Breaking the Barrier Continues Push to Provide the Best Language Learning Resources for Mobile Learners
Multitouch iBook textbooks provide fast a path to language fluency
Groton, MA—June 10, 2014—Breaking the Barrier, Inc., a global leader in print and digital language learning, has announced the release of the 2015 Breaking the Spanish Barrier series of iBook textbooks. The updated Level 1, 2, and 3 editions are the culmination of groundbreaking work by educators, designers, programmers, and voice talent from around the globe. The new releases have been enhanced with more audio, video, and interactive content to engage and motivate learners.
Breaking the Spanish Barrier uses grammar and rich vocabulary in the context of history, popular culture, and current events to build knowledge and language fluency. Extensive use of audio featuring native speakers provides more confidence-building support for learners who listen to and imitate their pronunciation. The 2015 series continues the company’s unique practice of releasing a new edition of its highly acclaimed language series each year.
“With the 2015 release of our Spanish series, Breaking the Barrier has truly achieved our goal of creating the most fun, relevant, and highly effective way to master a language, ”said John Conner, Breaking the Barrier CEO and Series Editor.
“We have been using Breaking the Barrier for the last decade, but we are really excited to have it now as an iBooks textbook. The immediate feedback the student gets now with the practice exercises and the built-in audio features are invaluable,” said Thayer Academy’s Marc Rando. Forth Worth teacher Bob Booth added, “I’m more convinced than ever that the AP results and accolades that our graduates receive are a direct result of time spent in these Breaking the Barrier products.”
About Breaking the Barrier, Inc.
Founded in 1997 by educators, Breaking the Barrier is a global leader in print and digital language learning. Featuring instruction in Spanish, French, and English, Breaking the Barrier offers students the fastest path to true language fluency. For more information visit www.tobreak.com.
Mac to School Donates Certified MacBooks to Yellow Circle
Give Mac program donates laptops to support innovative IT instruction program free for all kids
San Jose, CA (June 16, 2015) – Mac to School, leading provider of certified Apple devices to the education marketplace, is supporting instruction within various IT fields through a recent donation to Yellow Circle, a non-profit that provides students of all ages free access to courses around Infrastructure Technology, website, app creation and so much more. This donation, awarded through Mac to School’s Give Mac initiative, will be enough to support a full class of students.
Mac to School certifies used Apple devices and products with the ultimate goal of keeping each machine in the hands of students for as long as possible. The company donates a portion of the iMacs, MacBooks and iPads to schools and other educational organizations through its Give Mac program. Since its first donation in May of 2014, they have donated refurbished, certified Apple products to initiatives that benefit kids in the United States and abroad.
Yellow Circle’s cloud-based platform provides students access to virtual routers, networks, servers, firewalls, and other components of computer systems. Additionally, Yellow Circle’s environment allows students to build and test their own apps in a digital sandbox. The program is fully supported by donors like Mac to School, allowing the organization to offer the program to interested students free of charge.
“We’re very grateful to Mac to School for their generous support,” said Yellow Circle Vice President Albert Cisneros. “These laptops meet our needs perfectly. With the help of the Give Mac program we will be able to reach even more students, providing them a way to express their creativity while learning valuable IT skills.”
Yellow Circle launched in 2014, within a few months saw their platform supporting more than 1300 users creating over 2000 projects. In addition to students joining virtually, small classes are also held in local libraries and schools. A device and an Internet connection are the only materials required to enroll in their program.
Robert Baker, Mac to School CEO and co-founder, expressed his delight in partnering with Yellow Circle. “IT-related skills are more valuable for students today than ever before, and Yellow Circle is doing excellent work filling an ever-widening gap in computer science education. We couldn’t be happier to support them. It has been great to share feedback from their students with our team at Mac to School. We are committed to putting quality technology in to the hands of as many students as possible, this was an extremely worthy program for Mac to School and Give Mac to support.”
To learn more about Mac to School; how to get involved in the Give Mac program as well as Apple products currently in stock, visit www.mactoschool.com
To become one of Yellow Circles many generous donors, or for more information please visit them at www.yellowcircle.net/about/donations
About Mac to School:
Mac to School buys, sells and recertifies all types of Apple computers and equipment. We serve the public and private education market, working with small schools up to large districts throughout all 50 states. Our mission is to deliver the best value to our customers while providing the highest level of customer service. Our team of Apple Certified Technicians employs customized tools to generate detailed audits and provide quality refurbishment.
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Experts Discuss Importance of Assessment Tied to Curriculum
Community Unit School District 300 in Illinois shares it successes with SEL during June 24thwebinar
Charlotte, N.C. – June 17, 2015 – The need for schools to offer students social and emotional learning (SEL) development opportunities is making headlines in both mainstream and education media and organizations have conducted research to determine how SEL strategies can better help students achieve academically. On June 24, 2015, educators and administrators can learn how SEL assessment and instruction helps improve student outcomes and alleviate behavior issues during the free webinar, “Learn from Peers and Experts Why Social & Emotional Learning Curriculum and Assessment Go Hand-in-Hand.”
The webinar, being held on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 from 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM EDT (8:00 AM – 8:45 AM PDT), will feature:
- Paul A. LeBuffe, M.A., Director, Devereux Center for Resilient Children
- Jacquie Duginske, Coordinator of RtI & PBIS, Elementary at Community Unit School District 300
- Jennifer Balogh, Regional Outreach Manager, Committee for Children
The webinar will help educators learn how to integrate the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA), the gold standard assessment for SEL, with Second Step, a leading researched-based SEL curriculum. In addition, attendees of the webinar will hear from Community Unit School District 300 about its journey through implementing SEL, success with the program, and reflections on the positive impact SEL has had on its students.
To register for the free webinar, go to: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4766882451712718082
Every attendee of the webinar, or those individuals who view the recording of the webinar, will receive a free 60-day trial to Apperson’s Evo Social & Emotional. Apperson Evo cloud-based assessment solutions are designed to make a positive impact on the whole child through comprehensive measurement of academic and social-emotional strengths. Evo SEL is an award-winning assessment system that allows educators and after school providers to measure social and emotional competence, school achievement and lifelong success in order to focus on students’ SEL skills development. The system is based on the DESSA, a strengths-based assessment designed to universally screen students for social and emotional competencies in less than a minute per child. The DESSA also assesses specific SEL strengths and needs and monitors progress towards SEL skill acquisition over time.
To learn more about Apperson, visit http://www.apperson.com/.
Apperson’s K-12 assessment solutions help educators develop a 360° panorama of the student and his or her strengths, as well as areas of opportunities, that can inform curriculum decision-making and create positive learning outcomes. Whether it’s DataLink scanners, or the Evo assessment platform, Apperson’s products support and encourage a holistic learning and development approach by helping teachers turn assessment data into actionable information.
About Committee for Children
Committee for Children is a 35-year-old Seattle-based nonprofit that develops award-winning, research-based social-emotional learning curricula for children from preschool through eighth grade. Their Second Step program is taught in 26,000 schools across the U.S. and in over 70 countries around the world.
AASA Concerned About Federal Spending Proposals in Public Education
Alexandria, Va. – June 17, 2015 – Daniel A. Domenech, the executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, issued the following statement today regarding the draft fiscal year 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) funding bill.
“The House released an LHHS appropriations bill, detailing proposed funding levels for federal health, education, and labor programs, among others. While this represents the first time in a handful of years that the committee has provided this level of detail in a public manner, we are deeply disappointed in the Committee—and the House in general—for continuing to deeply undermine the work of the nation’s schools by allocating deep, damaging cuts.
“We would normally applaud and welcome the proposed $502 million increase for IDEA (among others) as critical and well past-due. In the context of broader cuts and freezes that run deeper than any IDEA increase can cover, though, this is an appropriations bill focused on cutting funding to our nation’s schools and disinvesting in the future. We understand the importance of fiscal responsibility and have meaningfully engaged in conversations around spending cuts, restraint, revenues and more. There are two sides to responsibility, though, and cuts of this magnitude are deliberate and irresponsible.”
For specific questions about the LHHS appropriations bill, please contact Noelle Ellerson, AASA associate executive director, policy and advocacy, email@example.com.
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.
Lexia Learning Introduces ‘From the Wrist’ Progress Monitoring App for Apple Watch
Educators Can Oversee Students’ Reading Progress Anytime, Anywhere
Using myLexia App to Access to Real-Time Data from Lexia’s Personalized Learning Program
BOSTON —June 16, 2015 — Data-driven instruction is one of the cornerstones of today’s instructional methodologies. However, accessing such data has typically required educators to repeatedly print volumes of progress reports or remain tied to the computer, making the use of real-time data during instruction nearly impossible.
Today Lexia Learning, a Rosetta Stone® company and one of the nation’s most highly regarded providers of instructional reading technology,announced that the myLexia® App for Apple Watch is now available for educators. The myLexia app is the educator interface for Lexia Reading® Core5®, which delivers real-time student skills data and norm-referenced performance measures to educators. Also compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, the myLexia App includes the innovative Assessment Without Testing® technology, which gives teachers and administrators mobile access to school-wide, classroom, and individual student performance data and actionable lesson plans, without stopping to administer a test.
“With this new offering, we believe that we’ve been able to provide a cutting edge technology resource that gives educators even greater access to available data to inform instructional decisions within classrooms and schools,” said Lexia President Nick Gaehde. “Addressing students’ individual skill gaps, helping them reach mastery and improve their overall achievement scores without interrupting the flow of instruction – that’s using technology to drive personalized learning, and that’s what we are dedicated to doing every day.”
For teachers, the myLexia App for Apple Watch will make it possible to see at-a-glance which students need help, which students need more time in Lexia, and which students should be celebrated for completing a level in the program. From there, and with a mere touch of the app, a list of students grouped by specific skills for individual or small group instruction appears. The app also provides a detailed view of each student’s performance, including a prediction of his or her percent chance of reaching their end-of-year, grade-level benchmark. This allows teachers to prioritize the students who are at greatest risk of reading failure. At the school and district level, principals and superintendents viewing the myLexia App for Apple Watch can see—by class or by grade—students’ probability of reaching grade-level benchmarks. With this information on their wrist, administrators can quickly detect performance trends and deploy resources accordingly.
“We understand the transformative effect technology can have in classrooms and communities, opening the door to limitless opportunities. We also understand the incredible pressure educators are under to personalize learning for each and every student to help them meet increasingly rigorous standards—and to do it all within a six- to seven-hour school day,” added Gaehde. “We’re pleased to harnesses the advantages for Apple Watch technology in a way that helps make educators’ jobs easier.”
The myLexia App for Apple Watch is available on the App Store.
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About Lexia Reading Core5
Built on 30 years of educational research, Lexia Reading Core5 is a technology-based reading program for students of all abilities in pre-kindergarten through grade five. 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.
About Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone Inc. (NYSE: RST) is dedicated to changing people’s lives through the power of language and literacy education. The company’s innovative, personalized language and reading programs drive positive learning outcomes in thousands of schools, businesses, government organizations and for millions of individual learners around the world.
Founded in 1992, Rosetta Stone pioneered the use of interactive software to accelerate language learning and is widely recognized today as the industry leader in providing effective language programs. The company’s cloud-based programs allow users to learn online or on-the-go via tablet or smartphone, whether in a classroom, in a corporate setting, or in a personal learning environment. Rosetta Stone is also a leader in the literacy education space, helping millions of students build fundamental reading skills through its Lexia Learning division. Additionally, the company’s Fit Brains business offers personalized brain training programs developed by neuroscientists and award-winning game designers to be fun and help keep your brain sharp.
Halton District School Board Chooses Edsby to Enhance Student and Parent Communication
LMS rollout to teachers, students and parents now under way in Ontario school district
ONTARIO, Canada (PRWEB) June 16, 2015
Edsby, an innovative cloud-based education engagement platform that connects K-12 students, teachers and parents using smartphones, tablets and the web, has been selected by Halton District School Board (HDSB) to improve parent communication and give students and teachers electronic access to what they need to know each day at school.
Halton District School Board serves 60,000 public school students west of the city of Toronto in the municipalities of Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton, and Oakville. A handful of schools in the area successfully piloted the software earlier this year. More schools in the district are now using it, and 25 schools are expected to go live with the system in September.
“Edsby gives us a modern, device-independent way to share with students and teachers where they need to be throughout the day, and helps parents see what their children have been doing in school day-to-day,” said HDSB CIO Bruce Smith. “Edsby has enabled us to replace paper agendas, which is more environmentally responsible and cost effective than printing hard copies.”
“The quick adoption of Edsby was made possible by its tight integration with our district’s student information and authentication systems. Teachers didn’t have to learn another username and password or enter their classes, students and parents in Edsby – they were all there the first time they logged in,” said Smith.
Engaging parents was also a priority for HDSB. Edsby helps parents see what’s happening with their kids at school, and helps them play a more active part in their children’s education. In a single application and single login, Edsby shows parents the daily agenda, what’s been covered in class, homework, sports and club events schedules and more, for every one of their children.
Halton users enjoy the system. “Students love the accessibility of Edsby and many of them use their mobile devices to track homework, upcoming events and extracurriculars. Parents are increasingly using Edsby to track their child’s schedules at school,” said Lisa Coffey, Principal of Stewarttown Middle School in Georgetown, Ontario.
HDSB is the second Ontario region to adopt Edsby. In April, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board announced it had selected Edsby for district-wide deployment to its 34,000 students and their parents.
“Tight support for local standards makes Edsby a smart choice in many regions, including Ontario,” said John Myers, President of Edsby. “Every district has unique terminology, reporting requirements and, in some cases, assessment standards. Edsby’s customizability to local educational requirements is one of its unique capabilities.”
To learn more about Edsby, please visit http://edsby.com/.
Edsby is a modern, purpose-built Learning Management System (LMS) for K-12 that enables school districts and private schools to connect their teachers, students and parents using the technologies that have become pervasive in people’s lives. Edsby is developed by CoreFour, a team that has been building scalable, reliable software systems for education organizations around the world for almost 30 years using latest technology and standards. Edsby is a registered trademark of CoreFour Inc.