CoSN Kicks Off 2013-2014 Webinar Series
Opportunity for K-12 Leaders to Participate in In-depth Online Discussions on Ed Tech Trends and Strategies; First Webinar Scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 12
Washington, DC (November 6, 2013) – The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) today released its 2013-2014 Webinar Series schedule, which begins on Tuesday, Nov. 12, and concludes in May 2014. Featuring local, regional, federal, and private sector K-12 education leaders from across the country, the hour-long webinars will be an online forum for regular discussions on a range of issues, including privacy in the cloud, learning analytics, “hybrid innovation” strategies, high stakes online assessments, smart education networks, and the “2014 Horizon Report K-12 Edition,” among other K-12 education technology trends and tools.
“The webinars provide participants with a unique, important opportunity to have conversations online about real, best practices that are strengthening and shaping the learning environment,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “This year, we’re again excited to offer an exceptional lineup of topics and speakers who will give participants incredible insight on what’s happening and forthcoming in K-12 ed tech. We encourage school leaders, educators, and other ed tech advocates to join the discussion and share their perspectives in what will be another thought-provoking series.”
CoSN’s first webinar, themed “Is Privacy in the Cloud Possible?” will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 12 from 1-2 p.m. EST and will examine current regulations and best practices of school privacy in the cloud-based environment. Presenters will include Jim Siegl, Technology Architect, Fairfax County Public Schools (VA); Kathleen M. Styles, Chief Privacy Officer, U.S. Department of Education; David Rubin, Attorney, Council of School Attorneys; and Aimee Guidera, Executive Director, Data Quality Campaign. To register, please visit:www.cosn.org/events/webinars/cosn-webinar-series-privacy-cloud-possible.
To follow is the remaining 2013-2014 Webinar Series schedule:
Participation in the webinars is free for CoSN members and the media. Press should contact Michael Kaplun at michaelkaplun@cosn.org or Jennifer Cummings at jcummings@cosn.org for details. For more information, please visit: www.cosn.org/events/webinars.

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

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Free Webinar to Help Learning Resource Providers Discover Benefits of New Metadata Standard

 

Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) Event on November 20 to Cover Background, Case Studies, Best Practices

 

Philadelphia, PA, November 7, 2013 – The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) will host a free webinar on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. (EST) for anyone interested in learning more about the LRMI metadata framework and the promise it holds for personalized learning. Dave Gladney, LRMI project manager; and Michael Jay, education metadata expert and president of Educational Systemics, will review the project background and explain the importance of the project to the educational resource community. Other speakers, including David Grandison, executive producer of BrainPOP, will explain how they have implemented LRMI tagging and why they think it’s important in terms of improving online discoverability for their products and services.

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and co-led by the Association of Educational Publishers and Creative Commons, the LRMI developed a common metadata framework for describing educational content and products on the web so educators, students, and parents can more efficiently search for quality resources. In April 2013, Schema.org, the consortium of search engines Bing, Google, Yahoo!, and Yandex that is working to establish common metadata tagging across the Internet, adopted the LRMI schema. This means that the LRMI properties are now part of the structured metadata that major search engines index in their searches.

Webinar attendees will learn:

  • Why LRMI tagging is vital
  • How to incorporate LRMI tagging into existing business models and workflow
  • Who should handle the tagging and why
  • Why LRMI tagging will continue to grow in importance

Additionally, participants will discover how using the LRMI tags, such as content area, age range, and alignment to specific educational standards, such as the Common Core State Standards, can improve online discoverability.

In addition, the speakers will discuss the soon-to-be-released Sandbox Node on the Learning Registry. Once released, the node will allow companies and organizations to test out what it means to publish to the Learning Registry, explore the benefits, and determine how they might best incorporate that process into their workflow.

“This free webinar will inform the educational community about the importance and potential impact of the LRMI,” said Dave Gladney, LRMI project manager. “Publishers will find it in their best interest to begin tagging their resources to the LRMI if they haven’t already done so because it will improve the discoverability of their products and services as search engines begin to incorporate the LRMI properties into their searches.”

Register for the free LRMI webinar today here.

To learn more about the LRMI, visit www.lrmi.net. Receive project updates directly by signing up for the free monthly LRMI newsletter, LRMI Update, here.

About The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative
The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) aims to make the educational resource search experience richer for educators and learners and improve the discoverability of resources for content creators. TheAssociation of Educational Publishers (AEP) and Creative Commons have co-led the project since its founding in 2011. In July 2013, the School Division of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and AEP merged to form the AAP PreK-12 Learning Group. AEP’s programs have been transferred to AAP pursuant to the merger. However, AEP continues to manage the LRMI because of AEP’s 501(c)(3) status.

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Skyward Helps Two Florida School Districts Operate with Increased Efficiency
Collaborative partnerships and streamlined processes yield improved
data tracking and communication for the districts
 
STEVENS POINT, Wis. – Nov. 6, 2013 – Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS) in Sanford, Florida, and the Dixie School District located just west of Gainesville, have increased operational efficiency since implementing the Skyward Student Management Suite. Both districts benefit from the software’s simplified administrative and reporting functions, and its ability to facilitate school-to-home communication and staff collaboration.

SCPS serves 64,000 students, and prior to implementing Skyward two years ago, utilized a student system that lacked the functionality and features to stay current with state reporting requirements. Tim Harper, director of staffing and state reporting at SCPS, said he is pleased with the personal attention, collaborative partnership and streamlined process the district receives with Skyward.

“Now that we use the Student Management Suite from Skyward, the data we submit monthly to the state is incredibly accurate and multifaceted,” said Harper. “Additionally, staff members love the myriad functions the system provides, and the rapport we have built with Skyward employees has exceeded our expectations. Together, we monitor the state’s data reporting requirements and act accordingly, creating a true partnership.”

SCPS has experienced increased efficiency with state reporting, allowing it to cut the eight-person team devoted to this process in half. Today, a three-person team focuses on extracting, scrubbing and shipping data to the state, while the repurposed staff members direct their efforts to other areas, such as web development.

With Skyward, teachers at Dixie, a district of 2,000 students, are able to collect student data and analyze key trends that influence student performance. The district also is communicating more effectively with parents, resulting in less truancy and fewer low-performing students.

“One of the biggest ways Skyward has impacted the district is through the Family Access module,” said Karen E. Sapp, management information specialist at Dixie School District. “Parents can access all of their student’s information, from grades and assignments to standardized testing and discipline, in one centralized location, improving communication between teachers, parents and students. Family Access is just one example of the innovative services we get from using this system.”

A case study detailing the increased operational efficiency at SCPS and Dixie School District is available for download at: http://www.skyward.com/Page.ashx/News/case_studies.

 
About Skyward
Skyward is a leading provider of K-12 school administrative software that surpasses districts’ needs in state reporting, improves operational capabilities, and opens communication between schools and families. Today, the Skyward School Management System™ is used in more than 1,600 school districts worldwide, ranging from districts with as few as 50 students to statewide implementations supporting more than 800,000 students. Founded in 1980, Skyward serves school districts with its integrated student, finance, and human resources suite of products and is proudly made and supported in the United States. To learn more, visit www.skyward.com.

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myON reader Named Best Reading Website by Tech & Learning

31st Annual Awards of Excellence winners announced 

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. & SAN BRUNO, CA (Nov. 6, 2013) – Tech & Learning magazine recently announced the recipients of the 2013 Awards of Excellence in its prestigious 31-year-old program. Tech & Learning named myON reader as the bestpersonalized literacy website.  The awards honor software, hardware, network, and web products that include innovative, groundbreaking applications in Ed Tech.

Winners were judged by an independent panel of more than 30 educators, tasked with testing and evaluating and ultimately choosing 30 winners from more than 150 entries.

“The opportunities for using technology in the classroom have never been better, but making purchasing decisions has never been more difficult,” says Kevin Hogan, Editorial Director for NewBay Media’s Tech & Learning Group. “We hope that the hard work our judges have performed this year adds insight to our readers’ search for the best solutions.”

myON reader is one of these solutions. myON reader allows students to access a unique online environment: the largest collection of enhanced digital books with multimedia supports, including naturally-recorded audio, text highlighting and an embedded dictionary.  With more than 5,000 titles and growing, students are given a recommended booklist based on individual interests and reading level. Housed within a safe digital learning environment—a platform in which today’s students are comfortable—the wealth of myON titles at their fingertips encourages and enables students to become more confident, skilled readers.

“This recognition is a true testament to the hard work done by the entire team at myON.  We are honored to receive this prestigious award from Tech & Learning,” comments myON President Todd Brekhus.  “Providing more than 3 million learners with the most comprehensive and engaging personalized digital literacy platform is our top priority. It is great to see our efforts recognized.”

Entries were divided into two categories: New Products and Best Upgraded Products. Winning selections include software and web-based products, as well as hardware and AV tools. Among the high-quality offerings being honored are resources addressing management, safety, communication, differentiated learning, assessment, and other key areas in education.

Please join us in congratulating the New Product winners of the 2013 Tech & Learning Awards of Excellence. Look for detailed descriptions and judges’ comments in the December 2013 Awards Issue.

For a complete list of 2013 recipients, please visit tech & Learning online at http://www.techlearning.com/section/AwardsofExcellence

For more information about myON Reader or a trial, visit them online at: www.myon.com

About the Awards of Exellence

Tech & Learning‘s Awards of Excellence program has been recognizing outstanding Ed Tech curriculum products for over 30 years. With a solid reputation in the industry as a long-standing, high-quality program, the AOE recognizes both the “best of the best” and creative new offerings that help educators in the business of teaching, training and managing with technology. All entries are given a rigorous test-driving by qualified educators in several rounds of judging. The T&L editorial team also carefully screens products. Evaluation criteria include the following: quality and effectivenessease of usecreative use of technology, and suitability for use in an educational environment.

About myON™

myON, a business unit of Capstone, develops personalized learning environments for students. As the flagship product, myON reader provides access to the largest integrated collection of enhanced digital books with multimedia supports and embedded Lexile assessments to measure reading growth. Using myON reader, students gain confidence in their abilities, take ownership of their reading growth, and achieve success across the curriculum. Since the platform launched in January 2011, more than 3 million students have logged on to read upwards of 6.25 million books.  For more information, visit www.myON.com

About Tech & Learning

For over 30 years, Tech & Learning has been—and continues to be—the leading resource for K-12 leaders. Its publications, Web sites and events provide factual and evaluative information on trends, products, and strategies to educators who purchase technology products in their districts and schools. Tech & Learning, published by NewBay Media LLC, delivers the highest quality content and essential resources to manage, train, and teach technology. For more information, visit www.TechLearning.com.

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Flipped Learning Pioneers Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams Nominated for International Education Award
Brock International Prize in Education recognizes individuals who have made a significant impact in education

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (Nov. 6, 2013) – Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams were nominated this month for the 2014 Brock International Prize in Education. Known as flipped learning pioneers, Bergmann and Sams co-authored the book, Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day.

The Brock International Prize in Education, named for Oklahoma natives John and Donnie Brock, is awarded annually and recognizes individuals who developed a specific innovation or contribution, resulting in a significant impact on the practice or understanding of the field of education.

To be nominated for the award, the innovation or contribution has to be specific enough where it has the potential to provide long-term benefit to everyone through change and improvement at any education level.

“I believe people become teachers to positively impact the lives of every student that walks through the classroom door,” said Bergmann. “Through my time in the classroom, I was able to see what worked and what didn’t, and how my students responded along the way. Being recognized as a Brock International Prize nominee is an honor, and it motivates me to facilitate even more impactful change in education.”

For more information about Bergmann, Flipped Learning, LLC and the flipped learning model, visit www.JonBergmann.com. To learn more about Bergmann’s speaking and training services, visit www.JonBergmann.com/speaking-training/sessions-titles.

About Flipped Learning, LLC
Author, teacher, educational coach and flipped learning pioneer Jon Bergmann founded Flipped Learning, LLC. A former high school science teacher, Bergmann is now a full-time speaker and trainer helping educators and corporations implement flipped learning into their schools and organizations. Bergmann received the Presidential Award for Excellence for Math and Science Teaching in 2002, and was named Semi-Finalist for Colorado Teacher of the Year in 2010. He also serves on the advisory board for TED-Education. Bergmann, along with Aaron Sams, co-authored the book, Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day. A second book is scheduled for release in 2014. To learn more about Bergmann’s speaking and training services, visit www.JonBergmann.com.

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Rourke Educational Media Hires Ed Kisman as Executive VP of Sales/Marketing

Industry veteran, formerly with Apex Learning and Follett Software, embraces new challenge

 

VERO BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 6, 2013) Rourke Educational Media, which provides preK-12 educators with narrative-rich learning materials that help students of all experience and backgrounds succeed, today announced the hiring of Ed Kisman as its new executive vice president of sales and marketing.

Kisman brings a broad-based sales and business development leadership background within the K12 software and professional service organizations. He previously served as director of sales, central United States, for Apex Learning, a digital curriculum provider of blended and virtual learning for the nation’s public school districts and charter schools.  During his travels across the central U.S., Kisman said his discussions with school district leaders, thought leaders and customers frequently turned to issues involving the acquisition of early reading skills.

“The leaders I talked to wanted to know which companies are stepping up to solve this problem versus passing on the symptoms later in a student’s life,” Kisman said. “They also want to know which companies are taking the time to be proactive in challenging kids at an early age to be motivated, engaged and develop early reading and vocabulary skills that they build upon.”

Kisman stressed he not only is impressed with Rourke Educational Media’s accomplishments and growth since being founded 30 years ago, but he said the company is positioned well for future success.

“Rourke Educational Media is in an enviable position in the PreK-12 market space as the need to provide instructional and supplemental support is ever growing,” Kisman said. “The key for Rourke is its ability to provide students the ability to be motivated through both online and print content, and provide different content solutions to meet the needs of all students, regardless of their reading level.”

For nine years beginning in 2002, Kisman was vice president of sales for Follett Software Company, a leading educational solutions provider, where he earned numerous awards for excellence. In addition, Kisman was vice president of sales operations for Alorica, Inc., a global provider of enterprise software service and solutions to Fortune 500 companies, and director of business development for ZD Consultants (formerly a division of Ziff Davis Education).

Kisman graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing and marketing management from John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio.

More information about Rourke Educational Media is available at (800) 394-7055, or by visiting its website atwww.rourkeeducationalmedia.com.

 

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

 

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