The Virtual High School Launching College Board’s New Computer Science Course
AP® Computer Science Principles prepares all students to succeed in a fast-paced working world that is increasingly online, data-driven, and powered by programming.
Boston — August 22, 2016 — The Virtual High School (VHS, Inc.) is piloting a new introductory college-level computer science course in fall 2016, designed to appeal to all students in grades 10-12, not just those interested in STEM subjects.
The goal of AP® Computer Science Principles is to promote success across all disciplines in today’s technology-driven society. The course will foster logical thinking, problem-solving skills, and creativity in students with diverse backgrounds and interests.
VHS is among the first online providers in the United States to offer this College Board course.
“It’s important that today’s students learn to use core computer science concepts to solve real-world problems,” said Carol Ribeiro, President and CEO of VHS. “This is not about becoming a master coder, it’s about developing computational thinking skills that allow students to identify problems and propose and evaluate solutions in a technology-rich society. The workplace demands these skills, and by developing them in high school, students gain problem-solving strategies that are essential for future college experiences and careers.”
The exciting new VHS course implements the ambitious College Board curriculum framework by guiding students into the world of networked devices, documents, data points, and – most importantly – people. In the course, students explore the big ideas of computer science through vibrant discussions, activities and collaborative projects that incorporate videos, tutorials and readings, using the latest edition of the “New Perspectives on Computer Concepts” text by Parsons. An innovative combination of resources, lessons and technology within the Brightspace learning management system, as well as Scratch and Pencil Code development platforms, provides opportunity for students to explore concepts and demonstrate skills in:
- Collaborative problem solving
- Algorithmic reasoning and sketching
- Creative design of unique programming artifacts and solutions
- Data representation through modeling and simulations
- Two AP “Performance Tasks”, submitted digitally to the College Board
“The course is unique in its focus on fostering creativity,” said Ribeiro. “VHS students will be encouraged to think creatively using computer software and other technology to explore real-world questions that interest them, in subjects ranging from STEM to sports, theater, music, and more. Furthermore, the curriculum is explicitly designed to motivate and engage young women and other students historically underrepresented in computing.”
Ribeiro concluded, “The need for computer science-savvy citizens is so strong that the White House launched a Computer Science for All initiative in January, 2016. We believe the College Board’s AP® Computer Science Principlescourse will help students better understand their options and encourage broader participation in computer science and STEM fields. That means a larger, more diverse group will have access to high-paying tech jobs in the future.”
The VHS course syllabus is currently under review by College Board and pending approval. For more information visit:https://my.vhslearning.org/PublicCourseDescription.aspx?c=427
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 Association’s (USDLA) award for Excellence in Programming and Excellence in Best Practices. For more information, visitwww.VHSLearning.org or call (978) 897-1900.
EXO U Launches Ormiboard to Help Teachers Transform Mobile Devices into Interactive Whiteboards
The collaborative SaaS tool works on any device to engage students through interactive activities, games, and lesson-building
(Montreal, Canada) August 23, 2016 — EXO U Inc. (“EXO U” or the “Corporation”) (TSXV: EXO), a software development company, today announced the launch of Ormiboard, a first-of-its-kind digital learning environment that redefines whole-classroom teaching by transforming any device with any operating system into an easy-to-use whiteboarding and collaboration tool.
“Created using teacher feedback to build a hassle-free whiteboarding experience linked with collaboration and sharing features to engage students, Ormiboard realizes the potential of today’s BYOB, 1:1, and mixed-device classrooms,” said Jim Kirchner, the CEO of EXO U. “We say ‘the world is your whiteboard’ because Ormiboard’s web-hosted environment effectively puts interactive whiteboards in the hands of every student, whether they’re at school or home—creating an omnipresent 21st century canvas focused on student collaboration and creation.”
Teachers can migrate existing whiteboard content from software such as Smart Notebook and ActivInspire to capitalize on the work they’ve already done. They can also choose from Ormiboard’s ready-made lessons or create their own activities, games, and lessons with students on any device within Ormiboard’s easy-to-use interface.
Ormiboard’s expanding library of templates and searchable content covers all subject areas and includes quick quizzes, click-and-drag assignments, games, and exams. Users can also create and customize lessons using a floating toolset to insert more than 500 vector clip art images, pictures, shapes, text, tiles, sounds, actions, and more.
“In class, Ormiboard incorporates all devices into a single immersive learning environment and empowers teachers to instantly push content and activities to student devices, jump to external content, simultaneously view multiple student sessions on one screen, and select any students’ activity to appear on the front-of-class display,” further explained Kirchner.
Ormiboard allows teachers to create multiple forms of questions and push them to student devices, and results are available on an educator’s device immediately. This capability allows teachers to assess as often as they like and use students’ responses as part of the lesson. Teachers can then save sessions in order to track students’ performance individually or in groups.
In seconds, teachers can fully integrate Ormiboard with Google Classroom, Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, and other popular third-party platforms.
Ormiboard is available directly to teachers worldwide. To sign up for a free trial or for more information please visit Ormiboard.com. For a limited time, early adopters of Ormiboard Go will receive a dramatically discounted price.
About EXO U
At EXO U, we believe that people learn best with instructional technologies that support and don’t interrupt the momentum of teaching, learning, and collaboration—whether they are learning in person, remotely, or across an evolving device landscape. That’s why our web-based whiteboarding and classroom management solutions for educational institutions and corporations work on any device with any OS, anytime and anywhere, solving important mobility issues such as security, privacy, real-time collaboration, and management of application and content. EXO U’s shares trade on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol EXO.V. For more information about Ormiboard, visit Ormiboard.com and follow us on Twitter @ormiboard.
STEVENS POINT, Wis. (Aug. 23, 2016) – Skyward, a K-12 school administrative software provider, announces its partnership with Clever, a platform that simplifies and secures the integration of student data exchanged between SIS platforms and educational applications.
Districts using Clever will be able to access Skyward’s free API to complete a data transfer of students enrolled in their district or select schools. The information will then integrate, at the discretion of district administrators, with authorized educational applications. Students are then able to use approved learning apps in the classroom through Clever’s single sign-on, which ensures student data is kept secure.
To view the full news release, visit skyward.com.
Singapore Math® Publisher Marshall Cavendish Announces New Fact Fluency Workbook Series for Elementary Schools
Singapore Math® Fact Fluency for grades K to 5 helps students master and understand essential math facts that build the foundation of higher levels of math
TARRYTOWN, NY, Aug. 22, 2016 – Marshall Cavendish Education, publisher of Singapore Math® textbooks Math in Focus® andPrimary Mathematics, introduced a new workbook series for grades K to 5 to sharpen students’ conceptual understanding of and fluency in mathematics. Singapore Math® Fact Fluency targets these two critical elements of K-5 math learning. Each consumable, print-format student workbook is for one grade level and supports any math curriculum. The books are expected to ship by the end of September. Achieving fact fluency by the end of 5th grade requires more from students than memorization. Marshall Cavendish’s approach to help students achieve fact fluency is based on the philosophy that number sense leads to fact fluency, and that fact fluency and higher-order thinking can be taught simultaneously. It aligns with the way the latest math standards are written. In July, Marshall Cavendish presented multiple workshops at the Staff Development for Educators (SDE) conference in Las Vegas, addressing the topic of teaching math fact fluency, among more than 30 other Singapore Math® related topics.
There is an important role that conceptual understanding and competency in solving basic facts play in securing fact fluency. The various practice strategies for students in the Singapore Math® Fact Fluency workbooks are more suitable and more effective methods than traditional math drills alone. Educators are invited to preview free digital sample chapters from the books at http://www.mceducation.us/fact-fluency.
Singapore Math® Fact Fluency workbooks provide students with five types of practice opportunities:
- Fact Builder asks students to apply specific strategies that promote fluency.
- Fact Strategy Practice asks students to analyze problems and apply multiple problem-solving strategies.
- Apply and Build Knowledge asks students to synthesize and apply knowledge of fact strategies to real-world problems.
- Writing about Math asks students to evaluate and create new math thinking through movement, drawing, writing, or talking.
- Challenge Questions appear in some practices. These questions help students acquire readiness for future learning.
“Students don’t develop the ability for automatic recall in their brain until they are eight to nine years old, which is about third grade. It happens in phases,” said Susan Resnick, one of the Singapore Math® Fact Fluency authors. “First, students are building facts through counting numbers. Second is using known information to determine the answer of an unknown combination. Phase three is mastery, when they are efficient, fast and accurate in their production of answers. Students can’t skip phase two to reach mastery, so this is an important area to focus on in helping them get there.”
Place value is important to building fact fluency. The Singapore Math® Fact Fluency workbooks use visual diagrams to help students understand how to regroup tens and ones. Recognition and production are covered. Students learn to recognize first, then they can learn to produce something. In division, students learn to visualize how to shift numbers how many places to each side of the decimal.
The first step to building facts is skip counting by 2s, 3s, 5s and 10s. Students learn to use a number line chart. They look at a picture of real objects, something like different kinds of fruit in rows, to count how many or to multiply how many they see. Array models show something representative, like circles, to present problems. An area model is more advanced and more abstract, asking students to count the area of an object, like small squares that make up a whole larger square of 25. Singapore Math® Fact Fluency teaches students to be flexible with multiplication and decimals.
Students learn building facts for division. They practice how to break up groups in a visual model to divide numbers. They learn to use a partitioning model that represents the whole.
Students who don’t know their multiplication tables by 5th grade need a different approach to learn them. Students need strategies to build those facts from ones they already know. Then they are asked to explain their thinking.
In developing mastery, students don’t need to practice all of their math facts, just the ones they don’t know. They need to be able use higher-order thinking to explain their answers. The workbooks focus on flexibility and generalizing number relationships.
“Methods of teaching math have changed drastically. With more rigor at early grades, younger students need to know their math facts earlier and by second nature,” said Vivian Cheng, Area Director US, at Marshall Cavendish Education. “Marshall Cavendish’s new series of Singapore Math® Fact Fluency workbooks provide supplemental opportunities and activities for students to build, practice and understand those facts, so that they are successful in math and ready for more advanced math after 5th grade.”
The Singapore Math® Fact Fluency series books were written by experts on elementary math education, who are also former teachers: Genevieve Collura, M.S. Ed. and Susan Resnick.
An elementary teacher in Brooklyn for nine years, Genevieve Collura now works as a school-based instructional coach. Genevieve also trains teachers and administrators in K-8 classrooms and institutes across the U.S., facilitating the implementation of the successful Singaporean instructional approach at the core of Marshall Cavendish’s Math in Focus® curriculum. The curriculum intends for students to strengthen critical thinking and reach mastery of concepts, computational skills and problem-solving and its applications to real-life situations. She recently presented at the NCSM conference.
Susan Resnick, a career educator, has worked as an elementary, middle-school, and high-school math teacher, as well as a school principal and district math coordinator. Currently, Susan works in schools across the country and around the globe, teaching Singapore Math® strategies to students, teachers, coaches, and administrators.
Singapore Math® Fact Fluency workbooks are available for ordering now in print format through Marshall Cavendish Education. The suggested purchase price for Singapore Math® Fact Fluency is $99 for one 10-student pack of workbooks for any grade level, K through 5. Orders placed by Aug. 31 receive a 5% discount and free shipping. Recorded professional development online webinars for teachers on strategies to help students achieve fact fluency are also available for purchase at http://www.mceducation.us/fact-fluency-singapore-math. Educators are invited to visit the company’s online bookstore at http://shop.mceducation.us/39-singapore-math-fact-fluency, email@example.com or call (800) 821-9881 x337.
Marshall Cavendish Education
Marshall Cavendish Education (www.mceducation.us) is the authentic provider of Singapore Math® educational solutions. The company’s holistic approach to learning and teaching is fundamentally changing math education in the United States by providing teachers with the same pedagogy, curriculum, supplemental materials and digital resources that have put the company’s Singapore students at the top of all global math performance studies.
For nearly 40 years, Marshall Cavendish Education has been a leading academic publisher of K-12 math textbooks, workbooks, and digital curricula, as well as a respected provider of professional development for educators. With headquarters in Singapore, Marshall Cavendish Education has been on a mission to revitalize math instruction in classrooms worldwide. The company’s products have been adopted by educators and embraced by students in over 50 countries.