YMCA Discusses How Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Programs Can Close the Achievement Gap during June 16, 2016 Webinar


Free webinar by Apperson offers SEL strategies and examples of national efforts to help high-needs students succeed


Charlotte N.C. – May 17, 2016 – Assessment leader Apperson will host a free webinar at 2 p.m. EST, June 16, 2016 to showcase the work being done by the YMCA of the USA to improve social and emotional skills among its highest needs students.


The “Effective Use of SEL Assessment: A National Effort” webinar will feature Maria Guzman, Program Evaluation Specialist for Afterschool Programs at the YMCA of the USA, and representatives from the Devereux Center for Resilient Children.


To register for the webinar, visit http://goo.gl/Ezn0Ez or click here.


To help address one of the biggest challenges high-needs students face, the achievement gap, the YMCA of the USA has implemented an after-school program through its local branches that aims to improve the academic performance of high-needs students by helping them develop social and emotional skills. Webinar participants will learn more about this work on a local and national level.


In addition to Guzman, the webinar will feature representatives from Devereux and Apperson who will share how the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (the DESSA), is used to measure, improve and develop students’ social and emotional skills. The DESSA is a strengths-based assessment system designed to screen students for social and emotional competencies.Apperson offers an online assessment and intervention tool called Evo Social & Emotional, which features the DESSA to help educators measure students’ SEL skills and provide strategies for instruction and intervention.


The webinar is part of Apperson’s ongoing work to support educators, administrators and out-of-school-time organizations in implementing social and emotional learning programs within their organizations. Webinar attendees will receive a free 60-day trial of Apperson’s Evo SEL featuring the DESSA.



About Apperson

Apperson’s K-16 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 educators turn assessment data into actionable information.  For more information, visit Apperson.com.


Readability Study Finds that more than Half of Students Unable to Read Content Displayed on 70-inch Flat Panel

Research Findings Align with InfoComm DISCAS Draft Standard on Optimal Display Size and Relative Viewing Position



LONG BEACH, Calif. – May 17, 2016Epson today announced new findings from a recent study conducted by Radius Global Market Research that evaluated the readability of content displayed on a 70-inch flat panel in an average-sized classroom. According to the new research, 58 percent of students in an average classroom can’t read content displayed on a 70-inch flat panel.


The study was conducted with 106 students ages 12-to-22 in groups of approximately 30 at a time. Students were asked to read typical education content including charts and text-based information displayed on a top-selling 70-inch flat panel in a traditional 30-foot-by-30-foot classroom, and then write down six short items of information from what they saw. The students sat in five rows 22-feet wide (six seats per row) with the first row approximately eight feet from the display, and the last row about 27 feet from the display.


The overall results indicated that, on average, 17 out of 30 students per classroom were not able to read the content on the 70-inch flat panel, defined as writing down at least one item incorrectly.


“The majority of students evaluated in the study clearly had difficulty reading the content displayed on the 70-inch flat panel,” said Shira Horn, vice president, Radius Global Market Research.


The research findings support the 4/6/8 Rule for display size recommendations. The 4/6/8 Rule is a long-standing guideline commonly used by AV integrators and installers for determining the appropriate sized displays for different environments including classrooms, conference rooms and large venues.


Further, the results of the study are also consistent with the InfoComm DISCASdraft standard published by InfoComm International, the trade association representing the professional audio/visual and information communications industries worldwide. Using the DISCAS draft standard to calculate the Farthest Viewing Distance for Basic Decision Making –a 70-inch display would not be recommended for viewing text based educational content at distances of approximately 18 feet and beyond.


“Display size in the typical classroom has a direct impact on a student’s ability to read and comprehend the information presented – no matter where they are in the room,” said Jason Meyer, education product manager, Epson America. “This research shows that if the classroom display image size is too small, student comprehension is at risk. With the ability to display bright, high-quality images much larger than 70”, projectors continue to be the best and most affordable display technology for schools today.”


“When we decided to upgrade all of our 6,100 classrooms with new projection technology, we did our research and found that interactive flat panels tended to cost much more than interactive projectors for the same viewing space. We also looked at non-interactive flat panels, however we felt it was important to have finger-touch interactivity to allow students to interact with the projected content,” said Timothy Dunn, Director of Operational Information Technology Program Management at Fulton County Schools. “We chose the Epson BrightLink® 595Wi interactive projector because it met our needs for brightness, image size, interactivity, compatibility with popular software and price.”


For additional information about the research findings, visit www.epson.com/classroomdisplaysize.


Designed with educator input, Epson’s advanced interactive display and projector technologies make bright, collaborative learning environments a reality. Compatible with a wide range of devices and widely-used interactive software, Epson projectors make it easy for teachers to share content to engage students, no matter where they sit in the classroom. Epson’s unmatched technology, service and support ensure educators are confident that high quality, bright images and multimedia are available in the classroom every day. For additional information about Epson education projection solutions, visit www.epson.com/education.


About Epson
Epson is a global technology leader dedicated to connecting people, things and information with its original efficient, compact and precision technologies. With a lineup that ranges from inkjet printers and digital printing systems to 3LCD projectors, smart glasses, sensing systems and industrial robots, the company is focused on driving innovations and exceeding customer expectations in inkjet, visual communications, wearables and robotics.

Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises more than 67,000 employees in 90 companies around the world, and is proud of its contributions to the communities in which it operates and its ongoing efforts to reduce environmental impacts.

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



Considering a Universal Design for Learning Approach With Your Students? A New Playbook from itslearning Provides Tips for School Districts to Facilitate Personalized Learning


New guide explains benefits of UDL as a framework for creating learning-driven

environments and how districts can successfully put theory into practice


BOSTON — May 17, 2016 — The new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for K-12 education specifically endorses Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a set of principles that require teachers and students to shift roles as they collaborate around student-driven learning paths. It’s a significant departure from the traditional classroom approach, and transforming a learning environment doesn’t happen overnight.


To help schools navigate the sea of change to more personalized learning, itslearning, developer of the award-winning itslearning learning management system, has published a new guide titled “How To Make Personalized Learning a Reality in Your District.”  The 18-page PDF explains the stages and steps to creating a learner-driven environment powered by the UDL approach, how technology can support the integration, and questions to ask when considering which learning platform to choose. It likewise includes examples and tips from school districts that have successfully implemented a comprehensive plan to transition to student-driven learning.


“How To Make Personalized Learning a Reality in Your District” begins by explaining the distinction between “personalized” and “individualized” learning, and the benefits of encouraging students to be co-designers of their own learning paths and curriculum. It discusses the ULD model of “access, engage, express,” and provides educators with a framework for understanding how to create curricula that meet the needs of all learners. Finally, it provides tips to transition UDL from theory to practice, and examples of how learning management systems such as itslearning can be used to provide a streamlined, user-friendly learning environment that simplifies student-centered learning.


“We started our journey with universal design for learning because we felt it provided the best possible way for us to reach our students to improve their performance as well as make sure they were engaged in their learning,” said Mike Jamerson, director of technology at Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation in Columbus, Indiana. “With itslearning, we saw a platform where we could truly implement the three principles of UDL. It helps ensure all teaching objects across our district are aligned, which enables teachers to accurately measure and compare student progress and performance. As a result, they can personalize their teaching by selecting resources that cater to their students’ differing needs.”


A complimentary copy of “How To Make Personalized Learning a Reality in Your District” can be downloaded at http://info.itslearning.net/US-1604-UDL-eBook.html


About itslearning

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.