edWeb.net - A professional learning and social network
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASESIIA, edWeb, and MCH announce the winners of the SIIA Educators’ Choice Award  PRINCETON, NJ, December 16, 2014 – Which new education technology companies are most innovative and most likely to succeed? Each year, the Education Division of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) spotlights new companies and products in the education technology market with a semi-annual Innovation Incubator Awards Competition.

The most recent round of winners was announced at the SIIA Education Business Forum on December 10th at the McGraw-Hill Conference Center in New York City.

edWeb.net and MCH Strategic Data co-sponsored the presentation of the Educators’ Choice Award for the best new company/product by hosting an online presentation by each of the Innovation Incubator Finalists and an online voting option for educators all across the country.

The winner of the Educators Choice Award was Crack the Books from the Mobile Education Store. Crack the Books is a digital interactive book series designed to foster reading comprehension and student engagement through adjustable reading levels and hundreds of high interest interactive elements.

The runner up for the Educators Choice Award was Listen Current. Listen Current brings authentic voices and engaging non-fiction stories to the classroom. They curate the best of public radio to keep teaching connected to the real world and build student listening skills at the same time.

“We are delighted to help SIIA reach our edWeb members to seek out their opinion and votes on the Innovation Incubator Finalists, ” said Lisa Schmucki, founder and CEO of edWeb.net.

“The Educators Choice Award is part of our mission to bring the voice of the educator into our industry forums,” said Karen Billings, vice president for SIIA’s Education Division. “Educators and their students are the ultimate users of these innovations.”

SIIA’s Innovation Incubator program identifies and supports entrepreneurs in their development and distribution of innovative learning technologies. The program began in 2006 and has provided incubation for dozens of successful products and companies in their efforts to improve education through the use of software, digital content, and related technologies.

About SIIA
The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) is the principal trade association for the software and digital content industry. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education, and intellectual property protection to more than 800 leading software and information companies. The SIIA Education Division serves and represents more than 200 member companies that provide software, digital content, and other technologies that address educational needs. The Division shapes and supports the industry by providing leadership, advocacy, business development opportunities, and critical market information. For more information, visitwww.siia.net/education.

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 online professional learning communities. edWeb hosts professional learning communities for educators to connect with peers and experts all around the country and the world on the most innovative ideas in education. edWeb offers 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 at www.edweb.net.

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 business for over 80 years. MCH is a strategic partner of edWeb.net and is helping to spread the word to the preK-12 education community about the value of joining a free online professional learning community on edWeb. For more information, visit www.mchdata.com.



Teacher Residency Program Receives $500,000 Challenge Grant from Schusterman Foundation 


Investment Will Help Urban Teacher Center Build An Effective Teacher Workforce  



(December 17, 2014 – Baltimore, MD) – The Urban Teacher Center (UTC) announced today that theCharles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation awarded a $500,000 challenge grant to UTC to expand its teacher preparation program, a program designed to improve teacher quality in urban school systems.


“UTC’s model of intensive, results-oriented teacher preparation is exactly what our schools need to help ensure every student has access to a high-quality education,” said Michelle Boyers, Director of Education for the Schusterman Family Foundation. “It is our hope that this grant will be a pathway for leaders in education philanthropy to help young people nationwide get the education they need to learn and grow, regardless of the zipcode they’re born into.”


The gift will match contributions from other supporters up to $500,000, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, between December 2014 and December 2015.  Funds will help UTC recruit, train and support an increasing number of teachers dedicated to helping every student succeed.


“We are grateful for this opportunity and excited to work with the Schusterman Family Foundation to maximize the impact of this grant,” noted UTC CEO and Co-Founder Jennifer Green. “The demand for effective teachers in our nation’s urban schools has never been greater, and we’re committed to working with partners across K-12 and higher education to prepare professionals who can give students what they need to thrive.”


UTC is rebuilding the urban teacher workforce by producing high-quality teachers who are committed to staying in the profession. After a rigorous selection process, UTC teachers complete a 15-month residency program combining on-the-job training in a K-12 urban classroom with master’s coursework. This is accompanied by three years of one-on-one coaching to ensure continual improvement. Before receiving certification, UTC evaluates teachers for quality instruction and student achievement gains. By holding teachers accountable for student success, UTC ensures urban students will get the quality education they deserve.




About Urban Teacher Center

Urban Teacher Center (UTC) prepares highly effective teachers who significantly accelerate student achievement in the nation’s highest-need schools. UTC accomplishes this goal by recruiting outstanding candidates, equipping them with state-of-the-art training, and linking their certification to their students’ performance outcomes. UTC is currently serving urban youth in Baltimore City and the District of Columbia and has plans to expand to additional cities in the near future.


About Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is a global organization that seeks to ignite the passion and unleash the power in young people to create positive change for themselves and in their communities. Schusterman pursues its mission by working collaboratively with others to support and operate high-quality education, Jewish identity development, leadership training and service programs designed to help young people cultivate their growth as individuals and as leaders.www.schusterman.org