SCHOOLS ARE DISCOVERING KINDNESS! THE RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS FOUNDATION AND DISCOVERY EDUCATION LAUNCH “DISCOVER KINDNESS IN THE CLASSROOM” – A NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP FOCUSING ON STUDENTS’ SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING SKILLS
–No Cost, Online Portal Offers Educators Engaging Standards-Aligned Resources that Foster Kindness and Compassion in the Classroom and Beyond–
“The world is a better place when we encourage kindness.”
SILVER SPRING, Md. [November 14, 2016] Kindness starts with one. One person holds open a door. One person writes a thank you letter to a teacher. One person sparks kindness when another really needs it. Now, more than ever, it’s time to be kinder. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK), an internationally recognized nonprofit dedicated to inspiring people to practice kindness and pass it on to others, andDiscovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, have teamed up to announce today the launch of an all-new education initiative, “Discover Kindness in the Classroom.” Available at no cost to classrooms nationwide, the program offers standards-aligned resources for grades K-8 that teach important social and emotional learning skills, and stimulate thoughtful conversations between educators and students about the importance of kindness in their daily lives.
Social and emotional skills are critical to being a good student, productive citizen and successful worker. Many risky behaviors such as drug use, violence and bullying can be prevented or reduced when social and emotional skills are taught. Moreover, social and emotional learning can improve academic scores. One study shows that students who have been in a directed SEL program can increase their scores on standardized tests by up to 11%. (American Psychological Association’s Monitor on Psychology).
Discover Kindness in the Classroom provides elementary and middle school educators and counselors cross-curricular lesson plans and hands-on activities that encourage students to spread kindness and share their experiences with others. The program features two specially curated Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 Kindness Collections that explore kindness concepts including respect, compassion, empathy, integrity, fairness, helpfulness, and gratitude. The second Kindness Collection will launch in February 2017 coinciding with Random of Kindness Week taking place during February 12-18, 2017. Units in each Kindness Collection are designed to inspire and empower students to be kind and compassionate, act on what they have learned and share their positive actions and how they felt. Educators can also utilize the “How-To Guide” to create their own Kindness Collections by selecting and organizing resources that meet their students’ needs, in addition to the educator guides that accompany each Collection and provide best practices for easily integrating these resources in classroom instruction.
“Social and emotional learning skills are incredibly important to my students’ futures and impact so many aspects of their lives both inside and outside of our classroom,” said Kristen Davis, first grade teacher in Santa Rosa County, Florida. “I look forward to incorporating resources from Discover Kindness in the Classroom into my instruction to show my students how small acts of kindness can make a big difference and impact everyone around them.”
In addition to the Fall and Spring Kindness Collections, Discover Kindness in the Classroom also offers monthly Kindness Spotlights that are designed to quickly and easily highlight various Kindness Concepts. Each Kindness Spotlight offers two short elementary and middle school activities focused around specific Kindness Concepts of the month. For example, November’s Kindness Spotlight will explore gratitude and respect, and December will feature fairness and integrity.
“The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation curriculum has been quietly implemented in thousands of schools worldwide, but we believe teaming up with Discovery Education will inspire and empower thousands more teachers across the nation to see and feel the impact of teaching kindness in their own classrooms. We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership,” said Brooke Jones, Vice President of The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.
“Discovery Education shares The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s belief that the world is a better place when we encourage kindness,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president of Discovery Education. “We are proud to collaborate with them to present classrooms nationwide engaging digital resources that help teach important social and emotional learning skills and promote thoughtful conversations between educators and students about the importance of kindness in their daily lives.”
To learn more and access to program’s free resources, visit www.discoverkindnessintheclassroom.com.
About Random Acts of Kindness Foundation
Established in 1995, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK) is an internationally recognized nonprofit headquartered in Denver, CO, dedicated to inspiring people to practice kindness and pass it on to others. RAK provides free online resources to encourage acts of kindness across the globe, specifically in school communities. www.randomactsofkindness.org
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.
Kids Discover Online Announces Winners of Cross-Curricular Lesson-Building Contest
Educators win site licenses and other prizes by creating their own interdisciplinary lessons using Kids Discover Online content for free during contest
(NEW YORK, NY) November 14, 2016 – Kids Discover, a leading provider of dynamic, engaging online science and social studies curriculum, is excited to announce the winners of its Cross-Curricular Lesson-Building Contest. The contest, identified by the hashtag #XCurricular, was aimed at rewarding educators who create and share engaging lessons for their classrooms.
To be eligible for the contest, educators were required to merge two or more disciplines in a meaningful way, be appropriate for grades 3–8, and include at least one Kids Discover resource. A panel of three educational thought leaders judged contestants on the clarity, creativity, practicality, and originality of each section in their lesson plan outline.
“Our goal with the Cross-Curricular Lesson-Building Contest was to embolden teachers to bring interdisciplinary teaching into their classrooms,” said Ted Levine, the president and CEO of Kids Discover. “Cross-curricular learning empowers students to take their learning into their own hands and make their own connections between subjects. When students are inspired to pursue their innate curiosity, they turn into lifelong learners.”
The winner of the contest was Mary Lynn Espinosa from River’s Edge Montessori in Ohio. Her lesson asked students to examine how the Wright Brothers used their own bodies as a human interface to replicate the twisting motion of a bird’s body in flight in the operation of their gliders.
“Integrating problem-based learning into my lesson-planning requires cross-curricular lessons,” said Espinosa. “These lessons immerse students in the content. This leads to an increased level of engagement.” Espinosa was awarded a Site License to Kids Discover Online for her entire school.
Second place went to Amy Cramer of South Park Elementary School in Pennsylvania. Cramer’s lesson, involving students using engineering skills to build a monument for a person they admire, won her three educator subscriptions to Kids Discover Online, plus the Kids Discover print collection.
“Cross-curricular lessons create a flexible framework for learning that enables students to focus on the big ideas and essential questions and to consequently use multiple skill sets to solve problems instead of being boxed in by preconceived notions that one content area will provide the best solutions,” Cramer said.
Third place winner Kelly Grant Horrocks from DeWitt Middle School in New York was awarded a $300 credit towards Kids Discover print and digital products. Horrocks’s lesson plan explored how government, economy, and social structures developed differently across cultures according to their environment. Horrocks not only implements cross-curricular lessons in her classroom, but also collaborates with other teachers.
“I work with an ELA, science, and math teacher who all see the benefit of having a theme running through all our classes that is transparent to the students,” she said. “We decide on similar languages and approaches and focus on the same theme in these integrated units. It is by far the best and most effective teaching method I know.”
All three winning lessons are now available for other teachers on the Kids Discover website.
About Kids Discover
For more than 25 years, Kids Discover has been creating beautifully crafted nonfiction products for kids. With a specialty in science and social studies, the team of talented writers, award-winning designers and illustrators, and subject experts from leading institutions is committed to a single mission: to get children excited about reading and learning. For information, please visit KidsDiscover.com.
Epson Wins Two 2016 Tech & Learning Awards of Excellence
The DC-21 Document Camera and PowerLite 97H Projector Help Enable a Highly Engaging Teaching and Learning Experience
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Nov. 10, 2016 – Epson, the number-one selling projector brand worldwide, has won two Tech & Learning Awards of Excellence. Both the DC-21 document camera and the PowerLite® 97H projector were selected as winners by a panel of judges in the New Products category. The award program, now in its 34th year, honors both new and upgraded innovative software, hardware, network, app, and web products that have proven to be helpful educator tools. To view the entire list of this year’s winners, click here.
The DC-21 document camera enables educators to create engaging lessons for students using multimedia objects such as books, pictures, 3D objects, and more. Its advanced features – HD 1080p resolution, large imaging sensor, 12x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom, microscope adapter, and audio and video recording capabilities – give teachers the flexibility to explore more during their lessons while providing students with high-quality images and audio.
The PowerLite 97H is part of a suite of easy-to-use projectors that have a lamp life up to 10,000 hours1 to help teachers engage with students and deliver dynamic lessons. The PowerLite 97H offers 2,700 lumens of color brightness and 2,700 lumens of white brightness2, XGA resolution, two HDMI ports for enriched high definition viewing, a built-in 16-watt speaker, and a microphone input. It also offers Multi PC Projection with Moderator device management software3 enabling teachers to wirelessly connect up to 50 devices and share4 students’ work from up to four device screens simultaneously, including computers, Chromebooks and iOS® and Android™ tablets and phones.
“The judges reviewing the entries actually reviewed the DC-21 and the PowerLite 97H together,” said Jason Meyer, senior product manager, Projectors, Epson America, Inc. “Coupling our best document camera with a one of our high-quality classroom projectors showed the judges how easy, yet powerful, this technology can be in the classroom.”
As a leader in innovation and partnership, Epson also offers the Brighter Futures® program, a unique sales and support initiative available specifically for schools. Designed to help educators select and implement the best products for their classrooms while making the most of their budgets, Brighter Futures offers special pricing, extended Epson limited warranty coverage for three years, dedicated education account managers, and toll-free technical support for all Epson projectors and associated accessories.
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.
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 73,000 employees in 91 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 (instagram.com/EpsonAmerica).
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1 ECO Mode is up to 10,000 hours. Normal Mode is up to 5000 hours. Lamp life will vary depending upon mode selected, environmental conditions and usage. Lamp brightness decreases over time.
2 Color brightness (color light output) and white brightness (white light output) will vary depending on usage conditions. Color light output measured in accordance with IDMS 15.4; white light output measured in accordance with ISO 21118.
3 Moderator feature is part of EasyMP® Multi-PC Projection software.
4 Check your owner’s manual to determine if a wireless LAN module must be purchased separately to enable wireless connection on your Epson projector. Epson projectors can be networked either through the Ethernet port on the projector (check model specifications for availability) or via a wireless connection. Not all Epson projectors are able to be networked. Availability varies depending on model.
Note: EPSON, EasyMP, and PowerLite are registered trademarks and EPSON Exceed Your Vision is a registered logomark of Seiko Epson Corporation. Brighter Futures is a registered trademark of Epson America. All other product brand names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Epson disclaims any and all rights in these marks.
BOSTON, Nov. 14, 2016 — As education continues shifting towards digital learning, teachers have grown to depend on technology platforms and services to support instruction. Lexia Learning, an award-winning provider of literacy assessment and instructional tools for K-12 students, today announced it has been recognized by THE Journal’s 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards as the most valuable technology provider in K-12 classrooms. Nominated by educators across the U.S., Lexia earned platinum standing, surpassing all other solutions, in the categories of Most Valuable Technology in Schools, Best Reading Program and Best Adaptive/Personalized Learning Tool. Readers also selected Lexia as one of the top three technologies currently used in schools.
For the full release, click here.