Generation YES and Learning.com Partner to Create Project NextTech

For more information:
Dennis Harper, Generation YES
(360) 528-2345
dennis@genyes.org

Program Brings Digital Literacy to High School Students

The nonprofit Generation YES® organization and Learning.com have announced Project NextTech, an online high school digital literacy survey course that is designed to help students develop the knowledge, skills, values, and experience that will help them succeed in an increasingly digital world.

Project NextTech curriculum is organized around three core literacies: technology literacy, information literacy and media literacy. Students learn through guided explorations, challenging activities, and rigorous technology-infused projects.

“Project NextTech is the perfect next iteration of the GenYES curriculum aimed at today’s high school students” said Dr. Dennis Harper, founder and CEO of Generation YES. “ We’ve invested sixteen years and more than $20 million developing the content at the core of Project NextTech. High school students will develop a strong foundation of digital literacy skills that will serve them well into the future.”

Innovative Project NextTech Provides Project-based Curriculum

“Project NextTech helps students develop a strong understanding of 21st century tools and applications to help them succeed academically.” says Keith Oelrich, Learning.com CEO. “This solution also helps students become resourceful learners and critical consumers who are able to evaluate digital information for credibility, context and bias.”

About Generation YES

Generation YES has won awards and national acclaim since its introduction in 1996 as a federal Technology Innovation Challenge Grant. Thousands of schools in the United States have implemented Generation YES programs and extensive research has demonstrated the program’s effectiveness in improving student learning and changing teacher practice in the use of classroom technology. The nonprofit Generation YES works with schools around the world to plan, implement and enhance student technology programs through consulting, innovative curriculum, cloud-based resources, and research-based support services.

About Learning.com

Learning.com helps students, teachers, and schools excel in a digital world. Districts equip their students with the technology and 21st century skills needed for online assessments, college, and the workforce using Learning.com’s digital literacy curriculum and assessments. Learning.com supports districts as they transition to digital content by providing a repository of OER and free digital resources with tools to build and share custom digital curriculum. Through implementation services and professional development, Learning.com serves educators as they integrate technology and digital content into instruction. Founded in 1999, Learning.com currently partners with more than 2,700 districts and serves 4.9 million students.

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AASA President, David Schuler, to be Keynote Speaker On Using Predictive Analytics in Teacher Hiring

Illinois District 214 Superintendent will discuss the importance of using data and predictive analytics in the hiring process as keynote speaker at TeacherMatch Solutions Summit

Chicago, IL March 10th, 2015 – TeacherMatch, creator of the Educator’s Professional Inventory (EPI) predictive teacher hiring tool, is excited to announce David Schuler as the Keynote Speaker at their upcoming Solutions Summit in Miami, FL, April 22-25, 2015.

David Schuler serves as the superintendent of Township High School District 214 in Arlington Heights, IL, and is the current President-elect of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA). Under Schuler’s leadership, District 214 has been recognized as a Blue Ribbon High School District by the U.S. Department of Education.

The annual Solutions Summit, hosted by TeacherMatch, will take place April 22nd through 25th in Miami, Florida. This user-conference is an invaluable opportunity for administrators, superintendents and operators of both TeacherMatch and eSchool Solutions partner districts to come together and discuss HR best practices, new software features, and network with other forward-thinking district leaders on how to better meet the needs of their teachers and students.

During his keynote, Superintendent Schuler, a long-time TeacherMatch partner, will discuss how schools can better use data and predictive analytics to understand the relationship between teacher performance, retention and absenteeism.

“The key to increasing teacher performance and retention is hiring the right educators and offering exceptional professional development from the start,” says Schuler. “Data and predictive analytics provide powerful insight that help schools achieve those goals.”

He will present a high-level theory on how data and software solutions like TeacherMatch can help schools identify, hire and develop high quality teachers to increase teacher retention and decrease absenteeism.

The comprehensive TeacherMatch software portfolio uses research and predictive analytics to help schools identify, hire and develop the most effective teachers.

For more information about TeacherMatch, please visit their website at www.teachermatch.org.

About TeacherMatch

TeacherMatch offers a comprehensive software portfolio that covers everything from recruitment and interviewing through onboarding and PD support for new teachers — before their first day of class. It features a sophisticated, highly analytical framework supported by some of the latest advancements in software technology, designed to be the most efficient, easy-to-use, and effective way to manage and track all phases of talent management.

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National Education Groups Issue Principles to Guide the Use and Protection of Student Data

Reaffirm Shared Commitment to Securing Students’ Personal Information and Promoting Data Use in Service of Learning
Washington, DC (March 10, 2015) – The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and the Data Quality Campaign (DQC), along with 30 leading national education organizations representing parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, state boards of education, chief technology officers and many others, today released 10 principles for protecting and guiding the use of the personal information of America’s students.This announcement marks an historic, first-ever effort by major national education associations to articulate commonly held principles around the use and safeguarding of student data in education. To see the full list of supporters, please visit: www.studentdataprinciples.org.“Educators will only gain the trust of parents and families if student information is used responsibly, ethically and only when necessary to benefit students. This is a very important effort by the education community to work together to articulate core beliefs and a commitment to building transparency and trust,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN.“High-quality education data are critical to improving student achievement and success and to empowering educators and families. Safeguarding student privacy is an essential component of effective data use. Everyone who uses data to help students achieve should adhere to and build upon these 10 principles,” said Aimee Rogstad Guidera, President and CEO of the Data Quality Campaign.

The 10 student data principles are:

  • Student data should be used to further and support student learning and success.
  • Student data are most powerful when used for continuous improvement and personalizing student learning.
  • Student data should be used as a tool for informing, engaging, and empowering students, families, teachers, and school system leaders.
  • Students, families, and educators should have timely access to information collected about the student.
  • Student data should be used to inform and not replace the professional judgment of educators.
  • Students’ personal information should only be shared, under terms or agreement, with service providers for legitimate educational purposes; otherwise the consent to share must be given by a parent, guardian, or a student, if that student is over 18. School systems should have policies for overseeing this process, which include support and guidance for teachers.
  • Educational institutions, and their contracted service providers with access to student data, including researchers, should have clear, publicly available rules and guidelines for how they collect, use, safeguard, and destroy those data.
  • Educators and their contracted service providers should only have access to the minimum student data required to support student success.
  • Everyone who has access to students’ personal information should be trained and know how toeffectively and ethically use, protect, and secure it.
  • Any educational institution with the authority to collect and maintain student personal information should:
    • have a system of governance that designates rules, procedures, and the individual or group responsible for decision-making regarding data collection, use, access, sharing, and security, and use of online educational programs;
    • have a policy for notification of any misuse or breach of information and available remedies;
    • maintain a security process that follows widely accepted industry best practices; and
    • provide a designated place or contact where students and families can go to learn of their rights and have their questions about student data collection, use, and security answered.
DQC and CoSN will continue to encourage organizations representing voices at all levels of the education system to sign on to the principles.Many organizations, including DQC and CoSN, have been helping to build the capacity of educators and education leaders to use student data effectively and ethically and to collaborate and build trust with parents and policymakers. Access DQC’s suite of resources on safeguarding student data and using data to support student achievement at www.dataqualitycampaign.org.In 2014, CoSN launched the Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning initiative, which provides education leaders with resources to better understand and navigate today’s major federal laws.To learn more about today’s announcement, please visit: www.studentdataprinciples.org

About CoSN 
CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. The mission of CoSN is to empower educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments. Visitcosn.org or call 866-267-8747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areas, annual conference and eventsadvocacy and policy, membership, and the CETL certification exam.
About the Data Quality Campaign
The Data Quality Campaign is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, national advocacy organization committed to realizing an education system in which all stakeholders – from parents to policymakers – are empowered with high quality data from early childhood, K–12, postsecondary, and workforce systems. To achieve this vision, DQC supports policymakers and other key leaders to promote effective data use to ensure students graduate from high school prepared for success in college and the workplace. For more information, visit www.dataqualitycampaign.org.

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COMCAST’S INTERNET ESSENTIALS PROGRAM HAS CONNECTED MORE THAN 450,000 FAMILIES, BENEFITTING 1.8 MILLION LOW-INCOME AMERICANS

 

PHILADELPHIA, (March 10, 2015) — Comcast today announced that since August 2011, its nationally acclaimed broadband adoption program, Internet Essentials, has connected more than 450,000 families, or 1.8 million low-income Americans, to the power of the Internet at home. To put that in perspective, 1.8 million is larger than the populations of 96 of America’s 100 largest cities as well as 12 states and the District of Columbia. What’s more, the sixmonth period from September 2014 through February 2015 was the most successful period in the program’s history, with nearly 90,000 new Internet Essentials enrollments. For the fourth year in a row, the Chicago metro area leads the way in closing the digital divide with Internet Essentials. More than 50,000 families benefitting 200,000 low-income Chicagoans – nearly 25 percent of its eligible population – have signed up. The Miami metro area is second, with more than 41,500 families benefitting 166,000 low-income citizens – 28 percent of its eligible population. The Atlanta metro area is third with more than 25,000 families benefitting more than 100,000 low-income citizens – almost 20 percent of its eligible population. “Through years of research and hard work, we have found that relentless engagement and digital education on a hyper-local level is the key to closing the digital divide,” said David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation. “We are making great progress and ask other companies and non-profits, who share our goal of getting all Americans connected, to join us, and do their part.” Data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent (2013) American Community Survey, with a sample size of more than 3.5 million Americans, reveals that 52 percent of low-income households in the U.S., with household incomes below $35,000, now subscribe to wireline broadband at home, as compared to 48 percent in 2010. Also, according to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), although broadband adoption for low-income households has been increasing, for certain low-income groups, it still falls more than 20 percentage points behind the general population, which had a 73 percent adoption rate in 2012.

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New Tool Helps High-Functioning Learners with Autism Become Fully Independent and Socially Integrated

Skills® Advanced Cognition is a web-based system that enables parents, educators and professionals who work with children with autism to design and implement evidence-based teaching programs using the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA).

LOS ANGELES (March 10, 2015) – SKILLS® today announced the release of Skills® Advanced Cognition which is utilized to maximize the learning potential of higher-functioning children with autism who demonstrate inflexible thinking and difficulty identifying relevant information.  The web-based system is a specialized tool for the design and implementation of advanced teaching plans to help higher-functioning individuals diagnosed with autism reach their fullest potential.  Characteristics of high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD), formerly known as Asperger’s syndrome, include: awkwardness and challenges sustaining conversation; difficulty understanding social rules, sarcasm, irony and humor; lack of empathy; difficulty understanding complex concepts; and obsessive interest in a particular subject.  The new program helps to teach these important skills to high functioning individuals. Lessons with Skills® Advanced Cognition have been proven effective in several research studies.  These lessons include sensory perspective taking; disengagement; detecting sarcasm and deception; following rules; and safety awareness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in 68 children is born with ASD in the United States alone.  According to Asperger’s Network Support, approximately 75 percent of all people diagnosed with ASD, or about 2.6 million individuals nationwide, are high functioning, having a DSM-IV diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).  Programs such as Skills® Advanced Cognition will enable this population to live more independently, improve social skills and develop meaningful friendships.

The Advanced Cognition program includes advanced concepts for high-functioning learners.  Advanced concepts are skills and cognitive abilities that help people function more successfully and more independently in complex social, academic and vocational environments.  Many highly verbal individuals with ASD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) already possess foundational language, academic, and self-help skills but still struggle significantly with navigating the more complex aspects of the social and academic world.

“Advanced concepts are the skills and abilities that are needed to take individuals out of the basics and super-charge their ability to function independently and successfully throughout their daily lives,” said Eliana Ferreira, managing director of SKILLS®.  “The goal with Skills® Advanced Cognition is to support the effort for every individual with ASD to reach his or her fullest potential.”

Advanced concepts are skills that build on foundational language and social skills by helping individuals tie all of their abilities together in order to function at a higher level. For example, sharing and turn-taking are simpler social skills, but advanced concepts in perspective taking can help an individual identify what a peer would actually like, thereby allowing him to share something that would interest the peer or make the peer happy.  Advanced Cognition in perspective taking also allows an individual to identify others’ interests and what they already know and do not yet know, thereby allowing the individual to introduce conversations that are relevant, on topic and interesting to others.  Similarly, completing a worksheet is a simpler academic skill, but the advanced concepts of self-management and attention-shifting allow the child to shift attention to other socially important events (e.g., the teacher talking) and then shift back to the worksheet, without constant reminders.

For more information, visit www.SkillsAdvanced.com/info or call 877-975-4559.

About SKILLS®: With two patents pending, SKILLS® is the worldwide leading provider of software as a service solution for behavioral health, attending to the needs of four key segments: mental health clinicians, educators, managed care organizations, and families.  The SKILLS® portfolio of web-based and mobile application tools is based on the evidence-based principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA), with several studies published in peer-reviewed journals on its solid psychometric properties and clinical effectiveness.  Founded in 2010, SKILLS® products are used in school districts and managed care organizations nationwide and by families and autism treatment providers worldwide. For more information, visit www.SkillsForAutism.com.

 

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