OC Pathways, Nepris team up to virtually connect students with industry experts

System makes it easy for classrooms to engage with workplace professionals


COSTA MESA, Calif. – NOV. 2, 2015 – For the first time, Orange County teachers, school counselors and work-based learning coordinators can seamlessly bring business and industry partners – from around the world or down the street – into the classroom virtually and in real-time, thanks to a unique partnership between the OC Pathways initiative and Nepris. Click to Tweet.

Through Nepris.com, students can engage digitally with business professionals and industry experts to talk about potential careers, work on classroom projects or take virtual tours of modern workplaces through interactive, cloud-based sessions. Teachers simply enter their request into the system, specifying the industry sector, topics and learning outcomes. Nepris automatically matches each request with professionals’ qualifications and hosts the interactive sessions.

The project’s rollout is being funded by OC Pathways, a collaborative, countywide initiative that is working to establish clear career paths for students by linking schools and colleges with businesses and community partners. Led by the Orange County Department of Education and Saddleback College, OC Pathways was established in 2014 through a California Career Pathways Trust grant. It now comprises 14 school districts, nine community colleges, two major universities, four regional occupational programs, three workforce investment boards, numerous community partners and more than 100 businesses.

With OC Pathways’ sponsorship, every K-12 and community college teacher within the collaborative will be granted a Nepris license, potentially reaching more than 5,000 students with a platform that has been successfully implemented since 2013 in schools throughout the country. Recently, the Orange Unified School District, an OC Pathways partner, successfully piloted the use of Nepris.

“Industry partners from within Orange County and beyond now will have a direct link with schools to share their expertise, experience and enthusiasm,” said Jeff Hittenberger, chief academic officer for OCDE. “Nepris gives equitable access to every student to experience workplace learning in a real and personal way.”

Making connections between education and careers is an integral part of the mission, vision and values of OC Pathways, which represents one of the first regionalized approaches to promoting college and career readiness while addressing the needs of local industry in priority sectors. Nepris, meanwhile, has the system in place to make these connections easy and effective. The countywide rollout began in October.

“Our primary goal is to show students a pathway from what they learn in school to college, and then into a career,” said Brian Donnelly, executive director of OC Pathways. “Historically, it has been a challenge for students to see that what they are learning in class does have a real connection to life after school. Nepris brings classroom instruction alive in a way that typical classroom instruction cannot.”

At the community college level, OC Pathways’ focus runs parallel with California Community Colleges’ “Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy initiative,” which aligns skills development with jobs. For community colleges to become essential catalysts to California’s economic recovery and job-creation at the local, regional and state levels, students will need to see the relationship between their educational experiences and the jobs they ultimately will pursue.

“Nepris brings a richness to classroom instruction because our students will now be able to talk with people who have already taken their education and turned that into a profession,” said Tony Teng, dean of advanced technology and applied science at Saddleback College, as well as the OC Pathways grant lead for the nine Orange County community colleges.

“Working with the team at Nepris for the past year and a half has been a wonderful experience because they have been supportive at every step,” said Amy Kaufman, work-based learning program specialist for OCDE. “Nepris helps us take our work in integrated academics and project-based learning to a higher level of student engagement. We can’t wait to start working with our local business and industry partners with Nepris to round out this true partnership between education and industry.”

About OC Pathways

The mission of OC Pathways is to facilitate collaboration among schools, colleges and regional business and community partners to ensure that Orange County students are ready for college and career success through participation in learning experiences that integrate rigorous academics and career preparation. OC Pathways is committed to strong educational partnerships, innovative college and career readiness programs, technology-rich and academically engaging learning environments, educational opportunities that support diversity and inclusiveness, engagement with business partners, and the creation of a sustainable Orange County career pathways infrastructure.

About Nepris

Dallas-based Nepris brings STEM to life (and now STEAM, which adds the Arts to science, technology, engineering and mathematics) by connecting professionals with teachers and classrooms who need speakers, project mentors or evaluators for interactive, cloud-based sessions. Nepris makes this a turn-key process: identifying and registering professionals and teachers, matching professionals’ skills to the teachers’ needs, advising on best practices for classroom interaction, hosting the interactive sessions and tracking all the data in a social platform. See Nepris in action at Nepris.com/webinar or sign-up as a teacher or professional at Nepris.com



Mimio Launches MimioMobile for the Web; Offers a 30-Day Free Trial, Complete with Lesson Starter Pack


Boston, MA – Nov. 3, 2015 – Mimio has launched the newest version of its award-winning MimioMobile™ application, MimioMobile for the Web. Available through a (compatible) Web browser atmobile.mimio.com, the Web application enables educators to deliver collaborative lessons and assessments to an entire class. This release, coupled with the existing Apple and Android apps, allows the MimioMobile app to work on virtually any device the student may have in the classroom: tablets, smartphones, and laptops (including Chromebooks). Educators can try the software for free for 30 days. And to help teachers make the most of their trial, Mimio has created a Starter Pack of lesson samples, assessment questions, and tips.


Mimio users can learn how to start their free trial of the MimioMobile app at http://www.mimio.com/en-NA/Products/MimioMobile-Trial.aspx. The app will allow teachers to show any combination of the students’ work on the front-of-the-class display, creating greater collaborative learning and providing more in-depth understanding of the students’ comprehension. The MimioMobile app is the only application that provides complete collaboration models for students working with each other and with teachers as part of an interactive whiteboard solution.


To make it even easier for educators to get up and running, Mimio is offering a MimioMobile Starter Pack that will help new users try the app in depth. Available at http://news.mimio.com/mimiomobile-starter-pack-pr it includes collaborative student activities, assessment questions, and further learning practice. The pack is loaded with tips that will help teachers enhance each lesson through the use of conventional and technological tools. It also includes links to resource guides and information about on-demand and live training.


“Teachers need to be given the appropriate resources to get up to speed on new software and technology – otherwise, there’s a distinct possibility that the technology will go unused,” said Christopher Leonardo, head of research and development at Mimio. “With the release of the MimioMobile Starter Pack, we are solving this problem by providing busy teachers with materials that show the many benefits of the collaboration and assessment features of the MimioMobile app.”


Recently named “best upgraded product” in Tech & Learning magazine’s 2015 Awards of Excellence program, the MimioStudio™ classroom license and the MimioMobile app allow any student with an Android or Apple mobile device, or any device with compatible Web browser, to participate in collaborative learning and ongoing, real-time formative assessment, including open-response questions. The collaborative group instruction encourages participation and idea sharing, and supports the requirement of the Common Core State Standards for a more student-centric learning environment.


“Schools are increasingly adopting mobile devices, which allow teachers to teach in new and more effective ways”, said Dan Winkler, chief technology officer for Mimio. “Integrating these devices effectively in the classroom can present some challenges. That’s why we developed our MimioMobile collaboration and assessment app, which can now run on almost every popular device used in the classroom. MimioMobile allows students to work on their own or to collaborate in groups. It’s also great for student-led teaching. And with the assessment feature, teachers can better understand what their students are learning. The app enables new teaching strategies that were previously not possible with traditional tools.”


Individuals who are interested in learning more about the MimioMobile collaboration and assessment app can view a short, online animated video at http://www.mimio.com/en-NA/Products/MimioMobile-Application.aspx.


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 www.mimio.com. Follow Mimio on Twitter @MimioTechnology and “Like” us on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Mimio.Technology.




The Virtual High School Launches Spring 2016 Judaic Studies Courses


Online courses expand and deepen Jewish day schools’ Judaic studies curriculum


Boston — Nov. 2, 2015The Virtual High School (VHS, Inc.) today announced the spring 2016 course schedule for its Online Judaic Studies Consortium (OJSC). The consortium, made possible by a partnership with the AVI Chai Foundation, was developed for the purpose of broadening Jewish day schools’ Judaic studies course offerings, and the five courses being offered this semester will help teachers and students explore a variety of Judaic topics, traditional text analysis and historical events.Registration begins November 4th, for the spring semester, which starts on January 27th.


“These courses deliver engaging, rigorous content that deepen students’ understanding of Judaism and their own connections to the Jewish people,” said OJSC program director Lisa Micley. “Additionally, students benefit from interacting with an expanded community of Jewish day school learners and the flexible schedule that online learning provides.”


The OJSC spring 2016 Judaic Studies course catalog includes the following:


Pairs in TaNaKh

This course will explore TaNaKh by analyzing several pairs of individuals and comparing their different character traits (middot), behaviors and actions. Topics covered include leadership, parent-child relationships and making covenants. Students will carefully study texts and develop critical thinking and self-reflection skills as they connect sources from the TaNaKh about human nature to their own lives. The course instructor, Arielle Gereboff, teaches middle and high school-aged students at the San Diego Jewish Academy. In addition to multiple degrees and certifications, Gereboff has 14 years of teaching experience, including formal and informal education for grades K-12 and at the university level.



This course will serve as an introduction to rabbinic literature, specifically the teachings of the sages as found in the Mishna, the first major written compilation of Jewish oral traditions and the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism. Rabbi Tzvi Klugerman will guide students toward an understanding of “Talmudic thinking” and the way such thinking began the process of developing rabbinic Judaism. More advanced students will have the opportunity for independent enrichment with additional source material from the Mishna, other Tannaitic works, the Talmud and the legal codes of Maimonides. Rabbi Klugerman is a doctoral candidate at Gratz College, holds an MAED from George Washington University, and received his B.A. and rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva University.


Religious Zionism in the 21st Century

Students will study the teachings of Chazal from Talmud and Rishonim through modern-day thinkers like Rav Kook, Rav Lichtenstein and Rav Soloveitchik. The course instructor, Rabbi Peretz Hochbaum will help students examine the topic of Zionism within the context of a contemporary religious perspective. Rabbi Hochbaum is the principal of Rav Teitz Mesivta Academy of the Jewish Educational Center in Elizabeth, N.J. He is a musmach of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) at Yeshiva University, and he has served as a teacher and principal at a number of Yeshiva day schools.


Page Two

The Virtual High School Launches Spring 2016 Judaic Studies Courses


History Makers of Israel

The history of the formation of the modern state of Israel is rich and layered. This course will explore the backgrounds and contributions of some of the dreamers, founders and pioneers who played a major role in the creation of the Israel we know today. By learning about these history makers, students will gain insight into the historical timeline and progression from pre-statehood to modern day Israel. The course will be taught by Tami Stalbow, the executive director at Westchester Hebrew High School in Mamaroneck, N.Y., where she has also served as VHS site coordinator for five years. Stalbow also teaches Hebrew language, and prior to working in the Yeshiva high school world, she designed educational study tours to destinations including Israel, Europe and South America.


Digital Citizenship and Jewish Values

OJSC program director, Lisa Micley, and VHS site coordinator and instructor, Joyce Wheeler, will help students consider what it means to be a good digital citizen and to explore the intersection between modern technology, Jewish texts and Jewish values. Jewish day school students will find it especially meaningful to learn how Judaism relates to decisions concerning ethics and safety on the Internet. Each week will include an interactive discussion linking the theme and issues from the week’s lessons to a Jewish text. In her role as Program Director for the OJSC, Micley recruits teachers and schools for the program and works on course development and reviewing the content for each course. Micley was on the Jewish studies faculty of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston before working with teachers and principals as a school liaison for the Tal AM program.   During her 10 years with VHS, Wheeler has taught a variety of courses including Blogs, Wikis, and Web Research Tools; Literary Skills for the 21st Century; and Literature of the World. She was also the library media specialist at Scarborough High School in Maine.


To enroll or learn more about the OJSC, please visit www.OnlineJudaicStudies.org or contact Lisa Micley at LMicley@TheVHS.orgor call 978.450.0435.


About The Virtual High School, Inc.

The Virtual High School (VHS, Inc.) is an online learning pioneer. Since 1996, the nonprofit organization has set the standard for quality online education. VHS provides courses taught in global online classrooms for secondary school students and online professional development for educators.  The organization also meets the unique educational needs of schools through custom course development and individualized course offerings. VHS design and delivery standards are the model used by the National Education Association in their recommended standards for online learning.  The organization has won numerous awards, including the Stockholm Challenge Award for Global Excellence in Information Technology and is a three-time winner of the United States Distance Learning Associations (USDLA) award for Excellence in Programming and Excellence in Best Practices. For more information, visit www.TheVirtualHighSchool.org or call (978) 897-1900.


Houston ISD Advances Personalized Learning with Knovation

District’s PowerUp initiative leverages Knovation’s vetted digital resources to support 21st-century teaching and learning

CINCINNATI, OHNovember 3, 2015 – Houston Independent School District (ISD) has partnered with Knovation to support its comprehensive digital initiative, PowerUp. Currently, the initiative aims to transform teaching and learning by leveraging digital content to create a personalized learning environment in Houston ISD’s high schools, but will eventually reach all 283 schools.

Knovation will work with the district’s learning management system to integrate more than 360,000 digital resources from Knovation’s dynamic content collection. Each resource in the collection was selected, evaluated, tagged and aligned to Texas standards by educators to make personalized learning easier.

To help students develop the 21st-century skills needed for college and career success, the PowerUp initiative considers each student’s unique needs, abilities and preferences. By 2016, every high school student at Houston ISD will receive a laptop through the district’s one-to-one program. PowerUp’s core platform, the HUB, will empower teachers to develop digital curricula, enable students to tailor classes to their own learning profile and allow parents to track their student’s progress. The platform will be fully rolled out in the 2015-16 school year.

In addition to making its digital resource collection available through the HUB, Knovation will create curated content collections of matching TEKS-aligned resources to provide teachers with a convenient starting point for instruction within the HUB platform.

“We’re excited to continue our partnership with a school district that’s taking a truly innovative approach to 21st-century education,” said Randy Wilhelm, CEO of Knovation. “We look forward to providing high-quality, standards-aligned resources that help Houston ISD achieve a personalized learning experience for every student.”

About Knovation

Since 1999, Knovation has delivered on the promise to do something good for kids, every day, by helping districts meet the needs of diverse K-12 learners in blended digital learning environments.

Knovation makes it easy to find, manage, and use free digital content for learning by professionally evaluating, standards aligning and continuously maintaining a collection of over 360,000 digital resources covering all subjects and all grades. Knovation’s collection can be accessed through the company’s award-winning solutions (netTrekkerand icurio) or through custom integration with several instructional or assessment platforms. For more information, please visit knovationlearning.com.


Epson BrightLink Interactive Projectors Now To Be Bundled Worldwide with SMART Notebook Software


Epson and SMART Bring Best-in-Class Collaborative Learning Solution to Classrooms


LONG BEACH, Calif. – Nov. 3, 2015 – It is now easier than ever for educators to obtain the world’s leading collaborative learning software along with market leading collaborative displays.  Epson, the number-one projector manufacturer in the world1, and SMART Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SMT) (TSX: SMA), a leading global provider of collaboration solutions, today announced an agreement where SMART Notebook®collaborative learning software will now be included with Epson BrightLink® interactive projectors worldwide. The addition of SMART Notebook software to Epson interactive projectors provides a potent combination for collaborative learning.


“We’re delighted to extend the reach of our longstanding partnership with Epson to a global offering,” said Greg Estell, Solutions President, SMART Technologies. “SMART Notebook allows educators to easily create engaging, interactive learning in a way that’s natural to both teachers and students, and now they can do so on any Epson BrightLink projector.”


“Educators are seeking the best hardware and software solutions to help them teach effectively, and to drive student engagement and learning outcomes,” said Keith Kratzberg, Senior Vice President, Epson America, Inc. “This partnership speaks directly to the needs of teachers to create engaging, impactful and fun lessons, as well as to respond to the needs of learners in real-time. By bringing together these leading interactive classroom technologies, we are providing the tools to meet those needs.”


Building upon the already established software relationship between the two companies that has enabled Epson to sell SMART Notebook software along with its interactive projectors in certain global markets since 2013, the new agreement allows Epson to bundle SMART Notebook software, including a SMART Notebook Advantage subscription during the first year, with Epson BrightLink interactive projectors as a standard offering on a worldwide basis. The SMART Notebook Advantage subscription lets customers upgrade to new versions of Notebook software in that first year, as well as access technical support and unlock premium features within Notebook.


This winning combination allows educators around the world to use the number-one selling interactive projector1 with collaborative learning software to create visually compelling, engaging and interactive learning experiences. Epson’s complete BrightLink interactive projector line is tested and fully authorized by SMART for use with SMART Notebook software, and SMART Notebook fully supports BrightLink interactive features such as dual pen and finger-touch. Both Epson and SMART will provide customer support and training for their respective products, giving educators full confidence as they bring more collaboration into classrooms and other learning spaces.



Epson BrightLink interactive projectors with SMART Notebook software entitlements will begin shipping in North America in November 2015 and throughout other regions of the world in early 2016. For additional information, visit www.epson.com/brightlink.


About Epson BrightLink Interactive Projectors

The award-winning Epson BrightLink line of short-throw and ultra short-throw interactive projectors offers advanced connectivity options to project onto any existing whiteboard, wall or other smooth, light-colored, hard surface. BrightLink interactive projectors offer dual pen support and PC-free annotation with a range of devices including document cameras, DVD and Blue-ray players as well as tablets and mobile devices, or no source at all. The cost-effective BrightLink models deliver a large interactive learning area with variable image sizes and include HDMI connectivity. Epson projectors offer 3x higher color brightness than leading competitive projectors2. Epson BrightLink projectors utilize 3LCD, 3-chip technology for brilliant images with vivid color.


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.


About Epson

Epson is a global technology leader dedicated to driving innovations and exceeding customer expectations in printing, visual communications, quality of life and manufacturing. 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 nearly 72,000 employees in 93 companies around the world, and is proud of its contributions to the communities in which it operates and its ongoing efforts to reduce environmental burdens.


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


About SMART Notebook

SMART’s award-winning Notebook software allows educators to bring relevant and customizable content to their lessons, while its wide selection of intuitive tools and features help to quickly and easily create and deliver lessons that are engaging and impactful. The included one year SMART Notebook Advantage subscription lets you unlock premium features and upgrade to new versions of SMART Notebook software, and access live technical support. Supported by the SMART Exchange website, teachers can find resources, share lesson material and exchange tips and success stories about using SMART products in the classroom. With more than 65,000 digital resources available in 23 languages, teachers have access to images, videos, and pre-created SMART Notebook files and lesson activities correlated to curriculum standards.



SMART Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SMT, TSX: SMA) is a world leader in simple and intuitive solutions that enable more natural collaboration. We are an innovator in interactive touch technologies and software that inspire collaboration in both education and businesses around the globe. To learn more, visitsmarttech.com.