edWeb.net - A professional social network for the education community
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEedWeb.net launches a professional learning community on “Teaching Kids to Code”PRINCETON, NJ, November 3, 2014 – edWeb.net, a professional learning and social network has launched a free professional learning community (PLC), Teaching Kids to Code, to help teachers integrate computer science and coding into classroom lessons.According to the U.S. Department of Education, the projected increases in STEM jobs from 2010-20 will be 33 percent, which is well above the projected growth of 14 percent for all other occupations. Yet steadily, the United States is falling behind other nations in educating our students in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). Coding literacy is a large part of STEM education and builds skills not only in the science of computing, critical thinking and problem solving but challenges students to think creatively and to communicate ideas; skills that are essential to succeed in the 21st century workforce.There has been a recent surge in organizations developing tools to assist students in learning to code such as codeacademy.com, code.org and the MIT Media Lab. For teachers, teaching coding in the classroom is a new and exciting means to engage students in a creative instrument that combines computational thinking with real world application, but many of our educators lack the expertise and knowledge to teach these skills.

edWeb.net created a PLC to assist teachers in bringing these important lessons into the classroom. The Teaching Kids to Code PLC hosts webinars and online discussions to help educators connect and collaborate on the broader topic of teaching kids to code. The webinars will be hosted by experts, leading edge educators and industry leaders who will assist teachers in implementing computer science tools, curriculum and programs that benefit students, teachers and schools.

“According to the non-profit Code.org, only 1 in 10 U.S. schools teach children to code yet it is a growing realization that learning these skills are very important to our children’s future,” Lisa Schmucki, edWeb.net founder and CEO commented. “Teaching Kids to Code is not about creating the next generation of game creators but preparing students for 21st century careers and we are thrilled to offer teachers the opportunity to learn from experts and join in this very important discussion.”

In the inaugural webinar, Google’s Kate Berrio and Mary Jo Madda of EdSurge expressed the importance of teaching coding and introduced CS First — a program designed by a team of educators and computer scientists to get students, particularly those in underrepresented groups, interested in coding through after-school and summer programs. View the webinar here.

Teachers are invited to register for the next professional development webinar by Kiki Prottsam, the Executive Director of Thinkersmith.com, “Doing Your Part with Hour of Code,” which will be broadcast live on Nov. 13 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. Register here.

Educators can join the free Teaching Kids to Code community on edWeb.net to stay informed about upcoming webinars, join in discussions with peers and industry experts, and gain access to valuable resources.

For more information, contact: 

Jenifer Morack, Program Director, edWeb.net
609-439-8103 | jenifer@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.


Learning.com Brings Digital Literacy to High School Students with Project NextTech



Using proven curriculum that addresses the ISTE Standards, high school course helps students develop the skills and experience they need for our increasingly digital world.

Portland, Ore. (Nov. 4, 2014) – Learning.com announces Project NextTech, a high school digital literacy course that helps prepare students for success in high school, college, and their future career opportunities. The content is based on curriculum developed by the nonprofit Generation YES through years of research and student and teacher feedback. Project NextTech addresses the 24 performance indicators in the ISTE Standards for Students and provides authentic learning experiences along with opportunities for students to demonstrate their skills through projects and a final portfolio.

“To compete in our global economy, students need digital aptitude and a solid foundation of technology skills.” said Keith Oelrich, Learning.com CEO. “Project NextTech can help high school educators ensure that their graduates are prepared for the digital demands of college and the 21st century workforce.”

Project NextTech’s curriculum is organized around three core topics:

  • Technology Literacy: students develop technology skills and the ability to select the right tool for the context and audience.
  • Information Literacy: students locate and access information, evaluate information critically and competently, and use information effectively and ethically.
  • Media Literacy: students access, analyze, evaluate, and create media in all its forms.

Spanning two semesters, Project NextTech is divided into four nine-week curriculum blocks consisting of eight weeks of instruction and a one-week project. Each unit includes a teacher preparation section, student overview and performance-based activities to help educators evaluate student understanding. As a course capstone, students create a digital portfolio to showcase their projects and other examples of their best work.

Students can use their portfolios to demonstrate capabilities when applying to colleges or employment opportunities that require digital skills. The course also helps students identify strengths and interests while researching potential career choices.

“This solution not only helps students develop a strong understanding of 21st century tools and applications to help them succeed academically,” says Oelrich, “but also helps them become resourceful learners and critical consumers who are able to evaluate digital information for credibility, context and bias.”

Project NextTech will be available for schools to implement starting January 2015.

Visit the Project NextTech page or stop by the Learning.com booth (#414) at the iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium to learn more.

About Learning.com
Learning.com helps districts implement digital learning initiatives with award-winning content, tools and services. By incorporating Learning.com’s curriculum and assessments into core instruction, educators help their students develop 21st century skills. With Learning.com’s digital content management solution, districts can seamlessly access, organize and share digital content to meet their instructional goals. 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.





Los Angeles schools implement countywide tiered-intervention model

After years of success with myIGDIs, county expands to social emotional intervention


(LOS ANGELES) Nov. 4, 2014 – To ensure young children are socially and emotionally prepared for school, the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s Head Start-State Preschool Division is implementing an innovative tiered model of intervention across all 16 of its delegate agencies.

“This new social-emotional model of intervention will help us prepare more than 13,000 at-risk preschool children in Los Angeles for kindergarten,” said Rebecca Lundeen, a school psychologist consultant for LACOE. “Over the past few years, we have seen incredible results with our Response-to-Intervention early literacy project. While we’re taking a different focus this year, I’m confident this social- emotional program will be just as successful.”

Since 2010, LACOE has used myIGDIs, a set of research-based assessment measures for preschool-aged children, as both a screener and progress-monitoring tool to identify 4-year-olds who would benefit from additional early literacy support, particularly in the areas of oral language and phonological awareness.

Through the county’s experimental pilot of a preschool Response-to-Intervention framework, they have been able to monitor the effectiveness of their early literacy intervention program and refine their model for Head Start programs moving forward. In 2016, LACOE plans to use the new edition of myIGDIs to begin monitoring the refined early literacy and early numeracy components of their RtI program.

“It’s so encouraging to all of us at Early Learning Labs to see prominent school systems like LACOE using myIGDIs successfully,” said Steve Johnson, the president of Early Learning Labs. “We look forward to seeing the results from their innovative social emotional intervention program, and we hope to continue partnering with districts to achieve similar results with early literacy.”

About myIGDIs

myIGDIs, are a set of early literacy & numeracy assessment tools based on over a decade of research that allow early childhood educators to monitor the growth and development of their young children. myIGDIs are currently the only RtI-oriented early childhood measures and have been used across over 12,000 school settings. For more information, visitmyIGDIs.com.

About Early Learning Labs

Early Learning Labs grew from decades of research at the University of Minnesota. Early Learning Labs provides research-based solutions for assessing the development of young children. Formed through the collective creations of multiple decades of expertise, Early Learning Labs is dedicated to helping early childhood educators establish important learning goals early and measure progress often.



GuideK12™ Launches SchoolSearch, Taking Communication to a New Level

GuideK12 SchoolSearch™ improves how districts communicate boundaries and school options to families

MINNEAPOLIS, MN November 4, 2014 – Today GuideK12 announces the launch of SchoolSearch, designed to provide a better way for districts to communicate boundaries, program or school options and more to parents in their community. SchoolSearch is the most comprehensive online communication tool that districts can provide to parents for more informed decisions on school location and program selection.


In an interactive world of GPS and online maps, school location “look-up” tools in many districts across the country have not kept up with students’ and parents’ expectations, as many districts still communicate boundary information via PDF or static map. Guided by customer input, GuideK12 set out to change how school districts communicate important school information with families. In growing communities, realtors, prospective families and community members can generate thousands of calls to a front office, by having an easy to use online tool with school assignment information those calls are eliminated and parents get access 24/7 to the information they need.


“GuideK12 is thrilled to provide a more comprehensive and robust experience for parents making decisions about the schools their children attend. When parents have the ability to find this information online it reduces calls, confusion and ultimately costs for a district,” said Chuck Amos, CEO of GuideK12.


What makes GuideK12’s offering so unique in the market is the advanced search functionality.  Parents can filter by school type or program offerings quickly and easily to identify various school locations on a map in relation to where they live. With more districts offering magnet programs or themes such as STEM, this makes it easy for families to make informed decisions.


The district’s ability to customize the display information allows for easy access to registration links or other pertinent content a family exploring various optional choices might need. School districts are under growing pressure from non-district programs seeking to attract new students, and with better communication tools for the families, districts can retain and attract students successfully.


“We utilized nationwide user-base of our flagship solution, GuideK12, to provide feedback that shaped SchoolSearch.  The market has already been responding extremely positive to our newest solution, we look forward to further supporting our current and future district partners and their surrounding communities,” said Amos.


To learn more about GuideK12’s new SchoolSearch product, please visit http://guidek12.com/schoolsearch.


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 a finalist for a 2013 SIIA CODiE award for best enterprise solution and selected by the NSBA as a technology showcase company, GuideK12 serves large metro, suburban and rural school districts throughout the United Sates. It is owned by private investors and a private investment group based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more about GuideK12™, please visit: www.guidek12.com




Epson Introduces Five New Short-Throw Projectors for K-12 Classrooms


Four PowerLite Projectors and One BrightLink Interactive Projector Bring

Reliable Performance and Convenient Collaboration to BYOD Classrooms


LONG BEACH, Calif. – Nov. 4, 2014 – Epson, the number-one selling projector brand worldwide1, today introduced five short-throw projectors designed to bring engaging and inspiring lessons into the classroom. The PowerLite® 520, 525W, 530, and 535W short-throw projectors and the BrightLink® 536Wi interactive short-throw projector deliver large, bright and colorful images projected from a short distance with minimal shadows or glare. Offering Moderator device management software2, the new projectors allow teachers to wirelessly connect up to 50 devices and share3 students’ work from up to four device screens simultaneously, including computers and iOS® and Android tablets and phones.


“Students are bringing more and more devices into the classroom, and our projectors provide the connectivity to promote and facilitate collaborative learning opportunities through the sharing of student work,” said Jason Meyer, senior product manager, Projectors, Epson America, Inc. “Our new short-throw models deliver best-in-class projection technology, offering high brightness for clear, sharp images even in ambient light, combined with easy-to-use connectivity solutions to meet the BYOD needs of teachers and students.”


The new PowerLite and BrightLink short-throw projectors allow teachers to project images up to 116-inches from four feet away with minimal shadows or glare, and enable flexible installation with an optional wall mount. The new models deliver increased color brightness and white brightness over predecessors and a range of resolutions to fit educator’s needs, trends and budgets:


Product Color Brightness4 White Brightness4 Resolution Estimated Street Pricing
PowerLite 520 2700 2700 XGA $849
PowerLite 525W 2800 2800 WXGA $949
PowerLite 530 3200 3200 XGA $949
PowerLite 535W 3400 3400 WXGA $1,049
BrightLink 536Wi 3400 3400 WXGA $1,490


The BrightLink 536Wi is an interactive short-throw projector offering collaborative learning and dual pen-based interactivity5 that transforms any wall or existing whiteboard into an interactive display. PC-free annotation tools allow teachers to write on images projected directly from an iPad®, iPhone®, iPod®, Android device, document camera or Blu-ray Disc® player. In addition, all BrightLink interactive projectors are compatible with SMART Notebook, Promethean® ActivInspire®, and MimioStudio educational software programs.


More about Epson’s New Short-Throw Projectors

Epson 3LCD projectors deliver three times brighter colors than leading competitive projectors6. Additional convenient and advanced features for educators include:


–       BYOD Collaboration: Moderator device management software allows teachers to wirelessly share and compare students’ work from multiple devices, simultaneously


–       Epson iProjection: Leveraging the Epson iProjection app, teachers can present from most iOS Apple devices running iOS 4.2 or later, including the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, and most Android devices running Android 2.3 or later; wireless module sold separately


–       Extended Lamp Life: The lamp can last up to 10,000 hours7 in economy mode, helping to maximize presentation time; replacement lamps cost $79 through the Brighter Futures program, providing a lower overall total cost of ownership


–       Optional Wall Mount: Offers easy-to-install, affordable mounting solution for convenient and flexible installation


–       Powerful Sound: Built-in 16-watt speaker and microphone input fills a classroom with sound and saves on equipment costs


–       3LCD Technology: Features the latest 3-chip 3LCD technology to deliver amazing, true-to-life color and detail for powerful presentations; 3LCD technology also provides an energy-efficient light engine using available lamp light to create stunning images, and in contrast to 1-chip DLP technology, 3LCD requires, on average, 25 percent less electricity per lumen of brightness8.


As a leader in innovation and partnership, Epson also offers the Brighter Futures® program, a unique sales and support initiative available specifically for schools. Designed to help educators select and implement the best products for their classrooms while making the most of their budgets, Brighter Futures offers special pricing, extended Epson limited warranty coverage for three years, dedicated education account managers, and toll-free technical support for all Epson projectors and associated accessories.


Color Brightness Specification and Projector Performance

The color brightness specification (measuring red, green and blue) published by the Society of Information Display (SID) allows consumers to compare projector color performance without conducting a side-by-side shootout. With today’s high definition content, teachers and students can display content with higher quality in brighter environments. For a truly impressive image, projectors need to offer both high color brightness and high white brightness. High color brightness is important for larger screen sizes and provides flexibility for a variety of screen materials. Without sufficient color brightness, images may be muddy, soft and lose detail, even in a dark room. For more information, visit http://www.colorlightoutput.com.


Availability and Support

The Epson PowerLite 520, 525W, 530, and 535W will be available in December 2014 and the BrightLink 536Wi will be available in January 2015 through national resellers, pro audio/visual dealers, mail order, distribution, and Epson.com. Epson’s PowerLite and BrightLink projectors come with a two-year limited warranty (three years for Brighter Futures customers) that includes two elite technical support services – Epson PrivateLine® phone support with direct access to an expedited support telephone line, and a Road Service projector replacement program that includes projector exchange in one business day with paid shipping. For additional information, visit www.epson.com/projectors.


About Epson

Epson is a global innovation leader dedicated to exceeding expectations with solutions for markets as diverse as the office, home, commerce, and industry. Epson’s lineup ranges from inkjet printers, printing systems and 3LCD projectors to industrial robots, smart glasses and sensing systems and is based on original compact, energy-saving, and high-precision technologies.


Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises more than 72,000 employees in 94 companies around the world, and is proud of its ongoing contributions to the global environment and the communities in which it operates. Epson America, Inc. based in Long Beach, Calif. is Epson’s regional headquarters for the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. To learn more about Epson, please visit: www.epson.com.


You may also connect with Epson America on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/Epson), Twitter (http://twitter.com/EpsonAmerica) and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/EpsonAmerica).