MARCH 23, 2017

Find Strategies to Create Successful Environments for Students with Special Needs in ASCD’s New Publications

ALEXANDRIA, VA—ASCD is excited to announce three new books to help educators create inclusive, supportive, and successful learning environments for students with special needs. These publications, from special education experts Toby Karten, Richard A. Villa and Jacqueline S. Thousand, and Vicki Caruana address many of the most important challenges teachers face, including how to provide responsive interventions, coordinate educational initiatives, educate all students in general education settings, and overcome the most common difficulties posed by individualized education programs (IEPs).

Building on the Strengths of Students with Special Needs: How to Move Beyond Disability Labels in the Classroomby Toby Karten

This new release, a must-have reference for busy teachers with little special education training, supplies classroom-tested instructional strategies that address the characteristics and challenges of students with special needs. Karten highlights more than a dozen common disability labels and the details relevant to each―possible causes, strengths and characteristics, classroom implications, and inclusion strategies―to walk teachers through the process of reinforcing, motivating, scaffolding, and planning for instruction that targets all learners. In addition to dozens of differentiated strategies to provide responsive interventions, this book offers valuable advice on how to prevent labels from capping student potential and encouragement to help teachers continually improve learner outcomes. Educators can also purchase Karten’s Quick Reference Guide, Inclusion Do’s Don’ts and Do Betters, for easy-to-access tips and strategies to make sure all students are supported and receive the most effective instruction. (List price: $27.95 print or $26.99 e-book; ASCD member price: $22.36 print or $21.36 e-book)

Leading an Inclusive School: Access and Success for ALL Students by Richard A. Villa and Jacqueline S. Thousand

This in-depth, research-based guide will help administrators and teachers ensure that their schools provide the federally guaranteed “least restrictive environment” for all students. In addition to a wealth of information about the history and research base of inclusive education in the United States, Villa and Thousand provide essential curricular and instructional practices for inclusive schools, a conceptual framework for coordinating educational initiatives, best practices for educating all students in general education, and vivid personal stories of students with disabilities that illustrate how these students flourish when they learn alongside their general education peers. (List price: $28.95 print or $27.99 e-book; ASCD member price: $23.16 print or $22.16 e-book)

Success with IEPs: Solving Five Common Implementation Challenges in the Classroom by Vicki Caruana

This ASCD Arias title provides teachers with practical, research-based advice for and solutions to five of the most common challenges posed by IEPs: understanding the full scope of the teacher’s role; doing the crucial prep work for IEP meetings; offering modifications and accommodations; contributing to the IEP team; and monitoring student progress. Caruana explores principles that debunk some common misconceptions about how to work with students with disabilities and offers insights, tips, and strategies that will help teachers fine-tune their practice to better meet each child’s unique needs. (List price: $12.99 print or $6.99 e-book; ASCD member price: $9.99 print or $5.99 e-book)

For additional book recommendations and titles, visit For more information about ASCD,

ASCD is a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. Comprising 125,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, and advocates from more than 128 countries—the ASCD community also includes 54 affiliate organizations. ASCD's innovative solutions promote the success of each child. To learn more about how ASCD supports educators as they learn, teach, and lead, visit


MARCH 22, 2017



Available exclusively on iTunes and in partnership with Discovery Education, the original series highlights ways for parents and kids to make good food choices


DENVER, March 22, 2017 — Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) today released “RAD Lands,” an original video series about food for kids between the ages of 7 and 10. The show is available exclusively on iTunes at The unbranded series, created in partnership with CAA Marketing and The Magic Store (the team behind the Daytime Emmy nominated series “Yo Gabba Gabba!”), features celebrity chefs, musicians and YouTube personalities, and is aimed at educating families about where their food comes from and how it is prepared.


“Chipotle is ensuring that better food is accessible to everyone,” said Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing and development officer at Chipotle. “We created ‘RAD Lands’ to educate young eaters and their parents about food in an entertaining and engaging way. We don’t advertise to kids so the show is completely unbranded. We hope that it sparks conversation and curiosity among families, ideally leading to smarter and more informed choices about food.”


The main storytelling component of “RAD Lands” is an animated segment called “The Cultivators” that follows a small rebel squad’s epic journey to help save the galaxy’s plants and animals to preserve their access to real, fresh food. The squad is challenged by a nemesis trying to homogenize food across the galaxy and turn it all into highly processed junk food.


Season one will be available exclusively on iTunes in the US and Canada for $4.99, bringing the series to a wide and digital savvy audience on the world’s premium destination for music, TV and movie content. Alternatively, families can download the first episode for free, and the remaining five episodes for $1.99 each. As part of the “RAD Lands” launch and to support school lunches, Chipotle will donate $100,000 to the Chef Ann Foundation, a non-profit organization that works with schools nationwide to provide the tools and resources they need to serve healthy, nutritious, and delicious food to every student, every day.


“RAD Lands” continues Chipotle’s tradition of producing innovative unbranded content focusing on fresh ingredients and a wholesome lifestyle. The series was created by Chipotle in partnership with CAA Marketing and The Magic Store, one of the most respected producers of children’s television and the team behind the popular television series “Yo Gabba Gabba!” The culinary and musical talent appearing in “RAD Lands” include chefs Amanda Freitag, Michael Voltaggio, and Duff Goldman, along with musicians Neon Trees, Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, Biz Markie and Portugal. The Man, among others.


“Chipotle and the ‘RAD Lands’ series are a great fit with the values of my foundation,” said Ann Cooper, founder of the Chef Ann Foundation. “We are thrilled with the generous support from Chipotle and iTunes through this program, and hope it encourages others to contribute what they can to influence future generations’ views on food.”


Discovery Education Partnership Enhances Program Benefits


To enhance the program’s reach to educators and students, Chipotle is partnering with Discovery Education, a leading provider of digital education content for K-12 classrooms, for RAD Lands In School. In this online program for elementary students launching later this spring, RAD Lands episodes will be paired with lesson plans and activities that have been developed by Discovery Education’s award winning curriculum team. These no-cost resources incorporate music, animation, and live-action segments to teach students key health and science content, including the benefits of eating fresh food, the importance of caring for our environment, and how to create healthy and tasty snacks. These engaging lessons and activities can be used as stand-alone materials or integrated into elementary health and science curriculum. Additionally, Discovery Education will host an original, nation-wide virtual field trip this fall for students and teachers that will combine food literacy experts and the RAD Lands content for a real-time learning experience. More information can be found at


“RAD Lands In School offers educators and students a way to explore where fresh food comes fromand how it can support a healthy lifestyle in a fun and compelling way,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice-president and chief marketing officer of Discovery Education. “We are pleased to partner with Chipotle on this effort to start conversations with students about health and nutrition, farming and food, through vibrant content and easy to use activities.”


“Every student should be knowledgeable about making good food choices and RAD Lands in School will help to support my health classroom lessons in a new and engaging way while also providing activities for the family at home,” said Brandon Wislocki, fifth grade teacher at Stonegate Elementary (Irvine Unified School District) in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.


“Through ‘RAD Lands,’ we wanted to create a show for families to watch together that engages and teaches without preaching,” said Scott Schultz, “Yo Gabba Gabba!” creator and executive producer at The Magic Store. “We achieved that goal through a combination of animation, music and live action throughout the series.” To learn more about Rad Lands, visit To download episodes of the show, visit



Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in an interactive style allowing people to get exactly what they want. Chipotle seeks out extraordinary ingredients that are not only fresh, but that are raised responsibly, with respect for the animals, land, and people who produce them. Chipotle prepares its food using whole, unprocessed ingredients and without the use of added colors, flavors or other additives typically found in fast food. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in Denver in 1993 and now operates more than 2,200 restaurants. For more information, visit


VariQuest Combines STEM Curriculum and 3D Printing for the K-12 Market at the ASCD Empower17 Conference

With new CREATE Packages, educators now have access to a powerful suite of hands-on projects and career-based knowledge solutions


(Brooklyn Park, MN) March 21, 2017 — Varitronics, creator of the VariQuest® suite of solutions and leading provider of visual and kinesthetic learning tools for the K-12 market, is pleased to introduce its CREATE Packages. The standards-aligned, STEM-based curriculum directly integrates with VariQuest 3D printers to bring ideas to life through hands-on learning.


Designed in partnership with STEM Fuse, a premier developer of K-12 digital curriculum, the engaging STEM:IT content is designed to fit any LMS. When used in tandem with the VariQuest Trifecta 800 3D printer, the STEM:IT curriculum provides kinesthetic enrichment to lessons in any subject. Both the printer and the curriculum will be on display at the ASCD Empower17 Conference, which begins on March 25.


The STEM:IT curriculum is unique to VariQuest. It offers educators an easy way to incorporate 3D printing into their lessons, so they aren’t just acquiring a new piece of technology for their classroom, but also a new way of engaging students in relevant, 21st-century, hands-on learning.


STEM:IT provides 80+ lessons for elementary through high school students, including skills such as coding, 3D design, and engineering. Each lesson contains a 3D printing project and anchor visual that reinforces the topic. Teacher’s Guides are included in every lesson to help teachers coach students as they explore what it means to become next-generation problem solvers. STEM:IT also aligns with applicable state and national standards, including Common Core, ISTE, Next Generation Science, 21st Century, and CTE.


The CREATE Packages, which include the Trifecta 800 3D printer and STEM:IT curriculum, were designed specifically for enhancing K-12 students’ education. The Trifecta 800 has a small footprint but a large printing capacity (it can print 3D objects as tall as a soccer ball), making it a convenient choice for classrooms. The simple software doesn’t require previous 3D-printing knowledge or experience, and the printer is one of the quietest on the market. Unlike enclosed printers, the Trifecta 800 gives students a 270º+ bird’s-eye view of their creations while they are printing.


“By bundling the curriculum [STEM:IT] with the hardware [Trifecta 800], VariQuest has provided a solution to effectively marry pedagogy with technology,” said David Grey, the CEO of Varitronics. “When students have the chance to apply their knowledge through hands-on learning activities, it shows them that what they learn in class has real-world applications, and gets them excited about taking charge of their own learning.”


VariQuest provides free resources for its customers in its online resource center. Resources include additional lesson plans, classroom activities, design templates, units of study, and professional development webinars for educators. The resource center also provides product training and tech support.


For more about these and other products, request a meeting, or simply visit


About Varitronics

Varitronics provides easy-to-use solutions that facilitate visual and kinesthetic learning. Our VariQuest® suite of products includes the award-winning Perfecta® Series Full Color Poster Printers, Trifecta™ 800 3D Printer with STEM curriculum, Design Center (powered by VariQuest Software), Cutout Maker, Poster Maker, Awards Maker, and Cold Laminator. Educators use the tools to differentiate instruction, improve student achievement, and increase student engagement. Our vision is to become a leading technology integrator for education and information purposes. For more information about VariQuest visual and kinesthetic learning tools, visit




The Center for Education Reform Releases the 17th Edition of its
National Charter School Law Rankings & Scorecard

Washington, D.C. — The Center for Education Reform (CER) today released its annual ranking of charter school laws for the states and the District of Columbia, giving fewer than a quarter of state charter school laws in the U.S. above-average grades.

“It’s a troubling commentary,” said CER founder and CEO Jeanne Allen. “Too many laws are not being implemented as envisioned when they were adopted, and it is stifling the effectiveness and growth charter schools of across the country.” CER gave above-average grades to only 25 percent of school laws—a significant drop from past rankings, which, as recently as 2014, had half the schools earning above-average marks.

In addition to reviewing the environment for chartering in each state over the past several months, CER consulted more than 100 stakeholders representing three-quarters of schools across the country.

The CER rankings evaluate whether a state’s charter law enables citizens to create schools that are independent in oversight and operations, are beyond the reach of traditional school bureaucracies, have wide latitude to operate and innovate, and provide parents with many options when deciding which schools will best meet the needs of their children. An analysis of the rankings provides further details of the charter law scorecard.

One of the key findings of the research conducted for this year’s report was the identification of what the analysis described as ‘uber authorizers’— new, or existing, regulatory bodies that are given the power to regulate and revise rules.

“The uber-authorizer provisions put state agencies in control, which is the antithesis of the core philosophical concept of charter schools: that they’re independent of such control and free to innovate, experiment, and offer opportunities that aren’t found in traditional schools,” said Allen.

In the current assessment only the District of Columbia, Arizona and Indiana earned an A. Those earning B’s were: Michigan, Minnesota, Colorado, California, Florida, New York, Massachusetts and South Carolina.

Compared to its 2015 rankings, CER lowered the grades of 13 states:  Minnesota and Michigan from A to B; Utah, Missouri and Idaho from B to C; Delaware, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Maine and Illinois form C to D; and Alaska and Iowa from D to F.

The two states that improved their rankings the most from 2015 to 2016 were Massachusetts, which jumped from 27th place to 10th and North Carolina which moved from 23rd place to 13th. Three states experienced double digit drops in their rankings; Washington fell from 28th to 40th, Delaware dropped from 21st to 31st, and Ohio went from 14th to 24th.

Joining the pack this year for the first time is Kentucky, ranked as if it were implemented as written in law. Because of uncertainty over funding and other issues, it merits only a high D.

Additional analysis can be found at and a comprehensive report is forthcoming.

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.


President & CEO of The Virtual High School Named Finalist

in 2017 EdTech Digest Awards Program


Boston — March 20, 2107 —The Virtual High School (VHS, Inc.) has even more reasons to celebrate its 20th year in education. Today, the company announced that President & CEO, Carol Ribeiro, was named a finalist in the Leadership category of the 2017 EdTech Digest Awards program.


As the President & CEO of VHS, Ribeiro is passionate about providing students with equal access to quality education, and has dedicated the last 17 years to helping shape The Virtual High School’s online learning program. She joined VHS shortly after its inception and her enthusiasm for combining technology and education to make a difference for students helped VHS successfully transition in 2001 from grant-funding to a self-sustaining nonprofit organization. Twenty years later, the collaborative has expanded from its initial cohort of 30 schools to its current participation of more than 700!


During Ribeiro’s time at VHS, the organization has won numerous awards globally, 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.

“The entire VHS team works tirelessly to provide quality online education through our student-centered global classrooms and rigorous professional development in online teaching methodologies for educators”, said Ribeiro. “It’s an incredible honor to be recognized among my peers for my role as President & CEO of this amazing organization.”

The competitive EdTech Digest awards program recognizes outstanding solutions and the best and brightest minds in the education and technology sector. In addition to the leadership category, this year’s program featured dozens of categories, including best new product or services, academic gaming solutions, hardware products, and more.


A distinguished panel of industry influencers and veterans conducted this year’s evaluation proceedings. “There is a great deal of talent and quality out there, and we’re excited to recognize these Cool Tools, leaders and trendsetters in the education technology space,” said Victor Rivero who oversees the program as editor-in-chief of EdTech Digest. “There are now thousands of startups, apps, and companies working in edtech, more than ever before. Shining a spotlight on the best and brightest, we intend to generate even more activity in this sector to continue pushing forward a slow revolution for the benefit of future generations.”


A full list of this year’s award finalists can be found at with winners being announced this week.


About The Virtual High School Inc.

The Virtual High School (VHS Inc.) is an online learning pioneer. Since 1996, the nonprofit organization 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 or call(978) 897-1900.


Edgenuity’s Math Solution Receives Department of Education Recognition


What Works Clearinghouse Validates Positive Student Results


Scottsdale, AZ – Edgenuity, a leading provider of online and blended learning, today announced that its Odyssey® Math program shows “evidence of a positive effect” according to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). The positive rating, given by DOE’s highly regarded What Works Clearinghouse, was based on a review of three studies in grades 4-8, with researchers finding medium to large evidence for its conclusion.


Odyssey® Math – the foundation for Edgenuity’s Pathblazer® − is a comprehensive math program administered in schools nationwide from grades K-8. In August 2016 Edgenuity acquired Compass Learning, which created Odyssey Math and enhanced the product under the new name, Pathblazer.


“What Works Clearinghouse is the definitive source of effective products for schools,” said Sari Factor, CEO of Edgenuity. “Their report underscores what we’ve known for a long time – the potential of education technology to benefit the teaching and learning of students. We are confident that Pathblazer – our enhanced product built on the foundation of Odyssey Math – can continue the legacy of driving strong academic outcomes.”


Pathblazer provides a customized learning path for each student that balances computational fluency, conceptual understanding, problem-solving application, and persistence in math. Across grade levels, students engage in problem solving in order to apply what they have learned in the context of real-world situations. Pathblazer engages students, builds mathematical fluency, and addresses the components of mathematics in the following ways:


  • Graduated Development: Students focus on building a solid understanding of operations with whole numbers. With this foundation, students can bridge to more complex work with rational numbers, including fractions, decimals, ratios, and percentages.
  • Teaching the Language of Math: The math curriculum offers mathematical vocabulary features that help students focus on the meaning of mathematical terms in everyday language.
  • Multiple Representations: Students develop an ability to visualize mathematical ideas by showing concepts in multiple representations.
  • Word Problem Visualization: Pathblazer offers special lessons that focus on applying key skills in word problems.
  • Real-time Data: Available for teachers via dashboard and progress reports that display information at the single-student and group level, showing school and district engagement, progress, and achievement data.


In January 2017, the What Works Clearinghouse reviewed three studies that documented the impact of Odyssey Math on the achievement of 2,768 students in 41 schools. Two of the studies met the What Works Clearinghouse’s highly sought after rating of having “evidence standards without reservations.”


To read the report, click here.


To learn more about Pathblazer, click here.


About Edgenuity

Edgenuity is a leading provider of online curriculum, supplemental material and instructional services for the K-12 market. Our solutions are in use in 9 of the top 15 school districts in the U.S., helping schools meet their academic goals and improving student outcomes. Our rigorous, standards-aligned digital content is fully flexible for use in any online or blended learning model to support a personalized learning environment – from elementary through high school. We offer honors and Advanced Placement courses, credit recovery, intervention and test readiness. Edgenuity’s Blended Learning Services, Instructional Services and Professional Development offerings, as well as intervention programs such as Edgenuity MyPath® and Pathblazer® by Compass Learning®, help students, educators and districts achieve success in their online learning programs. For more information, visit




itslearning Partners with Gooru to Become First LMS to Offer 35 Courses in Science, Mathematics, English Language Arts and Social Studies in Platform

BOSTON — March 21, 2017itslearning, an award-winning learning management system (LMS) developer announced a strategic development in its partnership with Gooru, a nonprofit organization that curates and vets open educational resources (OERs). For the first time in the K-12 market, educators can now access complete online curricula for more than 35 teacher-curated courses in core subject areas, including science, mathematics, English language arts and social studies.

The availability of courses is the most recent development of the two organizations’ strategic alliance, first announced May 2016. The first phase of the company’s joint development resulted in a seamless integration of 1.7 million of Gooru’s high-quality resources and 14,000 collections (organized sets of resources) within the itslearning platform. Tagged with quality metadata, these resources provide a vast embedded library of discoverable resources for immediate use in lesson plan. Now, a range of core courses across subject areas, each containing resources, collections, and assessments, offers educators an additional advantage.

“With all this high-quality, vetted, and standards-aligned content readily available directly within our LMS, itslearning is truly a single hub for curriculum and instruction,” said Arne Bergby, CEO of itslearning. “This vast library allows districts to reduce their reliance on expensive publisher content. In addition, itslearning allows curriculum leaders and teachers to remix and customize content collections and courses to meet the personalized instruction needs of individual students and the performance objectives of entire districts.”

Courses offer educators tremendous flexibility. They can be copied and customized to support diverse student needs and varied instructional models such as blended learning or project-based learning. Each course provides educators with content and assessments organized into units and lessons to easily share with students.

“Our two organizations are the first to create such an offer for students and educators,” said Dr. Prasad Ram, CEO of Gooru. “These teacher-curated courses have been vetted and reviewed for quality. And, as with all of our resources, they are aimed at guiding all students toward positive learning outcomes rather than focusing on certifications, specific state accreditations or summative assessments. ”

The extensive amount of resources pales to other LMS offerings.  With itslearning, educators can tap into learning objects, such as websites, interactives, educational games, questions, digital text, and videos, that have been curated and organized from over 500 sources, such as PBS, Smithsonian, NBC Learn, NASA, National Geographic, and Algebra Lab. Resources span language arts, math, social sciences, science, world languages, visual and performing arts, career technical education, health and physical education, personal finance and 21st-century skills.

“We believe the Gooru content in the itslearning library will allow our teachers to quickly find high quality content for their students,” said Michele Eaton, Director of Virtual & Blended Learning for the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township. “Currently, too much time is wasted sifting through endless pages of Google results or various social networks to find just the right content. With a few simple clicks in the itslearning library, our teachers can filter down to some of the best educational content on the web. That content can then be easily transferred to the students. Our teachers save time and find better materials because of the growing number of resources in the LMS library.”

For more information, go to


Second Avenue Learning Welcomes Director of Research and Learning Design
Cimbricz expands learning and instructional design expertise at Rochester-based interactive media company

Rochester, N.Y. (March 21, 2017) – Second Avenue Learning, a leader in the design and development of serious games and interactive learning environments for K-12, higher education and corporate markets, expands its leadership team with Director of Research and Learning Design Sandra Cimbricz, Ph.D. To support Second Avenue Learning’s initiatives to improve how learning is experienced, applied and measured, Cimbricz will partner with clients and subject matter experts to provide cutting-edge, research-based solutions.

For the full release, click here.


Schoology Expands Partner Ecosystem With BrainPOP Integration
BrainPOP offers free trial to all Schoology Enterprise customers 

NEW YORK (March 22, 2017) – Schoology, Inc., the leader in learning management systems (LMS) for education, understands that educator and student success requires an ecosystem of content partners and learning tools. Schoology’s integration with BrainPOP makes it easier to access BrainPOP content with single sign-on and embed links to content within individual educators’ curriculum.

BrainPOP’s digital, cross-curricular content is used by many Schoology Enterprise customers. The integration unifies the user experience for both students and educators. To raise awareness of the integration, BrainPOP is offering an extended free trial to all Schoology Enterprise users for the remainder of the 2016-17 school year.

For the full release, click here.

MARCH 20, 2017

New Enhancements to Discovery Education’s Digital Services Boost Educators’ Ability to Connect with Peers and Differentiate Instruction


-Social Media Platform, Math Assessment Builder Added to Discovery Education’s Digital Services; Spanish Language Text and New Reading Level Coming Soon-


Silver Spring, Md. (Mar. 20, 2016) – Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, today unveiled two new enhancements to its award-winning digital services.  These features, added to Discovery Education’s Streaming and Techbook services, support educators’ efforts to network with their peers and differentiate instruction.


Currently rolling-out to users of Discovery Education Streaming, Streaming Plus, and the Discovery Education Techbook series is the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) Online Community.  A new social media platform, embedded within Discovery Education’s services, the DEN Online Community enhances educators’ ability to connect with peers from around the world and personalize their own professional development.


The DEN Online Community helps educators explore new instructional strategies and teacher-created resources, join or create discussion groups on topics of interest to them, inspire fellow educators with advice on best practices and new approaches to teaching, and even earn badges for active participation in the Discovery Education Community.  A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing, and inspiration.


To further support educators’ efforts to differentiate math instruction, a Math Assessment Builder has also been added to the Discovery Education Math Techbook™.  This enhancement gives teachers access to an additional 8,000 technology-enhanced items from which they can create their own standards-based assessments. The feedback from these teacher-created assessments can be aggregated with other data gathered from daily use of Math Techbook to provide educators a complete picture of each student’s academic progress.  Also, to better help educators assess students’ readiness to learn new mathematical concepts and ideas, Discovery Education’s team of curriculum experts have also added two “quick check” questions at the beginning of every concept explored in the Math Techbook.


In the coming months, a Spanish text and a new Reading Level B complementing the challenging text available in Reading Level A is scheduled to be added to the Discovery Education Science Techbook for grades 3-8.  Together, these two new resources will help teachers more easily differentiate instruction while empowering students at all levels of English-proficiency to deepen their exploration of the natural world and improve their scientific vocabulary.


“Continuing my professional growth and differentiating instruction for my diverse learners are two of my biggest challenges,” said Michelle Joyce, Science Teacher at Palmetto Ridge High School from Collier County Public Schools. “The DEN Online Community, the Math Assessment Builder, as well as the new texts set to be added to the Science Techbook, are valuable tools that will help any educator address those issues.”


Containing thousands of standards-aligned resources, Discovery Education Streaming and Streaming Plushelp build students’ mastery in interpreting, understanding, and evaluating information across all subject areas. Teacher resources include lesson plans, instructional strategies, and content collections organized around themes.  Students can access images, primary source documents, podcasts, oral interviews, books on tape, articles, and videos, and more.


Discovery Education’s Techbooks, are breakthrough digital textbooks that are aligned to rigorous standards, support a comprehensive curriculum, and are updated regularly at no cost.  The series encourages all learners through interactive features that change the reading level of text and enable text to be read aloud. The Techbook series saves teachers’ time with a comprehensive design that places model lessons, student activities and assessments at their fingertips. Techbooks are platform neutral and can be used in 1:1 or 1-to-many configurations and in any instructional environment.  Currently, Discovery Education Techbooks are used by more than 3 million students in all 50 U.S. states and several Canadian provinces.


“One of the tremendous benefits of using dynamic digital resources as a core instructional resource instead of hardcopy textbooks is that digital resources can continue growing and evolving to meet the changing needs of educators and students long after they are deployed,” said Kelli Campbell, Senior Vice President, Digital Learning Officer and Managing Director, International.  “These latest enhancements demonstrate Discovery Education’s continued commitment to continuously improving the award-winning services used by the over 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students we serve each day.”


For more information about the Discovery Education Streaming service, the Discovery Education Techbook series or other services and resources from Discovery Education, visit



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



MARCH 17, 2017

NAGC Statement on the Administration’s Budget

Eight out of ten registered voters support increased federal funding for gifted and talented education


The Administration released their budget blueprint that requests 13.5 percent less funding for programs in the U.S. Department of Education.


The National Association for Gifted Children cautiously awaits the detailed budget, due for release in May, to determine the funding level for the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program. The Javits program is the only dedicated federal funding stream to support the needs of advanced learners, particularly those from underserved backgrounds.


“Voters overwhelmingly support providing federal funding for gifted and talented education,” said M. René Islas, Executive Director of the National Association for Gifted Children.


According to the Institute for Educational Advancement’s 2017 Gifted and Talented Messaging Survey, a new bi-partisan poll conducted by The Winston Group and Benenson Strategy Group, eight out of ten registered voters support increased federal funding for gifted and talented education.


“It is our hope that the Administration’s final detailed budget maintains funding for the Javits program and reflects the will of the voters,” said Islas. “Supporting gifted and talented children in our nation’s schools is part of the transformational change needed to ensure all students have the opportunity to fulfill their highest potential and personal best.”



The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is a membership organization whose mission is to support those who enhance the growth and development of gifted and talented children through education, advocacy, community building, and research.



March 22 Online


Seminar to Focus on How Educators

Can Reach Struggling Adolescent Readers



Web Seminar [free]: “It’s Not Too Late: Turning Struggling Adolescent Readers Into Successful Readers”

Learn how school districts can inspire a new level of drive and confidence in students who struggle to read.


When:                                  Wednesday, March 22|2 p.m. EDT / 11 a.m. PDT| Duration: 1 hour



  • Dr. Louisa C. Moats will lead the webinar. Dr. Moats is known for her many publications on reading instruction, the professional development of teachers, and the relationship between language, reading, and spelling. Her complete bio is available here.


  • Donice Davenport, Director of Exceptional Education, Henrico County (Va.) Public Schools.


Poor reading skills have lifelong consequences. Struggling adolescent readers are in danger of dropping out of high school, being unprepared for college, and putting their future at risk. Dr. Moats, author ofLANGUAGE! Live, an award-winning comprehensive English Language Arts curriculum for struggling adolescent readers and writers, will lend insight to educators on how to close the gap for learners, while Donice Davenport will shed light on how the program is making a difference for Henrico’s students.

Host:                     District Administration


Sponsor:              Voyager Sopris Learning



Every entrant who attends the entire webinar will be entered into a drawing for one teacher spot in the Tracking Sea Turtles in the Bahamas 2017 JASON Learning’s Argonaut Program. The winner can distribute the teacher spot to anyone within their school or district.


To Register:        No cost; visit this link


Skyward Highlights Next-Generation K-12 Solution at iCon 2017
15th Annual International Conference Honors Leader in Excellence Winners.

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (Mar. 16, 2017) – Educators, administrators, and industry experts from around the world gathered in St. Pete Beach, Florida for the 15th annual Skyward International Conference (iCon) last week. The three-day interactive event gave attendees access to the latest news in product development from the leading K-12 software provider, particularly Qmlativ, Skyward’s revolutionary SIS and ERP technology.

Based on the theme “Agents of Innovation,” attendees were given the mission of attending iCon sessions to learn how future-ready technology can be a focal point of a district’s strategy. Presentations focused on cutting costs, saving time, and doing more with information. In addition, attendees learned how Skyward’s technology can support a district’s vision, create a more productive work environment, facilitate better engagement, improve accuracy, and build a high-performing culture with professional development opportunities for staff.

To view the full release, visit


Center for Education Reform Calls Budget Proposal
“A Hopeful Sign for Student-Centered Education”

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The Center for Education Reform today described the Trump administration’s proposed budget for the U.S. Department of Education as a “more concerted effort to channel dollars more directly to the needs of children and families instead of to programs and to districts.”

CER Founder and CEO Jeanne Allen noted that not only does the budget add $1 billion in Title I funds, but provides that the money follow students to the public schools they choose to attend rather than to the districts they left. “This puts federal policy precisely where it should be – following state efforts,” she said.

“Supporting education choices for students is a natural and long overdue move by the federal government,” Allen continued. “The federal government has not kept up with the dramatic changes in the education landscape occurring at the state and local levels.”

Programs that CER has long worked to create and expand, such as Charter schools, private scholarship programs and other innovative programs, are rarely recognized or supported by federal funding streams.

CER also applauded the budget’s support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions.

HBCUs play an important role in providing opportunities and access to underserved communities.

“Overall, the budget is a significant step forward,” Allen said. “It really shows that the administration is listening and committed to reform. And is a gratifying endorsement of our work.”

In early January, CER released The First 100 Days: An Agenda for Federal Action on Education which urged the Trump Administration to launch initiatives to serve as the basis for programs that provide students with access to truly exceptional education at all levels.

“We’re delighted to see some of The First 100 Days reflected in the newly-released budget proposal, but mostly we’re encouraged and excited by the new thinking it represents for Washington,” Allen concluded.


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.






MARCH 16, 2017

Horatio Alger National Career & Technical Scholarship Program (1020 awards up to $2,500 each)

Receive up to $2,500 to pursue a career or technical certificate/degree

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Have completed high school (or earned a GED)
  • Will be enrolled in eligible program in Fall 2017
  • Exhibit a strong commitment to pursue and complete a career or technical program at an accredited non-profit post-secondary institution in the United States
  • Demonstrated critical financial need (must be eligible to receive the Federal Pell grant as determined by completion of the FAFSA)
  • Demonstrated perseverance in overcoming adversity
  • Be under the age of 30
  • Be a United States citizen

Funds may be used for tuition, fees, books and supplies.  All scholarship funds are paid directly to the institution on behalf of the recipient.

The application will open March 15 for students enrolled in a post-secondary program in Fall 2017. First application deadline is June 15.


To print a poster announcing this scholarship program please visit our School Officialpage  at



Burlington Public Schools Showcases its Social-Emotional Learning Initiative during March 29, 2017 Webinar



Webinar hosted by Aperture Education explores Burlington’s success with implemented behavioral supports for students


Charlotte N.C. (March 14, 2017) — Quality social and emotional learning (SEL) programs are a key part of teaching the whole child. Aperture Education will showcase one district’s SEL implementation during a free webinar at 2 p.m. EDT on March 29th, 2017. The webinar, “The Behavior Side of the Triangle: Making Strides to Support Social Emotional Learning” will describe how Burlington Public Schools, in Burlington, Massachusetts executed its district-wide SEL initiative. To register, visit


The webinar features Susan Astone, District RTI Director for Burlington Public Schools. She will discuss her district’s journey through the first year of its SEL implementation. After solidifying their structures and supports for the academics, the district’s next step was to develop the behavioral supports. Astone will discuss the district’s team-level approach to supporting positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), its selection of a universal SEL screener, and its adoption of Responsive Classrooms as the foundation for its SEL instruction.


Astone has also been a classroom teacher, reading specialist, special education administrator and elementary school principal.


The webinar is part of Aperture Education’s ongoing work to support educators, administers and out-of-school-time providers in implementing social-emotional learning programs within their schools. Aperture Education provides strength-based assessments and resilience-building resources to help organizations address the whole child. Its goal is to ensure members of school and out-of-school time communities, including adults, have the social and emotional skills needed to thrive.


“Research shows that quality social and emotional learning (SEL) programs have a positive impact on academics,” said Aperture Education CEO Jessica Adamson. “We want to help schools meet their SEL goals. Our webinars provide practical advice, resources and examples for anyone who is interested in implementing an SEL program at their school. We are excited to showcase Burlington Public Schools’ initiative on March 29th.”


Aperture Education offers products and services to support SEL programs, including Evo Social/Emotional, a K-8 online assessment and intervention tool. It uses the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) to help educators measure students’ SEL skills and implement individualized, classroom and school-wide strategies for instruction and intervention. Evo Social/Emotional is currently available for grades K-8; a high school version will be released for the 2017-2018 school year.



About Aperture Education

Aperture Education is a social enterprise focused on addressing the whole child. Its social-emotional learning (SEL) solution, Evo Social/Emotional, is based on the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA), a standardized, strengths-based measure of critical social and emotional skills such as personal responsibility, self-management, relationship skills and healthy decision-making. The Evo Social/Emotional online platform includes both the DESSA assessment and the DESSA-Mini, a brief, universal screener of social and emotional competence. Evo Social/Emotional also provides strategies to strengthen social and emotional skills. Version 2.0, now available, provides the data needed to help SEL program administrators measure the impact of their programs and to help educators understand students’ SEL needs and strengths. For more information, go to



Kentucky House and Senate Approve Charter School Law

Gov. Bevin expected to sign the bill into law


Contact: Joel Adams (502) 599-9745


Frankfort—Today the State Senate passed HB 520, a bill to allow charter public schools in Kentucky for the first time, by a 23-15 vote. The State House passed the bill on March 3 by a 56-39 vote. After a concurrence vote in the House, the bill will be sent to the Governor, who is expected to sign the bill into law.


Charter schools are unique public schools that are free and open to all students who wish to attend. They cannot have any entrance requirements and cannot charge tuition. Public charter schools are not religious and cannot discriminate against students on any basis. Like other public schools, public charter schools are funded by local, state and federal tax dollars based on student enrollment. Public charter schools have more flexibility and autonomy to serve individual student needs in exchange for a commitment to meet higher standards of accountability.


“As a public school teacher, I believe in the power of public education. As the chairman of the House Education Committee, I also believe that some children simply need another public school option. One size doesn’t fit all and now, more than ever, we have to make sure that we are investing in ideas that have a proven track record of success. And public charter schools do. We need only look to our neighbors to see how charter schools have been effective,” said Representative John “Bam” Carney, the sponsor of HB 520.


Indiana and Tennessee have embraced public charter schools, offering many students who have been stuck in underperforming schools a lifeline. Researchers at Stanford University found in a 2012 study that a typical student in an Indiana charter school gained more learning in a year than his or her district school peer. Those gains included a staggering month and a half of additional learning in reading and in math. In Indianapolis, the study found that a charter education equaled two months of additional learning in reading and nearly three months more in math.


In Tennessee, the results were similar. Students who attended public charter schools in 2013 got an additional 86 days of instruction in reading and 72 more days in math than their traditional school counterparts.


Studies also show that charter school students are more likely to go to and stay in college. And when they get out of school, they earn more.


Twenty-five years ago, Minnesota passed the first public charter school law in the nation. Today, 43 states and the District of Columbia have public charter school legislation on the books. Public charter schools serve nearly 3 million public school students in more than 6,700 schools. Kentucky is one of only seven states that do not currently allow charter schools.


“A great education is a game-changer. We have seen time and time again how those of limited means have used a college education as a way up and out of poverty. But those opportunities shouldn’t be available to only certain children. Every child should have access to a great school,” said Chairman Carney.


To learn more about charter public schools visit the Kentucky Charter Schools Project:




About the Kentucky Charter Schools Project

The Kentucky Charter School Project is a collaboration of organizations, parents, and others who believe that we should bring public charter schools to the Bluegrass State, including the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity – Kentucky, the Kentucky Pastors in Action Coalition, Greater Louisville Inc., the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, the Campaign for School Equity, and the National Association of Charter School Authorizers.



Follett Now Offers Haese Mathematics as

Part of International Baccalaureate Content


McHENRY, Ill., March 14, 2017 – Haese Mathematics textbooks  – a popular and rigorous series of math books for International Baccalaureate (IB) students around the world – are now available for purchase through Follett, the exclusive distributor of content and merchandise from the IB.

“Our customers are quick to let us know when there is a quality product out there, and we have had numerous requests for Haese Mathematics textbooks,” said Steve Siegel, Senior Vice President, Global Products and International, Follett School Solutions. “Haese textbooks are authored with the global student in mind, and have become a key math component of many IB programmes worldwide.”

Haese initially launched its mathematics textbooks in 2004 for IB Diploma Mathematics courses and they were greeted by an overwhelming response from teachers in 2,000 schools from more than 120 countries. Today, Haese has extended its IB mathematics series and recently released new editions of its textbooks for the IB Middle Years Programme aimed at students ages 11 to 16 (grades 6 to 10), and the IB Diploma Programme for students ages 16 to 19 (final two years of high school).

“With 40 years of publishing experience, leading us to become the most trusted name in mathematics education, Haese Mathematics is delighted to announce our partnership with Follett,” said Philippa Sawyers, Assistant Manager, Haese. “Our hope is that students who have not yet experienced mathematics presented in the ‘Haese way’ will benefit from our books being easily available from a trusted international supplier.”

Founded in 1968, the IB offers four highly regarded programmes with more than one million students attending over 4,500 schools in 152 countries.

The new Haese Mathematics content, plus a variety of other IB resources hand-picked by Follett’s educational experts, all are available to purchase on Titlewave, Follett’s online search and ordering tool, at

For more information about Follett, visit


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


About Follett Corporation |

For more than 140 years, Follett has been a trusted partner to preK-12 schools, colleges and campus stores, 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.



Achieve3000 Joins the Microsoft Education Program as an Inaugural Partner


Achieve3000, the Leader in Differentiated Instruction, will facilitate educators access to Microsofts Azure Active Directory and Microsoft will provide tools and resources to expand Achieve3000s reach and impact.

LAKEWOOD, N.J. – March 13, 2017 – Achieve3000, the leading literacy platform in blended learning programs for students in grades Pre-K through12, today announced that it is the first partner to join Microsoft’s Education GTM program. The company has become an Associate Microsoft Education Partner; its differentiated literacy solutions are now integrated with Azure, the open, flexible, enterprise-grade cloud computing service from Microsoft and are listed on the Azure Marketplace online store.

“As innovators in education, we were the first to enroll in Microsoft Education’s Go-to-Market Program. We see the potential of the program’s education resources and the Microsoft network not only for increasing awareness of how our solutions help students, but also for providing an even greater customer experience.” said Saki Dodelson, CEO and founder of Achieve3000. “Since our solutions are web based, this integration offers a lot of value to customers who want to use Azure cloud and Achieve3000.”


Achieve3000’s patented model of research-based differentiated instruction for school-aged youth as well as adult learners delivers daily instruction for nonfiction reading and writing that’s precisely tailored to each student’s Lexile reading level. The proprietary adaptive content system continually monitors each student’s reading performance and automatically increases the level of text complexity when it detects that an individual is ready for more challenge, steadily moving students up level by level.

Schools can now connect Achieve3000 to Azure Active Directory (AD), Microsoft’s multi-tenant, cloud-based directory and identity management service. Administrators are able to securely store passwords in the cloud and assign those passwords to individual users or groups for shared access. Additionally, Achieve3000 now supports the implementation and use of Microsoft’s School Data Sync online classroom automation solution, which allows schools to easily mirror data from their student information systems into Azure AD and automatically provide online classrooms and teacher and student accounts as needed.

Microsoft now supports Achieve3000’s technology development by providing access to technology resources in the Microsoft Education Partner Network (MEPN), the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN), and the Microsoft Partner Network. Microsoft will also help boost awareness of Achieve3000 solutions by featuring the company on the Microsoft Education Solutions webpage. Additionally, Achieve3000 will be eligible to be showcased on the Microsoft Education Partner Yammer Page for the private Yammer community and in Microsoft’s “What’s APPening” brochure, both the printed and downloadable electronic versions.

“Our inclusion in the Microsoft Education GTM program shows that Microsoft is confident in the efficacy of Achieve3000 solutions and our potential to go much, much further,” said Dodelson. “We’re just in the first stages of this new partnership and we’re looking forward to seeing where it will take us.”

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 or by calling 888-968-6822.




West’s Education Group Obtains xPress Roster API Certification


SchoolMessenger solutions earn first commercial provider certification


SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif., March 14, 2017—The Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community, made up of thousands of schools, regional, state, and government education agencies and marketplace providers across the globe, is pleased to present its first xPress Roster API Certification to West Corporation and its Education group, best known for its SchoolMessenger solutions for school communications and community engagement.


In education, the “roster” is a fundamental building block of instruction, assessment, and administration. Typically, a roster specifies the teacher and the list of students in a program, class, or section of an organization and they enable teachers to manage and teach students as members of a group. Ideally, teachers can create a class roster once, identify the required software assets that the class may access, and update the software applications with the roster information easily and automatically. The expanding ecosystem of educational services (devices, applications, and websites) that students must access on a daily basis requires a simplified roster exchange solution.


“We are proud to embrace the SIF industry standard and to be the first commercial provider certified on the xPress Roster API integration, which is needed to support our West Education Ecosystem partners and our strategic state education agency clients who rely on it for secure student roster data integration”, commented Robert Iskander, Executive Vice President and General Manager of West’s Education group.


xPress Roster has already been implemented by applications supporting thousands of students providing fast, simple and secure integration between a district’s student information system and multiple applications, including assessment, instructional and administrative applications.   Developers are finding that utilization of existing tools to develop to this standardized API now takes hours to implement – not days or months. West’s extensive education marketplace footprint and leading work in supporting entire district information ecosystems makes it the ideal organization to lead the way in becoming the first provider xPress Roster API certified as both a standardized provider and consumer of data for applications.


“The entire A4L Community celebrated West having the first xPress Roster Certified application at our Annual Meetings last week directly adjacent to West’s Santa Cruz-area offices”, states Dr. Larry L Fruth II, Executive Director and CEO A4L Community. “Not many organizations are willing to be on the ‘bleeding’ and not just ‘cutting’ edge of technical marketplace support for their customers. We are proud that West has committed to push the envelope and lead in the usage of standardized APIs for application rostering.”


More information on xPress Roster and Student Records Exchange APIs visit:




About the Access 4 Learning Community

The Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community, previously the SIF Association, is a unique, non-profit collaboration composed of schools, districts, local authorities, states, US and International Ministries of Education, software vendors and consultants who collectively address all aspects of learning information management and access to support learning.  The A4L Community is “Powered by SIF” specifications as its major technical tool to allow for this management and access simply, securely and in a scalable, standard way regardless of the platform hosting those applications. The Access 4 Learning Community has united these education technology end users and providers in an unprecedented effort to give teachers more time to do what they do best: teach. For further information, visit


About West’s Education Group

West’s Education group, part of West Corporation, is the trusted provider of SchoolMessenger solutions. Thousands of schools and other educational institutions in all 50 states and Canada depend on SchoolMessenger products and services. From notifications and websites to custom mobile apps and social media, school leaders have relied on the SchoolMessenger platform since 1999 to engage with their communities in multiple languages and on any device. To learn more about SchoolMessenger products, or call 888.527.5225.


Boxlight’s Labdisc Named Finalist in 2017 EdTech Digest Awards


Innovative Portable STEM Lab Continues To Win Acclaim As Emerging

Technology Solution Transforming STEM Education


Lawrenceville, GA – March 15, 2017 – For the fourth time in as many months, Boxlight (, a global leader in digital teaching and learning technologies, has received recognition from the educational technology industry. This most recent honor, being named a Cool Tool finalist in the Emerging Technology Solution category for the 2017EdTech Digest Awards program, is for its Labdisc portable STEM lab.


The decidedly competitive awards program recognizes outstanding solutions and the best and brightest minds in the education and technology sector each year. In addition to the emerging technology solution category, this year’s program featured dozens of categories, including best new product or services, academic gaming solutions, hardware products and more.


Previously, the Boxlight Labdisc received a “Best in Show” award from Tech & Learning magazine at this year’s TCEA conference in Austin, Tex. In December, the company’s MimioTeach™ portable interactive whiteboard was named “best upgraded product” in the 34th annual Awards of Excellence program sponsored by Tech & Learning magazine. Additionally, the company’s groundbreaking MimioMobile™ collaboration and assessment app with MimioStudio™ classroom software made District Administration magazine’s 2016 Readers’ Choice Top 100 program and was also named a finalist in the 2017 BETT program—the industry’s largest global conference, held in London in late January.


“This honor from EdTech Digest is one more affirmation that Boxlight is leading the digital learning transformation by offering the interactive technologies in the classroom,” said Mark Elliott, CEO of Boxlight. “We continue to be poised to set the K-12 education market on a trajectory that successfully engages young learners and enhances the effectiveness of K-12 educators by providing them with the stand-out products that truly will change the face of education as we know it for this next generation of learners.”


Boxlight’s Labdisc is an all-in-one, complete lab that fits in the palm of your hand. It is the only solution for K-12 science with up to 14 wireless sensors built into a single compact device – revolutionizing science in terms of convenience, cost and portability.


The Labdisc’s large number of high quality sensors and portability opens the door for inquiry-based learning vital in STEM education in a variety of science fields, including biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science and geography.


The Boxlight Labdisc also includes unique features like the GPS probe, which harnesses GPS to plot sensor values as a layer over a Google map, and it offers a robust battery that supplies over 150 hours of battery life. This helps students connect and engage with science anywhere. It also serves as an ideal solution for long-term experiments such as plant growth, weather change and pollution.


A distinguished panel of industry influencers and veterans conducted this year’s evaluation proceedings. “There is a great deal of talent and quality out there, and we’re excited to recognize these Cool Tools, leaders and trendsetters in the education technology space,” said Victor Rivero who oversees the program as editor-in-chief of EdTech Digest. “There are now thousands of startups, apps and companies working in edtech, more than ever before. Shining a spotlight on the best and brightest, we intend to generate even more activity in this sector to continue pushing forward a slow revolution for the benefit of future generations.”


A full list of this year’s award finalists can be found at, and winners will be announced March 20.


About Boxlight Corp.

The merging of Mimio and Boxlight Corp. has resulted in an expansive selection of premier digital classroom technology solutions designed for every K-12 classroom. The company is integrating Boxlight’s manufacturing of patented, award-winning interactive classroom technology and Mimio’s advanced line of classroom hardware and software solutions to create the most complete line of progressive, integrated classroom technologies available on the market today.


For more information about the extensive product offerings of the companies, please visit You can also follow us on Twitter @boxlightinc or like us on Facebook at


itslearning Named a Finalist in 2017 EdTech Digest Awards Program


Innovative Learning Management System Continues to Win Acclaim for

Transforming Teaching and Learning


Boston — March 15, 2017 — For the fourth time in as many months, itslearning (, a leading global LMS (learning management system) provider, announced today that it has again been honored with an industry accolade. This most recent honor is being name a Cool Tool finalist for the 2017 EdTech Digest Awards program. Last month, itslearning received a ‘Best in Show’ award from Tech & Learning magazine at this year’s TCEA Conference and Exhibition. In December, the personalized learning solution was recognized for making a significant impact in education by K12 leaders who named it to District Administration magazine’s “Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products for 2016.” In addition, the cloud-based learning platform was named “best upgraded product” in the 34th annual Awards of Excellence program sponsored by Tech & Learning magazine.


The Cool Tool awards recognize the best new, emerging and established technology solutions for education. This year’s program featured dozens of categories, including best new products or services, mobile solutions, academic gaming solutions, emerging technologies, professional development solutions, and more. itslearning is an honoree in the learning management system (LMS) category.


Designed specifically for the K-12 market, the itslearning LMS helps educators improve teaching, student engagement, and district performance with several unique advantages. As an all-in-one learning hub, it connects teachers, students, parents, and district leaders to everything they need for success with just one login. The personalized learning platform offers nearly 2 million free and open education resources along with more than 14,000 collections in the itslearning library. In addition to the searchable resources, 35 peer-reviewed courses are also available With 360° curriculum management, it connects course and lesson plans to resources, standards and assessments, offering a fully integrated teaching and learning system. And, being 100 percent mobile, it keeps everyone connected all the time, on any device.


“Our company is honored to be recognized by EdTech Digest as it acknowledges our position as a leader in offering onelearning platform that connects all stakeholders – administrators, teachers, students and parents,” said Arne Bergby, CEO, itslearning.


A distinguished panel of industry influencers and veterans conducted this year’s evaluation proceedings. “There is a great deal of talent and quality out there, and we’re excited to recognize these Cool Tools, leaders and trendsetters in the education technology space,” said Victor Rivero who oversees the program as editor-in-chief of EdTech Digest. “There are now thousands of startups, apps, and companies working in edtech, more than ever before. Shining a spotlight on the best and brightest, we intend to generate even more activity in this sector to continue pushing forward a slow revolution for the benefit of future generations.”


A full list of this year’s award finalists can be found at Winners will be announced March 20.


About itslearning

Established in 1999, itslearning is headquartered in Boston, MA and Bergen, Norway. With seven million global users, and a passion for improving teaching and learning through technology, itslearning lives at the heart of education.  For more information, visit


Lexia Learning Releases White Paper on Choosing Educational Technology

That Helps, Rather than Hinders, Students’ Intrinsic Motivation


Proliferation of New Educational Technology Products Raises Question of Which Features

Support and Spur an Inherent Love of Learning


BOSTON (March 16, 2017) – While student motivation in traditional classroom settings is well researched, materials on how digital tools are enhancing or undermining this essential factor for academic performance are harder to find. Lexia Learning, a Rosetta Stone Inc. (NYSE: RST) Company, has released a white paper titled, “The Importance of Intrinsic Student Motivation When Selecting Educational Technologies,” which not only focuses on well-researched methods of supporting students’ intrinsic motivation but also applies that research to educational technologies.


The white paper, written by Dr. Elizabeth R. Kazakoff, senior researcher at Lexia, highlights the three characteristics identified in Self Determination Theory that are critical to spark intrinsic motivation in learners:

  • Autonomy
  • Competence
  • Relatedness to the contexts of a student’s community, personal goals, interests, or knowledge base


Dr. Kazakoff points out that instead of cultivating these three pillars of motivation, many people, including some educators and makers of educational technologies, opt for external motivators, such as rewards and punishments, to drive desired behaviors. “Although these solutions may be effective in the short-term, they often undermine students’ long-term intrinsic motivation for learning,” she writes. That is especially problematic since intrinsic motivation supports lifelong learning, a vital competency in the 21st century workplace.


To help educators ensure that intrinsic motivation is supported by the educational technology solutions they choose, the white paper shares questions—based on the three characteristics identified in Self Determination Theory of autonomy, competence and relatedness/meaning—that educators can ask themselves. For example, Dr. Kazakoff recommends that educators ask, “Is it clear to the student that their work online relates to their world offline?” because students’ perception of the value that a digital program’s goal will add to their lives can greatly influence the degree to which those students will be motivated.


“Educational technology products should be rich in elements that support intrinsic motivation, rather than ‘chocolate covered broccoli’ which simply sweetens the learning with a sugar coating of badges and stickers,” said Dr. Kazakoff. “Remembering the questions shared, as well as the tenets from Self Determination Theory of competence, autonomy, and relatedness, can help parents and educators navigate the digital landscape to find educational technology tools that are engaging and effective in generating authentic learning, not just providing edutainment.”


A complimentary copy of “The Importance of Intrinsic Student Motivation When Selecting Educational Technologies” can be downloaded at

#  #  #


About Lexia Learning

Lexia Learning, a division of Rosetta Stone, empowers educators through adaptive assessment and personalized instruction. For more than 30 years, the company has been on the leading edge of research and product development as it relates to student reading skills. With a robust offering that includes solutions for differentiated instruction, personalized learning and assessment, Lexia Learning provides educators with the tools to intensify and accelerate literacy skills development for students of all abilities. For more information, visit


About Rosetta StoneRosetta Stone Inc. (NYSE: RST) is dedicated to changing people’s lives through the power of language and literacy education. The company’s innovative digital solutions drive positive learning outcomes for the inspired learner at home or in schools and workplaces around the world.

Founded in 1992, Rosetta Stone’s language division uses cloud-based solutions to help all types of learners read, write, and speak more than 30 languages. Lexia Learning, Rosetta Stone’s literacy education division, was founded more than 30 years ago and is a leader in the literacy education space. Today, Lexia helps students build fundamental reading skills through its rigorously researched, independently evaluated, and widely respected instruction and assessment programs.

For more information, visit  “Rosetta Stone” is a registered trademark or trademark of Rosetta Stone Ltd. in the United States and other countries.


Voyager Sopris Learning Unveils Impressive Lineup of Leading Experts for Online Literacy Symposium


DALLAS—March 16, 2017Voyager Sopris Learning® has announced the presenter lineup—headed by leading experts in literacy education—for its 2017 Literacy Symposium, a premier two-day online professional development event this summer. With the goal of linking practitioners to the most current research in the science of literacy, the two sessions will be held from10:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. EDT on consecutive Mondays, July 10 and July 17.


The online symposium is designed to provide attendees an opportunity to explore the relationships among language, reading, and writing, while connecting theory to practice in sessions conducted by leading literacy education experts. As Jeffrey A. Elliott, President of Voyager Sopris Learning explained, this year’s symposium includes a depth of expertise designed to give attendees unique and actionable content and information.


“Collectively, these respected individuals offer an amazing level of talent and experience,” Elliott said. “Attendees will learn from the best and the brightest in literacy education, and they’ll walk away with new strategies they can apply right away to the challenges they face.”


This year’s presenters include the following experts:

  • Louisa Moats, Ed.D., nationally recognized authority on literacy education and renowned author, researcher, speaker, consultant, and trainer
  • Louise Spear-Swerling, Ph.D., Professor of Special Education, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Mark Seidenberg, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, University of Wisconsin—Madison
  • Mark Shinn, Ph.D., Professor of School Psychology, National Louis University
  • Kate Cain, D.Phil., Professor of Psychology, Lancaster University (United Kingdom)
  • Andrew Biemiller, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Jackman Institute of Child Study, University of Toronto
  • Hugh Catts, Ph.D., Professor and Director, School of Communication Science and Disorders, Florida State University

The early-bird registration price is $119 per person, or $139 beginning April 16. Attendees can either join the sessions in real time and interact with the presenters and other participants, or they can access the recordings anytime over the next year. The cost of registration includes a full year of access to the session recordings from the date of the event.


To register, visit


For more information on Voyager Sopris Learning, visit


About Voyager Sopris Learning

Voyager Sopris Learning® is an education partner committed to unlocking the full potential of every teacher and every student. We believe that the best way to meet and exceed standards in education is to address the underlying systems of teaching and learning, and to nurture those systems at their most fundamental levels. Our suite of instructional and service solutions is based not only in research but also in real classroom evidence, ensuring that every solution is as easy-to-implement and teacher-friendly as it is effective. We offer a variety of digital and blended instructional tools and assessments, as well as professional development and school improvement services, all of which are designed to help every teacher deliver nothing short of the highest-quality instruction to every student. Voyager Sopris Learning is a business unit of Cambium Learning® Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABCD), based in Dallas, Texas.


For more information, visit, or find us on Facebook or Twitter.


About Cambium Learning Group, Inc.

Cambium Learning® Group is a leading educational solutions and services company committed to helping all students reach their full potential. Cambium Learning accomplishes this goal by providing evidence-based solutions and expert professional services to empower educators and raise the achievement levels of all students. The company’s award-winning brands include: Learning A-Z® (, ExploreLearning® (, Kurzweil Education®(, and Voyager Sopris Learning® (, which, together, provide breakthrough technology solutions for students and teachers—including best-in-class intervention and supplemental instructional programs; gold-standard professional development; valid and reliable assessments; and products that enable access to learning for all students.  Cambium Learning Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABCD), is based in Dallas, Texas. For more information, visit




MARCH 14, 2017

Austin ISD Is Personalizing Literacy Instruction with District-Wide Implementation of myON

85,000 students now have access to thousands of digital books


(MINNEAPOLIS, MN) March 14, 2017 – myON, leading provider of personalized literacy solutions for the K-12 marketplace, today announced its partnership with Austin Independent School District (AISD) on a new district-wide implementation for 2017. The district chose myON to help fulfill its mission of providing access to multicultural, published books to support the practice of structured independent reading for all students.


Since an initial pilot program last summer, AISD has expanded its use of the myON personalized digital literacy environment to include access for every administrator and all students within their district.


“When we tested myON as part of AISD’s 5-Book Summer Dive to reduce the summer slide in literacy, we were working to close the literacy gap with enjoyable and easily accessible summer reading options for our students,” said Dr. Paul Cruz, the superintendent of AISD. “Now we’re increasing our efforts to provide equal reading access for every student in the Austin School District. In this way, we believe we are on the path to true literacy equity.”


AISD’s collaboration with myON aims to empower their students with access to more than 7,000 fiction and nonfiction books. The books can be accessed online or via an offline mobile app from school or home, and offer a vast variety of texts for all interests and reading levels.


“We are excited to expand our partnership with Austin ISD,” said Todd Brekhus, the CEO of myON. “Our digital literacy environment is customizing the reading experience for thousands of students and teachers by providing personalized, independent reading in a structured, measurable format.”


The myON implementation is a component of AISD’s overall literacy initiative to ensure students are reading on or above grade level. Dr. Cruz and his administrators are working to provide expanded access to books, professional development, and community engagement support as part of the district’s overall literacy efforts.


“If we can offer our kids easy access, not only to the books they need, but to the books they’re really interested in, I know we’ll continue to inspire their passion for reading, which will in turn improve their overall academic achievement,” concluded Dr. Cruz.


AISD includes 130 school communities within its district. Its mission to provide a comprehensive educational experience that is high-quality, challenging, and inspiring to all students has helped rank many of AISD’s high schools among the best in the nation, according to U.S News and World Report.


About myON

myON develops personalized literacy solutions that create collaborative learning opportunities for students worldwide. myON expands the classroom for teachers and students by providing unlimited access to a collection of more than 13,000 enhanced digital books with multimedia supports, daily news articles, real-time assessments, and close reading tools. myON empowers students and teachers with real-time, actionable data—number and type of books and articles opened and read, time spent reading, results of regular benchmark assessments, and more—based on embedded Lexile® assessments that measure student reading growth and engagement. With myON, every student experiences the benefits of personalized literacy instruction. For more information, please visit


51Talk Offers U.S. Educators the Opportunity to Teach English from Home

The English-learning company is seeking teachers in the United States and Canada to provide English language instruction to Chinese students over the internet


(New York, New York) March 14, 2017 — 51Talk, the award-winning online English-learning platform, is pleased to offer educators in the United States and Canada the opportunity to teach English to students overseas, all from the comfort of their own homes. Through 51Talk’s new American Academy program, English-speaking educators have the ability to interact with and teach students in China using a live, one-on-one video conferencing platform.

51Talk’s vision is to make English-language education accessible, enjoyable, and affordable to millions of learners in China. Founded in 2011, 51Talk now has more than 100,000 active students and more than 10,000 teachers worldwide.

“We offer teachers an easy and fun way to earn money by teaching from home, and to make a positive impact in the lives of many students while doing it,” said James Stewart, who manages 51Talk’s operations in North America. “In China, speaking English is a vitally important tool for getting ahead, and brings with it many educational and professional opportunities. 51Talk is not only helping English learners improve their lives, but helping to connect China with the international community. It’s also an excellent way for English-speaking teachers to hone their craft, learn about another culture, and challenge themselves to experience a new way of teaching.”

51Talk offers teachers an easy way to make extra money teaching, and to form relationships with students from another culture. Teacher choose their own hours, as long as they are available to teach at least 7.5 hours per week. 51Talk offers initial and ongoing professional development training for all its teachers.

About 51Talk

51Talk (pronounced as “five-one-talk”) when spoken in Chinese can also sound like “I want to talk,” which encapsulates our students’ aspiration to master the English language. 51Talk is the largest professional online English learning platform in China. In June 2016, we became a publicly listed company on the New York Stock Exchange. 51Talk was named the “Most Influential Foreign Language Education Brand” at the Netease Golden Wings Award Ceremony in 2016, and one of Forbes China’s “Fastest-growing Technology Companies” in 2015. Our mission is to make quality education accessible and affordable, and in doing so we enable our students to talk to the world. To learn more, please visit us at

MARCH 10, 2017

March 15th Webinar: Protecting School Networks From Cyber Security Threats
How can technology leaders and policymakers help strengthen the cyber defenses of our nation’s school systems? CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) will hold a webinar on Wednesday, March 15 that addresses this top-of-mind priority for school leaders. 
During the hour-long interactive event, school technology leaders will identify key vulnerabilities and the effective practices for improving a school system’s network security. 
  • Keith Bockwoldt, Director of Technology Services, Township High School District 214 (IL)
  • Diane Doersch, Chief Technology & Information Officer, Green Bay Area Public School District (WI)
  • Nathan Mielke, Director of Technology Services, Hartford Union High School District (CT)
  • Marie Bjerede, CoSN Project Director (Moderator)
March 15, 2017
2:00-3:00 p.m. ET
Press can register by emailing Michael Kaplun at
Learn more about the webinar here.
About CoSN 
CoSN is the premier voice and resource for K-12 education technology leaders nationwide. Serving more than 13 million students in America’s school systems, CoSN provides education leaders with the tools and relationships to leverage technology and advance modern, engaging learning environments. Visit cosn.orgto find out more about CoSN’s focus areas, annual conference and events, advocacy and policy,membership, and the CETL certification exam.


Louisiana’s West Carroll Parish Schools Accelerating Transition to Digital Teaching and Learning Through New Partnership with Discovery Education


-Interactive Digital Math, Science and Social Studies Textbooks to Empower District Educators as they Build Dynamic Digital Learning Environments-


Silver Spring, Md. (Mar. 9, 2017) – Louisiana’s West Carroll Parish School District (WCPS) today announced a new partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms. Through this new collaboration, educators across the district will accelerate the district’s ongoing transition to digital teaching and learning by integrating Discovery Education’s suite of dynamic digital textbooks into classroom instruction.


WCPS’ new agreement with Discovery Education is a critical component of the district’s conversion to one-to-one learning.  Discovery Education’s Science Techbooks™,  Math Techbooks™, and  Social Studies Techbooks™, delivered to students through Chromebooks recently rolled-out districtwide, now empower educators across WCPS to create dynamic digital learning environments.  These digital learning environments, which mirror students’ use of technology outside the classroom, will better engage students in learning, help them build strong foundational knowledge, and will promote the growth of the important problem solving and communications skills students need to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world.


Discovery Education’s Techbooks are breakthrough digital textbooks that are aligned to rigorous standards, support a comprehensive curriculum, and are updated regularly at no cost.  The series supports the academic success of all learners through interactive features that change the reading level of text and enable text to be read aloud. The Techbook series saves teachers’ time with a comprehensive design that places model lessons, student activities and assessments at their fingertips. Techbooks are platform neutral and can be used in one-to-one or one-to-many configurations and in any instructional environment. Currently, Discovery Education Techbooks are used by more than 3 million students in all 50 U.S. states and several Canadian provinces.


Through this partnership, all K-12 WCPS educators will now begin integrating Discovery Education’s Science Techbook™, an award-winning digital textbook using an inquiry-based format that helps teach students to read, write, and think like scientists, into classroom instruction. Also, district middle school and high school educators will begin using Discovery Education’s Math Techbook™, a digital textbook that connects students to math through real-world problems, to help students develop long-lasting mastery of mathematical concepts.  Finally, through this collaboration, Discovery Education’s Social Studies Techbook™, a digital textbook that features standards-based digital content that strengthens literacy, critical thinking, and citizenship skills, will support WCPS’s educators’ efforts to make social studies instruction an unforgettable experience.


“We at the West Carroll Parish Schools understand that devices alone are not enough to improve teaching and learning,” said Rich Strong, Superintendent of West Carroll Parish Schools. “We believe that the high-quality digital content and professional development provided by Discovery Education to our educators will be the catalyst that makes our one-to-one initiative come alive and truly improve the educational experience of all our students.”


To ensure each West Carroll Parish teacher is fully supported throughout the transition to digital teaching and learning, Discovery Education experts will provide district educators robust professional development opportunities that will help them maximize their new hardware and digital content to improve students’ academic achievement.  In addition, the Discovery Education Community will also support West Carroll Parish educators in transforming student learning experience with digital media. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing, and inspiration.


“Discovery Education is proud to be a part of West Carroll Parish Schools’ efforts to help each student reach their fullest potential,” said Jason Sinquefield, Director of Education Partnerships at Discovery Education. “We look forward to working with the talented West Carroll Parish Schools’ Team on our joint mission to build digital learning spaces that ensure students of all ability levels and backgrounds are prepared to meet the challenges of education, vocation, and citizenship.”


For more information about the Discovery Education Techbook series or other services and resources from Discovery Education, visit



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