Survey Reveals Two-Thirds of Schools Are Using Digital Resources to Boost Student Performance

Digital Content is Empowering Educators to Provide Differentiated Instruction Tailored to Individual Students


CHICAGO, Feb. 19, 2015 – Nearly two-thirds of U.S. and Canadian K-12 school districts are executing digital content plans aimed at helping students succeed in and out of the classroom, according to a recent survey conducted by cloud-based differentiated learning application Learning Bird.


The survey results reveal 65 percent of school districts are transitioning to digital learning environments that align digital content with curricula while also providing teachers with professional development opportunities.


Details of the survey (illustrated in the accompanying infographic) indicate that the digital content purchased by districts is empowering educators to provide differentiated instruction tailored to individual students while simultaneously saving districts time and money by replacing, supplementing, or enriching traditional classroom resources, such as textbooks.


“Ensuring that digital content is available when and where students need it is the key to improving academic outcomes,” said Henry Ryan, CEO, Learning Bird. “The one-size-fits-all education model is rapidly being replaced by the transition to digital learning environments tailored to individual student needs.”


While the survey concludes that nearly two-thirds of schools encourage their own teachers to create digital content so students are exposed to multiple perspectives and specialized content, a handful of districts are extending the virtual classroom even farther by actively seeking out digital content created by educators outside their districts.


“Providing a student in need of individual attention in one district with resources from the best and brightest teachers in other districts is a logical next step in the digital transition,” Ryan said. “The classroom of the future recognizes no borders and must be able to instantly connect innovative teachers with students who need them most. Every student has the right to instruction that suits them best.”


Learning Bird crowd-sources teacher-generated digital lessons aligned with local curricula to deliver on-demand content tailored to individual student needs.


About Learning Bird |

Learning Bird is an innovative online learning tool for K-12 student success, powered by multiple perspectives. Its proprietary learning algorithm matches digital lessons from teachers to the local curriculum, textbooks and personalized recommendations for each student. Learning Bird’s new cross-curriculum alignment engine allows students grades K-12 to access a wider range of lesson perspectives in order to find that “a-ha” moment. When a lesson helps students understand, Learning Bird’s algorithm learns more about how they learn and also shares revenue directly with the teachers who added the lesson.



Mimio Launches Spring Webinar Series on Using Its Tools to Enhance Interactive Learning Experiences

Hosted by Educators for Educators, Professional Development Webinar and On-Demand Series Helps Teachers Create Active Engagement Instruction

Cambridge, MA– Feb. 18, 2015 – Mimio, developer of the MimioClassroomTM family of interactive teaching technologies and software, recently announced its live and on-demand third annual professional development webinar series designed to help educators make optimal use of its interactive learning tools. Teachers who are experts with Mimio’s collaborative technologies will host the spring 2015 webinars. The live 30-minute sessions are offered on multiple dates to accommodate educator’s busy schedules. Each will then be made available for on-demand viewing at the conclusion of each webinar series.

“Our common-sense solutions give today’s classroom teachers a stress-free way to infuse the learning day with technology-empowered learning,” said Travis Rink, Mimio training manager. “Our presenters are seasoned professionals that understand the demands of day-to-day instruction and are passionate about sharing their experiences so that others can create improved interactive learning experiences.”

The spring 2015 series includes the following sessions:

Getting More from Your Lesson with Mimio

Effective lesson design encourages student engagement, interactivity, and collaboration and facilitates assessment. Teachers attending this webinar will learn new ways to enhance their existing lessons, or ones found on, using Mimio technology. Scheduled for February 26 and March 26 at 4:30 p.m. ET, these webinars will be hosted by Lindy George, instructional technology specialist at Collier County Public Schools in Naples, Fla. She will show attendees a multitude of ways to use Mimio products through mobile devices currently in their classrooms to make lessons more interactive, engaging and collaborative.

MimioConnect’s PLN: Join Our Flagship Community

The vibrant online community – MimioConnect – is a dynamic, informative, and fun personal and professional-learning network (PLN) that brings together educators who share an interest in making the most of classroom technology. On March 10 and April 23 at 4:30 p.m. ET, award-winning high school social studies teacher Paul Gigliotti, located in Cleveland, Ohio, will share how to use the MimioStudioTM classroom software to access and download thousands of teacher-created, yet easily customizable, interactive lessons across nearly every subject area. Attendees will learn how current members of MimioConnect are collaborating with other educators around the world to discuss and share best practices and interactive lessons.

Classroom Collaboration with Mimio

Students must learn collaboration skills to be successful in school and in their lives. In this webinar, Charli Mullen, a third grade teacher at Fredericksburg (Texas) Elementary School, will provide tips and suggestions for encouraging collaboration via the many features of the MimioStudioTM software and the MimioMobileTM app for Apple and Android mobile devices. The webinar, scheduled for April 7 at 4:30 p.m. ET, will also introduce attendees to some of the new collaboration lessons and activities that are available at no charge on

To register for these live webinars or to start an on-demand session, visit or

About Mimio

Mimio is a global leader in interactive teaching technologies that offer a better way to learn and an empowering way to teach. A portfolio company of Skyview Capital, Mimio creates award-winning, innovative, and affordable hardware and software that increase teacher effectiveness and student engagement in K-12 classrooms. For more information, visit Follow Mimio on Twitter @MimioTechnology and “Like” us on our Facebook page at


Leading Mathematics Experts Join Curriculum Associates’ Team of Ready® Authors

Industry-leading scholars and authors Dr. Mark Ellis and Dr. Gladis Kersaint to further enhance comprehensive mathematics program


NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., February 19, 2015—Industry-leading scholars and authors in mathematics education, Dr. Mark Ellis and Dr. Gladis Kersaint, recently joined Curriculum Associates’ team of Ready® authors. Ellis and Kersaint will use their wealth of research, knowledge, and expertise to further enhance Ready® Mathematics by ensuring the validity and sound instructional design of the comprehensive instruction and practice program.


“Ready Mathematics uses a research-based, proven-effective, gradual-release method to ensure student mastery of the new standards,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “Schools have already seen significant increases in outcomes as a result of using the program. With the expertise and guidance of our new authors, both Ready and i-Ready® will continue to be enhanced and expanded upon to further meet—and exceed—the needs of students and teachers.”


Ready Mathematics provides students in grades K–8 with the rigorous instruction and practice needed to prepare them to be college- and career-ready and meet the higher expectations of the new standards in a highly supportive way. The program helps address the emphasis on conceptual understanding through reasoning, modeling, and discussion that explores the structure of mathematics, while also developing students’ procedural fluency. Both authors will also consult on the continued development and improvement of the K–12 i-Ready Diagnostic & Instruction program. The new authors will be instrumental in further developing an already robust student- and teacher-focused content.


Dr. Mark Ellis, a National Board Certified Teacher and currently a professor of education at California State University at Fullerton, where he directs the Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative, is a highly regarded scholar, author, and teacher of K–12 mathematics education. Ellis, who also recently completed a three-year term as a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Board of Directors and Executive Committee, is best known for his work supporting educators with research-based strategies that promote deeper understanding of mathematics and increase motivation and success.


Dr. Gladis Kersaint, who is currently completing her three-year term as a member of NCTM’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee, is a professor of mathematics at the University of South Florida and a respected scholar in mathematics education. Kersaint has published books, chapters, and journal articles on factors that influence mathematics teacher education and effective teaching, mathematics teaching and learning of at-risk students as well as the use of technology in teaching and learning.


To learn more about Ready® Mathematics, visit


About Curriculum Associates

Founded in 1969, privately owned Curriculum Associates, LLC, designs research-based print and online instructional materials, screens and assessments, and data management tools. The company’s products and outstanding customer service provide teachers and administrators with the resources necessary for teaching diverse student populations and fostering learning for all students.


“Advancing a Jobs-Driven Economy” through Innovative Business and

Higher Education Partnerships

New call-to-action book from STEMConnector® includes chapter on

community college governance penned by ACCT President


Washington, D.C. Feb. 19, 2015: Advancing a Jobs-Driven Economy, a book released today in Phoenix, Arizona and Washington, D.C. by STEMconnector®, focuses on the employer-driven partnerships demanded by 21st century STEM education and workforce development.  Amid recent disruption in higher education, the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) joins 62 education, business, and non-profit thought leaders who share proven models that support the necessary STEM education and workforce development revolution.


NASDAQ will highlight the book for 15 minutes today in Times Square and showcase the publication across the nation.


Call to Action

As a member of the STEM Higher Education Council, ACCT welcomed the chance to contribute to Advancing a Jobs-Driven Economy.  “Community and technical colleges have played a significant role in helping Americans find work during the economic recovery,” said ACCT President and CEO J. Noah Brown, who authored a chapter on the role of community college governing boards in advancing a jobs-driven economy.


“Our call to action is to everyone concerned about our ability to create and sustain career opportunities and develop relevant job skills for millions of students to meet employer needs, and the time to act is now,” stated Rob Denson, chair of STEMconnector®’s Higher Education Council and president of Des Moines Area Community College.


“Closing the large and growing skills gap in the U.S. will provide Americans with innumerable job opportunities, and employers with the talent they so desperately need to have sustained success,” said Gregory W. Cappelli, chief executive officer, Apollo Education Group.


Leadership Required

“Businesses know what they need in order to be competitive,” said John R. McKernan, president, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “The only way to ensure that we have the workforce to enhance America’s long-term competitiveness is to have partnerships and collaborations between business and our educational institutions. What is needed now is bold leadership and transformational change.”



Collaboration is Critical

“Let us close the achievement gap and get business to help create pipeline programs from high school through graduate school,” emphasized Dr. Martha Kanter, former Under Secretary of Education. “To supply the needs, community colleges and universities must join with business and government to rethink, redesign, provide relevant educational programs and services, and build sustainable relationships.”


Dr. Freeman Hrabowksi, president, University of Maryland, Baltimore County underscored the importance of cross-sector collaboration stating, “We need the collaboration. And the stronger the collaboration, the stronger our society and economy will be.”


Advancing A Jobs-Driven Economy provides the framework to build new relationships with businesses, governments, and foundations to find opportunities for collaboration in building the next generation of STEM professionals,” said Dr. Mitzi Montoya, vice president and university dean of entrepreneurship and innovation at Arizona State University.


Complementing Advancing a Jobs–Driven Economy, the Virtual Community of Practice provides an online platform, allowing our network to continue advancing the dialogues, programs, policies, and partnerships that are critical to an effective STEM education–to–employment system that is emerging in real time. STEMconnector encourages colleges and business to share their effective STEM Higher Education-Industry partnership stories online at


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About ACCT

The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) is a non-profit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,200 community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States and beyond.  For more information, go to  Follow ACCT on Twitter @CCTrustees.


About STEMconnector®

STEMconnector® is a consortium of companies, associations, societies, policy organizations, government entities, universities and academic institutions concerned with STEM education and the future of human capital. With several products and services, STEMconnector® is both a resource and a service, designed to link “all things STEM.” STEMconnector®’s network includes organizations at the global, national, state and local levels. STEMconnector® focuses on the STEM workforce and jobs, with a particular emphasis on diversity and women. Our work spans the entire pipeline (Kindergarten to Jobs) and how STEM education experiences translate into careers.


About the STEMconnector® STEM Higher Education Council

STEMconnector®’s STEM Higher Education Council (SHEC) is a leadership forum of public and private colleges intently focused on STEM education and careers. SHEC envisions being the national catalyst for meeting the education and training needs of the global STEM workforce and educating the scientists, technologists, and innovators needed for a vibrant economy.

Books will be available on and in bookstores nationwide.



Filament Games Makes a Splash in Classrooms with Backyard Engineers

Game that teaches physical science and engineering concepts becomes latest learning game title available on the Filament Learning Store in February release.

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We’re excited for the launch of Backyard Engineers, as it marks the first in a series of fun and engaging physical science learning titles to be released this year.

MADISON, Wis. (PRWEB) February 19, 2015

Filament Games, award-winning developer of educational games and curriculum, today announced the launch of physical science learning game Backyard Engineers. Designed to align with Benchmarks for Science Literacy, Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core, Backyard Engineers is the first physical science game to be officially released by the developer.

The game challenges players to create the ultimate catapult so they can win a water balloon fight with neighborhood kids. Different mechanical elements of the catapult can be customized by students, manipulating movement, accuracy, range, and damage. Each level of the game is a unique puzzle that challenges students to find the fastest and most efficient way to soak their neighbors.

Backyard Engineers comes with a teacher dashboard for measuring student success and an integrated, standards-based curriculum for educators to use that extends their students’ learning experience. The curriculum includes hands-on activities, labs, challenging end-of-lesson activities and two standards-based assessments that give teachers the tools needed to gauge student understanding and progress.

“We’re excited for the launch of Backyard Engineers, as it marks the first in a series of fun and engaging physical science learning titles to be released this year,” White said.

The game launches on the Filament Learning Store on February 18, 2015, and both educator and student accounts will be priced at $5.99 per account. For more information on the game, visit

About Filament Games

Filament Games is a production studio that develops engaging teaching and learning games. The company’s games combine best practices in commercial game development with key concepts from the learning sciences, sparking inspiration through exploration and discovery. Filament Games works with teachers, parents and students to engineer authentic gameplay mechanics that assist educators with meeting Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core requirements, and specific learning objectives. For more information, visit


ASCD Joins the Learning First Alliance


ASCD Executive Director Judy Seltz to serve on Alliance’s Board of Directors as LFA works to advancepublic education


Washington, D.C. – February  19, 2015 – The Learning First Alliance (LFA), a partnership of leading education organizations representing more than 10 million parents, educators and policymakers, welcomesASCD as its newest member organization. Through this partnership, Judy Seltz, executive director of ASCD, will join LFAs Board of Directors as the Alliance continues its work for the advancement of public education.


“ASCDs dedication to excellence in learning, teaching and leading aligns with – and supports – the mission and ongoing work of LFA and our member organizations as a whole,” said Cheryl S. Williams, executive director of the Learning First Alliance. “Through this partnership, and with the expertise of Judy Seltz as a board member, ASCD will be instrumental in helping the Alliance promote the ongoing successes of our nations public schools.”


Founded in 1943, ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) is a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. Comprising 125,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, and advocates from more than 138 countries—the ASCD community also includes 56 affiliate organizations. ASCD’s innovative solutions promote the success of each child.


Judy Seltz was appointed executive director of ASCD in June 2014. She formerly served ASCD as Chief Officer of Constituent Services and Deputy Executive Director.  In that capacity she directed the association’s work with its affiliates and other constituent groups in the United States and across the globe, on public policy, governance, and the whole child.
Prior to that role, Seltz served as associate executive director for planning and communications at AASA: The School Superintendents Association. She also worked with International Schools Services in Princeton, N.J., where she supported American international schools overseas, coordinating and directing strategic planning, professional development, and school board training. In the mid-1990s, she served as an ASCD regional director, working with various constituent groups.

Additionally, Seltz spent eight years on the school board of Alexandria City (VA) Public Schools as a member and chair. She also served as the managing editor of Education of the Handicapped Law Report and The Special Educator.

Seltz earned her bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University, her Master of Education from Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and her J.D. from George Mason University School of Law.


To learn more about ASCD, visit To learn more about the LFA, visit


About The Learning First Alliance

The Learning First Alliance is a partnership of leading education organizations with more than 10 million members dedicated to improving student learning in America’s public schools. Alliance members include: the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, AASA: The School Superintendents Association,  American Federation of Teachers, American School Counselor Association, ASCD, International Society for Technology in Education, Learning Forward (formerly National Staff Development Council), National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Education Association, National PTA, National School Boards Association, National School Public Relations Association, and Phi Delta Kappa International. The Alliance maintains, a website that features whats working in public schools and districts across the country.




Webinar scheduled for Thursday, February 26th, at 11:00 AM EST (10:00 AM CST)Leveraging Technology to Level the Playing FieldThe first five years is the most critical of a child’s life, when children’s brains become wired to navigate the deep waters of life.

Forty percent (40%) of children in the U.S., before the age of 5, spend most of their weekdays at a daycare center. A 2007 survey by the National Institute of Child Health Development deemed the majority of daycare operations to be “fair” or “poor.” Only 10% provided high-quality care, according to the report, providing a safe and stimulating environment for children to learn.

For those parents whose toddlers have access to a reputable daycare, or are able to be looked after at home, or by relatives, the primary concern is safety, and then the child’s contentment. Strong academics during preschool seem to be reserved only for those who can afford $15,000 a year for a high quality daycare or private preschool. If you ever wondered why 90% of college freshmen come from the middle and upper class, just look at the knowledge and ability of each five year old when he/she enters school, the ratio is very much same. Only 10% of children from low-income families have enough skills to succeed until college!

Technology now is at the stage where every family that can afford a smart phone can afford a virtual preschool program for their children. Virtual preschool can prepare children, stimulate their interests and open their eyes to many opportunities for growth and learning. If a four year old entering the school doesn’t know that five (5) is bigger than three (3), what is the likelihood that he or she will learn algebra well and score 800 on his/her SAT exam?

Attend the VINCI Virtual School webinar, and join us to discuss the best curriculum and processes to flip that ratio. Every child deserves a chance to make it big in life!

Webinar scheduled for Thursday, February 26th, at 11:00 AM EST (10:00 AM CST)