PRODUCTS, SERVICES & EVENTS

2/9/16

Webinar: What’s New And Noteworthy, Hosted By State Education Technology Directors Association

WHAT: Free SETDA Webinar Examining Implementations of New Technologies

WHO:    

●      Adam Geller, CEO, Edthena with Diane Lauer, Executive Director of Professional Development  and Assessment at St. Vrain Valley School District, CO

●      Nikki Navta, CEO, Zulama Modern Learning with Dr. Todd Keruskin at Elizabeth Forward School  District, PA

●      DJ Cunningham, CEO, LearnStyle with Halton District School Board Leader from the Canadian  province of Ontario

●      Julie Huston, Senior Account Executive, Three Ring with Jesse Orth, Lead Teacher, Potomac  Heights Elementary School, MD

WHEN: Thursday, February 11, 2016 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET

REGISTER: http://survey.k12insight.com/survey.aspx?k=SsRPUWsSXQsPsPsP&lang=0&data=

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Feb. 8, 2016 – Adam Geller, founder and CEO of Edthena, a leading video coaching platform for classroom observation, will be one of the presenters in a free, one-hour webinar focusing on examples of innovative ways to enhance K-12 learning. The webinar is scheduled for Thursday, February 11 at 3:00 p.m. ET.

The webinar presenters are SETDA’s Emerging Private Sector Partners program participants and their school partners. Geller will partner with Diane Lauer, the executive director of professional development and assessment at St. Vrain Valley School District in Colorado, to talk about how the district implemented video coaching to accelerate teacher professional development and collaboration.

The other presenters will address the following topics:
– Enhancement of student learning through making and playing educational games
– Differentiating instruction based on student learning styles
– Using a digital platform used to capture, share and track student progress

To register, go to http://survey.k12insight.com/survey.aspx?k=SsRPUWsSXQsPsPsP&lang=0&data=

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Walker County Public Schools Turns Around Student Achievement with Personalized Learning from Fuel Education


The Anywhere Learning System tailors digital instruction and assessments to students’ individual strengths and weaknesses

 

Herndon, Virginia, February 8, 2016 – In 2011, Walker County Public Schools in Jasper, Alabama, had many obstacles standing in its way for both educators and students, including high percentages of students who qualified for free and reduced lunch, high dropout rates, and low graduation rates. Seeing this as an opportunity to better support students academically, Walker County Public Schools partnered withFuel Education™ (FuelEd™) to provide students with access to the Anywhere Learning System for a more personalized learning experience.

 

“For some of our students, this has been a life-changing experience,” said Connie Shubert, Director of Federal Programs at Walker County Public Schools. “Some of them would not have been able to finish high school, and now they have a diploma and a chance at employment and a better life.”

 

FuelEd’s Anywhere Learning System is digital learning courseware for students in grades 1-12 with pre-tests that provide customized learning paths based on those results for struggling students who need remediation, as well as for advanced learners who need accelerated coursework. Walker County Public Schools uses the Anywhere Learning System in a variety of online and blended models across the district, including with younger students in blended learning centers, for credit recovery and grade repair with older students, and to continue instruction if a teacher is out for the day. In addition, the system is central to the district’s alterative school program, its summer school program, and its two at-risk and credit-deficient programs known as the Hope Academy and the Twilight Knight School.

 

Mary Slaughter, coordinator of assessment and accountability and director of guidance and counseling for Walker County Public Schools, said, “One of the best things is the Anywhere Learning System program offers flexibility and gives students choices; they don’t all fit in the same box.”

 

Since it started using the Anywhere Learning System, the district’s graduation rate has risen from 73 percent to 87 percent and the dropout rate has dropped from 14 percent to 3 percent. The district has also seen significant improvement in student attendance, grades, and the number of students being promoted to the next grade.

 

“The Anywhere Learning System empowers students to take charge of their education,” said Gregg Levin, General Manager of Fuel Education. “The learn-at-your-own-pace style of instruction helps struggling students catch up or recover credits and also provides gifted students with more content on a topic of their choice. Walker County Public Schools’ multifaceted implementation of FuelEd’s system is helping students succeed.”

 

The Anywhere Learning System has more than 160 courses, 5,600 lessons, 200,000 content pages, and 130,000 test items that are Common Core- and state objective-aligned. The content is presented to students using sequenced direct-instruction aids such as study guides, quizzes, mastery tests, and essays. Its built-in assessment and reporting tools help track and analyze all aspects of individual and class performance in order to benchmark progress and refine curriculum plans.

 

For more information about how Walker County Public Schools used the Anywhere Learning System for increased student achievement, read the case study here.

 

About Fuel Education

Fuel Education™ partners with school districts to fuel personalized learning and transform the education experience inside and outside the classroom. The company provides innovative solutions for pre-K through 12th grade that empower districts to implement successful online and blended learning programs. Its open, easy-to-use Personalized Learning Platform, PEAK™, enables teachers to customize courses using their own content, FuelEd courses and titles, third-party content, and open educational resources. Fuel Education offers the industry’s largest catalog of digital curriculum, certified instruction, professional development, and educational services. FuelEd has helped 2,000 school districts to improve student outcomes and better serve diverse student populations. To learn more, visit getfueled.com and Twitter.

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Growing Number of Texas School Districts Leverage itslearning Personalized Learning Platform to Support 1:1 Initiatives, Blended Learning Experiences

 

Spring Branch, Clear Creek and Huffman Independent School Districts Join Houston Schools in Utilizing System’s Proprietary Standards Mastery and Recommendation Engine Features; Integrating Technology to Transform Individualized Learning

 

Boston, MA – Feb. 8, 2016— To meet the demands of offering more student-centered learning, two districts in Texas have recently selected itslearning (www.itslearning.net) as their single, end-to-end teaching and learning platform.The highly regarded learning management system is quickly becoming an integral part of 1:1 initiatives and blended learning models in Clear Creek and Huffman Independent School Districts (ISD). These districts join Houston and Spring Branch ISDs who implemented the digital learning platform last year.

 

Designed specifically for the K-12 sector, itslearning is a leading, cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that helps teachers make education more inspiring and valuable for today’s students anytime, anywhere and on any device. As a student-centered learning environment, itslearning gives teachers, students and parents access, as appropriate, to course materials, assignments, communities for collaboration, professional development tools and student progress reports. The platform’s personalized dashboards give teachers a way to quickly and easily share instructional resources, assignments and activities, and assessments with students and parents.

 

“Educators are envisioning a new type of learning environment where students can take ownership of their learning and where ongoing learning breaks free from a set schedule,” said itslearning vice president of sales and marketing, Matt Dobosh. “Our flexibility and pure performance advantages allow for that student ownership of learning and personalization to take place.  We also offer educators the ability to access a vast online library of content and resources, alignment to current standards and the capacity for students to create, not just consume content, during their learning. In short, we make educators’ vision a reality through just one interface.”

 

Joining Houston ISD in implementing the personalized learning platform is Clear Creek ISD. Andrea Winters, the district’s director of learning technology, participated in the evaluation process. “I was immediately impressed with the platform’s interface, streamlined curriculum management functionality and its focus on proven, data-driven pedagogical strategies that drive student-centered learning seamlessly,” she said.

 

 

 

HISD selected the best-in-class platform in 2014 to consolidate all its digital resources into one web-based, single sign-on resource. Rebranded the “PowerUp: HUB” or “the HUB” to fit in with the district’s overall initiative, the content-agnostic, open-sourced platform enables HISD to host a wide range of third-party digital content and different file format types that support active learning, flipped classrooms, project-based learning and other forms of learner-centered instruction. The HUB supports IMS open standards to eliminate the need for customized integration of various platforms.

 

“We have a remarkable partner in itslearning,” added Winters.  “From the superintendent’s office to the students, we share a vision that education is about providing engaging learning practices that suit everyone’s needs. They are a very innovative company that takes both a professional and a personal approach when catering to a district’s needs and proposing a functional and flexible solution based on those needs. With this partnership, itslearning will enable us to enhance teaching and learning by making it personal, not just personalized.”

 

About itslearning

Designed for teachers and how they want to teach, itslearning is a cloud-based learning platform used by millions of teachers, students, administration staff and parents around the world. It can be found at all levels of education, from primary schools to universities, helping teachers make education more inspiring and valuable for today’s students. Established in 1999, itslearning is headquartered in Bergen, Norway, and has offices in Boston, Atlanta and multiple locations around the world. For more information, visit http://www.itslearning.net.

 

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Transformational Technology in Higher Education Attendees
to Explore Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Wearable Technologies and More

DENVER Hundreds of higher education technology decision makers – including chief information officers and campus IT administrators – will gather in Denver at the Transformational Technology in Higher Education (TTHIED) conference from March 24 – 25, 2016. Attendees will explore the latest digital solutions, discover best practices being employed on campuses and participate in collaborative learning with colleagues and industry leaders.

Formerly Campus Technology Forum, TTHIED will include a variety of keynote and concurrent sessions that feature new and emerging technologies. Program tracks include Leading Campus Transformation, Technology Pedagogy in the Digital Age, Designing a Connected Campus and Technology Solutions.

“New platforms for experiential learning, such as wearable tech, are creating innovative pedagogical opportunities within higher education,” said Daniel Gephart, Higher Education Events Manager, LRP Conferences, coordinator of TTHIED. “Why is it vital that higher education leaders follow this rapidly evolving environment? Because campuses can develop and sustain a culture of innovation that accelerates positive change within and beyond their institutions, and TTHIED works to inspire attendees to bring this culture of innovation back to their campuses.”

Bryan Alexander, president of Bryan Alexander Consulting, LLC, will open TTHIED 2016 with his keynote “Halfway Through the Tsunami: Higher Education and the Digital Revolution.” Alexander will propose answers to the question “How is education changing under the impact of ever-advancing technologies?” by surveying social, economic and policy contexts while examining how education is changing under their impact and exploring leading trend lines for the digital world.

The University of Michigan’s Perry Samson, also the co-founder of Weather Underground and Lecture Tools, will present “Best Practices for Quantifying Student Engagement.” In this results-based presentation, Samson will analyze the strong relationship that exists between active learning participation and student outcomes, plus the nature of active learning participation as related to a student’s grade point average. Closing Keynote Bryan Setser, partner at 2Revolutions, will focus on how organizational leaders can develop and sustain cultures of innovation that accelerate positive change within and beyond their institutions in his session, “Future Learning Models in Higher Education.”

In addition to three keynotes, TTHIED offers attendees nearly a dozen breakout sessions including “Wearable Technology and Virtual Reality: A New Era for Learning.” Emory Craig, Director of eLearning and Instructional Technologies at The College of New Rochelle, will demonstrate why higher education leaders should follow the latest and rapidly evolving developments in wearable technology.

“TTHIED’s unique, intimate structure allows attendees’ access to top IT professionals from colleges, universities and industry suppliers,” said Gephart. “Each session is limited in size, allowing for more give-and-take discussions to help create a sustainable vision for effectively managing resources, building seamless networks and conceptualizing the educational models of the future.”

Early bird savings for TTHIED 2016 end Feb. 24. To register visit www.TTHIED.com or call toll free 1-800-287-0257. Join the conversation by following @TTHIED on Twitter and using and searching #TTHIED. For even more TTHIED 2016 updates, “like” Transformational Technology in Higher Ed on Facebook, and join the Transformational Technology in Higher Ed LinkedIn group.

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About Transformational Technology in Higher Education        

Transformational Technology in Higher Education Conference, formerly Campus Technology Forum, is a redesigned event for higher education IT executives and professionals to receive a more personalized conference experience. With more than 100 colleges and universities from across the nation represented, attendees have the opportunity to network with peers from a wide array of institutions and become a part of a larger community continuously seeking to advance the technological pedagogy of their campuses.

Attendees will learn from industry experts and be exposed to the latest trends, tools and resources during collaborative and educational sessions. In an environment where finding solutions to technological challenges is the priority, attendees also have access to a variety of consultative vendors in the Expo Hall.

About LRP Conferences, LLC

LRP Conferences, LLC, an affiliate of LRP Publications, produces more than a dozen professional conferences and trade shows annually, including: Campus Technology Conference, Transformational Technology in Higher Ed Conference, Ergonomics Conference & ErgoExpo, Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC), HR in Hospitality Conference, HR Technology® Conference & Exposition, Recruiting Trends Conference, and National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo.

About LRP Publications

LRP Publications, headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., is known as educators’ most trusted source for practical and legal education administration guidance and produces newsletters (Education Daily®), books, pamphlets, DVDs, audio conferences, eLearning courses, online services (Title1admin.com, EducationDaily.com and Special Ed Connection.com) and training tools to help educators implement sound programs and avoid compliance errors related to Title I, autism, discipline and more. LRP also produces professional education conferences including: National Institute on Legal Issues of Educating Individuals with Disabilities® and Special Education School Attorneys Conference. For a complete list of LRP products, eCourses and conferences, please visit www.lrp.com.

Note: Media representatives interested in attending and covering TTHIED 2016 please email tthiedmedia@lrp.com. Media representatives are required to register and will not be admitted into any TTHIED venues w

2/8/16

DimensionU Announces 2016 Spring Tournament Season

EdGaming Math Competitions a Key Driver for Engaging a Diverse Spectrum of Students

 

Richmond, VA – February 5, 2016 – Award-winning, educational games developer DimensionU, Inc., is pleased to announce the 2016 Spring Tournament Season for its highly popular DimensionU Math Video Game Competitions in partnership with a variety of local education agencies and STEM Outreach organizations.    Math-based video game competitions provide a compelling environment to support student learning across a broad range of skill levels, offering the opportunity, regardless of academic background, for students to participate and achieve academic success.   The spring tournament season kicks off this month in Dallas Independent School District at its annual STEM Day event on Saturday, February 6, 2016.

 

The tournament season slate continues with math competitions in the following locations:

Honolulu, Hawaii – Fort Lauderdale, Florida  – Charleston, South Carolina – Champaign, Illinois – Rome, New York – Huntsville, Alabama – Picatinny, New Jersey – Tampa, Florida – Garland, Texas  – Washington, D.C. – Austin, Texas – Fort Worth, Texas – New York, New York.

 

The competitions are typically conducted as live physical events involving elementary, middle and high school students under a team-based and/or individual-based structure with curriculum differentiated according to a student’s current grade or performance level.  This unique feature of the DimensionU Gaming platform, combined with its action-oriented game format, enables and fosters participation among a more inclusive base of students.

 

“Aside from educational excitement, what is most significant about our competitions is that they can be a key to unlocking the academic potential in students who may otherwise not be engaged in the classroom,” said Steven Hoy, CEO ofDimensionU, Inc. “ We are creating positive change for many students and lighting a path towards the opportunity for higher education by establishing educational success through non-traditional means,” added Hoy.

 

DimensionU games are available to individuals, classrooms, schools, after school programs and school divisions via web, mobile and desktop applications and are usable cross-platform. The DimensionU competitions are scalable from classroom to national levels in both virtual and physical environments.  Visit DimensionU.com to learn more.

 

About DimensionU, Inc.

Since 2007, DimensionU, Inc. has set a new course in the development of innovative multiplayer educational video games. Through its collaborative, content-rich, immersive learning environments, DimensionU offers a highly engaging, research-based, instructional enrichment tool in mathematics and literacy for elementary, middle and high school students in the U.S. and Canada.  For more information, please visit http://www.dimensionu.com.

2/5/16

Follett Partners with Cengage Learning to Sell Career and Technical Education Solutions

1,700 CTE titles help give high school students

head start on preparing for college, careers

McHENRY, Ill., Feb. 4, 2016 –Studies show high school students involved in Career and Technical Education (CTE) are more engaged, perform better, and graduate at higher rates. To help give students in grades 9 through 12 the chance to get a head start on preparing for college and careers, Follett is partnering with Cengage Learning to offer more than 1,700 of Cengage Learning’s CTE titles, focusing on Business Education, Computing and STEM.

Cengage Learning’s CTE digital and textbook resources – including virtual labs and simulations – fully support 21st century learning skills and center on outcomes that empower, engage, and help learners achieve success in the classroom and beyond. Among the most popular Cengage Learning CTE titles Follett will be offering include:

  •       Shelly Cashman Series for Microsoft® Office
  •       Century 21 Accounting
  •       Principles of Business
  •       Personal Financial Literacy
  •       A+ Guide to IT Technical Support
  •       Java Programming

“Career and Technical Education programs allow students to draw real-world connections from core school subjects such as math, science, reading, and writing,” said Nader Qaimari, Executive Vice President for Follett Corporation and General Manager of Follett School Solutions, Follett’s K-12 business. “High schools are increasingly leveraging CTE programming as academics and career education coverage, thus our partnership with Cengage Learning takes on added significance.”

“We are committed to delivering programs that prepare students for college and career success,” said Vincent Grosso, Senior Vice President of National Geographic Learning, a part of Cengage Learning. “We are pleased to team up with Follett to expand student access to our career and technical education programs.”

Follett customers can find the newly added Cengage Learning CTE program at http://FES.follett.com.

For more information about Follett, visit www.FollettLearning.com; for more information about Cengage Learning, visitwww.Cengage.com.

 

Cengage Learning | www.cengage.com

Cengage Learning is a leading educational content, technology, and services company for the higher education and K-12, professional and library markets worldwide. The company provides superior content, personalized services and course-driven digital solutions that accelerate student engagement and transform the learning experience. Cengage Learning is headquartered in Boston, MA with an office hub located in San Francisco, CA. Cengage Learning employees reside in nearly 40 different countries with company sales in more than 125 countries around the world.

 

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

 

Follett Corporation| follett.com

For more than 140 years, Follett has been a trusted partner to pre-K and K-12 schools, districts, and college campuses, taking care of the critical details that make it easier for schools to run, teachers to teach and students to learn. Every day, Follett serves over half of the students in the United States, and works with 70,000 schools as a leading provider of education technology, services and print and digital content. Follett is higher education’s largest campus retailer and a hub for school spirit and community, operating more than 1,150 local campus stores and 1,600 virtual stores across the continent. Headquartered in Westchester, Illinois, Follett is a $2.6 billion privately held company.

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EDspaces Named One of 50 Fastest Growing Shows

 

(Silver Spring, MD) — Trade Show Executive (TSE) magazine has named the Education Market Association’s EDspaces as one of the 50 Fastest-Growing Shows by total attendance from 2014 to 2015. EDspaces was also identified by TSE as a Fast Tracker (Top 100) for growth by net square feet of exhibit space. The 2015 show held in New Orleans, October 28-30, 2015, had record attendance among both architects and school purchasing officials and featured 152 exhibitors in 470 10’ x 10’ booth spaces.

 

“The Fastest 50 Class of 2015 once again includes a mix of established shows and up-and-coming events in nearly every industry sector, proving that face-to-face exhibitions are important assets to the business world,” said Darlene Gudea, President of Trade Show Executive Media Group.

 

EDspaces is the international tradeshow and conference that brings together all the key professionals who plan, design and manage innovative learning environments with the dealers, service providers and manufacturers who support them. EDspaces attendees include buyers from school districts, colleges & universities from across the country; dealers of all types; architects and interior designers. The American Institute of Architects Committee on Architecture for Education holds its annual Fall Conference at EDspaces.

 

“We are very excited to see the industry rally around EDspaces’ mission to bring together all of the key stakeholders that influence innovative learning environments.” said Jim McGarry, President & CEO of the Education Market Association.

 

A call for presentations for the 2016 EDspaces, November 2-4, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio, is currently underway. The EDspaces Planning Committee has chosen to coordinate the theme of the event with the AIA-CAE Conference: Visioning and Re-visioning. Sessions that explore the ways in which pedagogical innovation and cutting-edge design impact and influence each other will be balanced with others that focus on what environmental factors contribute to higher student achievement. Industry thought-leaders are encouraged to submit a proposal by the March 30 deadline.

 

The Education Market Association (EDmarket) provides events, opportunities, resources, and leadership that improve student outcomes by advancing the educational products marketplace. Visit www.ed-spaces.com for information on EDspaces

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ASCD Forum to Discuss Culturally Responsive Learning Environments

ASCD has announced the launch of the 2016 ASCD Forum—“Learning for All = Teaching for All.” The forum, which consists of a series of online and in-person discussions among educators at all levels, will take place from February 1 through April 15 and will focus on how school systems and communities can best meet the diverse needs of the modern learner. There are four ways for educators to join the discussion:

  • The ASCD Forum group on the ASCD EDge® social networking site is the main discussion platform. Educators can contribute blog posts about culturally responsive learning environments, pose questions to one another, or offer insight on message boards.
  • On Twitter, educators can use #ASCDForum to share perspectives and resources.
  • The #ASCDL2L Twitter chat on Tuesday, March 1, from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. eastern time, will bring educators from all roles together to discuss how each can meet the diverse needs of the modern learner.
  • An in-person session of the ASCD Forum will take place at the 2016 ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show on Monday, April 4, from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.

To learn more about the 2016 ASCD Forum and specific topics of discussion, please read the full release below or at this link: http://www.ascd.org/news-media/Press-Room/News-Releases/2016-ASCD-Forum-on-Culturally-Responsive-Learning-Environments.aspx

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The Virtual High School to Enrich Online Judaic Studies

Curriculum Offerings at The Jewish Academy

 

Use of Technology Adds Modern Platform to Ancient Studies

 

Boston — Feb. 4, 2016The Virtual High School (VHS Inc.), a non-profit organization empowering schools with the industry’s best online learning programs, has added the Jewish Academy in Commack, New York, as a member of the Online Judaic Studies Consortium (OJSC). The consortium, made possible through a partnership with The AVI CHAI Foundation, enables Jewish day schools to develop and utilize innovative Judaic studies courses in a flexible online format.

The VHS mission is to provide students with high-quality online and blended learning experiences and provide educators with the professional development and services they need to be effective. VHS partner schools have access to a wide range of core, elective, and AP® courses that inspire, ignite, and deepen learning. VHS enables students to develop independent learning skills, explore college majors and careers, earn credit, and participate in global classrooms. Highly qualified teachers, who are specially trained in online teaching best practices and certified in their subject areas, teach the courses.

 

“We are very excited to be working with The Jewish Academy,” said Lisa Micley, Program Director for the OJSC consortium at VHS.  “It is an excellent example of how the OJSC can work together with a school to enhance their students’ Judaic learning experiences and broaden the learning community for those students by putting them into classes with students from other Jewish day schools.”

 

Through membership in the OJSC, teachers at participating schools receive comprehensive professional development in online teaching through VHS’s exclusive Online Teaching Methodologies course. Educators are subject matter experts and have the opportunity to develop a Judaic Studies course and teach it online to students within the consortium. A dedicated staff member at each partner school acts as an on-site mentor, managing the program at their school and providing additional assistance to students taking online courses.

 

“What I really like about the OJSC is the addition of a tech-savvy way to teach ancient texts using the virtual learning platform,” said Chaya Teldon, interim head of school for The Jewish Academy. “Furthermore, in taking these online courses in high school, we are giving our students the technology-rich experience that will service them well in college life and beyond.”

 

For more information, visit OnlineJudaicStudiesConsortium.org.

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, visitwww.TheVirtualHighSchool.org or call (978) 897-1900.

 

2/4/16

CEV Multimedia Adds Career Interest Inventory to Comprehensive CTE Platform

Career cluster tool invites students to explore key education pathways via iCEV


LUBBOCK, Texas (Feb. 3, 2016) ­- Finding the right career fit is a challenge most students face and when asked what they want to do professionally when they graduate, the choices can be overwhelming. As a way to ease the transition for students making strides to their prospective career pathway, CEV Multimedia announces the addition of the Career Cluster Interest Inventory (CCII) tool to its comprehensive iCEV platform.

The CCII provides assistance to students from eighth grade to higher education during the critical steps of education and career planning. A student completes the interest inventory within a 15- to 20-minute time period and receives information on a career cluster that best fits the student’s interests and skills. Career clusters, 16 groupings of related occupations developed by the U.S. Department of Education, provide essential knowledge and skills to guide in developing programs of study to bridge secondary and postsecondary curriculum. The clusters also assist in creating individual student plans of study for a complete range of career options.

“This is an important addition to the CTE curriculum offered through iCEV that will assist students and educators alike in studying and exploring various career paths by identifying an interest pattern based on responses of career and activity related questions,” said Dusty Moore, iCEV President. “Additionally, schools value survey tools to gain an understanding of the courses they need to offer to meet their students’ needs and career aspirations.”

Upon completing the inventory and being matched with a cluster, students are guided to postsecondary information and specific occupations. CCII complements the current iCEV career curriculum nicely as it allows a student to complete the interest inventory, identify their top cluster choices, then dive into the curriculum to watch videos, listen to industry experts via career interviews and complete projects to provide a better understanding of the clusters. After completing the study, students take a post-evaluation survey to see how their work impacted their original decisions.

“The Career Cluster Interest Inventory enriches what we can offer to iCEV users and better connects them to the best education path leading towards their career choice,” Moore said. “Students are able to look for general information on their career interests, as well as seek specific career titles, the credentials needed and college majors.”

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

The CCII tool will be launched in August on the iCEV platform. For more information, please visithttp://www.icevonline.com/.

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

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Dremel Creates 3D Printing Ecosystem With Launch of ‘Dremel Dreams’ Program

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Complete with 3D-specific curriculum and design software, program provides multi-dimensional support for integrating advanced STEM technology

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“The Dremel 3D Idea Builder is a plug-and-play tool for my classroom that enables students to test and explore 3D printing as independent thinkers.”

Incorporating new technology is important for demonstrating the applications of STEM education, but limited access to advanced technology and corresponding curriculum can be a barrier for educators. That’s why Dremel, the trusted manufacturer of tools for life and learning, created the Dremel Dreams program, a digital ecosystem that promotes a student-driven learning environment for 3D printing. The program equips educators with a comprehensive toolkit for classroom support, including 3D-specific lesson plans and intuitive design software and hardware.

The Dremel Dreams program integrates 3D printing into the classroom with lesson plans developed by curriculum experts at Florida State University. The lesson plans and resources are designed to nurture the confidence of educators and students as they explore hands-on applications of STEM in the classroom. Ten curriculum-based lesson plans and their corresponding 3D model kits are included with the Dremel 3D Idea Builder printer.

“Using the 3D-specific lesson plans when we study alternative energy gives my students the opportunity to enhance their understanding of abstract concepts,” said Susan Nichol, Project Lead the Way and technology skills teacher at Holmes Junior High School in Mt. Prospect, Ill. “The Dremel 3D Idea Builder is a plug-and-play tool for my classroom that enables students to test and explore 3D printing as independent thinkers.”

To assist educators as they integrate 3D printing into lesson plans, Dremel provides one-on-one customer support and mentorship via phone, Skype, online chat and email. A webinar training program provides tutorials for seamless classroom integration.

As a part of the Dremel Dreams program, Autodesk’s modeling software provides an easy-to-use platform for students to practice design and engineering skills while creating their own 3D models. The Sprout by HP 3D scanning solution is also available as an additional workstation for the Dremel 3D Idea Builder. With 3D object capture, students can grab objects, upload designs and manipulate them on-screen before bringing their object to life in the physical space.

“Partnerships with like-minded organizations, such as Autodesk and HP, enable us to deliver an unparalleled STEM experience for teachers and students,” said George Velez, manager of Dremel 3D Education. “The 3D printing technology is important, but equally important are the resources and support we provide for educators.”

The Dremel Dreams program is made complete with the easy-to-use Dremel 3D Idea Builder, the first 3D printer to receive UL safety certification. The printer features a fully enclosed workspace to ensure safety takes priority in the student-led classroom.

To learn more about the Dremel Dreams program and the Dremel 3D Idea Builder, visit https://3dprinter.dremel.com/3d-dreams.

About Dremel
Founded in 1934, Dremel is the industry standard in leadership and excellence for versatile tools systems. The Dremel 3D Idea Builder expands the brand’s reach from the workshop to the classroom to provide educators and students with cutting-edge technology for STEM education. Built upon the brand’s dedication to empowering makers through creativity, precision and project enjoyment, the Dremel 3D Idea Builder nurtures student confidence by giving them a tool to design and build their own models to understand lessons. With available curriculum to draw connections between 3D printing and instruction, Dremel is providing educators with the support they need to transform classrooms. Learn more about classroom applications and curriculum-based learning at 3dprinter.dremel.com.

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Editor’s Note: Dremel® is a registered brand name and is used as an adjective to describe the products made by the Dremel brand.

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AASA Receives New Grant to
Redesign Professional Development in K-12 Schools

Alexandria, Va. – Feb. 3, 2016 – AASA, The School Superintendents Association, has been awarded a $748,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to enhance teaching and learning excellence in our nation’s classrooms by redesigning professional development systems.

“Superintendent Leadership for PD Redesign,” a two-year initiative, will optimize programs that empower teacher ownership of high-quality PD content linked to high standards.

AASA, founded in 1865, is the premier organization for our nation’s superintendents serving thousands of education leaders. A voice for school district leadership, AASA will leverage this investment to address the systems and structures that superintendents rely on to implement high-quality teacher professional development.

“We are grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for supporting our efforts to engage district leaders in the redesign and advancement of innovative, high-quality teacher professional development that will lead to higher achievement on the part of our students,” said Daniel A. Domenech, AASA executive director.

A major component of the project will scale up efforts for on-the-ground intervention with four large urban school districts—Fulton County (Ga.) Schools, the Syracuse City (N.Y.) School District, Baltimore County (Md.) Public Schools and the School District of Palm Beach County (Fla.). AASA will provide technical assistance and coaching in these districts to help superintendents and their respective teams analyze, assess and plan for improvements with the goal of increasing teacher effectiveness.

A second component, the “AASA PD Redesign Community of Practice,” focuses on providing superintendents opportunities to learn from each other and share best practices for developing instructional leaders. This Community of Practice, whose members lead more than 1.25 million students, will serve as a cornerstone of AASA’s PD effort and consist of a high-profile working group comprised of superintendents in the following school districts: Palm Beach County and Orange County (Fla.), Fulton County, Clayton County and Clarke County (Ga.), Bettendorf Community (Iowa), Prince George’s County and Baltimore County (Md.), Winston-Salem Forsyth County (N.C.), Syracuse City, Schenectady City and Newburgh Enlarged City (N.Y.), Harrisburg (Penn.), Charleston County (S.C.), Kingsport City (Tenn.), Spring ISD, Austin ISD and Katy ISD (Texas), Richmond, Arlington and Fairfax County (Va.) and Racine Unified (Wis.).

AASA’s Children’s Programs department, which will administer this initiative, works to support school districts by analyzing current practices, identifying ideas for improvement, and implementing policy, practice and programmatic changes to enhance and redesign teacher professional development systems.

Learn more by visiting the AASA website.

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About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.

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EDSBY SELECTED BY GREATER ESSEX COUNTY DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD

– Fourth Canadian district in recent months chooses Edsby learning management system –

ONTARIO, Canada (February 3rd, 2016) – Edsby®, an innovative cloud-based learning management system built for K-12 school districts that connects teachers, parents and students using modern technologies, has been chosen as the new parent portal, news source, and teaching and learning collaboration platform of the Greater Essex County District School Board (GECDSB). The district will also be leveraging Edsby’s modern attendance, assessment and learning management tools.

GECDSB spans 71 schools with 35,000 students and 4,500 staff in Windsor and Essex County, Ontario, the southernmost tip of Canada. The district selected Edsby to give students and teachers modern collaborative capabilities in and out of the classroom, as well as real-time communication of academic achievement with students and their parents and guardians.

“Edsby is a modern, world-class learning environment for our students, teacher and parents. And because it works with our existing systems, including staff and student Office 365 accounts, we get the best of both worlds,” said John Howitt, GECDSB Superintendent of Education and Information Technology. “Our stakeholders benefit from Edsby’s rich, compelling capabilities, and we leverage our existing investments and experience with our current systems rather than having to go through the cost and challenges of replacing them.”

Also important to GECDSB was Edsby’s powerful group collaboration features for professional learning communities, school clubs, teams and parent groups that can be used to engage teachers, students and parents/guardians at the school level and district-wide. And it was critical to the district that the winning solution be scalable. In its selection process, the district asked for evidence of large deployments.

“Edsby is one of the only highly customizable learning management systems proven to be able to scale to large implementations,” said John Myers, President of Edsby. “District-wide rollouts in regions as large as Hillsborough County Public Schools in Florida, with more than a quarter of a million Edsby users, prove both the ability of Edsby to be highly adapted to local requirements and to scale to support the needs of very large education organizations.”

Greater Essex is the fourth large Ontario region to adopt Edsby recently. District School Board of Niagara announced in October, 2015 that its 36,000 students were moving to Edsby. In June, the 60,000-student Halton District School Board announced it was implementing Edsby. And in April, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board announced it had selected Edsby for deployment to its 34,000 students.

To learn more about Edsby, please visit http://edsby.com/.

About Edsby
Edsby is a modern, purpose-built learning management system (LMS) for K-12 that enables school districts and private schools to connect their teachers, students and parents using the technologies that have become pervasive in people’s lives. Edsby is developed by CoreFour, a team that has been building scalable, reliable software systems for education organizations around the world for almost 30 years using latest technology and standards. Edsby is a registered trademark of CoreFour Inc.

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Knovation Simplifies Districts’ Access to Collection of Vetted Online Resources

Posted by Knovation in Knovation Press Releases
Feb 04, 2016 11:53 am
Tagged: content collection integration

Through easy access to reliable, standards-aligned online resources, the Knovation Content Collection alleviates growing pains for districts transitioning to digital

CINCINNATI – Feb. 3, 2016 – As the U.S. Department of Education #GoOpen initiative reaches a critical point in its expansion, educators face the challenge of vetting an exponentially growing pool of digital resources to find content that is accurate, relevant and aligned to standards. Knovation is supporting districts in this endeavor by increasing access to its content collection containing hundreds of thousands of professionally-evaluated online resources that are hand-selected, standards-aligned and tagged by curriculum experts following a rigorous certification process.

Previously, the Knovation Content Collection was only available through the company’s award-winning applications, netTrekker and icurio. The growing need for high-quality, ready-to-use online learning resources led Knovation to simplify access to its collection through integration with other systems and platforms, following a “one-stop shop” concept.

Findings of a recent survey* reveal that teachers spend upwards of five hours a week sifting through all the different content available to them, equivalent to 12.5 percent of their workweek. This percentage highlights the need for simpler, less time-consuming ways to access quality resources that enable personalized learning in a digital environment.

“Increasing access choices to our content collection amplifies the possibilities for personalized learning and eliminates tedious work for teachers,” said Randy Wilhelm, CEO of Knovation. “As more districts use digital resources as a textbook replacement, we recognize how important it is to keep the classroom transition as simple as possible.”

The Knovation Content Team, a group of experienced classroom teachers and curriculum experts, continuously evaluates hundreds of thousands of online learning resources for quality and relevancy, and accepted resources are aligned to standards and tagged according to subject, grade level and other relevant criteria.

The Knovation Content Collection can be integrated with Learning Management Systems (LMS), assessment platforms, Library Automation Systems and Learning Object Repositories (LOR).

To learn more about the Knovation Content Collection, visit Knovation at TCEA booth #2236, or visitwww.knovationlearning.com/solutions/content-collection.
About Knovation
Knovation makes it easy to find, organize, and share free digital content for learning.  Knovation’s curriculum experts professionally evaluate, standards-align and continuously maintain a collection of hundreds of thousands of online resources covering all subject areas, all grades and all learning modalities. The Knovation Content Collection can be accessed through the company’s award-winning solutions, netTrekker and icurio, or through custom integration with several instructional systems and assessment platforms. Since 1999, Knovation has delivered on the promise to do something good for kids, every day by helping districts meet the needs of diverse K-12 learners in digital learning environments. For more information, please visit http://www.knovationlearning.com.

*The Learning Counsel – The 71 Characteristics of Digital Curriculum Special Report

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SuperSpeak Adds Powerful Game-Based Learning Mode to Its Next-Generation Augmented and Alternative Communications Tool

SuperSpeak Play helps children who struggle with speech and language learn key vocabulary skills

News Image

More than simply an AAC tool, SuperSpeak is a complete learning and communications platform that empowers children with special needs to succeed.

Superplus, innovator of next-generation augmented and alternative communications (AAC) tools, announces a new Play mode for its app SuperSpeak, which helps children build their vocabulary skills in a fun and engaging way.

Designed to capture and maintain children’s interest, Play is a game-based mode within SuperSpeak AAC where children can grow their vocabulary through a variety of visual lessons. As children associate the correct image with the prompt, they can earn customizable tokens that can be used to purchase items or unlock other engaging elements of the game.

Parents or special-needs providers can set a child’s reward schedule to award tokens continuously, after a set time, or after a fixed number of correct answers, and they can create their own photo-based instructional lessons from within the app’s administrator mode.

“With SuperSpeak Play, we’ve drawn on the latest research in educational gaming to develop rich, powerful learning experiences for the millions of children who struggle with speech and language disabilities every day,” said Katrine Gulstad Pedersen, a special-education teacher who is co-founder and CEO of Superplus. “More than simply an AAC tool, SuperSpeak is a complete learning and communications platform that empowers children with special needs to succeed.”

SuperSpeak is intuitive and easy to use for children, parents and special-needs providers alike. Each child’s user experience is stored in a secure, cloud-based profile, creating a consistent learning environment that is accessible from anywhere. Teachers or special-education providers can add new photos to a child’s profile, depicting vocabulary words the child learned in school or therapy, and parents can access these photos and have their child practice these new words from home or any other environment.

Superplus is demonstrating its SuperSpeak app at the 2016 Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Conference in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 3-6. Visit Booth 101 to receive a free SuperSpeak subscription, or learn more about the company’s research-based approach to augmented and alternative communication in Session AAC-62, “The Next Generation AAC: What Research and Mobile Technology Offers,” Friday, Feb. 5, from 2:20 to 3:20 p.m. in the Orlando Convention Center, Antigua 4.

About Superplus
Superplus improves the lives of children with special needs through augmented and alternative communications tools. The app SuperSpeak facilitates communication between children with special needs and their parents, caregivers and therapists. The SuperSpeak Play mode enables children to grow their communication skills through visual vocabulary games with personalized rewards. Superplus uses gaming world strategies, clinical research and practical teaching to provide a new way for children with special needs to gain confidence and master their everyday challenges. For more information, visit http://www.superpl.us.

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K-12 School Districts can Take a Load off Knowing Traffic is Managed with ContentKeeper’s New Load Balancing Appliances

 

The ContentKeeper Load Balancing Appliance (CK-LBA) provides districts high-availability, fail-safe networking at an affordable price

 

Austin, TX (February 3, 2016) – BYOD and 1:1 programs, now mainstream in schools, are causing district networks to experience increasing speed and volume demands. To accommodate these demands and to ensure networks are always up and running, districts should install load balancing appliances, however these appliances are often financially out of reach. 

 

ContentKeeper, a leader in Web and mobile filtering and reporting for next-generation learning environments, is now providing a high-quality, affordable solution – the ContentKeeper Load Balancing Appliance (CK-LBA).

 

Ideally, every layer 2 appliance such as a web filter, firewall or intrusion prevention device should be connected to a load balancing appliance to ensure they are constantly operating. The CK-LBA is fully integrated with ContentKeeper Web and ContentKeeper Secure Internet Gateway, however it can also be used with any layer 2 device. The CK-LBA comes in multiple configurations to accommodate different traffic requirements, from 1G to 40G. The appliance allows districts to seamlessly spread multi-gig traffic loads across an array of devices. The CK-LBA also allows districts to build in both high availability and fault tolerance into their network infrastructure. As classrooms continue to use more online resources, districts may triple or quadruple the bandwidth they use today, and the CK-LBA is built to support this growth.

 

“Ensuring that students and teachers have a safe and consistent internet experience is a priority, but the ability to maintain this is going to get more difficult as the demands for bandwidth increase,” said Jim Culbert, Executive Director, Information Technology at Duval County Public Schools. “Because of this, load balancing appliances are a necessity. It’s great to see ContentKeeper work to provide a high quality, affordable product built for school districts.”

 

For more information about ContentKeeper, visit www.contentkeeper.com.

 

About ContentKeeper
ContentKeeper transforms K-12 Web filtering by helping schools address the evolving security challenges in today’s learning environment. The company’s comprehensive security solutions provide SSL encrypted Web services, BYOD/1:1 mobile identification & controls, granular social media controls and proactive malware protection to help IT administrators stay ahead of Web security threats.

 

ContentKeeper’s unique layer 2 bridge design ensures scalability, high performance and reliability. Real-time Web content and threat analysis engines are backed by ContentKeeper’s patented shared intelligence system to guarantee maximum protection, before it’s needed.

 

2/3/16

Gryphon House Releases Boosting Brain Power

Book offers cognitive development basics for early childhood educators

Lewisville, N.C. – The first five years of life carry some of the most important cognitive development, which is why early childhood teachers must be prepared to stimulate healthy brain growth. A framework for meeting those needs is outlined in the new book from Jill Stamm, PhD, called Boosting Brain Power: 52 Ways to Use What Science Tells Us.

Stamm’s 52 strategies – one for every week in the year – offer evidence-based instructions for how to bring the concepts to life in the classroom. The book offers a plan for weekly brain-boosting activities for children birth to age 5, all with citations for scientific evidence that supports each strategy.

“Most teachers know that these early years are critical in brain development, but are intimidated by all of the scientific research,” Stamm says. “Boosting Brain Power simplifies the research and explains it with easy-to-implement activities teachers can use immediately in the classroom.”

Boosting Brain Power will be released in May 2016 from Gryphon House, Inc., the leading publisher of educational resources for teachers.

Pre-orders are available now. To request a free excerpt or e-galley copy, please contact anna@ghbooks.com

Boosting Brain Power: 52 Ways to Use What Science Tells Us; ISBN 978-0-87659-359-2; 126 pp.; PB; $12.95.

About the Author

Jill Stamm, PhD, is the cofounder of New Directions Institute for Infant Brain Development. Dr. Stamm has been an associate clinical professor at Arizona State University in Tempe for more than 25 years. She is the developer of Brain Boxes, a unique set of products designed to help adults interact with young children to encourage healthy brain development. She is an international speaker on brain research and serves on the advisory board for the Learning & the Brain Conference series.

 

About Gryphon House, Inc.

Gryphon House, Inc., is an award-winning publisher of resource books for parents and teachers of children from birth through age eight. Developmentally appropriate and easy to use, Gryphon House books provide parents and teachers with the tools they need to bring the joy of learning to young children. To learn more, or to check out the entire collection, visit www.gryphonhouse.com.

 

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Greenville County Schools Uses PLANET HS Data to Improve Student Performance and Safety

The district partners with Greenville Health System and PlanetHS to collect information about academic performance and sports-related injuries

(Atlanta, GA) February 3, 2016 – PlanetHS, a platform connecting school communities online, is proud to announce its innovative, collaborative partnership with Greenville (SC) County Schools and the Greenville Health System to collect data regarding student participation in school-sponsored athletics and sports-related injuries.

“This community collaboration has given us the unbelievable gift of ensuring we’re taking care of our greatest asset, which is those kids,” said Darryl Nance, the director of athletics for Greenville County Schools. “In a perfect situation, when a student is injured, the coach, athletic director, trainer, guidance counselor, and anyone else involved, would be able to collaborate about the student’s condition and academic performance in one platform. Our plan is that our collaborative partnership with PlanetHS will ultimately allow us to do just that.”

The data that is being gathered proves empirically that students involved in extracurricular activities get better grades, have higher attendance, have lower discipline levels, and are less likely to drop out. Resource allocations may now be made by districts based on this data to provide programs and services to achieve the optimal outcome for each student.

As part of the next phase of the partnership, the unique data gathered by PlanetHS will also be connected with other consequences of injuries, including time off the field, how much school a student misses, and academic performance. PlanetHS will then correlate the data to reveal trends.

In recognition of its success in implementing programs to protect its student athletes, Greenville County Schools was the first district in the country to have each of its schools named a “Safe Sports School” by the National Athletic Trainers Association.

“Greenville has truly embraced all PlanetHS can do, and we plan to share their model as a prime example for other districts to show what kind of tremendous success a district can have through collaboration,” said Lupita Knittel, the CEO of PlanetHS. “Through partnerships like the one built in Greenville, PlanetHS is transforming the way we prepare our students for success and the way districts make decisions.”

PlanetHS connects schools, families, and business communities in support of student activities and athletics. Some of the most common modules include live streaming, student elections, electronic payments, and sports eligibility—all powered by a robust database engine.

PlanetHS now serves more than 400,000 members from more than 900 schools. With 72% growth in number of users, and an e-mail open rate by parents of 70%, PlanetHS is fast becoming the preferred digital communications hub for the student-life ecosystem.

About PlanetHS

PlanetHS is the student-life online community enabling the critical links among school, family, and business for more successful extracurricular programs, higher participation, and greater student outcomes. The PlanetHS platform delivers school-moderated digital communications, powerful engagement tools, and attractive sponsorship modules, all supported by database analytic capabilities to inform and empower these critical activities. PlanetHS is headquartered in Georgia, with offices in Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina. For more information, please visit PlanetHS.com.

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Learning Bird Adds Quizzes

New feature provides students faster response to intervention, and helps advance the

student learning process

 

MONTREAL, Feb. 2, 2016 – Learning Bird announced today it has added quizzes to its award-winning learning platform. This makes it easier for teachers to easily create and assign quizzes and for students to test their understanding of a topic. Teachers have direct access to tens of thousands of topic-aligned questions that they can use to build quizzes. This allows them to easily check for understanding and respond quickly and intervene as needed. Administrators can now also see reports on overall Learning Bird usage and can view student results and progress at the individual, class, and school levels. 

Teachers will save hours in delivering differentiated instruction as they now have a complete solution that allows them to easily find vetted and aligned content, assign lessons and check for understanding by quizzing students and viewing results immediately.

“By adding quizzes, we’re not only saving teachers time in offering differentiated instruction in their classes, we’re allowing administrators to see how students are performing and how teachers are checking for understanding,” said Henry Ryan, chief executive officer of Learning Bird. “We know differentiation improves student scores, and we want to do everything we can to help students perform at their highest level.”

Learning Bird’s quizzes are powered by Certica Solutions’ Formative Assessment Item Bank, a dynamic, expertly developed bank of math, English language arts, science and social studies questions used for creating custom assessments. All of the questions are created by experienced writers and content specialists and are put through multiple rounds of review for style, consistency, grammar, accuracy, bias and sensitivity. The questions are aligned to Common Core State Standards (CCSS), state-specific versions of CCSS, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), state-specific versions of NGSS, and state standards for science, social studies and non-Common Core states, so teachers can be confident that they match learning objectives.

Learning Bird offers all teachers free accounts where they can use the platform with up to five students. Teachers can access all of the Learning Bird vetted and aligned digital lessons and can even assign lessons. Teacher accounts will also have free access to the new quizzes feature for the first 30 days. Visit https://www.learningbird.com/iamateacher to sign-up for your free account.

Learning Bird’s new quiz feature is available as of Monday (Feb. 8). An exclusive preview is available in the Learning Bird booth (#2511) this week at TCEA in Austin, Texas.

Pricing for Learning Bird starts at $12 per student per year without quizzes, and $16 per student per year with quizzes. Special district-level pricing is also available.

 

About Learning Bird

Delivering differentiated learning to every student is expensive to implement and challenging to scale. Learning Bird provides teachers with the content, tools and professional development to easily guide each student to success on their own personal learning path. With thousands of lessons that offer multiple approaches on each topic, teachers can keep students engaged even when they encounter an obstacle. Our lessons are trustworthy, vetted by real teachers, and aligned to local curriculum. Learning Bird moves students in 6th to 12th grade toward better outcomes, higher graduation rates, and increased college and career readiness.

 

For more information, visit www.learningbird.com.

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CALIFONE expands 3068 Series to Headsets

Updates Best-Selling Headphone for Language Learning & Assessments is also now a headset to meet growing ELL needs

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, English language learners (ELLs) represent 10 percent of public school students – the fastest growing segment of student populations. With this increase, headsets in education are becoming an important tool to support assessments and effective language learning. To adapt to the evolving needs of ELLs, Califone International LLC updates its best-selling 3068AV headphone by offering the tool as a headset.

The 3068 headset features an attached noise reducing microphone to engage students in active speaking and listening, resulting in a deeper learning experience. The headset includes two of the most popular audio plugs, the 3.5 mm To Go and USB, for versatile use with mobile, computer or gaming devices.

 

The 3068 upgrades are designed to support a variety of learners,” said Tim Ridgway, vice president of marketing for Califone. “With the amount of ELL students growing faster than most groups in education, it’s important to provide exceptional solutions for language learning so that these individuals can develop academic and career skills. With more assessments requiring students to demonstrate proficiency via speaking in addition to passive listening, the two new versions support this evolution.

The 3068-style headsets feature ambient noise-reducing earcups for hearing safety and inline volume controls. For comfort and durability, the headstrap is fully adjustable and resistant to breakage. There are also now slotted baffles protecting the inner speakers so they can’t be accidentally damaged by an unfolded paperclip for instance. Overall, the features of the 3068 series are designed for flexibility and extended use in classroom environments.

The 3068 headsets are available now. For more information on the expanded 3068 line, full line of Califone products, and to view and download the entire Califone catalog, visit www.califone.com.

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

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Whooo’s Reading Adds Integration with Google Classroom and More

 

New improvements include Google syncs and logins, as well as

a new badge system targeting reading comprehension skills

San Diego — Feb. 2, 2016Whooo’s Reading, by Learn2Earn, is once again responding to teacher input and learning trends with two updates to its platform. The company can now help teachers integrate their Whooo’s Reading account with Google Classrooms. In addition, it has introduced an array of reading comprehension badges that add to the platform’s gamification and blended-learning elements, giving students motivation to master different reading comprehension skills sets, and the freedom to choose the manner and rate in which they master those standard-aligned skills.

 

Google Integration

The company integrated with Google Classroom in response to teacher’s expressed interest in the idea. “We have gotten a lot of feedback from teachers, in fact nearly 75 percent of Whooo’s Reading teachers shared that they would have an easier time integrating Whooo’s Reading in their classroom if it synced up with Google Classroom,” said Raphael Menko, the co-founder and CEO of Learn2Earn. “We believe that Google Classroom makes it easier for Whooo’s Reading to become a regular part of the learning week.”

 

The Google Classroom platform has proved extremely popular with teachers and students; EdSurge reports that within the first year of availability, the Chrome store saw 2.3 million downloads of the tool while the Android Play Store had between 500,000 and 1 million downloads. Additionally, 70 million assignments were created with Google Classroom in that same time period.

 

“The core benefit of integrating with Google classroom is that teachers and students can log in with their Google account,” said Menko. With the Google Classroom integration, new teacher users will no longer have to upload a roster file to add students, but will be able to automatically  add their students by syncing with Google Classroom. Those students won’t have to remember another username or password, but will be able to log in with their Google accounts. Additionally, existing teacher users will be able to sync their current student accounts with Google classroom so their students will also be able to log in with their Google accounts.

 

Badges System

With the new badges system, every standards-aligned category awards students three different types of badges:

 

— Focus badges, awarded for answering at least seven questions in a category.

— Mastery badges, awarded for receiving a “4” (the highest grade) from their teacher on three or more responses.

— Mystery badges, awarded for secret conditions that vary from category to category. For example, one category awards a badge if the student’s response gets one “like” from a teacher, one “like” from a parent, and one “like” from a fellow student.

 

Teachers who are focusing on teaching standards, such as analyzing comparisons, can look for students who have earned the Focus or Mastery badges in the relevant categories and reward them; in addition, they can identify which students need individual help in different areas of reading comprehension thus empowering them to easily differentiate their instruction. The badges are designed to be challenging to earn, and even students who regularly use the website may not earn all of them over the course of a school year.

 

“The goal of the new badges feature is to motivate students to become well-rounded thinkers by getting stronger in all of the platform’s comprehension-related question categories,” said Menko. “We only see improvement when we practice, and we believe focus badges will encourage students to answer more questions out of their comfort zone that will lead to greater comprehension across the board.”

 

Specifically designed with the motto ‘make sure the kids always win,’ the lively Whooo’s Reading platform makes reading fun by giving students the power of choice, allowing them to read fiction or nonfiction works while incorporating online game elements preferred by today’s digital natives. It also encourages student to improve specific standards-aligned reading and writing skills and become more confident in writing for authentic audiences, including classmates and family members. Finally, Whooo’s Reading gives teachers the ability to assess reading comprehension skills from any device including smartphones, tablets or computers.

 

About Learn2Earn

Learn2Earn is a young startup company focused on providing a 21st-century alternative to traditional literacy programs and school fundraising platforms. Unlike other reading or fundraising programs, their service is child-centric rather than educator-centric. That means that everything they develop is focused on benefitting the children who use it, on making reading fun, and improving specific reading and writing skills as outlined in the Common Core State Standards. In the area of fundraising, they offer something that most fundraising companies don’t: an educational platform for schools to use to raise money. Students aren’t selling; they’re improving their reading skills. For more information, visit https://www.learn2earn.org

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Edthena Integrates Videos From Gates Foundation Measures Of Effective Teaching Project

 

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Feb. 2, 2016 – Teachers using Edthena, an online video coaching platform for classroom observation, now have access to the complete library of Measuring Effective Teaching Extension (METX) videos.

 

The METX library, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is one of the largest video collections of classroom practice with more than 2,100 recorded lessons.

 

“Learning is collaborative, and learning to improve teaching is no exception,” said Steve Cantrell, the chief research officer at the Gates Foundation and co-director of the Measures of Effective Teaching Project. “But it’s hard to bring a group of adults into a classroom at the same time to observe and learn from real classroom practice. Edthena solves this problem for teachers and their coaches.”

Accessing the METX  videos inside the Edthena platform makes it possible to interact with and analyze the teaching videos using the Edthena commenting tools. While watching a video, it will be possible to add comments at specific moments in time. Comments can also be linked to any teaching framework in use by the organization.

Launched in 2011, the Edthena platform helps schools and districts implement video coaching within a professional development process. Teachers upload videos of classroom instruction and share with colleagues who provide time-stamped comments. Now teachers can pick videos from the METX library for analysis, too.

Teachers and coaches will have many options for how to utilize the METX videos as part of their learning. Some examples include:

●      Sharing METX videos to a group for collaborative conversation within a professional learning community

●      Independently analyzing METX videos as a check for understanding about implementing a specific skill

 

“I think what’s exciting is that this isn’t just a library of videos to watch passively. By integrating the METX videos into Edthena, we’ve transformed this library into one that can be used actively as part of collaborative discussions about teaching,” said Adam Geller, founder and CEO of Edthena. “Many districts and universities want example videos that can be used alongside teacher-created videos, but securing the content often proves too challenging.”

Cantrell agrees. “It takes a lot of time and energy to develop a shared understanding of good teaching. Edthena’s use of commenting at specific moments in the video makes this much easier,” he said. “Edthena will help coaches and instructional leaders do their work better.”

The MET project was launched in 2009 as a research partnership of academics, teachers and education organizations committed to investigating better ways to identify and develop effective teaching practices. During the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years, more than 350 teacher volunteers from six school districts video-recorded their lessons in order to help researchers and educators identify and develop examples of great teaching.

The METX library offers a special benefit for coaches and teachers because it includes three videos of every lesson: a front view of the board, a wide-angle view of the room, and a split-screen view. As a result, teachers have the option of focusing on what the instructor did, the overall interaction between instructor and students, or both. 

“When I asked MET teachers to help improve teaching and learning, they opened wide the doors to their classrooms,” said Cantrell. “These teachers believed that their practice, both their struggles and their triumphs, had value to others far beyond their schools. Now with Edthena, this vision has become a reality.”

About Edthena
Edthena is a classroom observation platform that makes teaching video the core of teacher professional development. Teachers upload classroom videos and share to colleagues who leave time-stamped comments. Edthena also offers specialized collaboration tools to help organizations implement best practices for video learning.

 

For more information, visit www.edthena.com.

For more news about Edthena, visit blog.edthena.com.

 

About the Measures of Effective Teaching Project

The Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project was designed to find out how evaluation methods could best be used to tell teachers more about the skills that make them most effective and to help districts identify and develop great teaching.The MET Project is a research partnership of academics, teachers, and education organizations committed to investigating better ways to identify and develop effective teaching. Funding is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

For more information, visit www.metproject.org

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Promethean Introduces Next Generation of its ActivWall™ System

Latest iteration of the interactive learning system enhances instant connecting, collaboration and sharing of ideas for teachers and students –

(ATLANTA – Feb. 3, 2016) – Global education technology solutions leader Promethean today announces the launch of the next generation of its ActivWall System at the 2016 TCEA Convention and Exposition. Advanced surface technology for the Modern Classroom, the widescreen surface of the new ActivWall product line is designed as a comprehensive collaborative learning solution, offering multi-touch interactivity, HD viewing and dry-erase writing. Directly from the home screen, teachers can browse the web, start a white-boarding session and wirelessly connect to mirror their devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops to the surface.

“The ActivWall System presents a theatre-like viewing experience in the classroom,” said Vincent Young, Chief Marketing Officer for Promethean. “This new product line transforms the traditional classroom display into a captivating viewing experience with best-in-class picture performance and full HD resolution. Students are accustomed to this level of technology in their daily lives, and achieving the same level of engagement in the classroom with technology involves meeting students where they are.”

This state-of-the-art classroom technology system includes a widescreen interactive surface, a DLP solid-state projector, built-in speakers, interactive software and a wireless mirroring system. It features Promethean’s LaserView™ Technology, a leading advancement in projection technology.  LaserView Technology delivers beautiful illumination and color, a near instant power on and off, auto-calibration and a 20,000-hour light source with no lamp replacement.

Designed as an all-in-one-solution for team-based collaboration, Promethean’s unique Surface-Segmentation Technology enables teachers to divide the ActivWall into independent learning spaces where students can work individually or in small groups to solve problems, explore solutions and learn in a technology-rich environment.

With the ActivWall System, creativity and critical thinking in the classroom happen without delay. Teachers and students can launch an instant whiteboard session to write and draw freely for brainstorming, instruction and sharing ideas without connecting a computer. The spacious multi-user surface makes any lesson interactive by supporting 20 touch points and four digital pens. A built-in web browser allows students to quickly search for information and share webpage images with live links and notes. After the session, the system captures all annotations, slides and notes to send to each student and the teacher. Assessing student understanding also becomes a natural part of the lesson and the learning process with the ActivWall System. Teachers can create and send instant polls and questions to students, who respond using any connected mobile device.

Harnessing the power of mobile technology in the classroom, the ActivWall System includes a wireless classroom connectivity solution that further enables:

Wireless connecting of Windows®, OS X®, iOS® or Android™ devices using the streaming feature built into the device. The ActivWall System eliminates the need for additional software or apps to connect students.

  • Mirroring and viewing content from mobile devices to share digital learning resources, including apps, games, documents and web pages, from smartphones, tablets and laptops to the ActivWall for whole-class viewing and interaction.  Mirror multiple devices at the same time.
  • Teachers to move freely throughout the classroom toobserve and intervene with individual students and work teams while mirroring lesson content using their smartphone, tablet or laptop.

The ActivWall System is available in 135” ultra-widescreen and 102” widescreen displays.

For more information, visit https://www.PrometheanWorld.com/Activwall.

About Promethean

Promethean is a global education company that improves learning productivity by developing, integrating, and implementing innovative 21st-century learning environments that help make everyone more engaged, empowered, and successful. Promethean’s main corporate offices are located in Blackburn, UK, and Atlanta, USA. Promethean is a member of the NetDragon Websoft, Inc. (HKSE: 0777) group of companies.  For more information, please visit www.prometheanworld.com.

Suzy Swindle

Promethean

suzy.swindle@prometheanworld.com

206-661-0757

About NetDragon Websoft Inc.

NetDragon Websoft Inc. (HKSE: 0777) is a leading innovator and creative force in China’s mobile Internet industry. Established in 1999, NetDragon is a vertically integrated, cutting-edge R&D powerhouse with a highly successful track record which includes the development of flagship MMORPGs such as Eudemons Online and Conquer Online, China’s number one online gaming portal, 17173.com, and China’s most influential smartphone app store platform, 91 Wireless, which was sold to Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) in 2013 as the largest Internet M&A transaction in China at the time. Being China’s pioneer in overseas expansion, NetDragon also directly operates a number of game titles in over 10 languages internationally since 2003. In recent years, NetDragon has become a major player in global online and mobile learning space as it works to leverage its mobile Internet technologies and operational know-how to develop a game-changing learning ecosystem. For more information, please visit www.netdragon.com.

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NWEA Releases New Study Linking Measures of Academic Progress Assessment to Smarter Balanced Assessment

(Portland, OR) – February 2, 2016 – A newly published study from Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) provides teachers with insight into how students would perform on Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia (SBAC) assessments, based on their Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) scores. The new linking study provides data for students in grades 3 through 8 in math and English Language arts.

“The study is pivotal because it allows educators to use scores from fall, winter and spring MAP assessments to forecast performance on state summative assessments,” said Wei He, Senior Manager for Psychometric Services at NWEA. “Teachers and students can get growth-focused instructional information that MAP provides and understand where to set their sights to meet year-end goals.”
The study’s data concordance allows educators to easily correlate MAP score ranges and SBAC cut scores to develop strategies that help students grow toward learning goals.  Researchers and policymakers can also use the concordance to evaluate and formulate academic standing.
“NWEA is committed to helping educators and parents use data to improve student learning,” said Matt Chapman, President of NWEA. “Our new study informs teaching and learning and helps educators provide timely supports to students.”
MAP, a computer adaptive interim assessment that provides immediate feedback to teachers about student learning, has been heralded nationally for its ability to pinpoint each students’ strengths, to identify areas for improvement and to measure student growth.
This study is an update to one provided to NWEA partners in Smarter Balanced states in November 2015. NWEA is collecting data to conduct a Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) linking study in the future.
About Northwest Evaluation Association
Northwest Evaluation Association™ (NWEA™) is a global not-for-profit educational services organization known for our suite of assessments, including our flagship interim assessment, Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®), and Skills Navigator®, a skills mastery and progress monitoring tool. More than 7,600 partners in U.S. schools, school districts, education agencies, and international schools trust us to offer pre-kindergarten through grade 12 assessments that accurately measure student growth and mastery, professional development that fosters educators’ ability to accelerate student learning, and research that supports assessment validity and data interpretation. To better inform instruction and maximize every learner’s academic growth, educators currently use NWEA assessments with nearly eight million students. Learn more at nwea.org.

 

2/2/16

EXO U Launches Ormi BYOD Teaching Platform

New solution lets teachers quickly share instructional content in classrooms with any combination of devices and operating systems, with or without Internet access

(AUSTIN, TX) February 3, 2016  — At TCEA 2016 Convention & Exposition, EXO U (“EXO U”) (TSXV: EXO) today announced the North American launch of Ormi, its new BYOD teaching platform. Ormi (meaning “momentum” in Greek) was engineered to minimize steps and eliminate common interruptions experienced by teachers when attempting to integrate mobile devices into classroom lessons.

Ormi’s unique design bridges advanced classroom management with simple, easy-to-use instructional tools. Teachers and students (when given permission) can share content to individuals, groups, a central display, or the entire class. Students and teachers can collaborate through group messaging and sharing. Setting up Ormi takes less than two minutes.

The platform works with or without internet access and does not require upgrades to existing network infrastructure. Student devices remain tethered to the classes they are used in, so there is no need to reconnect and lose time at the start of every lesson or day. An activity manager enables teachers and students to immediately return to any class or content from the previous week.

Teachers can also use Ormi to create new lessons or send existing instructional materials (including polls, lessons and quizzes) from any device to any device. Its teaching context algorithm distributes content to the right place, at the right page or point, every time.

“Our solution focuses on the crucial moment of teaching. We understand that if teachers are able to integrate BYOD in their lessons, we had to make it fast and easy,” said Ian Bryan, Vice President of Marketing at EXO U. “Mobile devices are entering schools faster than any other ed tech category, and we want to help teachers forget about the technology and focus on teaching.”

The TCEA launch of Ormi has two parts: a “Listening Day” and a “Launch Day.” Its Listening Day is a global, social-media driven campaign, sponsored by EXO U, to help educators build a roadmap for integrating mobile devices into classroom teaching. On-the-ground activities include roundtable discussions with educators and administrators to explore key questions and share best practices and ideas.

TCEA roundtables will be moderated by Sharon Campbell, a middle school teacher from Napa, CA, who is internationally recognized for building participant-centered, project-based learning models that blend classroom and neighborhood learning. Her students and classroom were used as the model for Project Based Education at the Global Educator’s conference in London and featured in the Taiwan Commonwealth Educators Journal. In 2009, she was named California School Master, the oldest and most prestigious California education award.

CEO Kevin Pawsey stated: “The North American launch of Ormi supports our refined go-to-market strategy, formulated in October, to launch with full distribution capability, early in the BYOD market growth surge, where we see over 40% of school districts issuing policies.”

Launch day will feature demonstrations of Ormi for educators, distributors, and manufacturers at Qomo booth #635 on the trade show floor. Drop-ins are welcome. For those not attending the convention, EXO U is happy to arrange an online demonstration at your convenience. To make an appointment to experience Ormi at TCEA or online, please contact John Butzin at jbutzin@exou.com or (512) 690-6639.

About EXO U

EXO U’s shares trade on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol EXO. EXO U develops an innovative software platform that enables businesses and educational institutions to securely mobilize and manage their mobile workforce and students by delivering engaging experiences spanning desktop and mobile applications. At the core of EXO U’s platform is the smart and agnostic EXO engine that unifies multiple software platforms, allowing devices to interact and communicate seamlessly together. For more information, visit EXOU.com or follow us on Twitter @exo_u.

Media contacts:

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Knomadix Transforms Static Content into Dynamic Digital Lessons

New learning platform creates dynamic learning experiences, provides instant feedback to students, and saves teachers hours on grading

 

(Plano, TX) February 2, 2016 – At this week’s TCEA 2016 Convention & Exposition, Knomadix introduces a customizable, interactive learning platform that converts static content such as PDFs and videos into fully interactive, dynamic content. This fresh approach to teaching allows educators to transform the way students learn by creating personalized lessons that integrate mobile devices into workflows and maximize the true power of digital devices in today’s classrooms.

 

Knomadix empowers teachers, curriculum specialists, content developers, and school administrators to create and deliver customized digital content for each student. The comprehensive content and workflow management solution is designed to facilitate an effective transition from an analog (print-based) classroom to a fully digitized and interactive classroom by transforming existing static content into customized activities and lessons.

District-level and school-level Instructional specialists, as well as teachers, can transform static PDF or video resources into engaging dynamic content such as:

  • Interactive worksheets with instant feedback, automatic grading, and differentiated instruction;
  • Multi-modal, gamified content that captivates students;
  • Customized instructional videos with embedded activities and assessments; and
  • Virtual interactive manipulatives including number board, geometry toolbox, and multimedia flashcards that deepens student engagement.

“We created Knomadix as the single solution teachers need for every aspect of content delivery and student engagement,” said Ramesh Balan, the CEO and founder of Knomadix. “The paradigm of teaching is shifting from analog to interactive. Our platform makes it easy for educators to transform existing, static lessons into dynamic, interactive lessons that engage students at every level. Our user-friendly platform has saved teachers countless hours in grading assignments and helped them offer more personalized, targeted instruction.”

In addition to simplifying dynamic content authoring and streamlining student-teacher workflow, Knomadix provides fully integrated tools for data gathering, reporting, and delivering insightful analytics. The platform captures student performance data, as well as each student’s intermediate steps, to guide decision-making. While students work through lessons, the system records all student activity. Educators can then selectively watch a video, or an instant replay, of how students have constructed their answers. Knomadix also provides educators with the ability to group students based on their learning preferences and achievement levels, then deliver differentiated instruction based on their skill levels and provide individual feedback that suits every student.

 

The Knomadix support team builds custom implementation plans for each district to help them launch the platform and help them successfully transition from an analog to a dynamic digital curriculum.

 

To make an appointment to experience Knomadix in the PR with Panache! Storytelling Suite at TCEA 2016, please contact Kayla Brown at Kayla@prwithpanache.com.

 

About Knomadix

Knomadix builds interactive mobile solutions that transform how educators teach and how students learn. With its fresh approach to creating and delivering customized digital content, Knomadix is a leader in the emerging mobile education market, offering digital tools for students, teachers, curriculum specialists, content developers, and school administrators. Knomadix goes beyond current mobile learning solutions by providing educators with the tools to drive continuous improvement through dynamic, individualized, and interactive digital lessons. Learn more at Knomadix.com.

 

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Bloomz Introduces its Award-Winning Free App to Connect Teachers and Parents

The new app engages today’s mobile and social-media-savvy parents with a single solution to all classroom communication needs

(AUSTIN, TX) February 2, 2016 —At the TCEA 2016 Convention & Exposition, Bloomz is introducing its revolutionary mobile and web app that connects teachers with today’s new generation of mobile and social-media-savvy parents. Bloomz saves teachers time by integrating communication, coordination, and community-building tools—all in one easy-to-use, beautifully designed app.

When it comes to communication, Bloomz goes beyond traditional messaging apps. It allows teachers to connect with parents by sharing photos and updates about the day’s activities, and can also send announcements for assignment due dates, reminders of registration deadlines, or alerts for really urgent matters.

Its integrated class calendar gives school communities one place where they can coordinate with parents, whether planning class activities, organizing field trips, or tracking parent-teacher conference signups. Bloomz also empowers parents to collaborate with each other, volunteer, and participate in these school activities.

With Bloomz, parents, teachers, school staff, and PTA leaders can all instantly communicate through private and secure two-way messaging—no more searching for phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Everything created or shared on Bloomz is protected by its strict privacy measures, which give teachers and administrators full control of who accesses the virtual classroom or school community.

“We are thrilled to introduce Bloomz to the ed tech community at TCEA 2016,” said Chaks Appalabattula, the founder and CEO of Bloomz. “Today’s parents do much of their communication through social media, from their mobile devices, and Bloomz allows educators to meet parents on their device of choice. The more parents participate in a sustained way, the more students achieve. Bloomz gives parents one place where they can stay engaged with every aspect of their child’s education.”

In its short life span, Bloomz has already earned a number of awards, including the Seal of Approval from the National Parenting Center. It also won a 2015 Award of Excellence for new products from Tech & Learning, and was recently recognized as one of the 20 Most Promising K-12 Technologies by CIO Review magazine.

Teachers in more than 8,000 schools are already using Bloomz to create thriving, engaged communities—and votes from Bloomz fans made it a People’s Choice award winner in the 2015 American Business Awards. One of those users who became a fan is Adam Dufault, the principal at St. Catherine Laboure School in Glenview, Illinois. Dufault said, “Communication is fast and easy—nothing gets lost in backpacks or in e-mail inboxes anymore. Bloomz has allowed us to strengthen the relationships that make a difference in the learning of our students.”

To make an appointment to experience Bloomz at TCEA 2016, please contact Kayla Brown.

About Bloomz

Bloomz is the free mobile and web app that connects educators with parents in a secure, social, private environment. In Bloomz, parents feel more connected than they ever have to their children’s world, and teachers have more time than ever before, because they have everything they need in one simple-to-use tool. Learn more at Bloomz.net.

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ADVISORY: National Superintendent of the Year to be Announced Feb. 11
at AASA’s National Conference on Education

What:  AASA, The School Superintendents Association, will announce the 2016 National Superintendent of the Yearduring the National Conference on Education in Phoenix, Ariz. The National Superintendent of the Year program, co-sponsored by Aramark, VALIC and AASA, now in its 29th year, celebrates the contributions and leadership of public school superintendents. Hundreds of school system leaders will convene in Phoenix to discuss the most critical issues in public education.

When: The announcement will be made Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, during the Opening General Session from 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. (local time).

Who: The four finalists for the 2016 AASA National Superintendent of the Year.

Click here to access a list of the AASA 2016 State Superintendents of the Year.

Watch the video: Meet the four finalists for the 2016 AASA National Superintendent of the Year.

Where: The Phoenix Convention Center / 100 N 3rd St., Phoenix, AZ, 85004

The conference hashtag is #NCE16. For more information about the 2016 National Conference on Education, visithttp://nce.aasa.org/.

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About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA advocates for the highest quality public education for all students, and develops and supports school system leaders.

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Fuel Education Introduces Career Readiness Pathways,

an Online and Blended Learning Program for Career and Technical Education

 

New end-to-end program enables schools and districts to offer students courses, tools, and exam and workforce preparation for multiple career pathway certifications necessary to succeed in both college and career

 

Herndon, Virginia, February 1, 2016 – The new global economy is craving highly skilled workers to fill high-demand jobs. According to theGeorgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, by 2020, 65 percent of all U.S. jobs will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school. In response, high schools are switching their focus from vocational technology programs to more comprehensive career and technical education (CTE) in order to more effectively prepare students for both college and careers. To help high schools launch comprehensive CTE programs that offer students opportunities to earn a high school diploma and industry certifications, Fuel Education™ (FuelEd™) has launched Career Readiness Pathways™, an online and blended learning program for CTE.

 

Online and blended learning models are ideal for high schools looking to transform or expand their CTE offerings quickly, affordably, and thoroughly. Schools can implement Career Readiness Pathways with their own teachers, or they can opt to fully or partially staff their CTE programs with FuelEd’s highly qualified, certified instructors to expand students’ access to different career pathways regardless of teacher shortages. The program offers both a comprehensive four-year program and an accelerated program so students can start a career pathway as late as 11th grade and still be prepared for certification by graduation.

 

FuelEd’s Career Readiness Pathways is starting with four Career Clusters®: business management and administration, health science, information technology, and manufacturing. Each cluster contains high-quality, rigorous courses for three career pathways allowing schools to offer up to 12 CTE pathways. Each pathway gives students the preparation and skills they need to earn industry-recognized certifications such as A*S*K and Microsoft® Office certifications in business; Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) in health science; CompTIA® and Adobe® certifications in information technology; and NIMS Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machine Operator Certification and MSSC Certified Production Technician Certification (CPTM) in manufacturing.

 

Career Readiness Pathways also contains support services to further prepare students for both college and career. Students receive preparation for the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC®) and the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI®) exams. They can explore their interests and learn more about themselves and potential industries with the career exploration services. In addition, students will learn critical, non-academic skills to help them thrive in the workplace with business skills development services. Additionally, FuelEd will help refer schools to SkillsUSA® to create their own career and technical student organization (CTSO) chapters for networking purposes.

 

“Giving students choices about their future empowers them to take charge of their education,” said Gregg Levin, Fuel Education’s General Manager. “With Career Readiness Pathways, students who may have never had a clear vision for their future can graduate high school with a diploma and an industry certification – and have the choice to start a career directly out of school or pursue a college education. It’s opening doors for students to have better lives after graduation.”

 

To learn more about Career Readiness Pathways, click here to watch a video or visit getfueled.com/careerpathways.

 

About Fuel Education

Fuel Education™ partners with school districts to fuel personalized learning and transform the education experience inside and outside the classroom. The company provides innovative solutions for pre-K through 12th grade that empower districts to implement successful online and blended learning programs. Its open, easy-to-use Personalized Learning Platform, PEAK™, enables teachers to customize courses using their own content, FuelEd courses and titles, third-party content, and open educational resources. Fuel Education offers the industry’s largest catalog of digital curriculum, certified instruction, professional development, and educational services. FuelEd has helped 2,000 school districts to improve student outcomes and better serve diverse student populations. To learn more, visit getfueled.com and Twitter.

 

©2016 Fuel Education LLC. All rights reserved. Fuel Education, FuelEd, and Career Readiness Pathways are trademarks of Fuel Education LLC or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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Extending Its Reach: The Virtual High School Appoints Director, Global Programs And Services To Support Needs Of International Students

 

Boston — Feb. 1, 2016 — In an effort to connect international students to online learning opportunities in the US, the Virtual High School (VHS, Inc.), a nonprofit empowering schools with the industry’s best online learning programs, announced today that it has selected Xuan You as its new Director, Global Programs and Services.

 

“Xuan brings a proven background in managing international projects and building strategic partnerships throughout Asia, the US and Europe,” said Carol Ribeiro, President and CEO of VHS.
“Her expertise will help expand our virtual learning offerings, both here in the US and globally.”

 

“Collaboration is the nucleus of VHS’s learning model, and this new position provides me the golden opportunity to take the practice of collaboration to a whole new level,” said You. “I look forward to working in tandem with other organizations, forming partnerships with industry experts and expanding our global footprint where we currently have students working online and virtually.”

 

The VHS mission is to provide students with access to high-quality online and blended learning experiences, while supporting educators with the professional development and services needed to provide effective 21st century education for every student. VHS partner schools have access to a wide range of core, elective, credit recovery and AP® courses that inspire, ignite, and deepen learning. For students, VHS helps develop independent learning skills, explore college majors and careers, earn credit, and participate in global classrooms.

 

You joins VHS from Gale International where she managed China operations. Prior to that she worked at MIT where she lectured and led projects, including work with UNICEF. You holds a Master of Science: Water Resource Engineering and Management from Stuttgart University, Germany and a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering from Tongji University, China.

 

About The Virtual High School

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 middle and high school online courses for students and professional development for educators. The organization also meets the unique educational needs of schools through custom course development, individualized course offerings, and support for blended learning initiatives. VHS design and delivery standards are the model used by the National Education Association in their recommended standards for online learning.  The organization has won numerous awards, including the Stockholm Challenge Award for Global Excellence in Information Technology and is a three-time winner of the United States Distance Learning Association’s (USDLA) award for Excellence in Programming and Excellence in Best Practices. For more information, visit www.TheVirtualHighSchool.org or call (978) 897-1900.

 

2/1/16

Follett, EBSCO Announce eBook Partnership

600,000 EBSCO-hosted eBook K-12 titles can now be ordered through Titlewave

 

McHENRY, Ill., Feb. 1, 2016Follett announced it is partnering with EBSCO Information Services to make approximately 600,000 EBSCO-hosted eBooks available for ordering through Titlewave, Follett’s premier collection development and order platform for K-12 schools.

EBSCO offers high-quality eBooks from more than 1,500 major publishers, including eBooks from more than 115 worldwide university presses. The Follett-EBSCO partnership provides schools with the flexibility to purchase EBSCO eBooks™ on Titlewave, a platform already integral to their workflow, and provides an easy, cost-effective way for libraries to provide educators with full-text EBSCO eBooks coverage to support their curricula.

Moreover, EBSCO eBooks support a quality learning experience across all subject areas taught in K-12 schools, and their content aligns with curriculum standards in the U.S. and Canada.

“The partnership with Follett will provide schools with quality K-12 e-books on the Titlewave platform,” said Ken Breen, Vice President of Product Management, EBSCO eBooks. “Since Titlewave is the premier source of curriculum-specific content, the partnership allows K-12 libraries to choose from thousands of EBSCO eBooks titles from within their preferred acquisition workflow.”

Lindsay Bozzani, Teacher Librarian of La Cañada (Calif.) High School’s Information Resource Center, says her district has used Follett for its catalogue software for more than 20 years.

“With the advent of so many eBook titles in non-fiction, we recently purchased EBSCO High School and Academic collections,” Bozzani said. “In an effort to expand awareness about this new endeavor, we merged the titles into our Follett catalogue. Students have found it easy to access the actual digital book via a link in the Destiny record, while teachers are interested because they are seeing a huge increase in the size and recently published titles of our collection.”

As books increasingly move to digital formats, Follett is at the forefront of the transition providing solutions that help educators and students access, integrate and increase the utility of digital content within schools. Currently, more than 30 million students and educators in 42,000 schools worldwide use eBooks provided by Follett.

“We look forward to partnering with EBSCO as it is a win-win for all of our customers,” said Nader Qaimari, Executive Vice President, Follett Corporation, and General Manager, Follett School Solutions.

For more information about Follett, visit www.FollettLearning.com; for more information about EBSCO Information Services, visit www.ebsco.com.

 

About EBSCO Information Services | www.ebsco.com

EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is the leading discovery service provider for libraries worldwide with more than 8,000 discovery customers in over 100 countries. EBSCO Discovery Service™ (EDS) provides each institution with a comprehensive, single search box for its entire collection, offering unparalleled relevance ranking quality and extensive customization. EBSCO is also the preeminent provider of online research content for libraries, including hundreds of research databases, historical archives, point-of-care medical reference, and corporate learning tools serving millions of end users at tens of thousands of institutions. EBSCO is the leading provider of electronic journals & books for libraries, with subscription management for more than 360,000 serials, including more than 57,000 e-journals, as well as online access to more than 800,000 e-books. EBSCO Information Services is a division of EBSCO Industries Inc., a family owned company since 1944.

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

 

About Follett Corporation| follett.com

For more than 140 years, Follett has been a trusted partner to pre-K and K-12 schools, districts, and college campuses, taking care of the critical details that make it easier for schools to run, teachers to teach and students to learn. Every day, Follett serves over half of the students in the United States, and works with 70,000 schools as a leading provider of education technology, services and print and digital content. Follett is higher education’s largest campus retailer and a hub for school spirit and community, operating more than 1,150 local campus stores and 1,600 virtual stores across the continent. Headquartered in Westchester, Illinois, Follett is a $2.6 billion privately held company.

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Lightspeed Technologies Expands its Leadership Team

The experienced executives will focus on core values and sustainable growth in the education market

 TUALATIN, Oregon (February 1, 2015)­­ — Lightspeed Technologies, the provider of classroom audio technology that inspires powerful communication, collaboration and classroom insight, today announced the expansion of its executive leadership team. The company promoted David Solomon to Executive VP & General Manager of Learning Technologies, Shaun Fagan to Director of Product Marketing, Tony Zeikle to VP of US Sales, Reid Hansen to Regional Sales Manager, and Carolyn Hollowell to Director of International Markets and E-Commerce Sales.

Since 1994, Lightspeed has invested in research and development to provide groundbreaking technology specifically designed to support education. With the 21st-century classroom in mind, Lightspeed creates instructional solutions for better listening and sharing so students hear every word and have equitable equal access to learning. Lightspeed’s solutions also give today’s teachers critical insights into individual progress for real-time assessments.

“We are extremely fortunate to have these five Lightspeed team members setting the direction for Lightspeed Technologies,” said Jerry Ramey, the CEO of Lightspeed. “Preserving our unique culture and core values while building sustainable growth is critical to fulfilling our long-term vision as an employee-owned company.”

Solomon and Fagan have each grown with the company for more than 10 years. Zeikle has been a successful sales consultant and regional manager with the company since 2007. Hansen and Hollowell are more recent additions and have quickly proven their ability to make a difference, bringing new skills and insights to the sales and marketing teams.

As Executive VP & General Manager of Learning Technologies, Solomon is responsible for all areas of the Lightspeed Technologies business related to serving the education market, including strategic direction, product development, customer relations, increased sales, and overall success of the business. Fagan will partner with VP of engineering Tom Koller in leading product development efforts in research and development to ensure that Lightspeed provides 21st-century learners is the best technology and most reliable solutions in the industry. Koller is a co-founder of Lightspeed and has been the catalyst for the engineering team since 1990. Zeikle will lead the U.S. direct sales team of classroom consultants, and manage Lightspeed relationships with architects, engineers, and systems integrators. Hansen will assume the role of Regional Sales Manager for the West. Hollowell will continue to manage international partner relationships and will also assume responsibility for customer engagement marketing, inside sales development, and e-commerce. Jerry Ramey remains CEO and will devote his time to new market development and financial management. He will remain active in product development and mentoring the leadership team.

“Lightspeed is a special company where we all work together to make a positive difference in peoples’ lives,” said Solomon. “I am grateful to have a role in leading our company into the future.”

About Lightspeed Technologies

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

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


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