MIDAS Education Launches its EEM (Education Enterprise Management) Software Solution
The new data platform replaces the SIS, LMS, and more; gives educators the functionality of 13 systems through one intuitive user interface; and saves schools thousands of dollars and hours a year
(Denver, CO) March 16, 2016 – MIDAS Education today announced the launch of its EEM (Education Enterprise Management) solution. EEM is the ed-tech movement that districts are embracing to replace all of their instructional and compliance data systems with one integrated solution. Designed to facilitate individualized instruction, MIDAS (Massively Integrated Data Analytics System) enables teachers, administrators, parents, and students to access real-time, actionable data through a simple, intuitive web interface.
Created as a holistic solution for districts that have been forced to use multiple systems, MIDAS Education’s platform replaces traditional systems like the SIS and LMS, performance analytics dashboard, website builder, transportation tracker, and special education compliance toolset, among others, with a single platform.
Unlike other attempts to solve this problem, MIDAS does not use single sign-on or API integration to consolidate the functions of these systems, nor does MIDAS add another layer of systems at an additional cost to make existing systems “talk” to one another. Instead, MIDAS replaces all of these systems with a single platform powered by one massive database.
Because MIDAS was created by educators for educators, company leadership understands the importance of making software work the way schools and teachers do. MIDAS works with districts to customize the implementation and transition process. Because MIDAS stores all of a district’s data in one place, users need only log in once to access the utility of 13 “siloed” systems. Among its many features, MIDAS keeps all stakeholders informed and empowers educators to track attendance and test scores, create assessments and lessons, manage interventions, and align curriculum with standards to individualize instruction.
“MIDAS can easily save districts thousands of dollars, allowing them to purchase one system instead of eight, 10, or 12,” said Megan Harney, the founder and CEO of MIDAS Education. “For example, we talked with a district that spends $2.2 million a year to license three different systems and pays four engineers to run them. MIDAS does all that for a fourth of the cost, and eliminates the jumbled mess of programs and log-ins. Why pay for more systems when one can do it?”
Hosted on the Amazon Web Services cloud, MIDAS provides any stakeholder, at any time, in any place, access to real-time information to target learning for every student. Reporting and analytics are automated, making compliance and state reporting requirements easier and freeing educators to do what they do best: teach.
District clients design MIDAS’s user dashboards for students, teachers, administrators, and parents using a customizable permissions toolset so that the district can define what each group sees. Each stakeholder will see only what he or she needs to see in the way he or she needs to see it. MIDAS can also pull in assessment data from sources such as Accelerated Reader, MAP, and PAWS.
Dr. Steve Boynton, the superintendent of the Lincoln County School District in Oregon, said, “We had seven different systems with seven different log-ins when I first got here. MIDAS has helped us to create a robust, Education Enterprise Management (EEM) solution.”
The district uses a variety of systems to deliver instruction, such as Renaissance Learning’s STAR for formative assessment and Compass Learning for curriculum. To make the two different systems work together more cohesively, Boynton turned to MIDAS. “Before MIDAS, it was impossible for teachers to know where every student was in his or her learning at any given time. Now teachers know each student’s STAR scores, what they’ve completed, and where they’re struggling. MIDAS helps us do whatever we need to develop students’ skills.”
In addition to traditional product training, the MIDAS team also offers professional development focused on teaching and learning and individualizing instruction, as well as school website design and integration.
About MIDAS Education
Based in Denver, CO, MIDAS Education was founded by Megan Harney, who, as a sophomore at Harvard and part-time teacher, was inspired to create a system that would hold her students accountable and help her to individualize instruction. Ten years later, after teaching herself to program, conducting tens of thousands of hours of market research in schools, and investing every penny she and her family had, MIDAS was born.
MIDAS encompasses the functionality of up to 13 different software packages in one EEM (Education Enterprise Management) solution, with a single log-in and an intuitive user interface. For more information, please visit MIDASEducation.com.
Whooo’s Reading Offering Three-Month, No-Cost Trial To
Implement Instructional Platform
Gamification Platform Recognized by Educators to Motivate Reading/Writing Skills of Students
San Diego — March 16, 2016 — As part of National Reading Awareness Month,Whooo’s Reading’s, developed by Learn2Earn, is offering an opportunity for schools and districts to join the 37,000 educators already devoted to the effective reading platform with a free, three-month trial. The tool offers tiered level pricing on a per student basis. To partake in the offer, a school or district needs at least three teachers—preferably a librarian or a principal would be involved as well—then simply go toWhooosReading.org to request the free account.
“We are solely focused on providing a 21st-century alternative to traditional literacy programs and want more schools and districts to have the opportunity to try our platform and see for themselves that, unlike other reading programs, ours is truly built to be student-centric rather,” said Raphael Menko, co-founder of Whooo’s Reading. “Everything we have done is focused on benefitting the children who use it, making reading fun, and improving specific reading and writing skills as outlined in district, state or national standards.”
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 fiction or nonfiction material while incorporating online game elements preferred by today’s digital natives.
Whooo’s Reading is not only highly engaging for students, but it also is effective at increasing student reading levels. A nationwide study of 2,800 randomly selected Whooo’s Reading student users revealed a 2-3 grade level reading improvement for elementary school students who began the school year reading below grade level.
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, thereby improving reading, comprehension and writing skills. Students are encouraged to engage with peers within their class’s interactive newsfeed, which displays the books, comments and responses of their classmates, promoting collaboration and deeper engagement.
Teachers using Whooo’s Reading also have customization options, allowing them to create their own question prompts to promote comprehension. Equally accessible are the growing number of preloaded questions aligned with specific standards. The reading anchors (K-8) come standard with each account. These questions hold students accountable to their independent reading in a way previously not possible.Teachers have the ability to review each student’s reading responses and give qualitative and quantitative feedback. They can analyze individual and class-wide progress in addition to students’ mastery of specific standards from the data dashboard. For a long-range view, teachers can further monitor students’ reading level increases using their preferred comprehension measuring method, including Lexile, Fountas and Pinnell, Reading Recovery, Rigby, and DRA.
The company recently integrated with Google Classroom in response to teachers’ expressed interest in the idea. The core benefit of integrating with Google Classroom is that teachers and students can log in with their Google account. With the Google Classroom integration, new teacher users will no longer have to upload a roster file to add students, but will be able to automatically add their students by syncing with Google Classroom. Additionally, existing teacher users will be able to sync their current student accounts with Google classroom so their students will also be able to log in with their Google accounts.
The platform also recently launched a new badges system, where every standards-aligned category has three different badges that students can earn as they master the standards.
Menko concluded, “With more than 260,000 students in 9,000 schools logging more than 195MM minutes of reading on our platform, we believe that we are on to something that is getting kids to love reading again…yet even more important, we are giving schools and districts the best tool available to support their efforts to increase student reading proficiency rates and at the same time helping students to develop the habit of reading for FUN, every single day.”
Based in San Diego, Calif., Learn2Earn is a company focused on providing a 21st-century alternative to traditional literacy programs and school fundraising platforms. For more information, visit https://www.WhooosReading.org
itslearning Updates Platform: Supports Universal Design for Learning Principles as Called for by the ESSA
Enhancements streamline the curriculum design process so that teachers can create
flexible, multi-option lessons with less time and effort
Boston, MA – March 16, 2016 — The new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) encourages states to incorporate the universal design for learning (UDL) instructional strategy in school assessments and use of educational technology. Now new updates to the itslearning personalized learning management platform support educators’ efforts to apply UDL principles to curriculum design.
UDL is a set of curriculum development principles that uses scientific insights to give all students equal opportunity to learn. “Brain research shows that even when students are performing the same academic activity, the patterns of activity in their brains are as unique as their fingerprints,” said itslearning US vice president of sales and marketing Matt Dobosh. “Curriculums will now address that learner variability. That means that educators have to focus more than ever on curriculum planning, and our latest updates give them the perfect tools to develop lessons that can be customized and adjusted for individual student needs.”
For example, design changes to the itslearning planner simplify the reorganization of plans and elements regardless of the practice or device teachers use. As a result, teachers can give more of their attention to planning the multiple means of representation, engagement, and action and expression required by UDL.
Additionally, changes to itslearning’s rich text editor support users’ compliance with the UDL principle of providing multiple representations of lesson content. The updated editor makes it easier to embed external content, such as YouTube videos, within lessons. This expanded capacity adds to teachers’ ability to design lessons with a large variety of media; those different modalities allow key information to be equally perceptible to all students and thus facilitate learning.
Also supporting teachers’ access to multiple representations of content is school and district administrators’ new ability to add links for Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI)-aligned tools or content, such as YouTube videos or Khan Academy media, to a course’s +Add page. The new upgrade enables educators to control which apps, plugins, elements and applications appear as defaults on the +Add page for specific schools or districts and increases the external content and tools like text-to-speech readers may need that can be quickly and easily included in lessons.
In addition, educators who have placed lesson materials in OneDrive cloud storage can now upload those files from OneDrive for Business and OneDrive for Education just as they can for Dropbox and Google Drive. So, instead of navigating away from the platform to add material in the cloud storage to a lesson, teachers can upload those files in advance and have everything right at their fingertips during their planning process.
Another platform update streamlining the lesson design process is a new context-sensitive help feature that allows teachers to easily find help links for different tools within the platform. Now if a teacher needs support with a particular task, they can click on a link that is right on their current page rather than having to navigate to a separate section.
Additionally, itslearning now provides cleaner printouts for students who need to work with material other than digital content. For example, if students don’t have an Internet connection at home, the upgraded printouts make it easier for them to understand and work on the topic while they are away from a computer.
“We are constantly looking for new ways to support instruction and student learning,” said Dobosh. “We are thrilled that educators will be paying more attention to the possibilities that UDL holds for all students’ academic success, and we are prepared to lend assistance with these and future updates.”
Designed for teachers and how they want to teach, itslearning is a cloud-based learning platform used by millions of teachers, students, administration staff and parents around the world. It can be found at all levels of education, from primary schools to universities, helping teachers make education more inspiring and valuable for today’s students. Established in 1999, itslearning is headquartered in Bergen, Norway, and has offices in Boston, Atlanta and multiple locations around the world. For more information, visit http://www.itslearning.net.
PublicSchoolWORKS’ Team Takes Home Silver in 2016 Stevie® Awards
Win marks fourth Stevie Award the Client Services Team has won since 2012
Cincinnati, OH – March 16, 2016 – The PublicSchoolWORKS Client Services Team was presented with a Silver Stevie® Award in the Customer Service Department of the Year – Public Services & Education category in the tenth annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. This is the second Silver Stevie and fourth Stevie Award the Client Services Team has won in the last four years.
PublicSchoolWORKS’ Client Services Team was recognized for its success in implementing school districts’ safety, behavioral and regulatory compliance requirements, which led to improved risk management programs. This was all accomplished during a major increase in the number of new customers being supported, on top of the ongoing support of existing customers. The Client Services Team provides continuous support for customers in order to provide sustainable programs for school districts.
“Our Client Services Team is one of our company’s biggest assets,” said Tom Strasburger, Vice President, Sales & Marketing of PublicSchoolWORKS. “Our customers know that they will get help, direction and advice on their safety and risk management program, and if they need help on specific issues, all they have to do is contact the Client Services Team to speak directly with a representative and they will receive a quick resolution. The confidence our customers have in our Client Services Team speaks volumes.”
This year’s award program had more than 2,100 nominations, an increase of 11% from last year. Preliminary judging was determined by the average scores of 115 professionals from across the world. More than 60 members of several specialized judging committees determined the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements from among the Finalists during final judging earlier this month. For more information about the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service and to read the list of Stevie winners in all categories, visitwww.StevieAwards.com/sales.
About The Stevie Awards
The Stevie Awards are conferred in six programs: The American Business Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, and the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards. A seventh program, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, will debut in April 2016. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at http://www.StevieAwards.com, and follow the Stevie Awards on Twitter @TheStevieAwards.
Since 2000, PublicSchoolWORKS safety compliance management solutions have focused on helping schools easily meet ever-changing compliance requirements, improve staff and student safety, cut costs associated with risk, and reduce administrator and staff time and effort. PublicSchoolWORKS is the only, complete K12 safety compliance management program created by and for schools, and is proud to provide districts with award-winning technology and support recognized by North American educators. For more information on how PublicSchoolWORKS can improve district safety programs, contact 1-877-779-6757 or firstname.lastname@example.org.