Apperson Partners with Open Circle and Sudbury Schools to Host Webinar on Integrated Approach to Social and Emotional Learning
Experts to explain why SEL curriculum and assessment go hand-in-hand
Charlotte N.C. – – Assessment leader Apperson is partnering with Open Circle, a leading provider of social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum, and Sudbury Public Schools outside of Boston, to host a free webinar Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. The webinar, “Why Social & Emotional Learning Curriculum and Assessment go Hand-in-Hand,” will take place at 4 p.m. (EST).
The webinar features experts Marc Kirsch, Product Development Manager for SEL at Apperson and Kamilah Drummond-Forrester, program manager for Open Circle. The speakers will focus on the importance of social and emotional learning and the benefits of using a curricula and assessment program together to help children overcome obstacles and build resiliency. Sudbury Public Schools will present about its experience with Apperson’s SEL assessments and the Open Circle curriculum.
Apperson offers an online assessment platform called Evo Social & Emotional to help educators measure SEL skills. The tool features the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA), a strengths-based assessment designed to screen students for social and emotional competencies.
Open Circle provides an evidence-based SEL curriculum for elementary school students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The program helps students develop skills such as empathy, positive relationships and problem solving.
This is the latest effort by Apperson and Open Circle to help educators address students’ SEL development and focus on the whole child. Earlier this summer Apperson and Open Circle partnered to align the skills from its Evo SEL assessment with the skills and practices from the Open Circle Curriculum. The partnership allows educators to measure and track outcomes of the Open Circle programming and to refine Open Circle instruction based on student strengths and needs.
About the Speakers:
Marc Kirsch, Business Development Manager for Apperson. Marc T. Kirsch is the Business Development Manager for Social-Emotional Learning products at Apperson. He is a resourceful problem-solver and team leader, skilled in turning ideas into products and services. Marc is tasked with developing Apperson’s social-emotional assessment products, working with educators, industry experts and partners to understand and improve the lives of children everywhere. Since the late nineties Marc’s work with a variety of industry leaders has developed his belief that customers deserve a better experience and he molds this believe into everything he does. A father to two young girls, his passion for education brought him to Apperson to turn data into action.
Kamilah Drummond-Forrester, program manager for Open Circle. Kamilah co-founded the Dorchester Collegiate Academy Charter School in Boston where she oversaw social and emotional planning. She has also served as director of the Offender Reentry Program at the Suffolk County House of Correction and worked with youth in the Boston Public School system as a GEAR UP Coordinator. She joined Open Circle in 2013.
Sudbury Public Schools. The school district is located in Sudbury, a suburban town 20 miles west of Boston. The district uses Evo SEL in conjunction with Open Circle. A school representative will discuss the district’s implementation plan and why it chose these tools as part of its SEL strategy.
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 Open Circle
Open Circle is a leading provider of evidence-based curriculum and professional development for social and emotional learning in elementary schools. Since 1987, Open Circle has reached two million children and 15,000 educators. Open Circle is currently used in over 300 schools across the United States. Open Circle is a program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College.
New Follett ‘Top 50 Books’ List Gives Educators
Valuable Insight Into What Students Are Reading
‘Follett Students’ Choice’arms preK-12 librarians with current statistics, trends
McHENRY, Ill., Nov. 17, 2015 –Follett has launched Students’ Choice, a monthly list developed by compiling regularly generated, real-circulation statistics straight from school libraries. Unlike other lists, the information compiled through Follett Destiny Library Manager provides educators with regularly updated and reliable year-long trends based on what students are checking out of their school libraries.
Follett Students’ Choice lists the top 50 books with the most checkouts via the 60,000+ sites using Follett Destiny. The list is broken down by grade level as a way to help librarians make informed purchase decisions, reach instructional goals, and improve readership among students. These selections are populated in Titlewave—Follett’s online collection development tool—where librarians can see what books they already have in their collection or which highly circulated titles are missing.
“Follett Students’ Choice is a great tool that I now use to make sure I have not overlooked any excellent books that are popular in other school library media centers,” said Mika S. Bruce, Media Coordinator, Unionville Elementary School in Monroe, N.C. “As I prepared a book order recently, I used Students’ Choice and saw that my media center did not own copies of several titles from popular series. I know my students will be thrilled to have access to these popular books with familiar characters. I plan to continue using this new tool from Follett to be sure my students do not miss out on any awesome titles.”
According to Follett Students’ Choice, the top book in each school category for the most recent period, is:
- Elementary School –Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck (Kinney)
- Middle School – The Hunger Games (Collins)
- High School – The Maze Runner (Dashner)
“We are in a unique position in the marketplace to be able to communicate these kinds of statistics,” said Nader Qaimari, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Follett School Solutions. “This will allow educators – no matter their school size – to receive reliable information to help them confidently determine the best ways to build, maintain and grow their collections. Plus, students gain better access to materials they want to read, supporting their development as avid readers.”
For more information about Follett, visit www.FollettLearning.com.
About Follett’s PreK-12 Business| follettlearning.com
Follett is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. Follett distributes books, reference materials, digital resources, ebooks and audiovisual materials, as well as pre-owned textbooks. Follett also is one of the leading providers of integrated educational technology for the management of physical and digital assets, the tracking, storing and analyzing of academic data, and digital learning environment tools for the classroom focusing on student achievement.
About Follett Corporation| follett.com
For more than 140 years, Follett has been a trusted partner to pre-K and K-12 schools, districts, and college campuses, taking care of the critical details that make it easier for schools to run, teachers to teach and students to learn. Every day, Follett serves over half of the students in the United States, and works with 70,000 schools as a leading provider of education technology, services and print and digital content. Follett is higher education’s largest campus retailer and a hub for school spirit and community, operating more than 1,150 local campus stores and 1,600 virtual stores across the continent. Headquartered in Westchester, Illinois, Follett is a $2.6 billion privately held company.
Learning Bird’s New Release Makes Differentiated Instruction Easy, Scalable
Additions include classroom management tools, lesson assignment support,added visibility for related lessons, and new reports to track results
MONTREAL, – Learning Bird announced today a significant update to its award-winning learning platform.
The latest release of Learning Bird is designed to further empower teachers in offering differentiated instruction in their classroom by allowing them to easily assign specific lessons to individual students or groups of students. Teachers can upload their class lists into the platform and can then selectively assign individual lessons or playlists of lessons for students to complete. Teachers can even set due dates for lesson assignments and can check back any time to see which students have completed the assignments and whether they found the assignment helpful or not.
“These enhancements really help teachers better craft personalized learning for every student,” said Henry Ryan, president of Learning Bird. “Teachers can assign extra lessons to students who are stuck on a specific topic, allowing them to explore a topic from multiple angles and to hear it delivered by different educators. Students who are ahead of the class can take on extra lessons to learn more on topics of interest.”
With a unique combination of trusted digital content, adaptive algorithms, and teaching support tools, Learning Bird makes it easier for all teachers to differentiate their instruction so every child performs better. Learning Bird includes digital lessons from a variety of approaches to help students find their path to better learning and to support teachers in helping them achieve this.
In this update, there have also been significant enhancements made to the lesson viewer, allowing students to clearly see a different approach, and to see related lessons. This helps students in overcoming learning obstacles and achieving better outcomes as they can experience a lesson explained by a different teacher or delivered in a different way. Learning Bird lessons are presented as stories, presentations, songs, animations, role play, text and more, ensuring every student can find the right explanation to help him/her understand.
Another important update is the addition of reporting at the class, teachers, school, and district level. This allows administrators to clearly be able to see how students are performing from an individual, class and school/district perspective, and provides educators and administrators with the opportunity to link data to student progress.
About Learning Bird
Delivering differentiated learning to every student is expensive to implement and challenging to scale. Learning Bird provides teachers with the content, tools and professional development to easily guide each student to success on their own personal learning path. With thousands of lessons that offer multiple approaches on each topic, teachers can keep students engaged even when they encounter an obstacle. Our lessons are trustworthy, vetted by real teachers, and aligned to local curriculum. Learning Bird moves students in 6th to 12th grade toward better outcomes, higher graduation rates, and increased college and career readiness. For more information, visit www.learningbird.com.
Lightspeed Launches Professional Development Series to Inform and Inspire Education Leaders About Collaborative Learning Environments
Inaugural event to be held at Santa Ana Unified School District, CA, on December 4, 2015
(PORTLAND, Oregon) November 17, 2015 – Lightspeed Technologies, the trusted provider of classroom audio solutions, today announced the launch of the Lightspeed Learning Academy. The Academy will kick off with a complimentary, one-day professional development event hosted by Santa Ana (CA) Unified School District (SAUSD) on December 4, 2015.
The theme of the event is “Designing Collaborative Learning Environments for 21st-Century Learners.” Education leaders including SAUSD Deputy Superintendent Dr. David Haglund will lead large-group discussions and small-group breakout sessions.
“Dr. Haglund and his team at SAUSD are true innovators in designing collaborative learning environments. It is an honor to host the inaugural Lightspeed Learning Academy: Santa Ana to highlight their great work.” said David Solomon, Lightspeed’s Executive VP and General Manager of Learning Technologies. “We look forward to showcasing the best practices that empower educators with the tools they need to create interactive and engaging learning environments.”
Lightspeed encourages invited districts to send a core strategic team of three to four leaders to the Lightspeed Learning Academy: Santa Ana. These teams will leave the Academy with an increased understanding of collaborative learning, a clear action plan, and benchmarks for success.
Dr. Haglund’s keynote presentation, “Driving Instructional Change in the Classroom,” will explore how his district has created anytime, anywhere access to learning. “At SAUSD, we’ve made a commitment to giving students 24/7 access to learning resources and providing a personalized learning pathway for each student. To do this we have been very thoughtful about the path to driving this change,” said Dr. Haglund. “We are thrilled to host the inaugural Lightspeed Learning Academy and we know attendees will leave with a clear understanding of the impact a collaborative learning environment can have.”
In her presentation “Constructing Flexible Environments for the Contemporary Learner” Esther Wojcicki, the author of Moonshots in Education: Launching Blended Learning in the Classroom, will show leaders how to build environments where teamwork, problem-solving, and relationship management occur on a regular basis.
A guided tour of the Santa Ana Advanced Learning Academy will give attendees a first-hand look at the collaborative learning environment in SAUSD.
The Academy will be followed by a Learning Leadership Webinar Series, which will continue to conversation about how best to motivate, engage, and reach our students.
About Lightspeed Technologies
Established in 1990, Lightspeed Technologies is the trusted provider in classroom audio solutions. Our passion is to improve the listening and learning environment for every child. We believe strengthening the connection between teachers and students is at the heart of learning.
Lightspeed classroom audio systems allow teachers to speak in normal conversational tones while being assured that every child has an equal opportunity to hear all of the instruction. The no-installation Redcat provides clear, low-volume, highly intelligible sound that is evenly distributed throughout the classroom so every child hears every word. The company’s audio system for small group instruction, Flexcat, gives teachers the ability to gain insights into small group interactions and learning. The Topcat has become the premier solution for new construction and renovations due to its ease of installation, wireless connectivity, and remarkable audio quality. To find out more information about Lightspeed classroom audio products, visit here.
About Santa Ana Unified School District
SAUSD is the sixth-largest school district in California, and the largest in Orange County. Approximately 60% of SAUSD students are English language learners, and approximately 91% of the student population is eligible for free and reduced-price meals. Our mission is to assure well-rounded learning experiences, which prepare our students for success in college and career. We engage, inspire, and challenge all of our students to become productive citizens, ethical leaders, and positive contributors to our community, country, and a global society. Find out more about the Santa Ana Unified School District here.
International Baccalaureate Launches Student Registry
Connects IB Diploma students with the world’s leading universities
November 18, 2015, Bethesda, MD – The International Baccalaureate has launched the IB Student Registry. Free for IB students, this registry will allow for students in the last years of the Middle Years Programme, or who are pursuing the Diploma Programme or Career-related Programme, to create an online portfolio which includes short personal essays, extended essays, CAS details, course credits and more. University admission offices will be able to use this subscription service to reach these highly sought-after students.
Today’s higher education admissions landscape is undertaking great change. There are more students considering college than in the past. And that means more people to compete with and more students to choose from. Between 1980 and 2012, the overall college enrollment rates increased from 26 percent to 41 percent. Admissions officers are seeking new ways to assess the record numbers of students interested in pursuing post-secondary education. In a time where aptitude test scores no longer carry as great of an impact for admissions officers, this online portfolio allows students who have taken on the rigorous academic coursework established by the IB to stand out in a sea of applicants.
Research released earlier this year by the International Baccalaureate showed that the IB is a pathway to success in post-secondary education. The first year retention rate of Diploma Programme students was 98 percent, compared to the national retention rate of 77 percent, and the four year graduation rate among all DP participants (those who earned or attempted the DP diploma) was 79 percent. The four year graduation rate for DP diploma earners was 84 percent, compared to 39 percent nationally.
“For years, admissions officers at our nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities have asked us how they can access the pool of IB students they want to come and be part of their campus community,” said Drew Deutsch, director the Americas for the International Baccalaureate. “IB students are well prepared to handle the rigorous academics of higher education, which studies have shown. Colleges actively seek to bring IB students to their campuses. This student registry is a great tool to help those admissions officers reach IB students nationwide.”
About the IB
Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate (IB) is a non profit foundation, which offers four high quality and challenging education programmes for a worldwide community of schools. For more than 45 years, the IB programmes have gained a reputation for rigour and high academic standards, for preparing students for life in a globalized 21stcentury and for helping to develop citizens who will create a better, more peaceful world. Currently, more than one million IB students attend over 4,000 schools in 147 countries.
The Learning Counsel Releases the Results of its 2015 National Digital Curriculum Strategy Survey
(Sacramento, CA) November 18, 2015 – The Learning Counsel today released the results of its second annual survey of school and district digital curriculum strategy and transformation, sponsored by Sprint. At the leading edge of this extensive online survey—and something that hits home with parents and students everywhere—is the factor of homework policy. The survey found that only 35% of districts and schools have established policy on homework limitations.
This statistic shows there a majority of schools and districts do not control how much work students and parents are being overwhelmed with at home—and now that homework has gone digital, it’s easier than ever for teachers to load up students with too much work.
The survey found the number one intention of district executives when it came to digital curriculum transformation was “to achieve greater instructor effectiveness.” Last year’s top response was “to increase student engagement.” Other top responses from this year, in order of percentage, were 2) increased student engagement; 3) project-based learning for student instruction; 4) personalized learning; and 5) intervention for struggling students.
The five digita l curriculum policy controls considered most important by district and school administrators were found to be: 1) providing technology training for teachers; 2) advocating personalized paths of learning using resources; 3) providing ongoing professional development opportunities for applying digital learning; 4) advocating moving to more or all digital content; and 5) providing technology training for students.
LeiLani Cauthen, CEO and publisher of the Learning Counsel, pointed out that many leading schools were past the “just give us anything to get started” phase, which is where many schools and districts unfortunately stand today. She said that even the top answer of technical training for teachers comes from national averages. Cutting-edge schools have been dealing with teacher technical professional development for many years in collaboration with top publishers and software suppliers. The survey response shows that the sheer volume of devices and personnel affected now are calling for a greater focus.
According to respondents, the top five barriers to adoption of digital curriculum are: 1) instructional design/curriculum design professional development; 2) digital curriculum systems training; 3) classroom pedagogy professional development; 4) inadequate budget to transition; and 5) teacher device use training.
“The national perspective that the Learning Counsel provides regarding digital transformation has proven invaluable as we have embarked on this journey,” said Janell McClure, Director of Digital and Multimedia Learning at Cobb County Schools (GA). “By sharing information, processes, and research that contribute to a successful transition, the Learning Counsel has helped education leaders chart a course that includes actionable data and current trends. The survey results guide our work as we continue to strive for excellence in teaching and learning through digital platforms, tools, and practices.”
The national assessment tool and survey were inspired by The Learning Counsel Digital Curriculum Strategy Discussion Meetings, held in cities across the U.S. “Every district and school executive, curriculum director or innovations specialist we met, no matter which city we were in, were running into similar frustrations, funding barriers, and PD problems,” said Dr. David Kafitz, VP of School Relationships and Consulting at the Learning Counsel. “Many districts and schools do not have comprehensive strategies. All types of random hardware products, subscription sites, apps, digital content, and systems are being used in an unaligned and disorganized manner.”
For more information about the Learning Counsel, please visit www.thelearningcounsel.com.
About The Learning Counsel
The Learning Counsel is a mission-based organization focused on helping education professionals in the K-12 sector gain context on the shift to digital curriculum. Serving as an intermediary between schools, curriculum publishers, and high tech companies, the Learning Counsel provides perspective and organizational tools on the transition to digital for school systems across the country.
The Learning Counsel Community thanks Sprint for their sponsorship of this survey and assessment. Their support in education research and development for the transition to digital curriculum and technology supports students nationwide.
Promethean Introduces ClassFlow™ Connect, a New Wireless Collaboration Solution for the Modern Classroom
Innovative new device enables teachers and students to share ideas, collaborate, and brainstorm using today’s mobile technologies.
(ATLANTA, GA) November 17, 2015 – Promethean, a global leader in education technology solutions, today launches ClassFlow Connect, a wireless classroom collaboration system that enables teachers and students to connect, interact, and instantly share ideas and information. With ClassFlow Connect, the entire class can simultaneously interact or view and share resources from any mobile device, including smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks™, and notebook computers.
“Dynamic classroom instruction requires interactivity, movement, collaboration, and the constant interchange of ideas and concepts,” said Vincent Young, Chief Marketing Officer at Promethean. “With ClassFlow Connect, every classroom can become a dynamic learning environment in which 21st century students become more attentive, fascinated, and engaged.”
ClassFlow Connect is designed to help teachers energize the learning experience in modern classrooms supported by 1:1, BYOD, and mobile computer cart programs by:
ENABLING WIRELESS CONTENT SHARING
- Wirelessly Mirror & View Content from Any Mobile Device:Project digital learning resources (apps, games, documents, web pages, etc.) from any mobile device to the primary classroom display for whole-class viewing and interaction.
- Share & Interact with Multimedia Digital Content:Promote peer-to-peer learning by allowing each student to use a connected mobile device to receive, send, annotate, draw, or interact with digital lesson content.
- Promote Stimulating Classroom Discussion & Student Engagement:Create instant polls to measure student understanding by sending questions to students and having them respond on their device.
- Harness the Power of Mobile Technology:Wirelessly connect any Windows, MacBook®, iOS® or Android™ device using the streaming feature that is already built into the device. ClassFlow Connect eliminates the need for additional software or apps to get students and teachers connected.
PROMOTING DEEPER LEARNING & ENGAGEMENT
- Instant Digital Whiteboard:Start an interactive collaboration or brainstorming session with the built-in digital whiteboard. With the touch of a button, instantly turn your classroom projector or display into an interactive digital canvas to capture ideas without connecting to a computer.
- Capture & Save Work:Capture all annotations, presentations, slides, and notes during the lesson and send them to the entire class.
- Interactive Web Browsing & Live Web Page Sharing:Launch the custom web browser to quickly search for information. Send students web page images with live links and notes.
ClassFlow Connect is easy to integrate, manage and maintain—no cables, software, applications or display setting adjustments needed. In addition, ClassFlow Connect supports two or more WiFi network connections on the same display to ensure students and teachers can simultaneously share their screens regardless if they are on the school or guest network. IT Administrators can remotely track and manage all of the ClassFlow Connect devices within the district to deploy software updates and modify system settings when needed.
ClassFlow Connect is now available for purchase. For more information, visit
Promethean is a global education company that improves learning productivity by developing, integrating, and implementing innovative 21st century learning environments that help make everyone more engaged, empowered, and successful. Promethean’s main corporate offices are located in Blackburn, UK, and Atlanta, USA. Promethean is a member of the NetDragon Websoft, Inc. (HKSE: 0777) group of companies. For more information, please visit www.prometheanworld.com.
Suzy Swindle, Promethean
Chromebook and Android are trademarks of Google Inc.
iOS is a trademark or registered trademark of Cisco in the U.S. and other countries.
©Promethean 2015. All Rights Reserved. Promethean, the Promethean logo and ClassFlow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Promethean Limited in the United Kingdom, United States, and other countries around the world.
Growing Number of Schools Turn to Learn2Earn to Drive Literacy Skills
America’s Finest Charter School and Renaissance Charter School at Coral Springs Join Thousands of Schools Using the Whooo’s Reading Program to Boost Students’ Love of Reading and Writing; Provides Effective Approach to Addressing Common Core State Standards
San Diego — Nov. 17, 2015 — Findings in applied linguistics and reading research consistently show a strong correlation between reading proficiency and academic success at all ages, from the primary school right through to university level: students who read a lot and who understand what they read, succeed in school. To help students meet and exceed grade-level reading standards while streamlining the school’s independent reading process, Kimberly Masiello, literacy coach at America’s Finest Charter School in San Diego, has selected Learn2Earn and its Whooo’s Reading platform.
Also adding Whooo’s Reading to its classrooms is Renaissance Charter School at Coral Springs in Fla. In fact, more than 260,000 students in 9,000 schools now use the platform, designed to help students improve reading, critical thinking and writing proficiencies.
“We are taking reading to the next level,” said Stephanie Stern, curriculum-based instructional support/gifted liaison coordinator for Renaissance Charter School at Coral Springs. “By adding Whooo’s Reading to our curriculum, we are nurturing a greater sense of curiosity because students can read whatever interests them and receive book recommendations from peers, teachers and family members. Parents have shared with me that students race home to continue to use it and they particularly love seeing what other classmates are reading and then commenting on it.”
Specifically designed with the motto ‘make sure the kids always win,’ the lively Whooo’s Reading platform makes reading fun by giving students the power of choice, allowing them to read what they want while incorporating online game elements preferred by today’s digital natives.
Students using Whooo’s Reading via their secure personal profiles are inspired to read and think critically – and when doing so, are rewarded with virtual Wisdom Coins to personalize and embellish their “Owlvatar.” This adds a sense of ownership to their work, which motivates them to try harder and empowers them to improve reading, comprehension and writing skills. Students are further engaged by their class’s interactive newsfeed, which gives them the opportunity to engage in an authentic conversation with each other focused on what they have read plus it displays the books and accomplishments of their classmates. With its social-media feel, the newsfeed is a real draw for students and also encourages collaborative learning.
Teachers using Whooo’s Reading also have customization options that allow them to create their own question prompts to engage students and promote comprehension. Equally accessible are the growing number of preloaded questions aligned with all Common Core reading anchors (K-8) that come standard in each account.
“Our teachers have the ability to review each student’s reading responses and give qualitative and quantitative feedback,” said Masiello. “They find these written responses are a more genuine, deep and nuanced way to gauge their students’ comprehension than the standard multiple choice quiz offered with other programs. Additionally, our administrators and teachers can compare reading habits, analyze individual and class-wide progress as well as each class’s mastery of Common Core reading anchors from their data center.”
Masiello concluded, “This digital tool has really engaged our reluctant readers by eliminating the tedious paper-based reading logs. All of our students are excited to log minutes, accessorize their avatars and really express themselves through the gamification and social media features they are accustomed to. Our first impression of Whooo’s Reading remains our lasting one…this is an incredibly useful program.”
Learn2Earn is a young startup company focused on providing a 21st-century alternative to traditional literacy programs and school fundraising platforms. Unlike other reading or fundraising programs, their service is child-centric rather than educator-centric. That means that everything they develop is focused on benefitting the children who use it, on making reading fun, and improving specific reading and writing skills as outlined in the Common Core State Standards. In the area of fundraising, they offer something that most fundraising companies don’t: an educational platform for schools to use to raise money. Students aren’t selling; they’re improving their reading skills. For more information, visit https://www.learn2earn.org
itslearning Enhances Curriculum Management Functionality Fueling Us District Adoptions
New features include customizable, standards-aligned planner, learning objects repository for aggregating publisher and OER content and powerful course template functionality for district-wide curriculum delivery
Newton, MA, Nov. 17, 2015 – Dedicated to providing continuous improvements to support curriculum management, itslearning (www.itslearning.net) is once again setting itself apart from the learning management system pack with the unveiling of its latest platform upgrades. The new core functionality will bring curriculum management capability and content together into a one-stop-shop and ensure that units, lessons, resources, and assessments can be easily aligned to standards, utilized by teachers and updated by curriculum staff.
“Just as districts are focused on meeting the wants and needs of today’s digital learners, we too are committed to reshape how learning can happen, and we’ve taken important steps toward realizing that vision today,” saiditslearning vice president of sales and marketing, Matt Dobosh. “We offer solutions to consolidate the ‘silos’ of curriculum and content platforms being used by teachers and instead provide a one-stop-shop solution that brings significant costs savings when integrating legacy instructional delivery systems within a school or district. And all of this is delivered to teachers with a single user experience.”
The newest components added to the curriculum management functionality include streamlining the curriculum management process, tracking and advancing student progress monitoring as well as facilitating best practice instruction and maximizing the return on investment. Specifically, itslearning includes:
- Improvements in ease of adding content to the Library from publishers using the IMS Global® Thin Common Cartridge® standard
- Curriculum guides, instructional frameworks and resources are all located in the same platform
- Content ratings and reviews by users
- Auto-update of contents ensuring the most current and relevant supports for learning
- Capability for users to “follow” content creators when they add new items
- Ability to establish a dynamic curriculum that allows instructional leadership to modify and revise course templates, then push out these changes to all users
- Ease of alignment of units, lessons and assessments to standards in the planner
- Support of Microsoft Office Web Apps for ease of viewing and editing of curriculum documents
- Content in the learning objects repository serves to power the recommendation engine for students who are not showing mastery of the assigned learning objectives.
“With the assistance of the itslearning implementation team, we now have aggregated over 1 million learning objects from various publishers in our district’s library,” said Beatriz Arnillas, director of education technology at Houston (TX) Independent School District. “itslearning is now the central repository for content and resources used by teachers and students and allows parents to share information and collaborate in the education process.”
Michele Eaton, Virtual Learning Specialist for Wayne Township (IN) added: “itslearning is quickly becoming our ‘learning hub’ and is effectively helping us reduce the need for other vendors’ solutions. We are able to seamlessly combine our curriculum mapping processes with the student-learning environment. This new functionality will make it easier for teachers to plan, access district resources and enable a student-centered learning environment for all stakeholders.”
About itslearning, Inc.
Established in 1999, itslearning is a cloud-based K-12 learning management system designed to make teaching easier, learning more engaging, and parent involvement more effective and efficient. More than 5 million students, educators and parents around the world are using the media-rich robust learning platform to shape, support and manage a more personalized learning environment for 21st century learners.
Headquartered in Bergen, Norway, itslearning has offices in Boston, Atlanta, London, Birmingham, Berlin, Paris, Mulhouse, Malmo, and Enscheda. For more information, visit http://www.itslearning.net.