NCCE and myON Announce Strategic Partnership
Free Spring Trial of Enhanced Digital Books is First Collaborative Initiative
Minneapolis, MN & Coeur d’Alene, ID, March 12, 2014 – Northwest Council for Computer Education (NCCE), the Northwest affiliate of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and myON, a business unit of Capstone and leading provider of personalized literacy solutions for PreK-12, have entered into a strategic partnership to support educators who are integrating technology into literacy instruction.
To launch this year-round partnership, NCCE and myON are co-sponsoring a free trial of myON’s enhanced digital books for educators, students and families in the four states served by NCCE: Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The trial, which ends on June 30, provides unlimited, 24 x 7 access to more than 4,000 digital books from Capstone, the leading publisher of school and library texts. Flexible supports include an embedded dictionary, professionally recorded audio, and text highlighting. The digital books are available for online or offline reading, in and out of school.
myON books form the core component of the award-winning myON personalized literacy environment, which includes embedded tools and assessments that support and measure student reading growth. During the course of the year, NCCE and myON will collaborate to pilot the myON literacy environment with select member districts, and share best practices and outcomes with the NCCE membership-at-large.
“NCCE is pleased to join with myON to bring cutting edge literary resources to students and teachers throughout the Northwest,” stated Heidi Rogers, CEO/Executive Director of NCCE. “The partnership with myON is in direct alignment with our organizational mission to lead, engage, and assist educational communities to reach higher levels of student and educator success through the use of 21st Century technology.”
“We are delighted to partner with NCCE, whose work with educators to personalize learning experiences so closely aligns with our mission of personalizing the reading experience for every student,” said Todd Brekhus, president of myON. “Our team is looking forward to collaborating with NCCE staff and members to ensure that all students have an opportunity to grow as readers and learners. We will accomplish this together, by meeting each student where they are with just-right resources and supports that optimize their learning potential, and by providing educators with the tools and customized professional development they need to successfully implement personalized learning solutions.”
For more information about NCCE, please visit www.ncce.org.
For more information about myON, visit www.myon.com
NEWS FROM WILDLIFE ACOUSTICS…FOR THE NSTA APRIL CONFERENCE IN BOSTON
WILDLIFE ACOUSTICS will be giving away three custom-designed, oversized bat playhouses at NSTA.
Each playhouse is more than 5 feet tall and is modeled after a real bat house, letting the imaginations of 4-to-7-year-olds run wild as they become micro bats. BTW, micro bat is a class of tiny bats that echolocate.
“The Be Like A Bat Playhouse effort was a creative collaboration in the very best sense of the term,” said Robert Gierschick, director of marketing for Wildlife Acoustics. “Our partners donated their time and talent to make this project possible, and we had fun thinking like 4-to-7-year olds for a change.”
As students explore the playhouses, they will experience a day in the life of a bat, from roosting (hanging out with buddies) and echolocation (communicating with others) to “flying” in and out of the bat house.
The boxes for the playhouses were donated by Rand Whitney, and the colorful “Bat Facts” graphics that cover the playhouses were donated by Shawmut Printing. Bat Conservation International developed a special K-2 curriculum that ties the playhouse into group activities.
“Because the children get to act like bats, the program delivers lessons in bat biology and bioacoustics in an active and engaging way”, said Andrew Walker, CEO of Bat Conservation International. “Perhaps we’ll even lead some youngsters into the fields of science and animal biology.”
Much fun to be had.
New Research Paper Shows Use of Responsive Classroom
Leads to Academic Gains
Turners Falls, MA—The use of Responsive Classroom, a research-based approach to elementary education, leads to academic gains in students, according to a University of Virginia study just published in the American Educational Research Journal.
The randomized controlled trial, which followed 2,094 students in 24 Virginia schools for three years (from grades 3 to 5), found that students whose teachers fully implemented the Responsive Classroom approach scored significantly higher on reading and math tests. The gains were equally strong for children of all socio-economic backgrounds.
The Responsive Classroom approach improves teachers’ effectiveness by raising their competencies across three key, interrelated domains of teaching: promoting academic engagement, creating positive community, and effectively managing the classroom. The approach emphasizes fostering student autonomy and teaching children foundational social and emotional skills needed for high-level academic learning.
Sara Rimm-Kaufman, principal investigator of the $2.9 million study funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, says evidence that teaching social skills can translate into higher test scores is important information for educational decision-makers at a time of heightened interest in high-level academic learning. “Our research shows that time spent supporting children’s social and emotional abilities can be a very wise investment,” said Kaufman, as quoted last week in the The Washington Post.
An important feature of the Responsive Classroom approach is that it’s not an “add on,” but rather integrates the teaching of social and academic skills throughout the school day. Teachers use specific practices to teach children crucial social and emotional skills such as cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-regulation while teaching academic lessons.
Lora Hodges, executive director of Northeast Foundation for Children, developer of the Responsive Classroom approach, says a holistic approach that integrates social, emotional, and academic learning is critical for success in today’s complex, globally connected world and foundational for achieving the Common Core State Standards. “If we want every child, every day, to learn the skills necessary to face the challenges of the 21st century, then we need to focus on the most important ingredient—good teaching. That’s what Responsive Classroom is all about.”
Hodges called the study findings a victory for children. “As educators, our highest hope is for students to succeed in school so they’ll flourish today, tomorrow, and far into the future. This study tells us that there is a reliable approach that teachers can use for turning that hope into reality.”
The University of Virginia study also found that support from the school principal was critical to teachers’ full use of theResponsive Classroom approach. As the researchers say, to implement the approach consistently and at a high level, teachers have to be supported by a school administrator or someone at the school who says “This is a priority, this is what we should be doing.”
About Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc., and the Responsive Classroom® Approach
The not-for-profit Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc. (NEFC) was established in 1981 by elementary school educators who envisioned a way of teaching that would bring together academic and social learning throughout the school day. That way of teaching, called the Responsive Classroom approach, is now being used in schools across the country. It has been recognized by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) as one of the most well-designed, evidence-based social and emotional learning programs. NEFC offers Responsive Classroom on-site consulting services to schools and districts; workshops and institutes for educators in locations around the country; and numerous books, videos, and other resources for teachers and administrators.
For more information, visit www.responsiveclassroom.org.
PK-12 Ed-Tech Enthusiasts Converged En Masse at First National Conference of the Year
ORLANDO, Fla. – More than 9,000 educators and technology aficionados gathered in central Florida’s Orange County Convention Center Jan. 28-31 for the first education-technology conference of the year: FETC 2014. The 34th annual conference featured dynamic speakers, exhibitors and events designed to provide PK-12 educators and administrators with an unparalleled opportunity to explore different technologies while increasing their familiarity with the latest devices, hardware, software and successful strategies on student technology integration.
“FETC is unlike any other conference,” said Mike Eason, President of Public Sector Events for 1105 Media. “It’s not just about new tech; we want to introduce attendees to these tools for their classrooms while ensuring student success.”
The FETC 2014 Exhibit Hall was filled with 428 exhibitor booths, including industry powerhouses like Google in Education, Insight Systems Exchange, Mediasite by Sonic Foundry, Scantron, Lenovo, NetApp, Sony, Aver and Edmodo. However, the focus of the Exhibit Hall was not just to showcase innovative new products, but to train teachers one-on-one on how to use it to benefit students.
“This year, FETC’s Exhibit Hall included an Incubator Pavilion,” said Eason. “This feature created exposure for more than 25 emerging ed-tech start ups and promoted an engaging atmosphere where attendees could learn first-hand about pioneering technologies and how to use these technologies to encourage and enhance learning.”
The Exhibit Hall also featured Lenovo’s $25,000 classroom makeover giveaway. The prize package included 30 Lenovo laptops powered by Intel Core i3® processors, Intel-sponsored coaching and a package of licenses and software to power productivity in the classroom. FETC registrants were eligible to participate in the giveaway by visiting and scanning their badges at select booth locations.
The more than 9,000 attendees made this one of the largest FETCs in several years.
“Clearly, this is a sign that political and administrative leaders are recognizing the importance and value of professional development for our nation’s educators – especially with classroom technology evolving as quickly as it is,” said Eason.
FETC maintained its reputation as a cutting-edge conference by featuring sessions targeting the hottest topics, such as game-based learning, mobile learning and security. This year’s schedule featured 220 concurrent and BYOT sessions.
FETC 2015 will be January 20-23 at the Orange County Convention Center. For more information, please visitwww.fetc.org.
About 1105 Media
1105 Media, Inc. provides integrated business-to-business information and media to qualified professionals in the public, academic and private sectors focusing on technology, products, policy, regulation and news delivered through an assortment of media, including print and online magazines, journals and newsletters; seminars, conferences, executive summits and trade shows; training and courseware; and web-based services. The markets served by these offerings include Government, Education, Network & Enterprise Computing, Business Intelligence, Office Equipment, Industrial Health & Safety, Compliance, Security, Environmental Protection, Water & Wastewater and Home Medical Equipment.
1105 Media is based in Chatsworth, Calif., with primary offices throughout the U.S. and more than 350 employees. The company was formed in April 2006 by Nautic Partners LLC, Alta Communications and President and CEO Neal Vitale
Real World Scholars to Launch at the ASCD Annual Conference
Social Entrepreneur-Focused Education Foundation to Begin Accepting Grant Applications
Los Angeles, CA, March 11, 2014 – Real World Scholars (RWS) www.realworldscholars.org, is pleased to announce that it will begin accepting grant applications from high schools for the 2014-2015 school year at the ASCD 69th Annual Conference & Exhibit Show (ac14.ascd.org). The conference, held in Los Angeles from March 15-17, 2014, will bring together educators, entrepreneurs, and visionaries to develop and deliver innovative programs that make a difference in the lives of students.
A social venture capital foundation, RWS’ mission is to foster social enterprise education by equipping educators with the tools necessary to teach future social entrepreneurs. The ASCD Annual Conference will serve as an opportunity for some of the nation’s most innovative educators to discuss unique developments in education and seek out cutting edge tools like those offered by RWS. RWS will be located at Booth 1735 at the ASCD Conference, and plans to provide $250,000 – $500,000 in small grants to high schools that are currently teaching or engaging students in social entrepreneurial studies. The grant will give students the hands-on opportunity to learn about business creation by working with seed capital in developing their social enterprise.
John K. Cahalin, Founder of Real World Scholars, states, “These are the types of educational choices I want for my own daughters. Our mission at RWS is to introduce kids to these new business models, models like B Corps. We should do more than teach our kids business skills, we should teach them how to use the power of business to impact their community.”
Want to Get Involved?
To better serve educators in teaching social entrepreneurship, the RWS ToolWorks Division will be a one-stop shop for educators looking for tools to teach small business creation. As communal support and industry involvement will be crucial for student success, RWS is encouraging all companies, organizations and local community members to reach out with resources and opportunities that could aid students in the creation of their social enterprise. To contribute to ToolWorks, contact RWS at www.realworldscholars.org.
About Real World Scholars
RWS is dedicated to investing in student entrepreneurial studies and equipping educators with the resources needed to better prepare students to engage in social entrepreneurship. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, RWS’ mission is to improve the way business and social entrepreneurship are taught and encourage students to use business as a force for good.
Epson Introduces PowerLite Pilot 2 for Centralized AV Switching and Control of Classroom Multimedia Devices
Easy-to-Use AV Control Box Designed Exclusively for Use with Epson Ultra-Short Throw and Short Throw Projectors
LONG BEACH, Calif. – March 12, 2014 – Epson, the number-one selling projector brand worldwide1, today introduced the PowerLite® Pilot™ 2 Projector Connection and Control Box, a comprehensive, user-friendly solution that consolidates connections and centralizes control of multimedia sources for educators using Epson’s short throw and ultra-short throw classroom projectors. Wall mounted for added convenience and eliminating the need for a handheld remote control, the PowerLite Pilot 2 easily integrates into today’s classroom by supporting advanced connectivity, giving teachers more control for connecting and managing a range of devices.
“Classroom technology needs to be as easy-to-use as possible, so teachers can focus on engaging students, and the PowerLite Pilot 2 offers a simplified solution for managing a wide range of multimedia devices with your projector,” said Sara Kim, associate product manager, K-12 Education Marketing, Epson America, Inc. “Equipped with advanced connectivity options and designed to match the interfaces of Epson’s new ultra-short throw projector models, the PowerLite Pilot 2 is a comprehensive tool that allows educators to easily control their classroom technology.”
Built upon the success of the PowerLite Pilot, the newly redesigned PowerLite Pilot 2 is a wall-mountable box for centralized projector control that integrates seamlessly with Epson short throw and ultra-short throw projectors, including the PowerLite 420/430, new PowerLite 570/580 and BrightLink® 575Wi/585Wi/595Wiseries. It delivers source switching and volume adjustments and also helps consolidate cables for a more organized look and feel, lessening potential hazards. The control box offers two HDMI ports, including one with MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) support for connecting multiple digital devices including mobile phones, tablets and other portable devices, providing enriched high definition viewing. The PowerLite Pilot 2 can also be used as an extension box, expanding the range of classroom cables that can be connected to it for added flexibility. It also includes a protective cable cover to prevent dust from entering.
Projector communication is facilitated via RS-232, and the various input/output connections available include: two HDMI (including one with MHL support), two VGA (computer 1 and 2) connectors with corresponding Audio (inputs/outputs), Composite Video, S-Video, AUX input (for use with portable audio devices), USB Type A, USB Type B, and Rec Out. The PowerLite Pilot 2 also works with Epson ELPSP02 Active Speakers (optional, sold separately), a set of two wall-mountable speakers delivering 30 watts of powerful sound with a built-in amplifier, for a complete classroom control and extended audio solution.
Pricing and Availability
The PowerLite Pilot 2 will be available in early May through national resellers, pro audio/visual dealers, mail order, distribution, and Epson.com for $249. The optional speakers are available for $149. The PowerLite Pilot 2 and optional speakers will also be available through Epson’s Brighter Futures® program, a unique sales and support initiative available specifically for schools. Brighter Futures is designed to help educators select and implement the best products for their classrooms while making the most of their budgets, and offers special pricing, extended Epson limited warranty, dedicated education account managers, and toll-free technical support for all applicable Epson products. For additional information about the PowerLite Pilot 2 and accessories, visitwww.epson.com/education.
Epson is a global innovation leader whose product lineup ranges from inkjet printers and printing systems, 3LCD projectors and industrial robots to sensors and other microdevices. Dedicated to exceeding the vision of its customers worldwide, Epson delivers customer value based on compact, energy-saving, and high-precision technologies in markets spanning enterprise and the home to commerce and industry.
Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises more than 73,000 employees in 94 companies around the world, and is proud of its ongoing contributions to the global environment and the communities in which it operates. Epson America, Inc. based in Long Beach, Calif. is Epson’s regional headquarters for the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. To learn more about Epson, please visit:www.Epson.com.