Learning.com Updates EasyTech Digital Literacy Curriculum for 2014-15 School Year

Expansions and enhancements to EasyTech ensure districts can prepare students with the 21st century skills necessary for future success.

Portland, Ore. (June 24, 2014) – Learning.com, a leader in helping districts implement digital learning initiatives, announces key enhancements to EasyTech, a digital literacy curriculum that helps students develop technology skills while they study core subjects. The updates include new technology pre-tests for Next-Generation Assessments, 11 new lessons, and enhancements to more than half of the current lessons. All updates and new content will be ready for the 2014-15 school year.

“Students live in a digital world that’s constantly changing, so it’s important that lessons and instruction evolve to ensure they’re engaged with relevant content,” said Learning.com CEO Keith Oelrich. “We’re always looking for new ways to help districts improve their digital literacy instruction, and these EasyTech updates embody that mission.”

The updated EasyTech for Next-Generation Assessments solution will feature technology skills pre-tests, which check for the technology skills required on PARCC, Smarter Balanced, and ACT Aspire, then prescribe EasyTech lessons as needed based on individual student results. The pre-tests are designed to take the guesswork out of preparing students and helps districts ensure their students are ready to take these computer-based assessments.

The new EasyTech lessons focus on online safety, mobile devices, cloud computing and word processing. Enhanced lessons reflect the most current technology and address the growing use of mobile and tablet devices in the classroom.

Additional EasyTech content, including games and quizzes, will be accessible in the Learning.com app, which is available for iPad®, Android® and Kindle Fire® tablet devices.

To learn more, visit the EasyTech page or come see us at ISTE June 29 through July 1, at booth (#1426) in the ISTE exhibit hall.

About Learning.com
Learning.com helps districts implement digital learning initiatives with award-winning content, tools and services. With Learning.com’s digital content management tools, teachers can organize and customize how they deliver content to students. Learning.com also offers industry-leading professional development services to support educators as they integrate technology into the classroom. Founded in 1999, Learning.com currently partners with more than 2,700 districts to help prepare their students for success in college and future career opportunities. Follow us at twitter.com/learningdotcom.

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Copia Customizes its Digital Learning Platform to Meet the Needs of Utah School Districts

Partnership with the Utah State Department of Education to Pilot OER Science Curriculum

New York, NY (June 30, 2014) – Copia Interactive, creators of digital learning platform Copia, is partnering with Utah’s State Office of Education to digitally deliver a statewide Open Educational Resources (OER) program focused on state-created science content. The OER program, which already includes standard-aligned science content for grades 3-12, is designed to promote engagement and satisfy the unique instructional needs of Utah students and educators.

The Copia platform will allow for the delivery of Utah’s science content within a seamless environment that simultaneously offers a vast library of content sources stemming from primary and supplementary providers and is poised to redefine content distribution and instruction throughout the state. This, coupled with Copia’s interactive digital classroom tools, will allow teachers to meaningfully engage students, monitor student achievement in real time, and enable them to react to their students’ needs and adjust their instruction accordingly.

“Our move toward OER was spearheaded by a research project conducted by University of Utah’s Dr. David Wiley.” “The project started with a small group of educators in the Nebo School District, and grew to become a statewide project based on the cost-saving ability and flexibility of OERs and the needs to have texts that students could use with current literacy strategies,” said Sarah Young, the Science Specialist at Utah’s State of Office of Education.

“The Copia platform takes our internally created resources to a more engaging and comprehensive level,” added Young. “This allows for a more student-centric experience, fostering the engagement between students and teachers that is central to our vision for K-12 education in Utah.”

Utah’s Office of Education is currently finalizing the details with the districts scheduled to pilot the Copia-powered OER programs at various schools. The districts themselves are discussing specific implementation plans with said schools.

To learn more about Copia visit www.copiaedu.com to discover how districts can digitally enhance state standard-based learning.

 

About Copia

Copia is a socially-­driven digital content platform that is helping educators, publishers and students unlock the power of digital and non-­digital educational material through the use of an integrated platform that unifies people and content. Copia’s unique platform reinvents and expands the e­‐book experience and enriches previously static content, making information available across tablets, smart phones, Macs and PCs. Copia’s digital educational content has undergone explosive multi‐genre growth in the form of e‐books, videos, native apps, virtual courses and more. Copia reaches over 900 college campuses world‐wide. Its growing international presence includes the U.S., Brazil, Australia and Spain. Copia Interactive, LLC is a DMC Capital Funding, LLC portfolio company, a privately held growth equity firm serving companies in consumer technology sectors. For more information, call 212‐229­‐8400 or visit http://www.dmccapitalfunding.com and http://www.edu.thecopia.com

 

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Skyward Releases Data Security and Privacy Protection Guidelines

Recommendations Highlight Best Practices for Protecting Student Data

June 30, 2014

STEVENS POINT, Wis. – With more than 90 percent of school districts turning to electronic data storage for everything from student attendance to course enrollment, the need for data security and privacy protection is at an all-time high. Skyward, an industry leading K-12 school administrative software provider, announces the release of privacy and security guidelines that all schools can implement to ensure their student data is protected. A copy of the guidelines is available for download at skyward.com/protectyourdata.

The privacy recommendations outline the importance of data and security in education, and offer best practices for districts looking to improve their electronic storage protection. The step-by-step guide also provides districts with a better understanding of the roles both privacy and security play in the overall protection of student data. With the guidelines, districts will be able to evaluate and strengthen their internal privacy procedures, data management and information storage.

“The student data protection guidelines will help school districts around the country build upon and support their current privacy and security procedures,” said Ray Ackerlund, vice president of marketing and product management at Skyward. “As electronic data storage becomes more prevalent in our education system, it is important that districts take the proper steps to ensure their student data is protected.”

Districts can safeguard their data by configuring strict security access, discussing the important of data privacy with staff members and conducting routine security audits. The recommendations also assist districts with their security measures, whether storage is implemented on-premise or through cloud computing. Districts who choose to store their data on-site are asked to consider key security steps, such as establishing separate network access points and creating a disaster recovery policy. Similarly, the guidelines offer suggestions for cloud-based storage. Districts that utilize cloud services should ensure their provider meets recommended standards and provide database monitoring services.

Serving more than 5 million students worldwide, Skyward has established a data privacy standard that maintains strict customer confidentiality and security practices. Skyward provides industry-leading K-12 school administrative software that empowers educators to effectively integrate, manage and analyze all critical education data, including student information, academic performance, finance and human resources. For more information on Skyward administrative software and IT consulting services for K-12 districts, visitwww.skyward.com.

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 1,700 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, visitwww.skyward.com.

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ISTE’s Online Content Hub and Quarterly Magazine Debut At 2014

 

Two Powerful Resources Designed to

Empower Connected Learners in a Connected World

                                                                                                                            

ATLANTA – – At the ISTE 2014 Conference & Expo, Brian Lewis, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) unveiled two powerful resources designed to empower connected learners in a connected world and support the transition to digital age learning and teaching. Featured on the new ISTE website, the online content and resource portal, the EdTekHub, and the organization’s new quarterly magazine, entrsekt (available in both print and digital formats), will provide up-to-date news, information and viewpoints for leveraging education technology to advance learning and teaching.

 

 

“Putting the resources for successfully making the transition to digital age learning and teaching at the fingertips of ISTE members and aspiring members is at the very core of our mission,” said Lewis.

 

With its first issue debuting at ISTE 2014,  entrsekt, the new leading-edge quarterly print and digital magazine, , will focus on provocative education topics, profile education change agents and provide new and unique perspectives on education transformation Featured topics in the inaugural issue include “Learning personalized: Putting the student-centric approach in focus”; “Professional learning’s brave new world: Modern approach is ‘an explosion of sharing'”; and “The core of learning: What Common Core learning means for students.”

 

Discussing the new magazine’s name, Lewis said, “its tagline says it all: ‘Where learning, technology and community meet.’ ISTE is about that nexus, that intersection, and entrsekt will explore the broad issues, change agents and challenges that cut across education transformation.”

 

On the EdTekHub, visitors will discover news, tips and practical guidance they can use immediately in the classroom. They will discover new ideas and the inspiration to implement them in the portal’s feature articles; spotlight stories on the effective use and integration of the ISTE Standards; profiles of ed tech leaders, students and schools; featured cool tools; and opinion articles and industry news. The EdTekHub is the next generation of ISTE’s former print publication, Learning & Leading with Technology. Archives will remain on the ISTE website with full access for members and subscribers.

 

About ISTE 2014

Part idea incubator and part collaborative workspace, the ISTE Annual Conference & Expo, June 28 – July 1 at the Georgia World Conference Center in Atlanta, is the epicenter of forward-thinking where attendees share discoveries and develop solutions for their greatest challenges – all while connecting to a global network of education colleagues and resources.

About ISTE

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) is the premier nonprofit organization serving educators and education leaders committed to empowering connected learners in a connected world. ISTE serves more than 100,000 education stakeholders throughout the world.

 

ISTE’s innovative offerings include the ISTE Conference &Expo– one of the biggest, most comprehensive ed tech events – as well as the widely adopted ISTE Standards for learning, teaching and leading in the digital age and a robust suite of professional learning resources, including webinars, online courses, consulting services for schools and districts, books, and peer-reviewed journals and publications. For more information, visit iste.org. Connect with ISTE via TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

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CoSN Issues Resources to Complement K-12 Education Privacy Toolkit
Washington, DC (June 30, 2014) – CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) today unveiled two freestanding resources to accompany its in-depth, step-by-step privacy toolkit. Designed to help school system leaders navigate the complex federal laws and related issues, the complementary resources include:
Launched in March through CoSN’s Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning initiative, the existing toolkit addresses compliance with laws such as the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and offers smart practices to better protect student privacy and their data. The security questions for online service providers were included in the v.1 toolkit.
“While the nationwide discussion continues about what privacy laws should be in place and what needs to be done to protect student privacy, school system technology leaders need immediate guidance on what steps they need to be taking. With the release of these two resources, CoSN is providing those leaders with specific, concrete steps they can take today toward better privacy,” said Bob Moore, Co-Chair, Privacy Toolkit Committee, Founder, RJM Strategies LLC, and Former Chair, CoSN Board.
The toolkit was developed through the support from Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, which is based at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. The toolkit is sponsored by Microsoft Corporation and endorsed by the Association of School Business Officials International, and the “10 Steps” tool was independently supported by Intel.
“The toolkit provides district technology leaders with critical insight and practices to meet FERPA and COPPA rules in the cloud computing and app environment. However, as comprehensive as the toolkit may be, school leaders often need to access information immediately and with minimal hassle. These standalone resources will help district leaders quickly obtain the information and guidance necessary to ensure student privacy,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN.
The “10 Privacy Steps Every School District Should Take” include:
  • Designate a privacy official
  • Seek legal counsel
  • Know the laws
  • Adopt school community norms and policies
  • Implement workable processes
  • Leverage procurement
  • Provide training
  • Inform parents
  • Make security a priority
  • Review and adjust
Organized as a decision tree, the toolkit released in March also includes key definitions, overviews on the Directory Information Exception and the School Office Exception, and insight on metadata and de-identification.
In the fall, CoSN will expand the toolkit with additional sections covering the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) and the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) – filling out the privacy guide with all four federal privacy laws applied to K-12 education.
To access the new resources or to learn more about CoSN’s privacy efforts, please visit:www.cosn.org/privacy.
About 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 eventsadvocacy and policymembership, and the CETL certification exam.

 

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