New Pitsco Community page streamlines searches, enhances customer experience

(March 5, 2014) — In an effort to simplify how customers interactPitsco Community pagewith the content on its website, Pitsco Education has created a newCommunity page, giving visitors quick access to the company’s social networks, blogs, publications, teacher tips, and company feedback page. The Community page can be accessed either from a tab on thewww.pitsco.com site or by going to www.pitsco.com/community directly.
On the Community page, visitors might notice a few other changes as well. All of Pitsco’s social network sites, for example, can be accessed with one click, which takes them to a page showing the latest streams from each network. Viewers can then access each individual full network if they so choose.
And the networks themselves have been the subject of increased attention. “Pitsco Education started focusing resources on social networks in July of 2013,” said Pitsco’s Online Marketing Coordinator Melissa Karsten. “We had a presence before then but fine-tuned the look and feel and increased our effort on the number and consistency of posts to keep viewers aware and interested.”
This new focus included adding Pinterest and Google+ to Pitsco’s social network repertoire, providing promotions for social network users to participate in, and increasing the amount and variety of content on the existing platforms. Pitsco can now be found on six major social network sites: FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest,YouTube, and LinkedIn.
The company’s blogs also have a designated link and a new streamlined look, making them much easier to navigate. With one click, customers can read the most recent posts from Pitsco’s blogs:Education Highlights, which incorporates three previous blogs — The CauseIn The News, and Product Spotlight — into one main blog encompassing many different aspects of Pitsco and education in general; In the Classroom, containing articles, tips, and product reviews from Pitsco’s TAG (Teacher Advisory Group) educators; andHomeschool News, which includes a variety of helpful information for homeschoolers.
Viewers can also access Teacher Tips and Pitsco’s Publications — The Pitsco NetworkLeaders in EducationSySTEM Alert!, and Rising Stars on the Community page. And like the other links from the Community page, these also take you to clean, easy-to-read pages.
For those with questions or feedback, the new page has a Suggestions link as well, linking to a quick form that provides an easy way for visitors to make suggestions and/or ask questions.
Karsten envisions a much-improved customer experience with the new Community links: “We are using new tools to make accessing our content easy and centralized. We’re excited to go live with this new Community page.”

Highlights/Multimedia:

Pitsco Education is the leading provider of age-appropriate, student-centered K-12 STEM learning solutions. Our standards-based curriculum, products, equipment, and materials promote student success through positive and challenging learning experiences, and our hands-on solutions teach core concepts and career skills in science, technology, engineering, and math.

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NAME CHANGE FOR NSSEA

The National School Supply and Equipment Association is now the Education Market Association (EDmarket). Members and leaders overwhelmingly voted to approve this new name for our organization to more accurately reflect the association’s scope in representing the educational products marketplace.

While officially approved with a bylaws change in January 2014, the new name is being rolled out this week as the industry gathers to celebrate the world’s largest tradeshow for the retail PreK through Higher Ed marketplace at ED Expo in Dallas. ED Expo attendees will see the new name and brand on display throughout the event that is being co-located with CAMEX, the Campus Market Expo. The combined event will include more than 1,000 companies exhibiting the most innovative products for educating students and enhancing learning.

The new website — www.edmarket.org — is up and running and features a fresh new look and user-friendly navigation. We invite you to check out all the latest information about our organization, events and education resources, and share your thoughts on how it works for your business.

Finally, be sure to update your EDmarket staff contacts to reflect our new domain @edmarket.org (e.g.,jmcgarry@edmarket.org). We look forward to sharing all the news on EDspaces, ED Expo and the new Education Market Association with you, our valued members and customers.

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Collaboration for Innovation: Advancing Equity and Excellence
CoSN and the Panasonic Foundation Offer Collaboration for Innovation, a Hybrid Professional Learning Opportunity to K-12 Educational Leadership Teams

Washington, DC– On March 5 through 7 in Charlotte, NC, the Panasonic Foundation and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) are launching a hybrid professional learning opportunity involving 16 school districts from across the United States. The initiative, known as Collaboration for Innovation (C4I), will focus on advancing equity and excellence in public schools in the U.S.
“We know there are leaders in schools and school systems across the U.S. with hard-earned insights into what works best for advancing an agenda of equity and excellence in public education. The question that this initiative aims to answer is how can those reservoirs of innovation and understanding be most meaningfully linked, thus generating new synergies and avenues for the improvement of educational outcomes?” noted Larry Leverett, Executive Director, Panasonic Foundation.
The C4I network will include district leadership teams, e.g., superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, and curriculum, assessment and technology leaders, in a three-day face-to-face meeting and an online private professional learning community of practice (CoP).
With a focus on advancing equity and excellence, Collaboration for Innovation will concentrate on:
  • Scaling implementation of Common Core Standards/Assessments with effective professional learning communities and online CoP;
  • Strengthening central office focus in service of school and student success;
  • Increasing student engagement through digital transformation in the 21st century learning environment; and
  • Fostering parental and other stakeholder engagement using digital resources.
Collaboration for Innovation is a powerful opportunity for school system leaders to collaborate with like-minded peers around innovative strategies to foster equity and excellence. CoSN, as the premier professional association for district technology leaders, is proud to partner with the Panasonic Foundation on this important leadership initiative,” Keith Krueger, CoSN CEO, noted.
A district superintendent who participated in an earlier phase of this same initiative noted: “The experience in St. Louis when we were physically together with those districts from across the country was powerful. We left on a high note. That was an opportunity for me where I took some of my staff who I see as moving up and giving them that opportunity to swim in deeper waters, and that was helpful for them.”
The collaboration will begin with a three-day face-to-face meeting (March 5-7, 2014) in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), NC, to follow with the establishment of an online professional learning community of practice using Google Communities. The site visit will focus on CMS strategic work in using Common Core State Standards as a lever for advancing equity and excellence and supporting a personalized 21st century learning environment for every child. The site visit will include opportunities to take a direct look at the systemic work in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and to collaborate with educational leaders from across the country in designing a community of practice that is tailored to each participating district’s needs and priorities.
Agenda activities will include visits to CMS schools, CMS presentations, team-oriented sessions, panel discussions, and multiple opportunities to network with district leaders participating in the C4I network. The online CoP will continue the collaboration in the four focus areas with activities that include, but are not limited to, online discussions, related Google Hangouts between participating district teams and thought leaders, periodic touch-point conference calls, and related book studies.
“Our focus has been on the incredible shift that has to happen for classroom teachers first and foremost in terms of how they think about defining a college- and career-ready student. For us, the focus is not just on our graduation cohort. It’s what those kids are prepared to do as they get a diploma and walk off the stage into their future,” said Ann B. Clark, Deputy Superintendent, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
The Panasonic Foundation continues to partner with public school districts and their communities to break the links between race, poverty, and educational outcomes by improving the academic and social success of ALL STUDENTS: ALL MEANS ALL. For over two decades, CoSN has provided technology leaders with the management, community building, and advocacy tools in support of student and school success.
Collaboration for Innovation: Advancing Excellence and Equity is informed by CoSN’s Empowering the 21st Century Superintendent Leadership initiative, the work CoSN has done around online communities of practice, and Panasonic Foundation’s experience in creating and leading the New Jersey Network of Superintendents, a community of practice.
To learn more about the network, please visit www.cosn.org.
To learn more about the Panasonic Foundation, please visit www.panasonicfoundation.net.
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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