Putnam County School System Chooses Naiku’s Next-Gen Assessment Software

District implements Naiku to increase teacher immediacy of information from formative and district created benchmark assessments

(EDINA, MN) October 7, 2014 – Naiku, provider of award-winning, next-generation classroom assessment software, announced today that the Putnam County School System (PCSS) has chosen Naiku’s next-gen assessment software for district-wide implementation.

Based in Cookeville, TN, PCSS serves nearly 11,000 students and has developed their own benchmark assessments in reading and math. The district is moving towards 1:1 device access for their students which gives teachers the flexibility to assess students when they need to, ultimately giving them immediate knowledge about student proficiency for informed instruction.  The district chose Naiku as its assessment platform in part because of how easily their teachers could use their existing tests to view student performance.

“We love that our teachers can quickly measure and track student performance using our existing assessments in Naiku,” said Denette Kolbe, assistant director of schools.  “We were looking for an online assessment system that we could use with our existing district-created benchmark tests and were very pleased with Naiku’s ease of use and the insight it provides us.”

Naiku‘s cloud-based software is used by schools and districts to quickly measure and track each student’s proficiency of standards in any subject and grade, and is used by individual teachers as well as by groups of teachers with common assessments. Naiku can be used to deliver existing assessments in a wide variety of formats, including Word, PDF, ExamView, TestGen and more.  Additionally, teachers and district staff can create and share their own questions and tests with the platform’s built-in test generator.

“While we started looking for a digital assessment solution that could help us with our benchmark assessments, we were pleasantly surprised at how comprehensive Naiku is and felt it could benefit all of our teachers and students on an everyday basis,” added Kolbe.

“We’re excited to be partnering with Putnam County,” said Greg Wright, CEO of Naiku.  “It is clear that PCSS has a strong vision for how they are using assessment to impact teaching and learning and to help students.  We’re glad to help them achieve that vision.”

For more information about Naiku, visit www.naiku.net/.

About Naiku:

Naiku is devoted to improving K-12 learning by providing next generation classroom assessment solutions on an open, SaaS based platform. Naiku provides educators the ability to readily measure and monitor student progress using any web enabled device and engage students more deeply through unique teacher-student interactive feedback tools. Naiku allows educators to create, share, import and deliver standards aligned quizzes and tests in any subject area. With automated scoring and built-in reports, teachers can inform and differentiate their instruction and data can be shared across the school and district to enhance best practices. With Naiku, Better Assessment leads to Better Learning. For more information, visit www.naiku.net/.

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Odysseyware earns approval for Georgia textbook replacement

Funds for textbook replacement can be used to purchase online learning courses

CHANDLER, Ariz. (Oct. 6, 2014) – Schools in Georgia and all around the country are transitioning away from the traditional textbook model. To support that transition, Odysseyware has officially been approved for Georgia’s textbook replacement program.

Odysseyware, a leading provider of online, multimedia-enriched K-12 curriculum and blended learning solutions, now has 115 core, elective and Career Technical Education (CTE) courses approved by the state to meet Georgia’s academic standards.

“We are thrilled that Georgia has recognized Odysseyware’s potential to help schools move toward a more innovative and environmentally-friendly education model,” said Mike Kirksey, Odysseyware’s Georgia representative.  “What is exciting is not just that the courses are approved based on their quality and alignment to Georgia standards. These courses are dynamic and engaging. They were designed for 21st century learners and are flexible enough to be used seamlessly in multiple instructional settings.”

Following the rigorous review and approval process, Odysseyware now has twice as many courses approved for textbook replacement as the next closest provider.

“I can honestly say there has never been a better time for Georgia educators to explore what Odysseyware has to offer,” said Kirksey.

This approval coincides with the largest new product release in Odysseyware’s history, including a new student interface, all new virtual labs, high school test prep courses, prescriptive learning paths, a blended learning library, and assessment and remediation tools.

Odysseyware also offers Georgia-specific math courses, as well as a course customization tool to tailor any lesson to a district or school’s individual needs. State funds for textbook replacement can be used to purchase the courses, easing the financial burden on districts.

About Odysseyware

Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Odysseyware is an innovative, multimedia-enriched online curriculum. Completely web-based, Odysseyware provides 21st century educational solutions by offering the core subjects of history and geography, math, language arts, and science along with enriching electives, CTE, placement testing, diagnostics and professional development. This curriculum is sold directly through regional education specialists. To learn more, visit http://odysseyware.com/ or call 877-795-8904.

 

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Leading K-12 School Service Providers Announce Pledge To Advance Student Data Privacy Protection

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Leading K-12 School Service Providers Announce Pledge To Advance Student Data Privacy Protection
New Effort Builds on Legal Protections to Enhance Confidence in the Handling of Student Personal Information;
Addresses Sales, Retention, Security, Profiling, Advertising and More

Washington, D.C. – (October 7, 2014) – The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) today announced a K-12 school service providers Pledge to safeguard student privacy built around a dozen commitments regarding the collection, maintenance, and use of student personal information.

An initial leadership group of major school service providers are joining SIIA and FPF to introduce and sign the Pledge. The group is made up of some of the leading names in education technology, including Amplify, Code.org, DreamBox Learning, Edmodo, Follett, Gaggle, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Knewton, Knovation, Lifetouch, Microsoft, MIND Research Institute, myON (a business unit of Capstone), and Think Through Math. SIIA and FPF will continue reaching out to educators, parent groups and companies over the next several months to promote the pledge and garner participation from other school service providers.

“These commitments clearly and concisely articulate a set of expectations that parents and education officials have for the safeguarding of children’s sensitive data,” said Jules Polonetsky, executive director and co-chair, Future of Privacy Forum. “The Pledge will enhance the trust between families, schools and third party service providers necessary to support the safe and effective use of student information for student, teacher and school success.”

“We introduce this Pledge as a clear industry commitment to safeguard the privacy and security of all student personal information,” said Mark Schneiderman, senior director of education policy, Software & Information Industry Association. “Current law provides extensive restrictions on the use of student information, and this industry pledge will build on and detail that protection to promote even greater confidence in the appropriate use of student data.”

The commitments are intended to detail ongoing industry practices that meet and go beyond all federal requirements and to encourage service providers to more clearly articulate these practices to further ensure confidence in how they handle student data. The Pledge would apply to all student personal information whether or not it is viewed as part of an “educational record” as defined by federal law, and whether collected and controlled by the school but warehoused offsite by a service provider or collected directly through student use of a mobile app or website assigned by their teacher. It would apply to school service providers whether or not there is a formal contract with the school.

The Pledge will make clear that school service providers are accountable to:

  • Not sell student information
  • Not behaviorally target advertising
  • Use data for authorized education purposes only
  • Not change privacy policies without notice and choice
  • Enforce strict limits on data retention
  • Support parental access to, and correction of errors in, their children’s  information
  • Provide comprehensive security standards
  • Be transparent about collection and use of data

The Pledge was developed by the FPF and SIIA with guidance from the school service providers, educator organizations, and other stakeholders following a convening by U.S. Representatives Jared Polis (CO) and Luke Messer (IN).

“The potential of using student data to drive effective instruction and personalize education is promising,” said Rep. Polis. “While there can be tremendous benefits from this data, we must ensure that there are appropriate safeguards to protect student privacy. I am pleased that these companies have taken an important step in making a commitment to parents, educators, and communities. This voluntary pledge can help address parents’ legitimate concerns about privacy issues and help keep us on track towards new and exciting educational developments for all students.”

“I applaud these companies for their commitment to protecting the privacy of sensitive student information,” said Congressman Luke Messer.  “Their willingness to comply with these standards and not misuse student information shows they care about protecting student privacy while leveraging technology to unleash each child’s talents and enhance their ability to learn and succeed.”  Messer, who serves on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, added that the principles “will better inform the debate about what, if any, legislative remedy may be needed to ensure that child privacy is protected and this information is only used for academic purposes.”

“While technology is a powerful tool for teaching and learning, it is imperative that students’ personal information is protected at all times,” said Otha Thornton, president of National PTA. “National PTA applauds K-12 school service providers that have pledged to safeguard student data and privacy and effectively communicate with parents about how student information is used and protected. We look forward to even more support going forward.”

“This industry-led pledge to honor student data privacy is an important step in the right direction,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, executive director, National School Boards Association. “Those vendors who opt to take the pledge are demonstrating their public commitment to responsible data practices in a manner that will help support school boards’ efforts to safeguard student privacy.”

School service providers support schools – including their teachers, students and parents – to manage student data, carry out school operations, support instruction and learning opportunities, and develop and improve products/services intended for educational/school use. In so doing, it is critical that school service providers effectively communicate with parents, teachers and education officials about how student information is used and safeguarded.

The Pledge and more information about how to support the Pledge are available at http://studentprivacypledge.org/.

About FPF
The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) is a Washington, DC based think tank that seeks to advance responsible data practices. The forum is led by Internet privacy experts Jules Polonetsky and Christopher Wolf and includes an advisory board comprised of leading figures from industry, academia, law and advocacy groups.  For more information, visit www.futureofprivacy.org.

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. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to the leading companies that are setting the pace for the digital age. For more information, visit www.siia.net.

About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.

About NSBA
About Us NSBA represents state school boards associations and their more than 90,000 local school board members. We believe education is a civil right, and public education is America’s most vital institution.

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Lexia Learning Releases White Paper on

Effective Prevention and Intervention Practices for Achieving Reading Proficiency

 

BOSTON — Oct. 6, 2014 — In classrooms across the country, instructional focus tends to lean more towards intervention rather than prevention—with teachers spending much of their time counteracting the effects of instructional gaps that their students face. In her recently released white paper, Elizabeth Brooke, Ph.D., Vice President of Education and Research for Lexia Learning, a Rosetta Stone Inc. (NYSE:RST) company, examines best practices for monitoring students’ reading progress and targeting skill gaps in grades K–2. Titled “Three Critical Success Factors for Reading Intervention and Effective Prevention,” the white paper also reviews critical instructional strategies that accelerate literacy development for on-level and struggling students in grades K–5.

 

The strategies described in “Three Critical Success Factors for Reading Intervention and Effective Prevention” are:

 

  • Establish systems to help support students before they fail
  • Utilize the appropriate assessments to identify which students may need help
  • Structure effective intervention to target individual student needs

 

Dr. Brooke explains how the application of frameworks such as Response to Intervention (RTI) and Multi-Tier Systems of Support (MTSS) can seem to put an emphasis on struggling students, while emerging skills gaps for “on-level” students go mostly unnoticed. Dr. Brooke also discusses universal screening, progress monitoring and diagnostic assessment as effective methods to identify and regularly monitor student performance. Lastly, she examines crucial aspects of intervention that affect the structure and intensity levels of educators’ targeted instruction.

 

“Successful prevention and intervention requires a true understanding of student progress and the skills gaps that emerge throughout the year,” said Dr. Brooke. “With this knowledge, teachers can personalize instruction and target specific needs for each student—spending instructional time achieving and maintaining grade-level proficiency—rather than playing catch-up.”

 

A complimentary copy of “Three Critical Success Factors for Reading Intervention and Effective Prevention” can be downloaded at  http://lexialearning.com/go/whitepaper-prevention-intervention-pr

 

Dr. Brooke hosted a related webinar on September 18.  To view the one-hour recorded session, interested educators can go to http://lexialearning.com/go/webinar-prevention-intervention-pr

 

 

About Lexia Learning

Established with a promise to improve student literacy through the use of technology, today more than 1.6 million students are improving their reading proficiency with Lexia. A Rosetta Stone company, Lexia’s programs have been nationally recognized and proven effective in six peer-reviewed, research-based outcome studies published in scientific journals such as The Journal of Reading Research and the Bilingual Research Journal. For more information, visit www.lexialearning.com or call 1-800-435-3942.

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