New Guide from Boxlight Helps Educators Select and Launch Technology Tools that Best Fit School/District Objectives
The guide, Launch Tech in Your Schools Successfully, shares best practices, insights, and resources from educators, administrators, and technology experts
Boston, MA – June 16, 2016 – According to market research company Technavio, spending on educational technology is expected to reach $55B by 2019. But to earn a full return on this investment, educators need clear goals, a solid plan, and an efficient process for purchasing and effectively launching the right technology tools. To help schools and districts make technology initiatives a success, Boxlight has published a new guide, Launch Tech in Your Schools Successfully, which can be downloaded at no charge from http://news.mimio.boxlight.com/launch-tech-successfully.
“This guide isn’t just advice from a vendor. District personnel who are seasoned veterans of tech launches wrote the vast majority of this guide,” said Christopher Leonardo, the director of research and development for Boxlight. “This is up-to-date, boots-on-the-ground knowledge. One educator even contributed excerpts of his how-to article from the February 2016 issue of Tech & Learningmagazine.”
The 30-page PDF covers the following topics:
- How to set technology goals and make purchasing decisions
- How to set up a tech committee to evaluate needs and resources
- How input from inside and outside sources can aid purchasing decisions
- How to run a successful pilot program
- How educators make their educational technology vendor their partner
- The five most common challenges of launching new technology
- How to make sure the technology gets used
As readers progress through the PDF, they will find embedded links to resources that can help them achieve the goals described. For example, a recommendation to provide staff with a technology needs assessment contains a link to a National Center for Technology Planning survey questionnaire. The questionnaire is designed to capture personnel’s perceptions of technology needs, with respect to their specific responsibilities and working situations.
Four contributors wrote Launch Tech in Your Schools Successfully:
- Lynn Reedy, 2006 Mississippi Technology Educator of the Year and currently an educational technology specialist for Stafford Public Schools in Connecticut.
- Kevin Ryan, the director of educational technology and 21st century learning at Kildeer Countryside School District 96 in Buffalo Grove, Illinois.
- Christopher Leonardo, the director of research and development at Boxlight.
- Travis Rink, an assistant high school principal who also manages Boxlight’s global training as the educator advocacy leader.
Earlier this year, Mimio and Boxlight Corporation merged. They will be operating as a division of Boxlight Inc. For more information about the extensive product offerings of the companies, please visit www.boxlight.com.
The Virtual High School Partners with CERNET Education in First-of-its-Kind Collaboration to Bring Core Courses to ESL Students in China
Boston — June 16, 2016 — The Virtual High School (VHS Inc.), an educational non-profit offering schools and parents the industry’s best online learning programs, has partnered with CERNET Education, the designated education company of CERNET (China Education and Research Network), the first nationwide education and research computer network in China. The first phase of the newly minted alliance will involve the development of three core subjects for release in fall 2016. These unique courses will combine non-streaming and streaming elements for ESL education that address specific needs identified by CERNET Education related to Chinese students. The courses will also be available to other international students. Three additional courses will be offered for spring 2017 enrollment.
“Many native Chinese speakers are determined to learn English as a second language and take courses in English,” said Carol Ribeiro, President and CEO of VHS. “There is a serious need for core courses for Chinese ESL learners taught by teachers well-equipped to work with Mandarin-speaking students. Our goal with this partnership is to help students prepare for future education by enhancing their English skills through cohort-based interactive courses that can help them succeed in college study.”
For the last twenty years, the VHS mission has been to provide middle and high school students with access to high-quality online and blended learning experiences while supporting educators with the professional development and services they need to provide effective education for every student. Schools and parents that partner with VHS have access to a wide range of core, elective, credit recovery and AP® courses that inspire, ignite and deepen learning. VHS helps students develop independent learning skills, prepare for college and careers, earn credit, and engage with their peers in global classrooms.
CERNET Education, established by China Education and Research Network (CERNET), is dedicated to international education and online education. CERNET, the first nationwide Internet backbone in China built by Tsinghua University and other leading Chinese universities, is the country’s largest computer network for academic organizations and an important platform for China’s remote learning initiative.
“CERNET Education has a mission to globalize education,” said Yidong Zhu, the Executive President of CERNET Education. “We have developed and established international education programs in the US since 2008, such as the ESL school, Massachusetts International Academy. CERNET serves more than 2,000 universities, research institutions and education centers, and more than 25 million end users access it. With abundant education resources and this significant partnership, we can continue to expand and enhance our international and online education offerings enabling thousands of students to enroll in US schools.”
About The Virtual High School Inc.
The Virtual High School (VHS Inc.) is an online learning pioneer. Since 1996, the nonprofit organization based in Massachusetts 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 Association’s (USDLA) award for Excellence in Programming and Excellence in Best Practices. For more information, visit www.TheVirtualHighSchool.org or call (978) 897-1900.
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Breaking the Barrier Named 2016 REVERE Award Winner
Series earns top award from the Association of American Publishers PreK-12 Learning Group
Groton, MA—June 17, 2016—Breaking the Barrier, Inc., a global leader in print and digital language learning, has won the REVERE award for its world language series in the Classroom Resources, World Languages category.
Breaking the Barrier’s World Language Series is designed to help learners read, write, and speak the target language fluently while developing a deep understanding and appreciation of the various cultures and traditions associated with each language.
“We are deeply grateful for this wonderful recognition of our dynamic approach to language learning. It was thrilling for me to be with members of my team at the gala dinner in Philadelphia last week as these awards were announced,” said John Conner, Breaking the Barrier CEO and Series Editor.
Celebrating its 50th program year, the REVERE (Recognizing Valuable Educational Resources) Awards continue to identify outstanding educational products that engage today’s teachers and students. The AAP PreK-12 Learning Group produces the prestigious awards program that is unique to the educational industry in recognizing learning resources in all media, for all ages, and in a wide variety of educational subject areas and learning environments.
About Breaking the Barrier, Inc.
Founded in 1997 by educators, Breaking the Barrier is a global leader in print and digital language learning. Featuring instruction in Spanish, French, and English, Breaking the Barrier offers students the fastest path to true language fluency. For more information, visit www.tobreak.com.
About the Association of American Publishers
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) represents about four hundred member organizations including major commercial, digital learning and education and professional publishers alongside independents, non-profits, university presses and scholarly societies. We represent the industry’s priorities on policy, legislative and regulatory issues regionally, nationally and worldwide. These include the protection of intellectual property rights and worldwide copyright enforcement, digital and new technology issues, funding for education and libraries, tax and trade, censorship and literacy. Find us online at www.publishers.org or on twitter at @AmericanPublish. Read more about the REVERE Awards program at REVEREawards.org or on twitter at @REVEREawards.
Symbaloo Empowers Teachers with Open Lesson Plan Platform
for Personalized Learning
COSTA MESA, CA. JUNE 16, 2016 – Symbaloo, a resource management platform that helps educators and students curate and organize the best of the web into custom online lessons, today announced the official launch of their Lesson Plan creator, a platform designed to integrate learn and play and allow users to create engaging and custom educational material. The Lesson Plan creator is available athttp://lessonplans.symbaloo.com/.
The company has been recognized as one of the largest resource management platforms in the world with over 10 million monthly unique users already learning on the platform. Combining an easy-to-use and fun tile platform for students with a custom lesson development system for educators, Symbaloo is empowering teachers to blend web and traditional resources into personalized lesson plans.
The platform was built in close cooperation with teachers and administrators in the K-12 sphere. Symbaloo Lesson Plans can be used to create engaging gaming-style virtual lessons featuring the best educational resources on the web. Every step, or tile, can represent a resource, assignment, or test leading to the finish line. The embedded digital content in the lesson plan creator can integrate any type of content, such as a YouTube video or newspaper article.
By answering a set of guiding questions, the system allows educators to design the optimal way students can proceed through different educational topics, ensuring that students will get all the knowledge they need. Built-in analytics tools gather insightful data and improve learning outcomes while students enjoy an engaging and fun learning environment. For years, educators have talked about the need for Personalized Learning. By blending digital content with a smarter user interface, Symbaloo brings free and fun digital learning to K-12.
Symbaloo Lesson Plans Are Free
Just like Symbaloo.com, the Lesson Plan creator is free to use. Symbaloo plans to offer premium versions in the future, featuring greater analytics as well as localized district/state versions based on specialized regional curriculum and needs.
Save Time by Using Our Lesson Plan Marketplace
During the testing for the beta version of Symbaloo Lesson Plans, teachers have created thousands of lesson plans that are shared on the Lesson Plan Marketplace. Save time by using shared lesson plans available for any topic, standard, or grade level.
The easy to follow tile structure from Symbaloo is executed in a gaming-style design to give the students a fun way of tracking their progress achievements in the lesson plan. Teachers can track student progress through the built-in analytics.
Tailored Content for Every Student’s Educational Needs
In the long run, the accumulated analytics will give insight into the learning abilities of every student, so that teachers can tailor lesson plans to each student’s educational needs. Currently, teachers can create differentiated paths according to the learning styles of the individual students, and can easily blend most digital content into lessons using a platform akin to building a music playlist.
Watch the introductory video on Symbaloo Lesson Plans at https://youtu.be/am-XuWLQD3Q.
Symbaloo is a resource management tool that helps educators and students curate and organize the best of the web into individualized instruction. With Symbaloo educators can save their teaching resources in the cloud and access them from any device. Learn more at http://www.symbalooedu.com/.