PRODUCTS, SERVICES & EVENTS

JANUARY 17, 2017

Cantata Learning Unveils Updated Website with New Features and Functionalities

 

Website updates include new blog, additional teaching resources, the ability to stream and download music, and enhanced search capabilities

 

(Mankato, MN) January 17, 2017 – Cantata Learningan educational publisher of pre-K–3 curriculum content and music, is proud to announce the launch of their updated website. The new website now includes many new features and resources that will aid school librarians in finding relevant curriculum and finding ways to implement it in their libraries.

 

Additional resources on the website include specially built lesson plans centered around Cantata Learning stories and songs. Website users will also find research articles about literacy and the use of music and movement to teach children, as well as presentations on best practices for implementing this teaching method. Cantata Learning has made all of their songs available free to stream or download from their website, including instrumental-only audio and sheet music.

 

“We believe these upgrades to our website will enrich the library experience for both adults and students with Cantata Learning books and songs,” said General Manager Katherine Coughlan Hobson. “The additional lesson plans and research give librarians a better understanding of how these resources will improve student learning, and the advanced search features make it easier than ever to find lessons relevant to required curriculum.”

 

Teachers and librarians will find that the search capabilities on the new website have also been improved. Users can now search for lessons by subject, grade, reading level, and music genre. There is also the option to search for a complete series of books, such as “Taking Care of Myself,” “Jokes and Jingles,” and “Science Biographies.”

 

“Music is such a powerful tool to teach children and engage them with the curriculum,” said Coughlan Hobson. “Cantata Learning is proud to be able to offer teachers these new website features so that they can more easily bring this tool into their classrooms.”

 

About Cantata Learning
Cantata Learning combines engaging stories, delightful illustrations, and fun songs for a complete multi-sensory learning experience that engages every type of learner. Cantata Learning content supports the entire curriculum from language arts and social studies to STEAM. Cantata Learning books are ideal for reading levels pre-K–3 in the school and library markets. For more information, visit CantataLearning.com.

 

About Capstone
Capstone is a leading publisher of children’s books, digital solutions and services, literacy programs, and K–12 professional development resources. Capstone creates content in a variety of print, digital and media formats for school libraries, classrooms, and at-home reading. For more information, visit www.myCapstone.com.

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Lightspeed Amplifies 2,500 Classrooms at North East ISD

The Texas district chooses Topcats, Redcat Access, and Flexmikes to ‘make the connection between the teacher’s voice and the learner’s mind’  

 

(TUALATIN, Oregon) January 17, 2017 Lightspeed Technologies, the trusted provider of classroom audio systems, today announced that the large-scale classroom implementation with North East Independent School District (NEISD) in San Antonio, TX, is nearing completion of approximately 2,500 systems installed in classrooms throughout the district.

 

As part of the ongoing rollout, NEISD, which serves approximately 65,000 students, has installed Topcat ceiling-mounted all-in-one systems, Redcat Access portable speakers, and Flexmike microphones for teacher and student use.

 

“It has been a privilege to be a partner in NEISD’s innovative and straightforward approach to leveraging instructional technology,” said David Solomon, the executive vice president and general manager of Lightspeed Technologies. “The NEISD Technology Services team has been a model example of how to manage installation, implementation, and teacher participation. It is gratifying to see so many teachers embrace our solutions quickly and experience immediate benefits in the classroom.”

 

According to James Hoyer, an Assistant Director of Instructional Technology at NEISD, the district chose Lightspeed because of the instant impact to all learners in the classroom. Hoyer recalls being on a campus walk midway through the initiative, “As I opened the classroom door, the teacher was getting her next class settled at the beginning of the next period,” he said. “I could literally see the physical energy she used to raise her ‘teacher voice’ above the commotion of 27 students in transition.” He particularly recalled thinking, “Oh my goodness, we’ve got to get this teacher a Lightspeed system.”

 

To manage such a large rollout, Hoyer started by doing campus walkthroughs with administrators from each campus to determine eligible instructional settings for Lightspeed installation. He and a team of 22 instructional technology specialists then worked to verify and ensure all appropriate classrooms were accounted for and identified for installation of the new systems.

 

When it came to training teachers, Hoyer said the simplicity of the product allowed the district to offer simple advice on using the wearable Flexmike: “You plug it in, turn it on, and it works. Strap the mic around your neck and go do what you do. Now every student will hear your voice as if you were having a personal conversation with each of them directly!”

 

The district is encouraging all teachers to use their Lightspeed systems. Throughout the year, random Mondays are deemed “Mike-Up Mondays,” where district specialists and campus leadership are making special note to encourage all teachers to use the systems and provide assistance when needed to ensure the system is functioning properly. District employees also use the Lightspeed systems themselves when they gather teachers for PD events.

 

Hoyer, who has been in district-level educational technology for 17 years, concluded, “I have been involved in a number of technology initiatives, and none has been as easy to implement or as functionally reliable as Lightspeed amplification systems. It’s some of the best instructional technology money we have spent during my tenure.”

 

About Lightspeed Technologies

Established in 1990, Lightspeed Technologies is the trusted provider in classroom audio solutions. Our passion is to improve the listening and learning environment for every child. We believe strengthening the connection between teachers and students is at the heart of learning.

 

Lightspeed classroom audio systems allow teachers to speak in normal conversational tones while being assured that every child has an equal opportunity to hear all of the instruction. The no-installation, easy-to-use Redcat provides clear, low-volume, highly intelligible sound that is evenly distributed throughout the classroom so every child hears every word. The company’s audio system for small group instruction, Flexcat, gives teachers the ability to gain insights into small group interactions and learning. The Topcat has become the premier solution for new construction and renovations due to its ease of installation, wireless connectivity, and remarkable audio quality. For more information about Lightspeed classroom audio products, visit Lightspeed-tek.com.

JANUARY 13, 2017

DISCOVERY EDUCATION AND 3M SEARCH FOR AMERICA’S 2017 TOP YOUNG SCIENTIST;

CHANCE FOR $25,000 AND ONE-OF-A-KIND SUMMER MENTORSHIP WITH 3M SCIENTISTS

 

— PLUS, New Young Scientist Lab Interactive Portal Brings Science to Life in the Classroom –

“Any curious middle schooler can enter! The key is just believing in yourself … you may never know whether an idea may change a person’s life.” – Maanasa Mendu, 2016 Young Scientist Challenge Winner

 

Silver Spring, Md. and St. Paul, Minn. (January 12, 2017) – Discovery Education and 3M are proud to announce the opening of the 10th annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, the nation’s premier science competition for students in grades 5-8.  This program, offers young inventors the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be mentored by a 3M Scientist Mentor, compete for $25,000, and earn the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”

The Challenge rewards curious students who use their science acumen and creativity to solve a problem in their local, national or global community. Fourteen-year-old Maanasa Mendu won last year for her creation of HARVEST, a bio-inspired energy device that captures energy in the form of wind, rain and sun – and converts it to power.  Mendu was inspired to enter the contest through her “pretty awesome” eighth grade science teacher.

“The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge was really meaningful,” said Mendu.  “I encourage any curious middle schooler to enter, because you will not only get a chance to win amazing prizes like $25,000, but you will have a number of opportunities to enhance your scientific knowledge, creativity, and collaboration skills! The great thing about the Young Scientist Challenge is that you have an amazing 3M mentor at your side.  Overall, the Challenge allows you to broaden your horizons.”

Students in grades 5-8 can enter the challenge by creating a one to two-minute video communicating the science behind their big idea that could solve or impact an everyday problem.  Video entries will be evaluated based on their creativity, scientific knowledge, persuasiveness and delivery. Ten finalists will then be chosen to participate in an exclusive summer mentorship program, where they will work closely with and learn from a 3M scientist.

The program challenges, finalists’ thinking to develop an innovation that positively impacts them, their family, their community or the global population. The students will meet virtually with their mentors and will receive additional resources and support from 3M and Discovery Education. Each finalist will also receive a trip to the 3M Innovation Center at the company’s headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., to compete at the final event in October 2017.

All video entries must be submitted online at https://www.youngscientistlab.com/challenge no later than April 19, 2017. Videos will not be judged on production skills and may be recorded on cell phones or basic digital cameras.

 

Timed to the Challenge opening is the launch of Young Scientist Lab, an interactive portal for scientific exploration, and new home to the award-winning Young Scientist Challenge. The Lab is a one-stop STEM destination for teachers, students and parents. It offers engaging K-8 activities and standards-aligned lesson plans and interactive teaching tools to foster the next generation of scientists. There is also inspiration on how innovation can solve problems across industries: manufacturing, energy, safety, healthcare, transportation, electronics, automotive, construction and design, personal safety and more. Additionally, users of the Lab will get up-to-the-minute science news, learn about live events, participate in upcoming field trips, and read new blogs about the Young Scientist Challenge.

Over the years, the Young Scientist Challenge has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in student  prizes, paired students with world-renowned scientists and delivered much-needed science resources to millions of students, teachers and families across the country.  In 2016, entries were submitted by nearly all 50 states, from urban, suburban and rural districts. Six girls and four boys were named as the top 10 finalists.

“As an educator, whether or not you have a student selected as a finalist, the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge is about cultivating important skills to help students succeed in college, career and life,” said Francie Snyder, teacher at Manatee County Public Schools’ Oneco and Prine Elementary Schools in Manatee County, Fla. “Encouraging participation in the challenge is about inspiring young minds of all kinds, from all places, about the wonders of science and working to create a solution that could improve lives.”

For more information on the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, including submission guidelines, tips from previous winners and complete rules, please visit: https://www.youngscientistlab.com/challenge.

About 3M
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $32 billion in sales, our 90,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at www.3M.com or on Twitter @3M or @3MNewsroom.

 

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education atwww.discoveryeducation.com.

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Knovation Presents Digital Learning Awards to Top Districts Utilizing OER Application
The top 100 school districts using netTrekker, icurio applications are recognized for OER usage

CINCINNATI, OH – Jan. 12, 2017 – Knovation, provider of professionally vetted and aligned digital content and open education resources (OER), presents the Digital Learning Awards to the top 100 U.S. districts using applications netTrekker and icurio for the 2015-2016 school year. These districts use netTrekker or icurio to introduce classroom-ready digital learning resources, maximizing teaching and learning experiences to enhance their overall digital transformation.

The awards are based upon extent of usage and presented to districts that utilize the available digital learning resources to their highest potential. For the list of top award recipients, click here.

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Boys and Girls Clubs of America Awarded Spacecom STEM Award; Will Be Continuing The Virtual High School’s Space Academy Program

 

Award from Spacecom and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space Provides Scholarship Funds for After-School Version of Popular Online STEM Course

 

Boston — Jan. 13, 2017 — For the second year, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the Space Commerce Conference and Exposition (SpaceCom) have presented the Spacecom STEM Award to an organizationin recognition of its efforts to inspire students toward STEM-related careers. The 2016 award recipient is the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, which will use the award to fund club member access to an after-school version of Space Station Academy, an online course offered through The Virtual High School (VHS, Inc.).

 

The context of the announcement itself emphasized the potential of STEM and space. During The Space Commerce Conference and Exposition (SpaceCom) on November 17th, astronaut Shane Kimbrough, located on the International Space Station, made a video introduction for CASIS President and Executive Director Gregory Johnson. Kimbrough explained how CASIS supports STEM initiatives that inspire new generations of scientists, pilots and adventurers as part of its mission of managing the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. Afterward, Johnson announced the Boys and Girls Clubs of America as the award winner.

 

At NASA we continue to pave the path to the stars, but it’s our STEM advocates who will inspire the journey,” said Kimbrough, from the International Space Station.  “This year’s recipient of the SpaceCom STEM Award will be the Boys and Girls Clubs, to be put towards scholarships for students to attend Space Station Academy, an online course offered through the nonprofit, Virtual High School,” said Johnson.

 

Typically offered during school hours or for independent study at home, the Space Station Academy program was developed by VHS in collaboration with astronauts, scientists, and educators at the Association of Space Explorers and the Technical Education Research Center (TERC). The course treats students as cadets in training for their first flight to space. They undergo pre-flight training as well as a realistic simulation of a launch and complete a mission on the ISS with a focus on Earth observation and photography, cadets see views of the Earth from the ISS windows, work with the same mapping and targeting software as the ISS astronauts, and explore hundreds of dramatic photos taken by astronauts who have been aboard the ISS.

 

“The Space Station Academy sends students on a virtual mission to the International Space Station, to participate in in realistic training and on-orbit experiences, observe the Earth from Space, monitor experiments and experience the reality of life as an astronaut” said Johnson.

In early 2016, CASIS had supplied the initial funding to enable 131 Boys and Girls Club members in middle school and high school grades to enroll in the course, which takes students on a simulated mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Club members throughout Florida participated in the informal 10-module program at different points in the year.

 

“It’s been a privilege and a pleasure working with CASIS to bring our Space Station Academy course to student groups across the country,” said Carol Ribeiro, President and CEO of VHS. “We continue to enhance the course to ensure club members receive the optimal benefit from this after-school, flexible program, and we’ll continue to look for ways to make it even more beneficial in the future.”

 

About The Virtual High School

The Virtual High School (VHS Inc.) is an online learning pioneer. Since 1996, the nonprofit organization based in Massachusetts has set the standard for quality online education. VHS provides courses taught in global online classrooms for secondary school students and online professional development for educators.  The organization also meets the unique educational needs of schools through custom course development and individualized course offerings. VHS design and delivery standards are the model used by the National Education Association in their recommended standards for online learning. The organization has won numerous awards, including the Stockholm Challenge Award for Global Excellence in Information Technology, and is a three-time winner of the United States Distance Learning Association’s (USDLA) award for Excellence in Programming and Excellence in Best Practices. For more information, visit www.VHSLearning.org or call (978) 897-1900.

 

About CASIS

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) was selected by NASA in July 2011 to maximize use of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory through 2020. CASIS is dedicated to supporting and accelerating innovations and new discoveries that will enhance the health and wellbeing of people and our planet. For more information, visit www.iss-casis.org.

 

About SpaceCom

SpaceCom, the Space Commerce Conference and Exposition, is focused on the economic development of space and the application of space technologies across important industry sectors of the global economy. The event is produced in collaboration with NASA Johnson Space Center, Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB), Houston First Corporation, and National Trade Productions. For more information, visit www.spacecomexpo.com.

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DATA SHOWS SCHOOLS STRUGGLE TO MODERNIZE CLASSROOM PRACTICES

New School Of Hope Survey Shows More Than Half Of Schools Deemed Traditional By Their Teachers.

 

Gainesville, FL, January 11, 2017 – New survey findings from learning experience design firm MeTEOR Education indicate that very traditional, scripted approaches to schooling are holding back more than one-half of all US teachers and their students.

 

The Schools of Hope survey, with more than 7,000 educators responding, surprised observers with its findings that one in four educators (25%) categorized their schools as “very traditional” and twenty-nine percent (29%) indicated their schools are just beginning to integrate project-based, real-world learning approaches.

 

The K-12 Mindshift cohort has just released a new book that takes aim at some of these specific challenges.  Co-authors Rex Miller, Bill Latham, and Brian Cahill worked with a team of more than 60 career educators, a wide variety of specialists, NFP organizations, and business community leaders that led to Humanizing the Education Machine: How to Create Schools That Turn Disengaged Kids Into Inspired Learners.

 

According to Latham, “If the schools profiled in Humanizing the Education Machine taught us anything, we know that visionary leadership is both possible and effective.  The principal’s leadership is critical for unlocking the creative expertise of the classroom teacher.”

 

The negative impact of scripted, rote, “machine-like” teaching and learning styles has most recently been illustrated by Latham, Miller and the efforts of the K-12 Mindshift.  Scripted, “one size fits all” schooling characterized by testing and rote learning often led to disengaged students and demoralized teachers.  Latham, an ardent proponent of education reform and an Accredited Learning Environment Planner, notes that “The surprise was the number of educators reporting a lack of significant progress towards modern practices.”

 

Traveling across the country to identify schools that have “broken-through” the barriers of poverty and failure, the authors and their K-12 Mindshift team found schools where failure had reached such painful levels that the restraints of traditional curriculum and instruction were finally discarded.  New, and often simple strategies such as flexible scheduling and mastery-focused module-based learning empower students and account for different student needs.  The “flex-mod” scheduling process at Legacy High School in North Dakota stands as a powerful example of schools that embrace “more personalized learning, greater relevance and increased student power.”

 

The survey also found that teachers agree with Miller and Latham’s findings as more than three quarters (75%) reported a dedicated effort to move towards a more relationship-based, student-centered approach.  Actual progress lags intent, however, with fewer than 40 percent of educators reporting substantial efforts towards more flexible, project and collaborative-based learning approaches which engage and empower students.

 

“Saying the student is at the center of learning is much easier than actually designing learning experiences and learning spaces that significantly change the game,” notes Latham. “We found schools – poor, disenfranchised schools – that have done it.  They are succeeding, and that means anyone can.”

 

Moving forward, school leaders will be watching closely as the new Trump administration begins to form, with a preference towards open choice and competition among schools.  Old models of teaching and learning which result in student and teacher dissatisfaction are likely to drive highly traditional schools out of business.

 

MeTEOR Education, Bill Latham and Rex Miller will present their complete findings at the upcoming EdShift regional events in 2017.

 

About MeTEOR Education:

 

MeTEOR Education is a leading educational services partner working with education professionals to help them create High-impact Learning Experiences™. As one of the largest providers of learning spaces, including furnishings and interior design services, MeTEOR’s focus is the integration of best practices for teaching and learning to drive inquiry-based instruction, effective use of modern classrooms, and increased student achievement. To learn more visit http://meteoreducation.com.

 

JANUARY 12, 2017

SOUTH CAROLINA’S STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES DISCOVERY EDUCATION’S CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS TECHBOOKS FOR STATEWIDE USE

– Adoption of Chemistry and Physics Digital Textbooks Further Empowers South Carolina Educators to Create Modern Learning Environments –

SILVER SPRING, Md. (January 11, 2016) – Following a comprehensive evaluation, the South Carolina State Board of Education has approved the Chemistry and Physics editions of the Discovery Education Science Techbook™ for statewide use as a core instructional resource through its state adoption process. An award-winning digital textbook series, Discovery Education’s Techbooks are aligned to rigorous standards, support a comprehensive curriculum, and include professional development.  Currently, Discovery Education Techbooks are used by more than 3 million students in all 50 U.S. states and several Canadian provinces.

 

School districts across South Carolina now have the option to use State Board of Education approved instructional materials funding to purchase and integrate these digital textbooks, which are 100% aligned toSouth Carolina Academic Standards and Performance Indicators for Science, into teaching and learning.  The award-winning Discovery Education Textbook series is a fully interactive digital solution that replaces traditional textbooks.  Currently, all K-5 and 6-8 Discovery Education Science Techbook courses, as well as the Biology course for high school, have been approved as core instructional resources for classroom use statewide by the South Carolina State Board of Education.

Discovery Education’s Science Techbooks were developed by a dedicated team of expert science educators with the input of teachers and administrators from around the nation.  The Techbook’s rich, standards-aligned content includes video, audio, text and interactives with hands-on activities, as well as virtual labs that help classroom teachers differentiate instruction and create rich and engaging learning experiences for all students. Techbooks are also a substantially less expensive option per student at nearly half the cost of a traditional textbook, with additional savings derived from a lack of textbook replacement or inventory costs.

The Science Techbooks also include valuable STEM resources. STEM Project Starters encourage students to connect math, technology, and engineering to their understanding of science concepts to produce creative solutions to real world problems. In addition, the STEM In Action resources help students connect their work to STEM careers, which promotes a clearer understanding of how skills used in school can be applied to jobs “in the real world.”  Embedded formative assessment opportunities that help educators monitor student progress are embedded into each Techbook, and like all Discovery Education digital textbooks, the Science Techbooks work on any device and can be implemented in any instructional setting.

Embracing a philosophy of three-dimensional learning, Discovery Education’s Science Techbooks help educators integrate digital resources into their classroom practice.  The Model Lessons within the Science Techbooks reflect the interconnectedness of the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) and Cross-Cutting Concepts (CCC) and illustrate what these mean in practice for educators.  Students using the Physics and Chemistry Techbooks will become immersed in phenomenon-driven, relevant learning experiences, develop their own scientific explanations through a variety of activities such as exploring the overarching themes of science, learn to ask questions and make claims, and identify the cross-cutting connections between sciences.

Discovery Education understands that teacher engagement is critical to the implementation of successful learning initiatives.  Therefore, research-based professional development that supports educators as they integrate new digital content and resources into classroom instruction is available to teachers using the Techbook. The Discovery Education Community, a global community of education professionals, further connects teachers and administrators around the world with social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events that inspire innovation and facilitates idea sharing.

A study conducted by independent research firm Merola Research, LLC found that usage of the Science Techbook is associated with higher science achievement scores in South Carolina elementary school students. After one year of implementation in the state’s Rock Hill Schools, fourth grade students whose teachers used Discovery Education Science Techbook scored higher on average on the 2013 Science Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) than students whose teachers did not use Science Techbook. Additional research conducted by the Rock Hill Schools demonstrates three years of continued academic growth among 4th, 6thand 7th grade students.  To view this research, visit: http://www.discoveryeducation.com/RockHill.

“Discovery Education thanks the South Carolina State Board of Education for their rigorous review and adoption of the Chemistry and Physics editions of the Science Techbook,” said Rob Warren, Vice President of Education Partnerships at Discovery Education. “South Carolina’s educators are among the nation’s leaders in building dynamic digital learning environments, and the powerful and engaging high quality digital content recently approved by the state’s board of education further supports that mission.”

For more information on the Science Techbooks available for use in South Carolina’s classrooms, visitwww.discoveryeducation.com/SCScience.  For information on other services and resources from Discovery Education, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.

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About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

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EDmarket Releases New Study on EDtech Distribution

(Silver Spring, MD) — The Education Market Association (EDmarket) released of a newly-published study, EDtech Distribution in an Evolving Marketplace, featuring data gathered from interviews with key industry leaders conducted by researchers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The report, sponsored in part by Stages Learning Materials, provides the most current information available on the shifting nature of the K-12 market for EDtech products.

Key Findings:

 

  • Demand-side partners are on the rise including Educational Service Agencies (ESAs), Short Term Trial Innovation Hubs (i-Hubs), Vendor Marketplaces and Review Platforms.
  • 90% of EDtech leaders interviewed referenced the lack of a Single Sign-On—simple access in one place to all technology products a school is using—as a huge pain point for schools.

 

  • Enthusiasm for Open Educational Resources (OER) is increasing for teachers, principals, and district leaders, but quality OER needs to be curated so that schools are not overwhelmed with choices.

“There is no shortfall of great ideas and new EDtech products that are being developed, funded and designed, but there is not a clear understanding of how to profitably take these products to market and get them in the hands of the students and teachers who can benefit from these innovations,“ says Jim McGarry, President/CEO of EDmarket. “This study will help companies better understand the shifting nature of the K-12 market for EDtech products and to understand how to navigate this complex marketplace.”

This report is available free to EDmarket members as a membership benefit; nonmembers may purchase a copy. To obtain a preview copy for media coverage, please send an email to adayton@edmarket.org or call (800) 395-5550, ext. 1031. Full credit must be given to EDmarket. No re-sale or distribution of this copyrighted material to any party outside your organization is permitted.

 

The Education Market Association connects people who want to succeed in the education market by providing events, resources and leadership to those serving education. For more information on the Education Market Association, please visit http://www.edmarket.org.  

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SXSWedu® ANNOUNCES LAUNCH COMPETITION FINALISTS FOR 2017 PROGRAM 

Early-Stage Education Startups Pitch to Leaders in Business, Investment and Learning Sectors

Jan. 11, 2017, AUSTIN, Texas – SXSWedu® unveiled the 10 Launch competition startup finalists in the countdown to the 2017 Conference & Festival which begins March 6th. The competition, which spans two days, is one of the premier components of the event and showcases early-stage companies from around the world that are dedicated to supporting teaching and learning. Over the past five years, SXSWedu’s popular Launch competition has featured startups that have gone on to receive millions in funding and impact learning across the country.

After a rigorous selection process led by the Launch Advisory Board Committee, 10 early-stage education companies have been selected for the sixth annual Launch competition at SXSWedu. Finalists will compete in two rounds of pitching before a panel of judges and will receive guidance and mentoring from industry leaders. Through this exercise, they will learn key tips and refine their pitches each step of the way. The winner of the competition will be chosen and announced on Wednesday, March 8th at the Launch Party & Winner Announcement hosted by Walton Family Foundation.

This year’s top 10 finalists are:

  • • Adjunct Professor Link (Valparaiso, IN) 
  • • ALEX, Anyone’s Learning Experience (Washington Township, NJ) 
  • • ASD Reading (Las Vegas, NV)
  • • Cell-Ed (Palo Alto, CA)
  • • LlamaZOO (Victoria, BC)
  • Quizling – the Knowledge Game! (Canberra, Australia)
  • • Sown to Grow (Oakland, CA) 
  • • Teachers Connect (Boston, MA) 
  • • The Graide Network (Chicago, IL) 
  • • The Whether powered by Better Weekdays (Saint Louis, MO) 

“Each year the Launch competition highlights the intersection of creativity and innovation in the education sector,” said Ron Reed, Director, SXSWedu. “We are delighted to provide a platform where early-stage startups get exposed to new ideas and leaders who can support their continued development. The unique interaction between educators, administrators and business leaders at the event helps form the groundwork for these startups to build impactful companies that serve the larger learning community.” SXSWedu Conference & Festival March 6-9, 2017 Austin, Texas SXSWedu.com 

Past winners of SXSWedu Launch Program include: ELSA (2016), Zaption (2015), RobotLAB (2014), Clever (2013), BloomBoard (2012). ELSA (2016), which stands for English Language Speech Assistant, is a mobile app that uses AI to help people improve their pronunciation. The company is garnering lots of traction with international students and media. Clever (2013), a platform that simplifies and secures the integration of student data exchanged between SIS platforms and educational applications, recently partnered with Google on a Chromebook integration for learners. Lastly, BloomBoard (2012), one of the leading professional development platforms for K-12 educators, has built a number of vibrant partnerships with K- 12 schools and state departments of education.

Emcees, judges and coaches for this year’s launch program will be announced over the next few weeks. For the full program for SXSWedu, please go to the online schedule.

About SXSWedu 

The SXSWedu® Conference & Festival fosters and celebrates innovations in learning by hosting a diverse and energetic community of stakeholders across a variety of backgrounds in education. The annual four-day event affords registrants open access to engaging sessions, immersive workshops, interactive learning experiences, film screenings, early-stage startups, business opportunities and networking. Through collaboration, creativity and social action, SXSWedu empowers its global community to Connect. Discover. Impact. SXSWedu is a component of the South by Southwest® family of conferences and festivals. Join the passionate and innovative community at SXSWedu, March 6-9, 2017 in Austin, Texas. For more information, please visit http://sxswedu.com

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Collabco Pilot Program Helps Colleges and Universities Offer a Digital Campus with the myday Student Engagement App

 

 

Program provides win/win with deep discounts on the app and training and ability to provide feedback on desired features

 

Liverpool, England –  Jan. 11, 2017 – Student engagement is a key factor in retaining college students and offering cloud-based, responsive tools for students to manage and engage in their day is critical to offering the digital campus life today’s students desire. Collabco, an education development software company, helps colleges and universities with this critical task by providing myday, a personalized student dashboard that works on any device and helps build student engagement by keeping students connected to their schools.

 

After successfully launching in the United Kingdom, Collabco is now offering the myday app to schools, colleges and universities within the United States. It is seeking partnerships with three to five forward-thinking higher education institutions for a 2017 pilot program to set up best practices in implementation and to get feedback on desired features for myday. Collabco is looking for a variety of Institution sizes. The company is accepting institutions in the pilot program through May 31, 2017. Interested colleges and universities can email sales@collabco.co.uk for more information.

 

“We are looking forward to working with some future-thinking Universities and Colleges to help improvement student engagement and satisfaction levels while setting up best practices for implementation of myday,” said Collabco CEO Mark Francis. “Institutions who want to advance a digital campus environment while not being held back by the limitations of non-custom software are exactly the kind of organizations we want to talk to.”

 

The pilot is a year-long program where colleges and universities will provide students with a digital campus through the myday app at a very competitive rate. The pilot includes:

 

  • The first three months free for student and staff pilot participants. After the first 90 days of the pilot, normal subscription fees would apply should the school wish to renew
  • A 75% discount on user training and on-boarding
  • Access to developer training at preferential rates during the first 90 days
  • Free customized branding of the institutional mobile app for one year which is a $5,000 per year savings

 

“Based on a school of 20,000 students and 2,000 staff this offer equates to a 75% saving on the normal costs. A great way to introduce and test-drive your digital campus with minimum risk and cost” said Francis.

 

The institution would be expected to work closely with Collabco in partnership to give feedback on the roadmap for future product development and would participate in case studies and white papers to drive success for both parties.

 

myday is a personalized student dashboard that is customizable for schools and universities to keep students involved and organized. The intuitive platform incorporates data from a school’s LMS system, Microsoft Office 365 and student information system, delivering the information via push notification to help make the student’s experience a positive one. Most other systems such as laundry scheduling, bus routes and low balances can also be incorporated.

 

myday is available in a browser to support desktop and laptop computers, as well as via a mobile app. Students only need to sign in once to access everything within myday, including email, social media, news feeds and academic sites. Students can customize their portal to include the information the Institution displays to the end user in the most useful way to them.

 

 

About Collabco

Collabco is the creator of myday, a student dashboard used by many leading educational establishments in the UK to drive student engagement, participation and retention. Collabco delivers solutions to institutions of varying sizes and complexity. Collabco supports learning within a cloud-based “digital campus” environment. myday enables universities, colleges and schools to aggregate the information students need on a daily basis and presents it in a highly-intuitive and modern interface. For more information, visit http://www.collabco.com.

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JANUARY 11, 2017

EDtech Distribution in an Evolving Marketplace

Wednesday, January 11, 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET

Webinar Produced By:

To continue the conversation we started at the Education Business Forum in December, join the Education Market Association for an informative webinar on January 11, as we discuss the annual $8 billion growing EDtech K-12 market, focusing on the sector’s importance for the future of learning. Jim McGarry, EDmarket President/CEO, and Angela Nelson, President of Stages Learning Materials, share the findings of a landmark study conducted by researchers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Discover models and strategies employed by successful businesses in the dynamic EDtech community and position your company to compete. Enter code: EDtechVIP for a complimentary registration.

REGISTER NOW

Presenters

Jim McGarry
President/CEO
Education Market Association
Angela Nelson
President
Stages Learning Materials

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Envision and Discovery Education Announce Three Grand Prize Winning Schools of Nationwide ‘Champions for Change Contest’ — from Arkansas, California and Idaho — That Will Witness History at the 2017 Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit

 

Ballico Elementary School (Ballico, CA), Ozark Junior High School (Ozark, AR), and Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind (Gooding, ID) Earn Top Online Public Vote—

 

–Contest is Part of the ‘Chase the Race in School’ Civics Education Program,  Now Offering New Resources on the Inauguration and First 100 Days—

 

WASHINGTON, DC (January 10, 2017) – Envision, a leading experiential education organization, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, announced today the three grand prize winning schools of the Champions for Change Contest:  

 

  • Ballico Elementary School (Ballico, CA) of Ballico Cressey School District
  • Ozark Junior High School (Ozark, AR) of Ozark R-VI School District
  • Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind (Gooding, ID) of Gooding School District.

 

With more than 35,000 contest entries, these schools received the highest number of public votes to attend Envision’s Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit held in Washington, D.C. from January 18th to 22nd, 2017.  The contest is part of the Chase the Race in School program that works to engage, captivate and energize the youth voice on the importance of democracy and civic engagement. The program  includes a series of classroom resources to lead students through the major presidential election milestones.

 

One educator and five students from each of the three winning schools will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit, including the 58th Presidential Inauguration on the National Mall.  During this time, they will be inspired by world-renowned speakers such as Gen. Colin Powell, Spike Lee, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai; participate in events that will solidify their path to becoming a future leader; work to create solutions to 21st century challenges as part of a Delegation for Change; and connect with fellow civic-minded, high-aspiring students.

 

The Chase the Race online resources, videos, digital tools, and live experiences have been bringing the Election events to life through the perspective of the youth audience—from the primaries to Election Day, and from the Presidential Inauguration to the transition process.  Materials also include classroom activities that outline the history of the inauguration ceremony as well as the impact a new President has during the first 100 days of the Presidency. Additionally, through the broader Chase the Race program, twelve U.S. students had the opportunity to play an active role in the election process by serving as onsite reporters at a number of key political events.

 

“We want to congratulate the ‘Champions for Change’ winners,” said Envision’s CEO Duncan Young. “We are excited for the teachers and students from the winning schools to take part in the Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit, which is specifically designed to empower next-generation leaders to work together to form solutions for some of the nation’s most important issues.  Even though this election cycle has been divisive, we’re seeing students from all over the country- with different views and life experiences-  collaborating, working together, and listening to one another as they develop their skills as future leaders.”

 

“Discovery Education is happy to join Envision in congratulating the three winning schools and their delegates,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president of Discovery Education.  “Our partnership has focused on helping today’s students learn the importance of civic engagement through digital content that brings the political process to life in a meaningful and engaging way.  We look forward to continuing to bring students everywhere the high-quality videos, digital tools, and live experiences that help us achieve this goal.”

 

For more information, visit www.ChasetheRaceinSchool.com.

 

About Envision
Envision helps students turn their career and life aspirations into reality.  The Envision family of programs (http://www.envisionexperience.com) enable students of all ages to explore their interests and gain learning experience beyond the classroom. Since 1985, Envision programs have served more than 800,000 students from more than 145 countries, with programs designed to connect high aspiring students with the leadership, scholarship, and career skills needed to success in today’s competitive college and career landscape; providing unique, real world experiences that enable students to discover their passion, try out a future career, and positively impact the world around them.

 

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

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Reading Horizons Webcast Offers Best Practices for Dyslexia Instruction and Intervention
Dyslexia expert Donell Pons, M.Ed., MAT, will explain the process of evaluating for dyslexia and appropriate instruction and accommodations for students with print-based disabilities

 

(SALT LAKE CITY) January 10, 2017 — Reading Horizons, a multisensory curriculum used to rapidly increase reading skills, today announced its upcoming webcast, Dyslexia: Best Practices for Instruction and Intervention.

 

The webcast will take place on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. ET and will be hosted by Donell Pons, M.Ed., MAT. Pons is currently the Literacy Coordinator at American International School of Utah, sits on the board of Decoding Dyslexia Utah, and is a tutor at the University of Utah Reading Clinic. She became a dyslexia expert and advocate after her husband and two of her four children were diagnosed with the learning disability.

 

“My mission is to identify, screen, and remediate every student who struggles with reading and engage every K-12 teacher in the reading process,” said Pons.

 

In the 60-minute webcast, Pons will address the details of dyslexia evaluations as well as how to serve students with dyslexia through individualized education programs and 504 plans. Pons will also share assistive technologies and instructional strategies for struggling readers and those who meet the profile for dyslexia. The webcast will include a live Q&A to answer questions submitted by viewers.

 

“We’re committed to raising awareness of dyslexia and providing resources that can be useful for educators and families,” said Tyson Smith, the President of Reading Horizons. “We want to empower them with information that will provide support for students with dyslexia.”

Educators interested in taking part in the webcast can register at ReadingHorizons.com/webcast to receive updates and a link to access the free presentation. Following the broadcast, educators may download a certificate of attendance.

This is the third webcast in a professional learning series for educators offered by Reading Horizons and hosted by Pons. The first webcast, Teaching Reading: The Number One Job of Every Educator, can be accessed here. The second installment, Dyslexia: What Every Educator Should Know, can be viewed here.

About Reading Horizons 
For more than 30 years, Reading Horizons has been dedicated to perfecting a reading method that has proven successful for beginning readers, struggling readers, and students learning English. Reading Horizons products are research-based and use a multisensory system that provides explicit, systematic, and sequential decoding instruction. For more information, please visit ReadingHorizons.com.

 

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Follett Opens New Office in Dubai

Company Continues to Expand its Global Presence,

Offers Additional Support to International Schools

 

MCHENRY, Ill., Jan. 10, 2017 — Follett today announced it has opened a new office in Dubai, further committing its support of international schools in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions.

Specializing in global educational content, technology and services for American International, British International, and International Baccalaureate schools worldwide, Follett has unmatched experience with international schools of all curricula types. The Illinois-based company is now in nearly 150 countries.

“As the leading provider of library and classroom materials to private international schools in these important regions, our new Dubai office will provide greater service and logistical assistance to our customer base,” said Steve Siegel, Senior Vice President, Global Products and International, Follett School Solutions. “In addition, our expanded presence in the UAE also supports our engagement with regional bodies and government agencies as we grow and develop our business.”

As an example of Follett’s commitment to the region, the company recently hosted a three-day professional development workshop in Beirut, Lebanon. Customers learned how to derive more value from Follett’s products and services, and gained new skills from their peers.

“We have been very happy with the service provided by Follett,” said Mary Kelly Bello, Elementary Librarian, American School of Dubai. “They are more than a ‘book vendor’ as exemplified by the fantastic three-day workshop they sponsored for its customers across the Middle East. The new Dubai office is an exciting step forward for Follett, and we look forward to the continued relationship.”

Siegel said international schools commonly turn to Follett for:

  • Shelf-ready PreK-12 books from more than 40,000 publishers, including major U.K. and international offerings;
  • Destiny Library Manager and Destiny Resource Manager, library and resource management solutions that track, manage and analyze assets;
  • eBooks, audiobooks, and interactive digital content; and
  • Solutions that fully support Common Core, the British National Curriculum, International Baccalaureate (including PYP, MYP and DP), and other international curricula.

Last year, Follett announced it is the new, exclusive worldwide distributor for all International Baccalaureate publishing products. All content, plus a variety of additional resources hand-picked by Follett’s educational experts, are available to purchase on Titlewave, Follett’s online search and ordering tool.

For more information about Follett, visit www.follettlearning.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 Corporation follett.com

For more than 140 years, Follett has been a trusted partner to preK-12 schools, colleges and campus bookstores, taking care of the critical details that make it easier for schools to run, teachers to teach, students to learn and fans to celebrate. A leading provider of education technology, services and physical and digital content, Follett currently works with 70,000 schools and operates more than 1,250 local campus stores and 1,600 virtual stores. With the 2016 acquisition of Baker & Taylor, LLC, Follett’s reach also extends into the public library and global retail markets. Today Follett Corporation is the world’s largest single source of books, entertainment products, digital content and multi-media for libraries, schools and retailers. Follett is a $3.6 billion privately held company headquartered in Westchester, Illinois.

 

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Edgenuity Unveils UpSmart – the First Fully Adaptive Solution that Prepares Middle School Students to Succeed on State Assessments

 

Enables Students in Grade 6-8 to Demonstrate Standards Mastery through Instruction and Practice

 

Highly Personalized Tool Complements Core Curriculum

 

Scottsdale, AZ – January 10, 2017 – Edgenuity, a leading provider of online and blended learning, today announced the launch of UpSmart™, a supplemental solution designed to help all students in grades 6–8 demonstrate mastery of state standards in English language arts and math. Using a completely adaptive learning engine and technology-enhanced assessments, UpSmart provides the right level of instruction and practice on each topic for each student.

 

“Even great teachers using the best curriculum find that students struggle to transfer what they are taught in the classroom to high-stakes tests,” said Sari Factor, CEO of Edgenuity. “UpSmart is the ultimate teaching assistant. It combines the ability to reinforce skills that have just been taught in class, while returning critical standards-based performance data to teachers so they can help students in real-time.”

 

How it Works

 

UpSmart personalizes the learning environment for every student as a companion to the core curriculum or as a test-readiness program, and can be used in variety of settings – as part of a classroom-based blended learning program, in an advisory period or study skills class, or as homework.

 

UpSmart drives mastery of state standards in English language arts and math through:

 

  • Targeted assessment: Places students into the optimal level through short, targeted assessments for each topic, then continuously evaluates what each student is ready to learn, providing the right instruction and practice.
  • Adaptive practice and instruction: Features highly adaptive tasks to assess students’ mastery of skills and triggers appropriate support and instruction on each level as they progress through topics. The program continuously accumulates data about each student’s understanding and adjusts the difficulty of tasks and instruction as well as the amount of practice accordingly.
  • Just-in-time instruction: Provides scaffolds as needed to help students complete a task and develop a deeper understanding of the skill being assessed. These scaffolds include topic introduction videos, hints, answer-specific feedback, and direct instruction and modeling.
  • Motivation and rewards: Encourages students, through a dashboard and digital badging system, to monitor their own progress and celebrate their successful mastery of skills. Students accumulate trophies for productive behaviors like increasing time on task, showing persistence while working on a difficult assignment, or completing challenges.

 

Teachers can easily implement UpSmart as a supplement to their core curriculum, and the tool can be customized to align with each unique classroom scope and sequence. Teachers can assign, reorder, and prioritize topics in the way they prefer. In addition, real-time reporting on student progress helps teachers understand the skills and standards students have mastered, which students may be struggling, and how students can be grouped for re-teaching.

 

To learn more about UpSmart, please click here.

 

About Edgenuity

 

Edgenuity is a leading provider of digital curriculum and instructional services for the K-12 market. Our products are used in 9 of the top 15 U.S. school districts to help educators address their students’ most critical academic needs. School districts use Edgenuity online solutions to improve student outcomes, including Edgenuity’s Courseware™ for initial credit and credit recovery, Pathblazer® and MyPath™ for intervention and UpSmart™ to prepare for state assessments. For more information, visit Edgenuity.com.

 

 

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CONTACT
Michelle Tigani
michelle@edreform.com

Statement on Louisiana Appeals Court Ruling Regarding Charter School Funding 

WASHINGTON, DC — The following statement was issued today by Jeanne Allen, founder and CEO of the Center for Education Reform, regarding the Louisiana Appeals Court ruling in the Iberville Parish School Board vs. Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education case:

“Today’s decision by Louisiana’s First Circuit Court of Appeal which finds state funding for Type 2 Charter Schools in the state to be unconstitutional is deeply flawed and will undoubtedly be overturned by the state Supreme Court.

“As two of the court’s five judges declared in their dissent, “The majority’s tortured interpretation of article VIII, §13(B) [of the state Constitution] is not supported by the plain language of the article or any judicial interpretation.”

“The decision relies on an irrational finding that the constitution allows funding only for “city or parish school systems,” which is plainly not the case. The constitution and Louisiana law require that the state fund “all public elementary and secondary schools,” which includes charter schools, and the constitution requires only that the allocation of state funds be equitable.

“The lawsuit challenging charter school funding was brought by the teacher’s union – the Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE) – and is yet another indication of the extremes to which they will go to prevent parents from choosing the schools that will do the best job of educating their children.

“Charter schools were a godsend to the children of New Orleans, where the traditional public schools had been a basket case for years before Hurricane Katrina and collapsed completely after the storm. Charters immediately picked up where the old schools had failed, and rescued the futures of thousands of children. The LAE would take the state back to time to a when parents and children were trapped in failing schools and had no hope. It is urgent that the Louisiana Supreme Court take this case on appeal and overturn today’s ruling.”

 

About the Center for Education Reform

Founded in 1993, the Center for Education Reform aims to expand educational opportunities that lead to improved economic outcomes for all Americans — particularly our youth — ensuring that the conditions are ripe for innovation, freedom and flexibility throughout U.S. education.

JANUARY 10, 2017

We’ll be doing a show on this tomorrow at 1030a ET

South Coast Region School Districts to Adopt iCEV As Part of State Grant Program

Schools receive funds to purchase key Career and Technical Education curriculum


LUBBOCK, Texas (Nov. 11, 2015) As part of the California Career Pathways Trust Program, CEV Multimedia, a leading producer of Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculum resources, announces that the South Coast Region Agricultural Education Consortium will utilize a portion of its grant to incorporate iCEV in Agricultural Science classes. Developed by CEV Multimedia, iCEV is an online platform that produces comprehensive educational content for students and teachers.

Templeton Unified School District in San Luis Obispo County is one of 40 CTE programs throughout the state to be awarded a grant, giving students a chance to explore their interest and future career options. By allocating funds from the grant, more students within the county will be able to participate in their school’s CTE program to receive career training and certifications. Funds provide Agricultural Science teachers and students access to iCEV to support existing programs and materials currently being used.

“There are many benefits to offering certification opportunities to our students who are seeking meaningful training and relevant experience,” said Erin Gorter, program director of South Coast Region Agricultural Education Consortium. “It’s important for our students to draw connections between their work and our industry partners, and an opportunity for teachers to personalize their instruction through iCEV.”

The South Coast Region Agricultural Education Consortium will oversee allocation of grant funds for Templeton Unified School District – which has received $5.7 million. Representing 29 high schools across 21 school districts, the Consortium aims to strengthen agricultural science and mechanics curricula in high school CTE programs to increase student enrollment, graduation and work experience.

“By allocating funds from the grant, the South Coast Region is strengthening CTE curriculum and resources for students throughout the region,” said Dusty Moore, iCEV President. “As students continue to train and prepare for their desired career paths, iCEV creates an engaging learning environment that offers the materials needed for today’s highly trained workforce.”

iCEV offers practical, interactive learning with professional demonstrations to prepare students for postsecondary education and high-skill, high-demand careers. Educators can quickly monitor, track and engage students directly through the platform’s interactive lessons and assessments. Through iCEV, students can also enhance their career training by earning industry-backed certifications.

For more information, please visit www.icevonline.com.

About CEV Multimedia

With 30 years of experience, CEV specializes in providing quality Career & Technical Education (CTE) curriculum and education resources for several major subject areas: Agricultural Science and Technology, Family & Consumer Sciences, Business Education, Marketing Education, Trade and Industrial Education and Career Exploration. CEV received the U.S Chamber of Commerce’s Blue Ribbon Small Business Award in 2012 and has been honored numerous times for its excellence in content creation and exemplary business practices. In 2012, CEV introduced iCEV, an online platform revolutionizing the way CEV produces and delivers educational content. iCEV is the most comprehensive online resource for CTE educators and students. With iCEV’s learning-on-demand capabilities, video clips stream instantly to any device with Internet capabilities. Through iCEV, students can earn industry-backed certifications across multiple areas of CTE that prepare them for college and beyond. For more information, visit www.icevonline.com.

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TIGER WOODS FOUNDATION AND DISCOVERY EDUCATION LAUNCH DIGITAL PROGRAMS IN COLLEGE PREP AND STEM CAREERS

 

TGR EDU: Explore to Offer Middle and High School Classrooms

Free, Engaging, Interactive Tools and Digital Experiences

 

“We are Going to Help Millions of Kids Thrive.” – Tiger Woods.

 

SILVER SPRING, Md. [January 9, 2017] – If students had the most innovative tools to help them see the future, what would they see? Today, the Tiger Woods Foundation (TWF), TGR’s philanthropic arm, joined with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, to launch “TGR EDU: Explore,” an initiative for middle and high school students that helps navigate the college exploration process and introduces them to high-quality STEM-focused career paths for today’s jobs, and the ones that don’t exist yet.

 

Available at no cost, the standards-aligned resources of TGR EDU: Explore include newly digitized TGR Learning Labs’ curriculum, interactive student experiences, online learning activities, educator training, meaningful family discussion starters and a virtual field trip around STEM careers.
“We’ve made great strides in helping young people and their communities through education,” said Tiger Woods. “But, we need to do more. This is a global issue that impacts all of us. Discovery Education’s quality resources allow us to expand our mission worldwide. I’m excited about where we are headed, and proud to partner with Discovery Education on this transformative initiative.”

 

More details are as follows:

 

Interactive Student Experiences – Self-paced student modules and digital activities provide dynamic learning experiences to help students learn about the college admissions and financial aid processes and look closely at careers through various STEM topics.

 

Digital Lesson Plans & Activities – Lesson plans help students navigate career options, build their power skills and model many of the steps of the college admissions process. Hands-on learning activities are designed to develop students’ critical thinking skills and empower them to discover their talents and interests.

 

Educator Development – Webinars and videos aid educators in integrating these resources in their classroom instruction, walking through the various tools available and best practices for maximizing resources on the site.

 

Family Discussion Starter – Family discussion starters are designed to help facilitate important conversations at home. These resources will help students and families identify key areas to focus on during a college search, as well as outline financial aid options.

 

“As an educator, I am always looking for supplemental resources and curriculum that encourage my students to reach their potential,” said Rob Lamb, chemistry teacher at Pattonville High School in Missouri’s Pattonville School District.  “The TGR EDU: Explore materials will help my students understand how they can best prepare for college, and steer them to a successful future in STEM.”

 

This partnership signifies a broadening of scope for TWF. As part of the Foundation’s 20thanniversary celebration, Tiger Woods issued a challenge to TWF to expand its impact by improving the lives of millions of underserved youth around the world. TGR EDU: Explore fulfills this mission with its robust digital platform being offered to Discovery Education’s global network of 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students. In addition to the resources now available, a live virtual field trip is coming this year that will focus on technology and innovation, and explore STEM professionals’ careers as they discuss their various pathways.

 

“Educating students so that they are ready to meet the challenges ahead in life takes more than a textbook,” said Dr. Katherine Bihr, Vice President of Programs and Education at the Tiger Woods Foundation. “While the foundation has helped thousands of young people and teachers over the past 20 years, TWF is excited to work with Discovery Education to share our lessons and curriculum with a broader, global audience.”

 

“Discovery Education applauds the Tiger Woods Foundation’s commitment to ‘breakthrough student transformation’ and is proud to support their important work to help students see a successful future,” said Lori McFarling, Senior Vice President, Discovery Education. “The new digital resources available through TGR EDU: Explore support students as they examine the myriad of career paths that a strong foundation in STEM makes possible.”

 

To access the program’s free resources or learn more, visit: www.tgreduexplore.org.

 

About the Tiger Woods Foundation

We have humble beginnings and a simple, universal vision: we give students in need the right resources to ensure lifelong success in school, their communities and the working world. We don’t allow our students to exist with the labels or restrictions or stigmas. Instead, we empower them to exceed any and all expectations. The TGR Learning Lab unleashes the full capacity of students, preparing them for today’s jobs and the ones that don’t exist yet. Serving students in grades 5-12 in Anaheim, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Stuart, FL, our unique culture fosters development of the whole person while providing critical STEM skills and college prep. With the highest graduation rate in the US, the Earl Woods Scholar Program currently has 149 students attending universities nationwide. We’re embarking on an ambitious expansion plan, bringing our unique philosophy and educational curriculum to millions of teachers and students around the world. Find more information at tigerwoodsfoundation.org or follow us at @TWFoundation.

 

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com

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Workbench to Provide Maryland Public Libraries with Its Virtual Maker Space

 

Baltimore, MD – Jan. 9, 2017 – Edtech company Workbench and Maryland’s network of public libraries have partnered to launch an online maker space for libraries throughout the state. Libraries are increasingly becoming hubs for the maker movement – providing virtual and augmented reality tools, programmable robots and drones, computer labs and collaboration spaces for students and adults to create, learn and teach. This partnership uses Workbench’s platform to expand these communities online.

 

“The role of libraries has changed. They are no longer solely facilities for lending and borrowing books,” said Liz Sundermann-Zinger, project lead on behalf of Maryland libraries. “They are dynamic spaces where the community can connect, engage, learn and teach using technologies that build excitement and expand opportunities. Our partnership with Workbench will allow us to engage even more people in this work by offering an online community for people who like to create, while building a statewide foundation of technology literacy.”

 

The Maryland Libraries maker space provides access to activities and lessons, and lets users discuss and share projects and upload their own ideas. Combined with the libraries’ growing collections of maker technology and tools, this online maker space will build mastery and foster creativity and innovation for beginners and experts. It will also serve as a hub for educators seeking innovative technology curricula.

 

The partnership is part of Workbench’s ongoing work to connect students, educators, makers and edtech companies.  Workbench provides access to hands-on, project-based learning that turns students into makers and helps educators teach with anything.

 

“Libraries are quickly becoming ground zero for innovation,” said Chris Sleat, CEO of Workbench. “Our platform expands opportunities for making and project-based learning and we are thrilled our first library maker space is from our home state of Maryland.”

 

Workbench partners with industry leaders such as Sphero, Parrot, and Makey Makey to create online communities or “workbenches” where educators, students and fans can access and share free lessons using drones, programmable robots, 3D printers and other cutting-edge technology. Teachers use the workbenches to assign STEM lessons and track student progress. For an example of a Workbench community, visit http://sprk.sphero.com/.

 

Across the state of Maryland, over 200 Maryland public libraries make materials and technology available to Maryland’s residents, 3.7 million of whom hold library cards. Funding for this project is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

 

About Workbench

Workbench’s mission is to partner with ed-tech hardware companies to create online learning communities called workbenches.  These workbenches foster an engaged community where users can interact with the company and with one another to share programs, lessons and experiences in order to drive interactive, hands-on learning in the classroom. In addition, the fully integrated and custom learning management system within Workbench allows teachers to assign lessons and monitor student progress.

 

Workbench has partnered with some of the preeminent names in the education technology field including Sphero and SparkFun Electronics.  For more information, visit www.workbenchplatform.com.

 

About Maryland’s Public Libraries

In Maryland, there are twenty-four public library systems, one in each county and Baltimore City, with a combined collection of over 18 million items. Maryland residents may register with and borrow materials from any public library in the State, and library programs and classes are free and open to all. Over 3.7 million Marylanders, about 63% of the state population, hold library cards. The public checked out almost 59 million items in FY2015. Of these, approximately 36.3 million were items for adults, and some 22.6 million were children’s materials. For more information about statewide Maryland public library technology education initiatives, contact Liz Sundermann-Zingerlissa.sundermann@maryland.gov.

 

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission has been to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. For the past 20 years, their grant making, policy development, and research has helped libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visitwww.imls.gov.

JANUARY 9, 2017

School Choice Week

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As 2017 promises to bring new growth to educational opportunity around the country, tens of millions of parents, teachers, students, citizens and community leaders are planning celebrations during National School Choice Week.

21,392 independently-planned events will take place from January 22-28 including pep rallies, science fairs, school tours, policy forums, and rallies in more than 25 state capitals. These celebrations will be attended by tens of millions of Americans in all 50 states over just seven days.

Of the 21,392 events, 16,758 are planned by schools, 2,168 by homeschooling groups, 1,358 by chambers of commerce, and many more by individuals, along with coalitions of policy, advocacy, and education organizations. Each event reflects the community and mission of the individual event planners, focusing on themes like parent information nights, registration fairs, and workforce readiness.

“National School Choice Week provides a unique opportunity for Americans to join together on an issue that impacts all of us: educational opportunity,” said Andrew Campanella, president of National School Choice Week. “With growth each year, it’s clear that tens of millions of Americans are excited to celebrate the great education options in their communities and stand up for increased choice and access where it doesn’t yet exist.”

In seven years, National School Choice Week has grown to 142 times its initial size. The Week was first celebrated in 2011 with 150 events and grew to 406 events in 2012; 3,600 events in 2013; 5,500 events in 2014; 11,082 events in 2015; 16,745 events in 2016; and will feature 21,392 events in 2017. More people search on Google for “school choice” during National School Choice Week than any other time of the year.

National School Choice Week is a nonpartisan, nonpolitical public awareness effort. For more information, visit news.schoolchoiceweek.com or www.facebook.com/schoolchoiceweek.

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Follett Adds Array of New Content for IB World Schools

 

MCHENRY, Ill., Jan. 5, 2017 — As the exclusive worldwide distributor for International Baccalaureate (IB) publishing products, Follett announced today it has added new content from IB and a wealth of new curriculum content support from an array of other respected providers. The new IB content, plus a variety of additional resources hand-picked by Follett’s educational experts, are available to purchase on Titlewave, Follett’s online search and ordering tool, at www.titlewave.com/go/ib.

The IB offers four highly regarded programmes with more than one million IB students attending over 4,000 schools in 149 countries.

“In addition to the merchandise and content created by the IB, Follett now offers products and books from other respected publishers for the IB market, such as Oxford University Press, Hodder Education, and SMARTPREP,” said Steve Siegel, Senior Vice President, Global Products and International, Follett School Solutions.“Follett is proud to provide the top content from these providers and others – it’s the best in the industry for materials for IB World Schools.”

Content providers now include:

  • International Baccalaureate provides curricular content such as scope and sequence guides, exam and markscheme packs and workbooks, and Question bank subscription services, along with products and merchandise such as posters, brochures, and apparel.
  • Oxford University Press maintains a strong reputation with IB educators, especially those working with the Middle Years Programme (MYP) – with content covering language acquisition, mathematics, and sciences – and Diploma Programme (DP), the only DP resources developed directly with the IB. Both print and digital content are available.
  • Hodder Education materials can be found in more than 140 countries worldwide. Specifically designed for the IB market, Hodder has an extensive list of titles to support the Primary Years Programme (PYP), MYP and DP. It publishes the only series developed with the IB for MYP 4 and 5. Both print and digital content are available.
  • SMARTPREP is a provider of DP flash cards, a unique and interactive resource for the IB Diploma Programme. Each set of flashcards is ideal for individual, classroom, or group study use.
  • Cambridge University Press offers a wide range of resources for the DP written by expert IB authors and providing theory of knowledge (TOK) links throughout.
  • Pearson provides an extensive series of titles to support the Diploma Programme written by expert authors.
  • Oxford Study Courses have offered top-quality IB support for more than 26 years. OSC’s Study & Revision Guides are written by experienced IB teachers to supplement classroom teaching and course textbooks.
  • The Day is a subscription online news service for schools, which is fully aligned with the IB curriculum. Its journalists write daily articles and features for every subject organized by the IB Learner Profile and TOK, and include discussion points, follow-up activities and further reading links.

Follett also announced it has introduced “IB Starter Packs,” designed for aspiring IB World Schools or current IB schools looking to implement an additional IB programme.

For more information about Follett, visit www.follettlearning.com/. For more information about Follett’s IB publishing materials, visit www.titlewave.com/go/ib.

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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 Corporation follett.com

For more than 140 years, Follett has been a trusted partner to preK-12 schools, colleges and campus bookstores, taking care of the critical details that make it easier for schools to run, teachers to teach, students to learn and fans to celebrate. A leading provider of education technology, services and physical and digital content, Follett currently works with 70,000 schools and operates more than 1,250 local campus stores and 1,600 virtual stores. With the 2016 acquisition of Baker & Taylor, LLC, Follett’s reach also extends into the public library and global retail markets. Today Follett Corporation is the world’s largest single source of books, entertainment products, digital content and multi-media for libraries, schools and retailers. Follett is a $3.6 billion privately held company headquartered in Westchester, Illinois.

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itslearning Webinar Alert:

UDL and Personalized Learning: The Path to Deeper Learning

 

WHAT: A no cost webinar sponsored by itslearning for K-12 educators and administrators who want to gain a greater understanding of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and personalized learning and how best to incorporate them into their teaching.

 

PRESENTERS: Kathleen McClaskey, CEO and Co-Founder of Personalize Learning, LLC and Mike Jamerson, Director of Technology for Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation (IN)

 

WHEN:    Tuesday, January 24, 2 PM EST

 

REGISTER: http://info.itslearning.net/udl-change-management-january-2017.html

 

Boston, MA – Jan. 4, 2017 — The goal of education in the 21st century is not simply content mastery or use of new technologies. It is the mastery of the learning process. Education should help turn novice learners into expert learners—individuals who want to learn, who know how to learn strategically, and who, in their own highly individual and flexible ways, are well prepared for a lifetime of learning. That’s the genesis behind Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Yet many educators continue seek strategies for putting these principles in play in their own classrooms.

 

Teachers, curriculum leaders and administrators who are looking to build a framework for understanding for creating curricula that meets the needs of all learners will want to attend a free, one-hour webinar on Tuesday, January 24 at 2 PM EST.

 

Hosted by itslearning, the event will be presented by Kathleen McClaskey, CEO and Co-Founder of Personalize Learning, LLC and Co-Author of bestseller Make Learning Personal and How to Personalize Learning: A Practical Guide for Getting Started and Going Deeper. Mike Jamerson, another respected leader in UDL, will join McClaskey. Together, they will discuss how UDL creates deeper paths to learning and the importance of the teacher-learner relationship. The presentation will also highlight how Jamerson’s nationally recognized district adopted and built a successful culture around UDL.

 

Interested educators can also join the synchronous Twitter discussion using the hashtag #rethinklearning17.

 

There is no cost to join the webinar, but registration is required. For more information go to http://info.itslearning.net/udl-change-management-january-2017.html

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Workbench Partners with Clever to Offer Synchronized Single Sign In for Students to its Maker-focused Online Communities

 

Baltimore, MD – Jan. 5, 2017 –Project-based learning leader Workbench today announced a further integration with education platform Clever to expand on the single sign in to Workbench’s online communities for makers, inventors and educators and offer complete synchronization with a school’s student information system (SIS).  The partnership brings Clever’s secure sync technology to even more students and educators nationwide by allowing users to access Workbench sites with a single, secure login rather than having to remember multiple passwords, while automatically updating student, class, and teacher information from the school’s chosen SIS.

 

Workbench provides access to hands-on, project-based learning to turn students into makers and help educators teach with anything. It partners with industry leaders to create online communities or “workbenches” where educators, students or fans can access and share free lessons using drones, programmable robots, 3D printers and other cutting-edge technology. Users can also upload and share their own projects. Teachers can use the workbench to assign STEM lessons and keep track of student progress. For an example of a Workbench community using the Workbench/Clever integration, visit Sphero’s Lightning Lab at http://sprk.sphero.com/.

 

 

“Our goal at Workbench is to make it easier for the maker community to create, invent and innovate,” said Chris Sleat, CEO of Workbench. “Clever’s forward-thinking technology and seamless integration makes them a perfect partner. We are excited to offer Secure Sync technology for our communities to improve the experience for users.”

 

Clever’s Instant Login and Secure Sync are secure educational login tools that allows teachers and students to access hundreds of applications with a single login.

 

“The integration is helping us streamline setup in classrooms, leaving more time for learning and creativity with our products” said David Millage, General Manager of Education at Sphero.

 

“We love partnering with exciting, hands-on learning applications like Workbench,” said Ben Adida, vice president of Product and Engineering at Clever. “With this partnership, schools across the country will have one-click access to Workbench, which gives time back to teachers and students so they can focus on learning.”

 

About Workbench

Workbench’s mission is to partner with ed-tech hardware companies to create online learning communities called workbenches.  These workbenches foster an engaged community where users can interact with the company and with one another to share programs, lessons and experiences in order to drive interactive, hands-on learning in the classroom. In addition, the fully integrated and custom learning management system within Workbench allows teachers to assign lessons and monitor student progress.

 

Workbench has partnered with some of the preeminent names in the education technology field including Sphero, Parrot, and SparkFun Electronics.  For more information, visit www.workbenchplatform.com.

 

About Clever

Clever is the platform that powers technology in the classroom. Founded in 2012 by educators and technologists who knew that widely available educational apps could improve both teaching and learning, but that tools to deploy and secure the applications were simply unavailable. Today, one in three innovative K-12 schools in the U.S. trust Clever to secure their student data as they adopt learning apps in the classroom. In 2014, Clever won the ‘Crystal Clear’ award by the Digital Innovation Learning

Awards. It is also the trusted provider of the American Federation of Teachers, who uses Clever to secure its own ‘Share my Lesson’ platform with its teacher members. Backed by Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Partners, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, and GSV Capital, Clever currently has 100 employees and is based in San Francisco, California. For more information visit www.clever.com.

 

About Sphero

Based in Boulder, CO, Sphero fuses physical, digital, and entertainment experiences to unlock the true potential of play and inspire tomorrow’s creators. Sphero was founded by Ian Bernstein and Adam Wilson after completing Boulder Techstars in 2010. We’re now available in 80+ countries around the globe and have sold more than one million robots to date… and counting. We’re here to rattle cages, ruffle feathers, and reinvent entertainment… all for the sake of inspiration and creation. It’s time to defy convention and change the way the world thinks about play.

 

Sphero, the Sphero logo, SPRK, SPRK + and Lightning Lab are trademarks of Sphero. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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Makey Makey Partners with Workbench to Deliver a New Online Community for Educators and Fans

“Makey Makey Labz” invites users to “go beyond the banana piano” by making projects found on the site and creating and sharing their own

Baltimore, MD – Jan. 6, 2017 – Makey Makey, which produces invention kits, has partnered with project-based learning leader Workbench to launch Makey Makey Labz, an online community for students, educators and fans. The online community, powered by Workbench, is a place for users to share their Makey Makey inventions and find inspiration from other inventors around the world. Educators can access Makey Makey Labz to browse through a growing library of interactive, hands-on project guides, assign guides to students, and track student progress. To view the platform, visit: https://labz.makeymakey.com

 

“We believe anyone can be an inventor. We believe that people should have invention literacy, just as they have with math or reading. Our goal at Makey Makey is to provide tools and inspiration to help make that happen,” said David ten Have, COO of Makey Makey. “Our kits are already being used in classrooms and living rooms across the country and around the world to create amazing things. Offering an online community for inventors and educators will take this creativity to the next level. We’re excited to partner with Workbench to communicate with the world about invention literacy.”

 

For creators young and old, the Makey Makey invention kit turns any conductive material into the input device for a computer.  For example, it can turn bananas into piano keys or turn bits of Play-Doh into a video game controller. Named one of Consumer Reports’ “Best Tech Toys of 2014″ and “Best of Toy Fair 2014” by Popular Science, the Makey Makey kits come in a  classic version which includes the Makey Makey Board, USB Cable, 7 Alligator Clips, 6 Connector Wires, 20 Color Stickers and a pocket-sized GO version.

 

Workbench provides an online platform that lets users access hands-on, project-based learning to turn students into makers and help educators teach with anything. It partners with industry leaders including Makey Makey, Sphero and SparkFun to create online communities or “workbenches” where educators, students or fans access and share free lessons using circuit boards, drones, programmable robots, 3D printers and other cutting-edge technology.

 

Makey Makey Labz is free. Educators set up their class on the site and assign step-by-step guides to students. They choose from pre-written lesson plans created by Makey Makey and educators around the world, write their own lessons, or modify pre-existing lessons. The projects found on Makey Makey Labz help people learn Invention Literacy through changing the ways in which they interact with the world.

 

“Makey Makey represents project-based learning at its best,” said Chris Sleat, CEO of Workbench. “We create online spaces where inventors, makers and educators can connect with innovative companies like Makey Makey to share ideas and lessons. This partnership opens new doors for educators and parents who want to access interactive STEM lessons and provides the resources for students and fans to build and create amazing projects.”

 

About Workbench

Workbench’s mission is to partner with ed-tech hardware companies to create online learning communities called workbenches.  These workbenches foster an engaged community where users can interact with the company and with one another to share programs, lessons and experiences in order to drive interactive, hands-on learning in the classroom. In addition, the fully integrated and custom learning management system within Workbench allows teachers to assign lessons and monitor student progress.

 

Workbench has partnered with some of the preeminent names in the education technology field including Sphero, Parrot and SparkFun Electronics.  For more information, visit www.workbenchplatform.com.

 

About Makey Makey

Makey Makey is an invention kit that allows users to turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the Internet. Users can turn bananas into a piano keyboard or create a video game controller out of a notepad and dots of Play-Doh. Makey Makey started out as a project that was initiated by Eric Rosenbaum and Jay Silver at MIT Media Lab. Now it’s both a business and a project with thousands of community collaborators, with more joining the ranks of inventors every day. For more information, visit www.makeymakey.com.

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL…….JANUARY 2, 2017

Broward County’s Margate Elementary School Seeing Greater Than Expected Literacy Gains in Their First Year with Achieve3000

 

Achieve3000, the Leader in Differentiated Instruction, is helping fourth- and fifth-grade students at Margate Elementary School in Broward County, Fla., to realize accelerated reading growth and increased college and career readiness.

LAKEWOOD, N.J. – Dec. 27, 2016 – Almost a year into its partnership with Achieve3000, Margate Elementary School in Margate, Fla., is seeing greater than expected literacy gains among fourth- and fifth-grade students using KidBiz3000®, one of Achieve3000’s differentiated literacy solutions. The goal of this long-term partnership, which started in November 2015, is to accelerate learning, improve literacy and put students at the school on track for college and career success.

Margate Elementary has more than 980 students, with around 350 students in the fourth and fifth grades. Overall, the school’s fifth-graders achieved greater than expected Lexile® reading growth, with an average gain of 160 points or 2.5 times the expected growth; with typical instruction, they would have been expected to make a gain of only 58 points. Fourth-graders made gains that were 1.5 times the expected Lexile growth, with an average gain of 108 points compared to an expected gain of 72 points. In some classes, the percentage of students who showed an increase in reading skills was as high as 90 percent.

At the end of the 2015-2016 school year, Margate inducted fifth-graders who had made Lexile gains of 150 to 300 points into the school’s Achieve Hall of Fame. Eighty percent of those students went up a level on the Florida Standards Assessment, either from Level 2 (below satisfaction) to 3 (satisfactory) or from Level 3 to 4 (proficient).

“That fifth-grade implementation really showed significant growth,” said Thomas J. Schroeder, principal of Margate Elementary. “From 2014-2015 to 2015-2016, we went from 39 percent of fifth-graders being designated as proficient to 47 percent.” Additionally, Margate saw a 162 percent increase in college and career readiness among fourth- and fifth-grade students over the 2015-2016 school year.

Previously, only 11 percent of fourth- and fifth-grade students were considered “on track” for college or career readiness and meeting or exceeding grade-level literacy goals. Now, after actively participating in an Achieve3000 program during the 2015-2016 school year, that proportion has jumped to 29 percent. An additional 49, or almost half of the cohort, are now approaching those readiness standards.

“The success at Margate has been simply amazing, and it is a testament to the vision of school leadership, the dedication of the teaching staff and the hard work of the students,” said Saki Dodelson, Founder and CEO of Achieve3000. “By reaching every student at their precise reading level, Achieve3000 helps educators extend their reach and have an even greater impact on student achievement. At the same time, it ensures that students can spend more time on task and have a greater level of engagement in their reading. We are so honored to be a part of Margate’s success story.”

An indicator of KidBiz3000’s positive effects on student engagement and, consequently, student reading, is the proportion of students who logged into the literacy solution outside of school hours. Research suggests that the amount of reading that students do during out-of-school hours is an accurate predictor of their in-school academic achievement. Ninety-three percent of Margate’s grade five students used the program before or after school, while 85 percent of grade four students did the same.

One of the major differences between the two grades was that Margate Elementary’s fifth grade used KidBiz3000 in conjunction with a 1:1 laptop program. Over the summer, the school expanded that combination to its fourth and third grades. They also added a new Achieve3000 program to their line-up. “We were so in love with the program that was Achieve3000 that we bought its Smarty Ants® foundational literacy program for our K-2 grades,” said Schroeder. Every Achieve3000 solution combines differentiated instruction and blended learning to reach all students one-on-one, at their individual reading levels, and accelerate their learning gains.

“We’re working towards personalized instruction, and that’s where we really feel that Achieve helps us. Because if you have one student at a 480 Lexile level and another at 780, they can be looking at the same topics, so you can have discussions but it’s being scaffolded for their level,” said Schroeder. “I think that’s the biggest benefit, having informational text available by individual Lexile levels.”

About Achieve3000, Inc.

Achieve3000 is the leader in online differentiated literacy instruction, serving over two million students worldwide. For nearly 15 years, the company has been reaching students at their individual reading levels to deliver significant learning gains, with many making double to triple the expected gains in a single school year. Based on decades of scientific research, Achieve3000’s solutions – Smarty Ants (for grades PreK-1), KidBiz3000 (for grades 2-5), TeenBiz3000 (for grades 6-8), Empower3000 (for grades 9-12), Spark3000 (for adult learners), and eScience3000 (for grades 6-8) – support core curriculum, Response to Intervention, English language learner, and special education instructional models as well as 21st-century education initiatives. From learning how to read to workforce readiness, Achieve3000 empowers all learners to develop the college and career literacy skills needed for academic, professional, and personal success. The company is based in Lakewood, N.J. Learn more about Achieve3000 online at www.achieve3000.com or by calling 888-968-6822.