edWeb.net - A professional social network for the education community


edWeb.net surpasses 100,000 members on World Teacher Day

PRINCETON, NJ – October 13, 2014 – edWeb.net, a free professional learning and social network, surpassed 100,000 members on Oct. 5, World Teacher Day, and just as educators around the world began celebrating Connected Educator Month.

Lisa Schmucki, founder and CEO of edWeb.net commented, “We launched edWeb.net before there was a movement to encourage educators to connect and collaborate online. We’ve seen from the beginning that educators who use social networks to meet and connect with peers discover a world of ideas and support. It’s important work, but it’s also fun.

We are very happy to have been at the forefront of efforts to support online collaboration for teachers, administrators, librarians, and all educators. We are also very thankful to our sponsors and partners who make it possible for our programs to be free. We all work better when we work together.”

edWeb.net hosts online professional learning communities for educators to connect with peers and experts all around the country and the world on the most innovative and progressive areas in education. edWeb.net professional learning programs offer free webinars, online chats and discussions, archived resources, and CE certificates.

edWeb.net now has more than 100,000 members who have formed more than 1,200 communities for collaboration. edWeb.net has hosted over 700 free webinars that are all archived on edWeb.net in 40 different professional learning communities. In 2014 to-date, edWeb.net has hosted over 200 live events – averaging 617 registrations, 253 live attendees, and 294 recording views. Members from 155 countries around the world participate in edWeb.net live events.

Here is a comment typical of what teachers say on edWeb.net every day, “New to edWeb…this is my 3rd webinar and I LOVE the professional development opportunities here. ADDICTED! My co-worker hooked me onto edWeb.”

During Connected Educator Month, edWeb.net is hosting 27 webinars in cooperation with our partners and sponsors. We are honored to be part of this effort to spread the word about the value and fun of being a connected educator.

edWeb.net has been called a PD Buffet by Rachel Langenhorst, a Technology Integrationist who is a big user of edWeb.net for PD in her district. Rob Furman, a school principal, also finds edWeb.net to be a tremendous resource for his teachers.

All educators should join the PD Buffet for Connected Educator Month!

Educators are invited to join edWeb.net to connect with peers and mentors, gain access to free online professional learning, discussions, resources, and more.

For more information, contact: 

Lisa Schmucki, Founder and CEO, edWeb.net

About edWeb.net
edWeb.net is a free professional learning and social network that makes it easy for educators to connect and collaborate, share information and best practices, and create professional learning communities. edWeb hosts online professional learning communities for educators to connect with peers and experts all around the country and the world on the most innovative and progressive areas in education. edWeb professional learning programs offer free 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 atwww.edweb.net or follow us on Twitter @edwebnet.


SmartBrief Launches STEM Pathways Roundtable Series

Inaugural Event Will Focus on Forging Education and Industry Relationships to Address Student Skills Gaps in STEM

Washington, D.C., October 7, 2014 – America’s trade associations can play a leadership role in guiding students in STEM fields, and SmartBrief’s inaugural STEM Pathways roundtable will explore the issue in depth. SmartBrief, a leading digital publisher reaching over 800,000 education professionals daily, will host its first roundtable discussion on science, technology, engineering and math on October 23 in Washington, D.C. The event series will bring together top STEM specialists from industry and education to explore real-world ways to address the issue of skills gaps by guiding students to careers in STEM fields.

Panelists will lead a lively, interactive discussion on how associations can take a leadership role in developing and promoting STEM programs that help fill workforce needs, the challenges to these types of STEM programs, and how industry and education can come together to solve these problems. Panelists include: Josh Thomases, Dean of Innovation, Policy and Research, Bank Street College of Education; LeAnn Wilson, Executive Director, Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE); Kim Tobey, Executive Director, National Association of Community College Teachers Education Programs (NACCTEP); and Sabari Raja, CEO, Nepris.

“This is a natural outgrowth of working with diverse professional societies like the Aerospace Industry Association (AIA) and the American Nursing Association (ANA),” according to SmartBrief CEO Rick Stamberger. “Many of SmartBrief’s partners are deeply concerned about our nation’s ability to produce the necessary STEM talent. It’s in everyone’s interest to get students excited about STEM, while making it easier for industry hiring managers to identify STEM talent.”

SmartBrief will host a second STEM Pathways event in 2015, specifically for K-12 educators.

About SmartBrief

Serving over 5 million senior executives, thought leaders, and industry professionals, SmartBrief is the leading online publisher of targeted business news and information by industry. By combining technology and editorial expertise, SmartBrief filters thousands of sources daily to deliver the most relevant industry news in partnership with more than 180 trade associations, professional societies, nonprofits and corporate entities. Visit www.smartbrief.com for more details.


McAllen ISD incorporates personalized literacy in 1:1 program

District adds myON to over 17,000 student iPads


MINNEAPOLIS – October 14, 2014 – McAllen Independent School District (MISD) in McAllen, Texas, is placing literacy as a top priority by implementing myON to provide students with 24/7 access to over 7,000 books. MISD, a recognized leader for their 1:1 initiative, saw myON’s digital library as a crucial element to increase reading engagement, excitement about reading and overall student Lexile growth.


District administrators opted to deploy myON to all 20 elementary and 7 middle school campuses, giving students full access to myON’s extensive library. MISD saw the platform as a perfect fit to support students at all reading levels, as well as their growing ELL population. The district began using myON 15 months ago, seeing huge gains in reading at the four campuses that had access, pushing them to expand the use of myON.


“We take literacy extremely seriously at MISD, however we believe that making reading fun and engaging is critical to our students’ reading and overall academic growth,” says Brenda Huston, MISD’s Library/Media Coordinator. “In addition to the platform’s personalization and customization features, the fact that our students are able to read books wherever they are, even without access to the Internet, was a huge factor in our decision to choose myON for our students. It has been extremely rewarding watching our students further embrace reading and taking ownership of their own academic success.”


“A solid academic foundation lies in a student’s ability to understand what it is they are reading.  We are thrilled to provide so many students within MISD a platform that will get them excited about reading, as well as continue to nurture growth,” commented myON President, Todd Brekhus.  “Since the start of school this year, we have already seen over 60,889 books read by MISD students, and are excited to be a part of their continued success moving forward.”


Since implementing myON’s personalized literacy platform, MISD has used the anytime, anywhere capabilities to promote student reading through a number of fun and engaging literacy campaigns such as reading contests and myON Pajama Day. District leaders look at this as another integral piece to the overwhelming success of their 1:1 iPad initiative.


For more information on myON’s award-winning personalized digital literacy platform, please visit them online at www.myON.com.


About myON

myON, a business unit of Capstone is a personalized digital literacy platform that creates collaborative learning opportunities. myON expands the classroom for teachers and students by providing unlimited access to the largest collection of more than 7,000 enhanced digital books with multimedia supports, real-time assessments and close reading tools. myON empowers students and teachers with real-time, actionable data—number and type of books opened and read, time spent reading, results of regular benchmark assessments, and more—based on embedded Lexile assessments that measure student reading growth. With myON, every student experiences the benefits of personalized literacy instruction.


Chinese social learning platform Menco Chooses Naiku Next-Gen Assessment Software

Menco chooses Naiku as assessment partner for its social learning solution for Chinese schools

(EDINA, MN) October 14, 2014 – Naiku, provider of award-winning, next-generation classroom assessment software, announced today a partnership with Menco, a Chinese education company that provides a cloud-based social learning platform to schools in China.  Menco is a subsidiary of Shanghai General Plan, which assists over 4,500 schools in China.  Menco has chosen Naiku to use its cloud-based assessment platform as part of its social learning platform for schools, a platform very similar to the LMS systems used by schools and districts in the US.

Teachers in China will use the functionality provided by Naiku to quickly measure, monitor, and assess student performance to learning goals.  While Naiku is fully integrated with the Common Core State Standards and a host of other standards to enable standards based learning, it is fully customizable for any curriculum.  As part of that, Menco will be using the existing Chinese curriculum within Naiku for local schools.

Menco will be working with Chinese textbook publishers to add question item banks and assessments into Naiku, utilizing the strong import, create, and share features for item banks and assessments already available in Naiku.  This provides teachers the ability to quickly create their own tests within Naiku.  In addition, Naiku will be customizing their user interface for Mandarin Chinese.

“We’re excited about the partnership with Naiku”, said Franck Koestel, General Manager for Menco.  “The Naiku assessment platform is world-class, and we are very pleased to include and integrate it with our social learning platform for use by Chinese schools.”

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, QTI, and more.  Teachers and district staff can create and share their own questions and tests with the built-in test generator as well.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Menco” said Greg Wright, CEO of Naiku.  “Menco has a strong platform with a clear vision for how they can support student learning and we are pleased to be part of that.”


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/.



Latest High School Benchmarks Report Offers New Insights on the High School-to-College Transition of Students

Second Annual Report from National Student Clearinghouse® Research Center™ Uses Most Current Data and Covers More than 3.5 Million High School Graduates


Herndon, Virginia, October 14, 2014 − The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center has released their second annual national level report offering benchmarks for high schools to compare their graduates’ college transition rates nationwide, including those serving low income and minority students. The report covers public and private high schools graduating more than 3.5 million students during the past four years or over a quarter of all U.S. high school graduates each year, from all 50 states.

The High School Benchmarks Report: National College Progression Rates was created by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center in 2013. The inaugural High School Benchmarks report, released October 2013, covered high schools graduating more than 2.3 million students over three years. The increase in data coverage this year reflects the growing number of high schools and districts that are able to measure the college enrollment and progression outcomes of their graduates through the National Student Clearinghouse’s StudentTrackerSM educational research service.

In addition to its expanded coverage, the second annual report, for the first time, provides high school-to-college transition rates for graduates of public non-charter, public charter, and private high schools, along with new data on the high school-to-college transition of students. For students of public non-charter high schools the rates are reported in 12 categories based on the school-level demographic and geographic characteristics.

Report findings for the class of 2013, who enrolled in college the following fall, include:

  • Among public non-charter schools, the poverty level was the most consistent correlate to college enrollment rates.
  • College enrollment rates in the first fall after graduation for students from low income public high schools in 2013 ranged from 47 percent to 58 percent.
  • Among higher income public schools, high minority schools had a lower college-going rate than low minority schools.
  • Among high minority public schools, there were no differences in college enrollment rates between urban, suburban, or rural locales.
  • Students from low income public high schools were more likely to attend two-year colleges.  Almost half of all first fall enrollments for students graduating from low income schools were in two-year colleges.
  • Among a smaller sample of public charter schools that provided data to the Clearinghouse (13 percent of all charter schools, enrolling 16 percent of charter school students), 60 percent of students who graduated from public charter schools in 2013 enrolled in college immediately after high school graduation in fall 2013.
  • Among a smaller sample of private schools that provided data to the Clearinghouse (3 percent of all private schools, enrolling 10 percent of private school students), 86 percent of graduates from private high schools enrolled in college immediately after high school graduation in fall 2013.

The report also found that students from higher income and low minority suburban schools had the highest college enrollment rate among public non-charter schools. Seventy-three percent of graduates from these high schools in 2013 enrolled in college immediately after high school. Students from these schools also had the highest share of their students enrolled in private colleges and universities.

This year’s report introduces, for the first time, an additional resource in the form of percentile distributions of school-level outcomes in each category. The percentile distributions show that, even among the lowest-performing categories of schools, there is often a wide range of outcomes, with some schools performing markedly above or below the average. Access to percentiles gives high schools stronger tools for measuring their students’ progress.

“This report draws with bold relief the disparities in college access that are aligned with income levels in our schools,” said Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director, AASA, The School Superintendents Association and chair of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center board of directors. “As a nation, we must do all we can to address the educational challenges facing students at low-income schools. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center points the way with these valuable benchmarks, empowering principals and superintendents to develop meaningful goals and drive improvement on objectively measured outcomes.”

“We’re excited to continue to expand the findings of last year’s national High School Benchmarks report and build a more comprehensive look at high school-to-college transition rates,” said Dr. Doug Shapiro, Executive Research Director, National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. “This information helps educators to see where they stand against other schools like them, and helps policymakers to see the important factors that contribute to college enrollment.”

The next report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center will be its eighth Signature Report, an annual report on the national college completion rate, to be released in November.


About the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center is the research arm of the National Student Clearinghouse. The Research Center collaborates with higher education institutions, states, school districts, high schools, and educational organizations as part of a national effort to better inform education leaders and policymakers. Through accurate longitudinal data outcomes reporting, the Research Center enables better educational policy decisions leading to improved student outcomes.


Encouraged By Significant Literacy Gains by Students, Four Southern California

School Districts Expand Use of Lexia Reading Core5 Program


 La Mesa-Spring Valley School District Reports 79% of Students Achieved Reading Gains

of at Least One Grade Level During School Year Using Lexia’s Personalized Learning Model


BOSTON —Oct. 14, 2014 — After successfully piloting the Lexia Reading® Core5® program in six schools, the

La Mesa-Spring Valley School District in California has expanded its use of the program to include all 17 elementary schools in the district.  Developed by Lexia Learning, a Rosetta Stone® (NYSE:RST) company, the award-winning program helps students make significant gains in the five areas of reading including phonological awareness, phonics, automaticity/fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. In addition to La Mesa-Spring Valley, three of California’s largest school districts have expanded usage of the program districtwide: Palm Springs Unified School District has implemented the program as an essential part of their literacy curriculum; Colton Joint Unified School District in Riverside County has expanded usage to 24 schools; and Newport Mesa Unified School District broadly expanded their use of the program for this school year, adding it to 18 schools throughout the district.


La Mesa-Spring Valley School District, located in east San Diego County, serves 12,587 students across 17 elementary (grades K–6) and four middle schools (grades 7–8). Last year, a diverse population of students used Lexia Reading Core5 at six schools, including students working below, at, or above grade level, English Language Learners, and students with learning disabilities.  Marianne Ek, a reading specialist for the district noted, “Many of our students were struggling with a host of different skills, all of which are necessary for them to become strong readers.  What we noticed is that Lexia Reading Core5 met each student where they were and helped to fill the gaps for them to achieve individual reading success. We saw great achievement scores with our pilot program—in all, 79 percent of students who used Lexia with fidelity from September 2013 to April 2014 gained at least one grade level of reading skills—and 60 percent of these students made gains of more than one grade level.”


Built on 30 years of educational research, Lexia Reading Core5 is a technology-based reading program for students of all abilities from grades pre-K–5.  Designed to accelerate fundamental literacy skills development, the program provides a personalized learning path for each student with scaffolding and explicit instruction that supports students if they struggle. Each of the 18 levels of age-appropriate, skill-specific activities aligns to the most rigorous state standards, including the Common Core State Standards. The program simplifies differentiated instruction, enabling at-risk students to close the reading gap more quickly, and on-level and advanced students to continue to progress.


Jim Feffer, principal at Two Bunch Palms Elementary School, part of Palm Springs USD, began piloting Lexia Reading Core5 one year ago with his school’s special education students.  After finding that the students were making notable gains, he quickly made the decision to expand the program to students of all abilities, schoolwide. “What makes Lexia such a strong program is that it supports our initiatives for differentiated learning, small group instruction, Response to Intervention and data-driven instruction.  The reporting and feedback given to our teachers is a very high quality and helps them to maximize the potential of every one of their students on a continuous basis.”


The program also includes Lexia’s proprietary Assessment Without Testing® technology.  This highly regarded embedded assessment technology gathers student performance data without administering a test, using norm- and criterion- referenced measurements that are correlated to, and highly predictive of, student outcomes on commonly used measures such as DIBELS® and AIMSweb®.  Assessment Without Testing provides teachers and intervention specialists with real-time reports on student progress as well as individualized action plans that recommend targeted instructional strategies and structured lessons—including the minutes-per-week of software usage each student needs to improve performance on grade-level assessments.


Established with a promise to improve student literacy through the use of technology, Lexia’s products 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.


About Rosetta Stone


Rosetta Stone Inc. (NYSE: RST) is dedicated to changing the way the world learns.  The company’s innovative technology-driven language, reading and brain fitness solutions are used by thousands of school, businesses, government organizations and millions of individuals around the world.  Founded in 1992, Rosetta Stone pioneered the use of interactive software to accelerate language learning.  Today the company offers courses in 30 languages, from the most commonly spoken (such as English, Spanish and Mandarin) to the less prominent (including Swahili, Swedish and Tagalog).  Since 2013, Rosetta Stone has expanded beyond language and deeper into education-technology with its acquisitions of Livemocha, Lexia Learning, Vivity Labs, and Tell Me More.    Rosetta Stone is based in Arlington, VA, and has offices around the world.



Odysseyware Academy obtains NCAA course approval

Blended learning courses will help prepare college-bound athletes

(CHANDLER, Ariz.) Oct. 14, 2014 – Odysseyware Academy, a nationally accredited distance-learning school that provides individualized 3-12 instruction, is proud to announce course approval by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

All of Odysseyware Academy’s courses are provided by Odysseyware, one of the top online curriculums for K-12 education. NCAA-approved courses are available in English, science and math.

“We are thrilled that our courses have exceeded the high expectations of the NCAA,” said Beth TeGrotenhuis, the president of Odysseyware and CEO of its parent company, Glynlyon. “We are confident our courses will help more college-bound athletes develop the skills they need to succeed after high school graduation.”

The NCAA’s Eligibility Center determines every college-bound student athlete’s eligibility to practice, play and earn athletic scholarships in NCAA Divisions I and II. In order to qualify, students must meet specific academic benchmarks throughout their high school career.

Since the NCAA reviews students as early as their freshman year, beginning high school with a plan to take all the required courses is extremely important for any athletes who dream of playing in college.

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.