashon Island High School, encompassing a commitment to the arts; a culture of tolerance, respect and support; and respect for the natural environment in which it resides.


Carved into a hillside, Wilkes Elementary School, Bainbridge Island School District designed by Mahlum Architects, demonstrates exceptional use of the site with strong ties to outdoor learning spaces.  While intimate educational spaces comprise a major part of the facility, public connections are evident in the communal and social spaces. As a result of the visual and physical connectivity, Wilkes is able to address the needs of the whole child, so that powerful learning happens everywhere.


The Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) is the only professional organization whose principal purpose is improving the places where children learn.  CEFPI embraces a diverse group of professionals with one single goal – building healthy, safe, resilient and sustainable 21st Century learning spaces that enhance student and teacher performance and support culture and community vitality.  To learn more, visit


State Education Leaders Look to Peers for Help Navigating Tough Issues at Start of NASBE Annual Conference


DENVER—Oct. 16, 2014—The largest annual gathering of members of state education boards began three days of meetings discussing everything from Common Core State Standards to health policies.

One expert described it as a year of “major transitions” for state boards. Members of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) serve as unbiased brokers for education decision-making, focusing on the big picture, articulating the long-term vision and needs of public education, and making policy based on the best interests of the public and young people.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Leaders Learning from Leaders.” NASBE members noted that this is the first year of full Common Core implementation, with states scheduled to assess students under the new state standards for English and math. In addition, they expressed eagerness for congressional action on reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

In the first general session, Thomas J. Gentzel, executive director, National School Boards Association, and Kristen Amundson, executive director, NASBE, shared ideas about how these local and state boards can work together to improve schools. They both agreed there are forces that try to drive “wedges” between state and local boards and that ongoing dialogue can prevent such divisions.

Gentzel said, “School boards aren’t a special interest group; they are representing the constituents who elect them.”

Amundson believes that state boards should engage with communities in a clear strategic planning process and then present the plan they will be trying to implement.

There were suggestions about how little things can improve understanding, such as an information packet that can help local and state boards understand each other’s roles.

The meeting covered a range of issues, including early learning, the academic impacts of state health policies, and policy and practice to help turnaround schools. Steve Barnett, director, National Institute for Early Education Research, told attendees that state per-pupil spending on pre-kindergarten programs has dropped by more than $1,000 in the past decade. He urged NASBE members to push for more investments and to learn from each other about quality early learning programs.

The first David A. Kysilko Award, named after a longtime senior NASBE executive, was presented to its namesake for his service to the association. In his honor, NASBE announced a partnership with Project UNIFY®, which brings students of different abilities together to create supportive relationships. Project UNIFY operates in nearly 3,000 schools in 45 states. The project integrates Special Olympics programs into a youth-led model of student engagement and focuses on developing school communities where all youth are agents of change—fostering respect, dignity and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities.




The National Association of State Boards of Education represents America’s state and territorial boards of education. Our principal objectives are to strengthen state leadership in education policymaking; advocate equality of access to educational opportunity; promote excellence in the education of all students; and assure responsible lay governance of education. Learn more at


Triumph Learning Launches Waggle SBAC

New online learning platform addresses Common Core assessment needs

With Waggle, SBAC states can gain a greater understanding about Common Core State Standards and assessments.

New York, NY (PRWEB) October 16, 2014

Triumph Learning, producer of critically acclaimed K-12 instructional materials and interactive digital tools, announces Waggle for the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC). The SBAC assessments in Waggle include 26 different item types that students will see on the SBAC assessments including Part A and Part B problems and performance tasks.

The Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium is a state-led consortium working to develop next-generation assessments that measure student progress toward college- and career-readiness. Smarter Balance is one of two multistate consortia awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Education in 2010 to develop an assessment system aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) by the 2014-15 school year.

“With Waggle, SBAC states can gain a greater understanding about Common Core State Standards and assessments,” said Aoife Dempsey, chief technology officer of Triumph Learning. “Our personalized learning platform provides students with the practice and instruction to build the skills and critical thinking that they need for college- and career-readiness.”

Triumph Learning has also partnered with Learnosity, which offers tools and services that incorporate powerful interactive assessment into digital products quickly and easily. Learnosity is committed to designing market-leading software to allow developers to create exceptional assessment products, make teachers’ lives easier, and above all, instill a love of learning in students.

“Our partnership with Triumph Learning is a natural fit,” said Gavin Cooney, co-founder and CEO of Learnosity. “By using the Learnosity tools and services Triumph Learning is able to provide Common Core Coach content in an even wider variety of online interactive item types than are in the SBAC assessments.”

Triumph Learning recently received three Education Software Review (EDDIE) Awards for its online learning platform, Waggle. The company took home the top prize for its new learning solution in the following categories: Online English Language Arts Courseware, Online Math Courseware and Online Classroom Management System.

About Triumph Learning
Triumph Learning, LLC, is a leading educational content company and publisher of print and digital K-12 resources, standards-aligned instructional materials and effective literacy programs, serving more than 6 million students in 36,000 schools in 2013. Triumph Learning offers unique student solutions, robust teacher support, and professional development opportunities. Triumph Learning is committed to serving all students with a mix of interactive digital tools and innovative student texts with products such as Coach, Buckle Down, and Waggle. For more information, visit

About Learnosity
Learnosity is a rapidly expanding educational technology company. The company offers a set of tools and services that allow clients to incorporate powerful interactive assessment into their digital products quickly and easily. Run by a talented group of people who are passionate about transforming learning and assessment, Learnosity is committed to designing market-leading software to allow developers to create exceptional assessment products, make teachers’ lives easier, and above all, instil a love of learning in students. The Company is seeing an annual doubling of revenues, and works with some of the leading names in the Education industry. The Learnosity Toolkit was recently named the Best K-12 Enterprise Solution by the SIIA, and National Champion for Innovation in the European Business Awards. Learnosity has offices in NYC, Dublin and Sydney. For more information, visit


2014 ALAS/HMH Scholarship Recipients Named
Two Administrators Selected for $10,000 and $2,000 awards

Washington, D.C.—The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents today announced Patricia Hurrieta of Colorado as its $10,000 ALAS/HMH Scholarship recipient, and Jesus Corral of California as its $2,000 awardee.

The ALAS Scholarship, sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, recognizes Latino administrators for their leadership and assists their aspirations of advanced degrees. The scholarships, made payable to an institution of higher learning will be presented during the awards banquet at the 11th Annual ALAS Education Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, October 17, 2014.

Patricia Hurrieta is director of teaching and learning for the English Language Department at Adams County School District 14 in Commerce City, Colorado. In this position, she is overseeing the District’s initial work supporting emerging bilingual students with tailored, native-language instructional strategies. Previously, she spent eight years as principal at Godsman Elementary School and two years as an assistant principal at Lake Middle School in Denver Public Schools. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in behavioral science with minors in elementary and bilingual, multicultural education, as well as a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction. She is completing a Doctorate in Education in educational leadership and policy studies.

Originally from Durango, Mexico, Jesus Corral has more than 22 years of experience in the field of correctional education. He has worked at two of the three juvenile halls in Los Angeles County, as well as the largest probation camp facility in the county, Challenger Memorial Youth Center. In his current assignment as the senior director of educational services for the Los Angeles County Probation Department, he serves as chief liaison with the Los Angeles County Office of Education in implementing comprehensive educational reform in the juvenile camps and halls. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a master’s degree in Educational Administration and Public Administration. He is currently in his second year of study in the Educational Doctorate program at the University of Southern California.

“We are grateful for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s continued support of and investment in ALAS, and in public education,” said Veronica Rivera, executive director of ALAS. “These scholarships are vital to ensuring our educators are prepared to help our students develop to their fullest potential and develop a solid foundation for success.”


 About the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS)

The ALAS mission is to provide leadership at the national level that assures every school in America effectively serves the educational needs of all students, with an emphasis on Latino youth, by building capacity, promoting best practices, and transforming educational institutions. ALAS was established in 2003 in response to a lack of national advocacy and representation of Latino students.


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