‘Teaming’ to Advance the Digital Conversion Across K-12
CoSN Accepting Applications for Hybrid Professional Learning Opportunity –
Teaming for Transformation 3

Washington, DC (April 3, 2014) – The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) is accepting applications for its Teaming for Transformation (TFT) 3 – a hybrid professional learning opportunity for district and school leadership teams committed to digital conversions. TFT 3 will build on TFT I and II with a blended model of professional learning, allowing educators to get connected to resources, tools, colleagues, experts, and learning activities both within and beyond schools.
Completed applications are due by May 15, 2014Interested participants are invited to complete a brief application at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZPWPYLY.
“Participation in online communities of practice is a key way for educators to connect, strengthen teacher and leader effectiveness and improve student achievement,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “Teaming for Transformation, now entering its third cohort, provides this pathway for education leaders, and we’re encouraged districts committed to a digital conversion to join the network.”
TFT 3 participants will meet face-to-face at a launch event and continue to collaborate in an online community of practice that enables peer-to-peer learning and sharing of best practices. The group will explore a range of topics, including:
  • Change management that fosters coaching for principals and teacher leaders
  • Technical requirements for a digital conversion (bandwidth, network design, outside school access)
  • Fostering equity by leveraging community, state and federal funding
  • Proven practices for enabling successful 1:1 or BYOD initiatives
  • Evidence-based instructional practices that foster engaging learning environments
The TFT 3 group will convene in person at Baldwin County Public Schools (AL) on October 19-21, 2014 to learn about their successful community-based Digital Renaissance, which has been recognized by the White House.
“It is an incredible honor to be asked to host Teaming for Transformation 3. The students, teachers, administrators and members of our great communities in Baldwin County, Alabama, look forward to sharing with our peers across America the great accomplishments that can be achieved when everyone rallies around the vision to provide students the very best academic opportunities possible,” said Dr. Alan T. Lee, Ph.D, Superintendent, Baldwin County Public Schools. “We have a great passion to share with others what we’ve been able to achieve, and CoSN provides the perfect opportunity for all of us to learn more, to network and to build a support system for greatness that supports our students, teachers and administrators.”
To learn more about TFT 3, please visit: www.cosn.org/OnlineCop.
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.


Animal animations, sign language engage young students in phonics

Pittsburg, Kansas (April 3, 2014) — One of Pitsco Education’s newestLetter X Fox and Boyelementary programs — Phonics: Animals in Motion — has actually been fine-tuned for more than 20 years by developer Cindy Jones.
“I have been testing this program much longer than any other program I have developed,” said Jones, physical education teacher at Clover Hill Elementary in Midlothian, Virginia, and developer of the popular STEM in the Gym™ — Simple Machines program. “I started designing this for my daughter to help her learn phonics when she was two years old — she has ADD, and we are both kinesthetic learners. She enjoyed it so much and it was so helpful that I decided to start using it in my classes.”
Phonics: Animals in Motion uses kinesthetic activity to teach and reinforce phonics learning while keeping students active and engaged. Using a video featuring animal animations and children executing the activities, six different flash card sets, a teacher’s guide, and a student workbook, the program also incorporates counting and sign language. There are classroom and gym versions, which were developed for students ages 4 through 8.
Jones, who is also the director for the Children’s Council of International Technology and Engineering Educators Association and Children’s Outreach Chair of the Virginia Children’s Engineering Council, says the program works well because it engages so many different styles of learning: audio, visual, and kinesthetic. Pitsco Product Development Specialist Bill Holden says the program fits the company’s hands-on emphasis.
“The potential for Pitsco to assist in moving this concept from the idea stage to a real product was worth pursuing, as Cindy has a proven track record of incorporating kinesthetic learning within academic topics in her physical education courses,” Holden said.
The class and gym versions may be purchased as packages, and the individual elements may be purchased separately. Learn more about the Phonics: Animals in Motion programs by visitingwww.pitsco.com or by calling 800-835-0686.
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.


Wildlife Acoustics Announces Be Like A Bat Playhouse Program at NSTA


Kindergarteners through second graders will become micro bats

(BOSTON) April 3, 2014 — Wildlife Acoustics is giving young students a chance to peek at the world through the eyes of a bat with its Be Like a Bat Playhouse Program.

The worldwide provider of bioacoustics recording and analytical technology will be giving away three custom-designed, oversized bat playhouses at the National Science Teachers Association Conference (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.

“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.  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.”

About Wildlife Acoustics

Wildlife Acoustics is the leading provider of bioacoustics monitoring systems for researchers, scientists, conservationists and government agencies worldwide.  Its mission is to serve the needs of biologists and conservationists around the globe and create tools that enable them to better understand the changes in the global environment

Our innovative and affordable hardware, software, and curriculum increase teacher effectiveness and student engagement and promote the cause of the Citizen Scientist in K-12 classrooms. For more information, visit wildlifeacoustics.com.

Follow Wildlife Acoustics on Twitter @WildlifeAcoust and “Like” us on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/WildlifeAcoustics.

About Bat Conservation International

Bat Conservation International is dedicated to the lasting conservation of the world’s 1300+ species of bats.  BCI works throughout the world with local communities, government and civic leaders, businesses, scientists and other conservation organizations to identify, protect and manage critical habitats for bats and raise public awareness and appreciation of these remarkable creatures.  More information on BCI and its work can be found at www.batcon.org.

About Shawmut

Shawmut was founded in 1951 with a commitment to providing quality, service, and value. Today, we are a full-service solutions company, offering our clients design, writing and marketing services as well as printing, mailing, fulfillment, and online fulfillment and inventory in real time.  Visit us at www.shawmutprinting.com

About Rand Whitney

Rand-Whitney Container has built its reputation in the packaging industry on delivering creative, cost-saving packaging solutions.  Independently owned and operated by The Kraft Group, Rand-Whitney invests substantial capital in new technologies, expanded in-house capabilities, and a quality paper supply to ensure it always meets the emergent demands of its local and international customers.  To learn more about Rand-Whitney visit www.randwhitney.com.



Top competing teacher will be awarded $7,500 worth of prizes today


WHAT:            TODAY,  FRIDAY, April 4 at 12 noonFourier Education, makers of the award-winning einstein™Tablet+ and the einstein™Science Learning Platform, will announce the winners of the first-ever einstein™STEMathon in a live press conference. The event will be held at booth #1015 of the Boston Convention Center as part of the 2014 National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference.


The inaugural einstein™STEMathon, occurred yesterday (Thursday, April 3) on the first day of the NSTA conference. Nearly 50 science teachers participated in a live challenge against one another to create the most original and creative science experiment using theeinstein™Activity Maker tool.


Participants’ activities were judged on the scientifically valid principles they include, as well as their suitability for use on a tablet, computer, and sensor-based experiments, their creativity and how well they follow topic guidelines set forth by the judges in addition to their demonstration of certain core ideas outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Submissions were evaluated by the following einstein™STEMathon judges:

At 12 noon today, Fourier Education CEO, Ken Zwiebel will award the first-place winning teacher with  $5,000 worth of einstein™Science Learning Platform products and $2,500 in personal winnings. Second and third place participants will also be honored with substantial awards.


WHERE:    National Science Teachers Association 2014 Conference at the Boston Convention Center

Boston Convention & Exhibit Center

Booth #1015

415 Summer Street

Boston, MA 02210

WHEN:     TODAY: Friday, April 4, 2014; 12 noon


ALBERT EINSTEIN and EINSTEIN are either trademarks or registered trademarks of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Represented exclusively by GreenLight. Official licensed merchandise. Website: einstein.biz



Hooda Math debuts free cool math games at NCTM

Educational versions of viral games Flappy Birds and 2048 available for free 

(NEW ORLEANS) April 03, 2014 – Normally, playing Flappy Birds or 2048 during class might get you in trouble with the teacher. But thanks to Hooda Math, educational versions of both games are now available for free on the popular math games website.

Michael Edlavitch, the CEO of Hooda Math, will officially launch the games in New Orleans at the 2014 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Annual Meeting and Exposition. From April 9-12, Edlavitch will be at the company’s exhibitor booth, 1601, to show teachers the best way to use Hooda Math’s games in the classroom.

“We want to show kids that you can practice your math skills and have fun at the same time,” said Edlavitch. “We’re always creating new, engaging games, and with the immense popularity of Flappy Birds and 2048, they were a natural fit.”

Hooda Math’s version of Flappy Birds is called Flappy Factors. Just like in the original game, students maneuver a bird through a maze of pipes. To add a math twist, each pipe is labeled with an integer, and students must fly through the correct factors of a given multiple to avoid running into the pipes with incorrect answers. As the student progresses, the multiples become higher and higher.

Once a student has “flown” to the multiple 14 or higher, Hooda Math automatically generates a report that can be emailed directly to a teacher or parent tracking the student’s progress.

The site’s version of 2048 is essentially identical to the original. Students slide numbered tiles around the game board, adding matching tiles together in hopes of reaching the elusive 2048 tile.

“Many people don’t realize it, but these viral games actually involve quite a bit of math,” said Edlavitch. “We release new games on our site every week, so whatever the next hot game may be, look for a ‘math-friendly’ version of it on Hooda Math!”

Both games are optimized for mobile devices and can be accessed from any device, be it desktop, smart phone or tablet.

For more information about Hooda Math, visit www.hoodamath.com.

About Hooda Math

HoodaMath.com is a free online math games site. Founded by a middle school math teacher, Hooda Math offers more than 500 free math games that are played online by more than 3 million students a month. With more than 50 HTML5 games, students can now access HoodaMath.com on any tablet browser or mobile device.


Survey Conducted for Mimio by MDR’s EdNET Insight Service Shows Mobile Devices Have Deep and Positive Impact on Student Learning, But Are Still in Early Adoption Stage


Educators Polled Share Thoughts and Practices Regarding Mobile Learning


Cambridge, MA – April 3, 2014 – Mobile devices are well on their way to becoming an integral part of K-12 instruction, and they are having a noticeably positive impact on students’ learning experiences. These are the major findings from a recent survey conducted by MDR’s EdNET Insight service on behalf of Mimio. The survey was the third annual survey authorized by Mimio to gain a deeper understanding of educators’ and students’ experience and needs within the interactive classroom.


While mobile devices are best known for their use in 1:1 or BYOD programs, the school administrators, technology directors, and coordinators who were the survey’s targeted respondents revealed that mobile learning is not at all restricted to such environments. In fact, 75 percent of respondents indicated that their districts or schools were purchasing the devices for use by select grade levels or in specific content areas, rather than the more universal approaches of 1:1 implementation and BYOD programs.


More than two thirds of respondents (74 percent for all mobile devices and 69 percent for tablets) use the devices primarily as a general-purpose device for both instruction and assessment. Assessment was never cited as the sole primary use. However, 78 percent of respondents anticipate that mobile devices will be useful tools for the Common Core Assessments in the 2014-15 school year. This means that assessment may become a key use of mobile devices in the future.


“This latest survey confirms that the use of mobile devices is not a fad,” stated Manny Perez, president and chief operating officer, Mimio. “It’s a real paradigm shift in the way educational technology supports learning. Right now, we’re seeing that mobile devices are being used more as test phases or pilots for certain grades or content areas. However, according to 69 percent of respondents, over the next two years we should see mobile-device use expand across school grades and content areas.”


The survey also polled educators on the types of mobile devices that their schools or districts were considering for future purchase and implementation. The majority of respondents (82 percent) selected the iPad. Chromebooks received the second highest response, with 35 percent of respondents choosing that particular option. The reason behind the relative popularity of the Chromebooks could be that this device includes a keyboard, making it more convenient for student writing. A keyboard has to be added to many other devices.



GuideK12 Named SIIA Education CODiE Award Finalist for Best Education Cloud-based Solution


GuideK12 Earns Prestigious Education Industry Recognition

Eagan, MN. (April 3, 2014) GuideK12, geovisual analytics for education,  today announced that it was named a finalist for the 2014 SIIA Education CODiE Awards for best education cloud-based solution.   The SIIA CODiE Awards are the premier award for the software and information industries, and have been recognizing product excellence for 29 years. The awards have over 75 categories and are organized by industry focus of Content, Education, and Software.

This year’s program features 31 Education categories, several of which are new or updated to reflect the latest industry trends and business models. Winners will be announced during a special awards dinner at the nation’s leading education technology conference, the Education Industry Summit, in San Francisco on Tuesday, May 13.

GuideK12 enables administrators to visualize student and county characteristics on an interactive map and instantly understand how various changes would affect their district. This information can then be used to inform numerous decisions, such as boundary realignments, school choice impact studies, crisis planning, and more.


“Schools are awash in data,” Chuck Amos, CEO, says. “They don’t need more data. What’s missing is the insight from the data they already have. We provide a lens into the data and bring it to life in a way that really empowers key leaders in districts to make better decisions affecting their student population, their community and how they allocate resources. We are thrilled to be recognized again this year by SIIA as an innovative product bringing value to the education community.”


“This year’s finalists are breaking ground with new business models and innovative products. We are pleased to recognize the best in educational technology with these 119 products,” said Karen Billings, vice president of the SIIA Education Division. “I look forward to honoring them all in May at the Education Industry Summit.”

Details about each finalist are listed at http://siia.net/codies/2014/finalists.asp


About SIIA

SIIA is the leading association representing the software and digital content industries. SIIA represents approximately 800 member companies worldwide that develop software and digital information content.  Information technology (IT) and software security are critical issues to SIIA’s members, many of whom strive to develop safe, secure and state-of the-art products that effectively serve their commercial and government customers alike, while protecting their intellectual property.  The SIIA Education Division serves and represents more than 200 member companies that provide software, digital content, and other technologies that address educational needs. The Division shapes and supports the industry by providing leadership, advocacy, business development opportunities, and critical market information. For more information, visit www.siia.net/education


About GuideK12


Based in Eagan, MN, GuideK12LLC is a geovisual analytics software company, which enables education decision makers to instantly explore and analyze school district data by adding a geographic and visual dimension to their student and community information. By visualizing information spatially, decisions on everything from boundary analysis, to policy changes to resource planning and forecasting enrollments can be more insightful and faster. Named one of SIIA’s 2012 10 most innovative education technology products, GuideK12 serves large metro, suburban and rural school districts throughout the United States. It is owned by private investors and a private investment group based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more information, visitwww.guidek12.com



Competition will pit science teachers against one another to create the best experiment using the einstein™Activity Maker for up to $7,500 worth of prizes


WHAT:     On THURSDAY, April 3Fourier Education, makers of the award-winning einstein™Tablet+ andeinstein™Science Learning Platform, will host the first-ever einstein™STEMathon at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) 2014 Conference. The event will be held at the Boston Convention Center where approximately 50 teachers will compete in a live challenge to create the most original and creative science experiment using the einstein™Activity Maker tool.


Participating teachers and educators will meet in room #258B of the Boston Convention Center at 9 a.m. for the announcement of the activity topic.  At that point, they are free to spend as much or as little time building their activity with the assistance of the Fourier Education staff, who will be available until the close of the competition at 5:00 p.m.


Participants’ activities will be judged by some of the top influencers in STEM education including:


Activities will be judged on the scientifically valid principles they include, their suitability for use on a tablet, computer, and sensor-based experiments, how well they follow topic guidelines set forth by the judges and how well they demonstrate certain core ideas outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and creativity. The winning teacher will take home $5,000 worth of einstein™Science Learning Platform products and $2,500 in personal winnings. Second and third place participants will also receive substantial awards.

The award ceremony will take place at a press conference in Fourier Education’s booth (#1015) at 12 noon on Friday, April 4.


WHERE:    National Science Teachers Association 2014 Conference at the Boston Convention Center

Room #258B

415 Summer Street

Boston, MA 02210

WHEN:      Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • 9 a.m.: Doors open for participants to arrive, and the activity topic for competition is announced.
  • 9:15 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Participants will work with the innovative einstein™Activity Maker to create the best, most creative science experiment.


CONTACT:  Katie Kennedy: 610-731-1045katiek@gregoryfc