edWeb.net - A professional social network for the education community
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEedWeb.net Issues Report on the Use of Online Networks by Preservice TeachersPRINCETON, NJ, April 21, 2014 – edWeb.net, in collaboration with Knowledge Without Borders and MCH Strategic Data, released Pathways to Participation for Preservice Teachers, a report on the use of social media services by new teachers. The report examines how online networks help preservice and new teachers connect with inservice educators, providing them with the knowledge, resources, mentoring, and general support necessary to succeed in the classroom.

Pathways to Participation for Preservice Teachers is the first in a new series of reports from edWeb.net that will share research and insights from edWeb’s work supporting educators with free professional learning programs and a platform for collaboration. Lisa Schmucki, founder and CEO of edWeb.net, commented, “We connect with hundreds of educators on a daily basis.  We see how motivating and helpful it is for educators to have a way to connect directly with each other, and how excited they are to find new ways to make learning better for their students.”

The report was researched and written by Dr. Karen Collias, an educational advisor and researcher with more than 25 years of experience in the United States and abroad. According to Dr. Collias, “When preservice teachers participate in educational online communities, they discover individual pathways to resources, expertise and support necessary for success as new teachers.”  Dr. Collias has worked as an analyst, evaluator and director in national educational reform programs focusing on teacher preparation and science education and recently completed an evaluation of STEM education for the State of Delaware.

edWeb.net has been working since 2008 to help educators connect and collaborate to improve teaching and learning, and has been introduced to several colleges of education as a collaboration network.  Since 2011, edWeb hosts a New Teacher Help community on edWeb that provides an opportunity for preservice and new teachers to get support from a series of free webinars, live chats, online discussions, and resources.

Download the free report:   Pathways to Participation for Preservice Teachers

Preservice and new teachers, plus any educators with an interest in mentoring and supporting new teachers, are invited to join edWeb’s New Teacher Help community.

For more information, contact: 

Lisa Schmucki | Founder and CEO, edWeb.net
908-407-2755 | lisa@edweb.net

Dr. Karen Collias | Founder, Knowledge Without Borders
609-439-1446 | karen@knowwithoutborders.org

About edWeb.net
edWeb.net is a free professional learning and social network that makes it easy for educators to connect with peers, share resources and best practices, and create professional learning communities for collaboration.  edWeb hosts online professional learning communities on innovative ideas to help educators move forward faster with new initiatives – Common Core, game-based learning, mobile learning, tech tools, digital citizenship, school gardens, flipped learning, new teacher help, and much more. edWeb’s professional learning communities provide continuous engagement and support with interactive webinars, online chats and discussions, archived resources, and CE certificates. Schools and districts lack the time, expertise, and funding to provide the professional development educators need – edWeb fills that gap. Learn more at www.edweb.net or follow us on Twitter @edwebnet.

About Knowledge Without Borders
Since 2007, Knowledge Without Borders™ has explored ideas and actions of people and organizations, making new connections to leverage resources, to develop new systems and to find innovative solutions. Knowledge Without Borders is continually evolving in its exploration of innovation in education, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy.  Dr. Karen Collias, the founder, has a Ph.D. from Columbia University in political science and international education. She has worked as a policy analyst at the U.S. Department of State, an editor at USA TODAY, a visiting lecturer at Princeton University, and as deputy director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Science Center.  Learn more atwww.knowwithoutborders.org.

About MCH Strategic Data
MCH Strategic Data is a leading source of compiled data on education, health, and government institutions in the United States.  MCH is a privately owned company that has been in the education market for over 80 years.  The company was founded by Dr. Forrest E. Long who created The Clearing House, a journal for principals to exchange ideas and debate educational practices.  MCH is a strategic partner of edWeb.net in part as a tribute to the legacy of Dr. Long, an educator and innovator who believed in the power of sharing information and ideas.  MCH makes it possible for edWeb to reach 3.5 million K-12 educators in the U. S. to create awareness of edWeb’s free network and professional learning programs.  Visit the MCH Strategic at www.mchdata.com.


Learning Bird Presented Award at Prestigious TiEQuest Competition


MONTREAL, Quebec, April 21, 2014 — Montreal-based Learning Bird has been awarded third place in TiEQuest 2014, Canada’s largest business venture competition open to all existing and aspiring entrepreneurs in Canada and the United States.

This year’s competition attracted 212 entries, including startups in education, medicine, mobile and other industries with the winners being honored at TiEQuest’s annual gala held recently at Acadian Court in Toronto. The goal of the prestigious competition is to encourage entrepreneurship and engage emerging entrepreneurial talent.

“As a startup company, we are truly honored that TiEQuest has singled us out from so many entries,” said Henry Ryan, CEO, Learning Bird. “Our team is passionate about partnering with educators and parents to provide meaningful learning for students and promote student achievement, and to have that passion recognized will only motivate us to work harder.”

Students struggle less when they understand more and with Learning Bird’s innovative approach to learning, students can help drive their own success. Learning Bird is a web-based resource that makes it easy for students to access a personalized range of perspectives on any topic that are aligned to their curriculum, grade and textbook. Whether it’s to help with homework, study prep, or just plain better understanding, Learning Bird is the affordable, safe and easy way for families and schools to help boost grades, confidence and a love of learning.

For more information about Learning Bird, visit www.learningbird.com. For more about TiEQuest, visit www.tiequest.org.


About Learning Bird | www.learningbird.com

Learning Bird is an innovative online learning tool for K-12 student success, powered by multiple perspectives. Its proprietary learning algorithm matches digital lessons from teachers to the local curriculum, textbooks and the individual learning profile of each student. Learning Bird’s new cross-curriculum alignment engine allows students grades 7-12 to access a wider range of lesson perspectives in order to find that “A-ha” moment. When a lesson helps students understand, Learning Bird’s algorithm learns more about how they learn and also shares revenue directly with the teachers who added the lesson.



Benchmark Education Announces New Common Core Aligned Series of Reading Assessment Practice Books for Grades 3 to 6

Short Reads for Finding Text Evidence Series Provides Students Practice Reading Short Genre Texts and Answering PARCC and Smarter Balanced Question Types

NEW ROCHELLE, NY, April 21, 2014 — Literacy publisher Benchmark Education Company announced a new reading practice book series in print format for students in grades 3–6 and aligned to Common Core State Standards. Available now, Short Reads for Finding Text Evidence provides students with specific practice reading short genre text passages and then answering comprehension questions using text evidence, preparing them to succeed on the new Common Core reading assessments. Each grade-level set consists of an 88-page teacher’s guide and 10 consumable or reproducible 128-page student practice books that prepare students to read short genre texts and answer evidence-based questions correlated to Common Core reading informational (RI) and literary (RL) standards. All questions reflect the item formats students will encounter on Common Core assessments currently being developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).

Short Reads for Finding Text Evidence starts with mini-lessons that model the kind of thinking needed for success on the tests, and moves on to practice test questions based on the PARCC and SBAC tests. Each Short Reads for Finding Text Evidence teacher’s guide provides mentor reads and model mini-lessons to build evidence-based reading strategies, as well as answer keys and rubrics. Each student practice book includes Lexile-leveled reading passages representing the required genres for the grade level. Each passage is accompanied by evidence-based questions reflecting the formats of the coming assessments:

  • Two-part items in which students provide both an answer and the evidence to support the answer;
  • Constructed response questions that require students to write short answers based on the texts;
  • Questions that replicate the tech-enhanced items students will encounter in the online assessments.

As students read complex grade-level passages and answer 120 evidence-based questions in each book, they rehearse the thinking strategies they need to achieve skillful, text-dependent comprehension. They also become familiar with the variety of questions and the formats of the new Common Core assessments they will take.

“We are excited that this program gives students valuable experience and success working with the genres and types of questions they will encounter in the new assessments,” said Benchmark Education President Tom Reycraft. “We’ve made classroom sets very affordable for schools at only $99.”

For information about the Short Reads for Finding Text Evidence Series or to purchase these and other Benchmark Education products, visit www.benchmarkeducation.com or call 877-236-2465.

Headquartered in New Rochelle, NY, Benchmark Education Company is a leading publisher of K–12 core, supplemental, and intervention literacy resources in English and Spanish. These resources are supported by instructional technology solutions as well as on-site and online customized professional development training for teachers and administrators. Benchmark Education’s print and online resources are differentiated to support all learners in all settings and are research-based and proven. In addition to extensive educational use in the USA, they are also used in schools and training centers in the Middle East, Canada, South America, and Asia.