Digital Content and Professional Development Empower District to Create Authentic Learning Environments and Build Educators’ Capacity to Support Transition to Digital Learning-


Silver Spring, Md. (October 26, 2016) – Ohio’s Brunswick City Schools today announced the launch of a new, seven-year partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms.


Through this new collaboration, Brunswick City educators in grades K-12 will accelerate the creation of authentic digital classrooms by integrating Discovery Education’s Science Techbook™ into instruction, while middle school educators will begin integrating Discovery Education’s Social Studies Techbook™ into teaching and learning. In addition, all K-12 classrooms across the district will have access to Discovery Education Streaming Plus, a comprehensive digital service supplementing instruction across all K-12 curricular areas.   Educators from all 11 Brunswick City Schools will also participate in Discovery Education’s Digital Leader Corps, a comprehensive, multi-year professional development initiative that cultivates teacher-leaders to help drive the district’s transition to digital learning.


This new partnership helps Brunswick City Schools’ educators increase student engagement and more deeply personalize instruction, and also supports the district’s 2015 one-to-one learning initiative.  Last school year, middle and high school students received a personal device for learning in school and at home. Now, through the district’s new collaboration with Discovery Education, these devices will be powered with dynamic digital content to expand students’ learning opportunities within the classroom and beyond.


Discovery Education’s Techbooks are breakthrough digital textbooks that are aligned to rigorous standards, support a comprehensive curriculum, and are updated regularly at no cost.  The series encourages all learners through interactive features that change the reading level of text and enable text to be read aloud. The Techbook series saves teachers’ time with a comprehensive design that places model lessons, student activities and assessments at their fingertips. Techbooks are platform neutral and can be used in one-to-one or one-to-many configurations and in any instructional environment.


Utilizing an inquiry-based format built on the 5E model, Discovery Education’s Science Techbook, through hands-on labs, digital explorations, an interactive glossary, and data analysis activities, helps teach students to read, write, and think like scientists. The Social Studies Techbookseries uses an inquiry-based instructional approach that emphasizes informational text literacy, analytical writing and problem solving skills that students will apply in the classroom and beyond. Each subject area includes primary source documents and activities, digital investigations, multimedia reference library, interactive maps and informational texts.   Discovery Education Streaming Plus’ resources are aligned to state standards and searchable, and teacher resources include lesson plans, instructional strategies, and content collections organized around themes.  Students can access images, primary source documents, podcasts, oral interviews, articles, videos, and more.


To support educators as they implement these new digital resources, the Brunswick City Schools are engaging its educators in Discovery Education’s Digital Leader Corps, which develops a network of teacher-leaders prepared to design, implement, and share successful and innovative teaching strategies districtwide.  Featuring a unique combination of professional learning, pedagogy and tools, Digital Leader Corps offers participating educators proven strategies for integrating educational technologies and digital media into classroom instruction including educator created, student-centered Learning Labs. In these labs, teachers bring to life new teaching strategies, and practice and adapt their skills in a classroom setting before sharing their successes broadly with their colleagues. The Digital Leader Corps program provides teachers with continuous customized, job-embedded consultation throughout the process with on-going modeling, coaching and feedback from Discovery Education experts in the pre-planning, stakeholder communications, and implementation phases.


“Brunswick City Schools’ digital transition is dedicated to more deeply engaging our students in learning and providing them the opportunities to develop the skills they need to be successful in the Information Age,” said Michael Mayell, Superintendent. “We are excited to partner with Discovery Education to achieve this vision. Their dynamic digital resources and comprehensive professional development will help us transform teaching and learning districtwide.”


In addition, the Discovery Education Community will support Brunswick City Schools’ educators in their efforts to transform students’ learning experiences with digital media. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing, and inspiration.


“Discovery Education is proud to be a part of Brunswick City Schools’ efforts to use digital content to grow student engagement and personalize instruction,” said Kelly Burleson, Education Partnerships Manager at Discovery Education.  “We look forward to supporting their entire team and to providing all teachers and students with the digital tools and resources they need to create the real-world learning experiences we know engage today’s learners.”


For more information about the Discovery Education Techbook series, Digital Leader Corps, or other services and resources from Discovery Education, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.


About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.


Pearson Announces Mixed Reality Pilots Designed to Solve Real World Learning Challenges at Colleges and Universities


Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, San Diego State University and Bryn Mawr College among first to explore power of mixed reality learning content, delivered via Microsoft HoloLens, to immerse students in real world experiences


ANAHEIM, Calif. – Oct. 26, 2016 – Today at EDUCAUSE 2016, Pearson announced a collaboration with Microsoft to explore the power of mixed reality to solve real challenges in areas of learning, ranging from online tutoring and coaching, nursing education, and engineering to construction and surveyor training. With Microsoft HoloLens, the world’s first self-contained holographic computer, Pearson is developing and piloting mixed reality content at colleges, universities and secondary schools in the United States and around the world.


HoloLens embraces virtual reality and augmented reality to create a new reality – mixed reality. With virtual reality, the user is immersed in a simulated world. Augmented reality overlays digital information on top of the real world. Mixed reality merges the virtual and physical worlds to create a new reality whereby the two can coexist and interact. By understanding the user’s environment, mixed reality enables holograms to look and sound like they are part of that world. This means learning content can be developed for HoloLens that provides students with real world experiences, allowing them to build proficiency, develop confidence, explore and learn.


“We are thrilled to partner with Pearson to expand the curriculum available to students to learn through the power of holograms on Microsoft HoloLens,” said Lorraine Bardeen, general manager for Microsoft Windows and HoloLens Experiences. “Complex systems are more easily understood in 3D and learning through holographic computing in mixed reality provides students a higher level of understanding and experience that they can then bring into their real-world interactions. HoloLens gives students access to things they may never be able to see in real life – historical artifacts, natural history, hands on training, and a connection to the broader world.”


For example, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock and San Diego State University are both part of a Pearson mixed reality pilot aimed at leveraging mixed reality to solve challenges in nursing education. Today many nursing programs hire and train actors to simulate scenarios nurses will face in the real world — a process that is hard to standardize and even harder to replicate. As part of the mixed reality pilot, faculty at the two universities’ schools of nursing are collaborating with Pearson to improve the value and efficacy of the types of simulations in which students participate.


To develop the content for this pilot, Pearson will use Microsoft’s holographic video capture capability, filming actors to simulate patients with various health concerns and then transferring that video into holograms for the student nurses to experience in a clinical setting. When student nurses participate in the simulations using HoloLens, they will have a real world experience diagnosing patients, building the confidence and competence that they will need in their careers.


Philip Greiner, DNSc, RN, director of the School of Nursing at San Diego State University said, “It is a privilege to work with Pearson and Microsoft to develop these educational components for nursing education.”


At Bryn Mawr College, a women’s liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, faculty, students, and staff are exploring various educational applications for the HoloLens mixed reality devices. They are testing Skype for HoloLens for connecting students with tutors in Pearson’s 24/7 online tutoring service, Smarthinking. If successful, this out-of-the-box solution could provide struggling students with richer, more personalized just-in-time support from expert tutors as if they were sitting side-by-side. Bryn Mawr will also experiment with using holographs and mixed reality to explore 3D content and concepts in a number of academic disciplines, including physics, biology, and archaeology.


Pearson’s work with mixed reality and HoloLens isn’t limited to higher education. The company is in the early stages of evaluating the impact of holographic learning at the late grammar school stage.  At Canberra Grammar School in Australia, Pearson is working with teachers in a variety of disciplines to develop holograms for use in their classrooms. The University of Canberra is partnering with Pearson to provide support for the project and evaluate the impact these holograms have on teaching and learning.


About Pearson

Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit www.Pearsoned.com.


Learning Upgrade Launches New Mobile App to Serve ELLs on the Go

The app, created as part of the Adult Literacy XPrize Competition, delivers literacy instruction for a wide range of English learners


(SAN DIEGO, CA) October 26, 2016 – Learning Upgrade, an innovative ed tech company providing digital, differentiated literacy curriculum designed for English language learners (ELLs), today announce the launch of a mobile app to increase accessibility and expand offerings to a wide range of English learners.


The app enables students to access Learning Upgrade’s high-interest musical lessons on their own using any device, including phones and tablets. With the app, Learning Upgrade aims to improve students’ time on task by no longer limiting them to sitting in front of a computer. ELLs of all ages are now able to work through lessons anytime and anywhere.


“Low-literate, low-income adults often do not have computer and internet access at home. However, about 75% of them do own a smartphone,” said Vinod Lobo, co-founder and CEO of Learning Upgrade. “If effective learning can be delivered through smartphones, more ELLs can ‘self-serve’ by downloading the program on to their phone, signing in, and making progress. This way, millions of learners that are not served by schools or adult education can finally receive quality literacy instruction.”


The app is part of the Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPrize Competition, designed to address the 36 million low-literate adults in America. The competition challenges teams to develop mobile applications that result in the greatest increase in literacy skills among participating adult learners in just 12 months. The solutions will overcome key barriers to literacy learning by improving access, increasing retention, and scaling to meet demand.


“As the needs of our nation evolve, so must our educational resources. We are ready and willing to collaborate with any school or organization interested in improving English language proficiency among ELLs,” said Lobo. “Thanks to technology, we are able to reach even more ELLs and promote English proficiency in the United States.”


The Learning Upgrade app includes more than 300 sequenced lessons including topics on phonics, decoding, vocabulary, grammar, writing, and listening. The curriculum includes engaging songs, videos, games, and rewards that encourage all learners to achieve mastery. Each lesson provides practice problems accompanied by immediate intervention and remediation with multimedia supports. Students can repeat lessons until they master them, earning a gold certificate when they become proficient in each of the standard’s benchmarks.


Adult learners at Sweetwater Adult Education in Chula Vista, California, are already using the app on students’ personal smartphones as part of English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. The innovative blended learning approach combines instructor-led classes and on-site computer labs with at-home smartphone use. Instructors can track a learner’s progress and assess their literacy skills regardless of where the learner completes their lessons. The goal is to accelerate what is often a long path to proficiency, so that English Learners can qualify for GED, technical, and community college classes.


The app is available now as a free download from the Google Play Store, with Apple App Store access planned for release later this year.


About Learning Upgrade

Founded in 1998 by educators, musicians, artists and programmers in San Diego, Learning Upgrade designs innovative, engaging lessons to support struggling students in reading and math. Through the incorporation of songs, video, games, and educational research, Learning Upgrade has helped more than 1 million students make learning breakthroughs. For more information, please visit LearningUpgrade.com.


Newly Released Nationwide Data from vibeffect Debunks Misperceptions of Low-Income Students in College

Low-income students have equal probability of thriving in traditional higher education institutions

Washington, D.C. (October 26, 2016) – Higher education institutions are relying on predictive analysis to make decisions about admission and resource allocation, a process that could perpetuate the underrepresentation of minority and low-income students. vibeffect, credited with engineering the first scientific model to increase student thriving and on-time graduation for higher education institutions, releases data showing that contrary to popular belief, students from low-income households are likely to thrive in four-year, traditional higher education institutions.


After surveying students in 5,000 households, spanning 1,000 institutions and covering 360 variables, this new data shows that students from low-income households ($35,000 household income and below) have equal probability of earning a high-thriving designation on all dimensions of thriving and often are equally represented in the highest-thriving group.

To read the full release, click here. To read the data summary, click here.