SIIA Announces Nomination Period for 2017 Ed Tech CODiE Awards
34 Categories Available for Entry in Peer-Reviewed Awards Program 

WASHINGTON, DC (December 5, 2016) – SIIA, the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, announces the nomination period for the 2017 SIIA CODiE Awards. Applications, products and services from developers of educational software, digital content, online learning services and related technologies across the education sector are invited to apply.

This year’s program features 34 education categories, several of which are new or updated to reflect the latest industry trends and business models. All entries also qualify for the top overall education solution which is awarded to one product or solution during an in-person ceremony in July at the Education Industry Summit.

For the complete list of categories, read the full news release here

The Virtual High School Announces  

New Computer Science Initiative


New VHS computing certificate program announced as part of White House

Computer Science for All initiative


Boston — Dec. 5, 2016 — “Computer science (CS) is a necessary skill in our technology-based society, but unfortunately not all students are aware of the computer science options available to them,” said Carol Ribeiro, President and CEO of The Virtual High School (VHS, Inc.). “My high school computer science education helped me select my college major and define my career path. Now, through The Virtual High School and the White House Computer Science for All initiative (#CSForAll), all students can have opportunities that lead to exciting career choices in computing.”


VHS is pleased to announce a new computing certificate program to celebrate Computer Science Education Week (#CSEdWeek). The Virtual High School’s new program was also announced in the White House Fact Sheet, released today, highlighting actions in support of #CSForAll.


The new VHS computing certificate program will encourage students across the US to become interested in computing and to better understand the career options available to them in CS and related fields. The program complements other recent VHS computer science initiatives. In fall 2016, the organization launched AP® Computer Science Principles, an introductory college-level computer science course designed for all students in grades 10-12, not just those interested in STEM subjects. VHS was among the first online providers in the United States to offer this College Board-approved course.


The Virtual High School is also a member of the non-profit CSforAll Consortium whose goal is to expand access to computer science education for all students. The CSforAll Consortium provides a central location for access to computer science education providers, schools, funders and researchers.


“We’re pleased to build new partnerships and expand the ways in which we help students acquire critical thinking and problem solving skills through computer science,” said Ribeiro. “Through the White House #CSforAll initiative and the CSforAll Consortium VHS is privileged to work with a dedicated group of people and organizations helping ensure all students regardless of their geography, gender, or economic circumstance, have access to computer science education.”


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, or call (978) 897-1900.


Muscogee County School District in Georgia Expands Partnership with Achieve3000  


Achieve3000, the Leader in Differentiated Instruction®, has helped Title I students in 13 schools make significant and substantive gains in vocabulary, reading comprehension, and total reading skills.


LAKEWOOD, N.J. Dec. 5, 2016 – After successfully implementing Achieve3000’s literacy solutions in 13 of the district’s lowest-performing Title I elementary, middle and high schools, Muscogee County School District (MCSD) in Columbus, Georgia, will expand its implementation to include 21 additional schools. Participating schools will receive Achieve3000’s 24/7 differentiated, blended instruction for students, teaching resources and blended professional development for educators, real-time data dashboard for administrators, and robust home support for parents and guardians.

“For the next three years, Achieve3000 and the MCSD will work together to accelerate learning and put more students on track for college and career success,” said David F. Lewis, Ed.D., Superintendent of Education, Muscogee County School District. “Students who participated in our district’s Achieve3000 pilot program as recommended realized significant overall Lexile gains that allowed us to accelerate their literacy instruction. As a result, our district expanded the use of Acieve3000 to schools throughout our district this school year.”

Over the 2015-16 school year, students who worked with Achieve3000’s literacy solutions, KidBizPro® for grades 2-5, TeenBizPro® for grades 6-8, and EmpowerPro® for grades 9-12 (Pro) saw significant literacy gains. Schools where studentscompleted at least 40 reading activities (on average once per week) with the Achieve3000 Pro Georgia Edition saw the greatest growth, outperforming schools that weren’t using Achieve3000 by an average of 74 Lexile® points. Schools where students completed less than 40 activities also saw improved literacy gains, more so than non-using schools, exceeding the latter by an average of 14 points.

In addition, a July 30 story in the area’s local newspaper, the “Ledge-Enquirer,” reported that MCSD outperformed the three other districts in Georgia’s second-tier cities on the 2015 and 2016 Georgia Milestones Assessment System. MCSD narrowed the gap between its test scores and the state averages on 12 tests this year:

  • third-grade English language arts, science, and social studies
  • fourth-grade science and social studies
  • fifth-grade English language arts, math, science, and social studies
  • seventh-grade science
  • eighth-grade social studies
  • high school biology

Except for fifth-grade math, those tests covered areas in which MCSD uses Pro solutions, which are designed for English language arts, science, and social studies classrooms with a mix of student abilities or diverse student populations. MCSD’s Pro Georgia Edition is further customized to support mastery of Georgia’s grade-level standards and give students regular and targeted practice for the Georgia Milestones assessments.

“We are very excited to partner with a district as dedicated to 21st-century learning and student success as Muscogee County School District,” said Saki Dodelson, CEO and founder of Achieve3000. “We share their commitment to improving literacy achievement for all learners. By meeting kids at their precise reading level at 12 levels in English and 7 in Spanish, our blended, differentiated instruction solutions help all students accelerate their reading growth and get on track for college and career success. It’s been proven that students who use our solutions regularly make double to triple the expected reading gains in a single school year. We’re looking forward to collaborating with the innovative educators at Muscogee County Schools to meet and exceed their literacy goals for every student in the years to come.”

The Muscogee County School District, which serves approximately 32,000 students, is located in Central Georgia Region. Under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. David Lewis, the district is in the middle of a five-year strategic plan to improve reading and literacy, numeracy, science and social studies skills while actively engaging students and teachers. The plan started in 2012, when the district began to develop a comprehensive academic model that prepares every student for the demands of the 21st-century work force.

An integral part of the district’s plan is Achieve3000’s Pro literacy solutions. By differentiating the same grade-appropriate content at 12 reading levels in English and seven in Spanish, and providing robust scaffolds for struggling students and English language learners, Pro extends teachers’ reach without increasing workloads or time demands. At the same time, Achieve3000’s proprietary adaptive content system continually monitors each student’s reading performance and automatically increases the level of text complexity when it detects that an individual is ready for more challenge, steadily moving students up level by level. In addition, because Achieve3000’s solutions are cloud-based, students can use their digital devices to access Pro anytime and anywhere – even without an Internet connection.

Pro offers a library of more than 10,000 nonfiction science and social studies lessons. Each lesson delivers students the grade-level disciplinary knowledge and academic vocabulary they need to succeed across the entire curriculum, tailored to each student’s precise reading level. Lessons give students unmatched access to content-area instruction by providing both a high-interest article on a contemporary topic and an academic background text to unlock understanding, all written at a student’s individual Lexile® reading level. Students then “stretch” their skills by reading a version of the same lesson written with grade-level text complexity, building the stamina and strength they need for the Georgia Milestones assessments. Plus, with new lessons added weekly, the program’s standards-aligned strategic curriculum gives educators both the content-area topics and literacy scaffolds needed to help students with reading strategy development, building the academic vocabulary, critical-thinking skills, and evidence-based writing abilities needed for college and career readiness.

“We have a long-standing track record of accelerating reading gains for all students,” said Dodelson. “This marks our 15th school year in meeting kids one-on-one, at their individual reading levels, and preparing them for college and career success. We’re thrilled that Muscogee County district leaders have expanded the use of Achieve3000 so we can continue to show the positive and dramatic impact our solutions have on student learning outcomes.”

About Achieve3000, Inc.

Achieve3000 is the leader in online differentiated literacy instruction, serving over two million students worldwide. For nearly 15 years, the company has been reaching students at their individual reading levels to deliver significant learning gains, with many making double to triple the expected gains in a single school year. Based on decades of scientific research, Achieve3000’s solutions – Smarty Ants (for grades PreK-1), KidBiz3000 (for grades 2-5), TeenBiz3000 (for grades 6-8), Empower3000 (for grades 9-12), Spark3000 (for adult learners), and eScience3000 (for grades 6-8) – support core curriculum, Response to Intervention, English language learner, and special education instructional models as well as 21st-century education initiatives. From learning how to read to workforce readiness, Achieve3000 empowers all learners to develop the college and career literacy skills needed for academic, professional, and personal success. The company is based in Lakewood, N.J. Learn more about Achieve3000 online at or by calling 888-968-6822.






CSNYC To Support Series of Computer Science Career Events

for New York City Students and Teachers



NEW YORK, NY (December 5, 2016)—Students and teachers from the New York City Department of Education schools will be hands-on participants at various career-minded events supported by CSNYC in celebration of Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek), the annual program dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take an interest in computer science (CS). Participating organizations include CB Insights, Knewton, Mount Sinai, Facebook and Morgan Stanley.


Originally conceived by the Computing in the Core coalition and held in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, CSEdWeek is a grassroots campaign supported by 350 partners and 100,000 educators worldwide.


As part of the weeklong celebration, CSNYC, the nonprofit organization that aims to ensure all New York City public school students have access to high-quality CS education, is organizing a series of events showcasing how computer science is used not only in technology companies, but also across industries including health care, finance, entertainment and education.


CSNYC’s commitments to building a robust ecosystem for CS education in NYC are detailed in the White House fact sheet released today, at



CSNYC – the New York City Foundation for Computer Science Education – continues its commitment to building a robust ecosystem for CS education in the NYC public schools. In addition to supporting the city’s 10-year Computer Science for All initiative to reach all 1.1 million students, CSNYC commits to: grow the CSNYC Education Meetup to 2000 members; engage 100 local technology companies in the CS Opportunity Fair for high school students studying CS, in partnership with Microsoft TEALS, in March 2017; convene schools of education at ten NY institutions to support development of new preservice and in-service CS teacher training programs; host a convening of 60 CS education researchers at the Knowledge Forum in April 2017.


Michael Preston, Executive Director of CSNYC, said, “Providing our public school students with meaningful access to computer science is a community effort. In addition to the great work happening in schools across the city, we rely on our industry partners to demonstrate how they put CS to work every day to solve problems and make great, solution-oriented products.”


“With a K–12 Computer Science Framework now firmly in place — an important milestone in CS education — this year’s celebration takes on even greater significance,” said Pat Yongpradit, Chief Academic Officer at “Our community has made great strides in the past year getting CS into our nation’s classrooms, and this year’s CSEdWeek will help highlight some of those accomplishments with the help of local companies and organizations.”


CSNYC-supported events include:

Tuesday, December 6

CB Insights, a technology company that aggregates and analyzes massive amounts of data to help corporations answer questions with probability, will present on “How Data Scientists Solve Problems” via a workshop to 45 New York City public middle and high school teachers. Teachers will engage with real data sets in order to answer questions about the phenomena represented by the data.


CB Insights CEO Anand Sanwal said, “As we think about the industries and opportunities of the future, it’s clear that computer science education is critical. We are excited to be supporting the great work CSNYC is doing to make this happen and look forward to seeing the next generation of great scientists and entrepreneurs coming out of NYC.”


Wednesday, December 7

Knewton, a leader in adaptive learning products, will discuss big data, adaptive learning, and computer science with 15 high school students from the Academy of Software Engineering.


Thursday, December 8

Representatives from Mount Sinai Health Systems will discuss the tech and data needs of a large and growing health care system, as well provide an overview of health care system technology careers. Twenty-five students from Inwood Early College for Health and Information Technologies will meet with key Divisions focused on technology solutions and participate in Q&A.


Tuesday, December 13

Facebook invites 35 students from the Bronx Academy of Software Engineering and 35 students from Bayside High School to learn about career pathways and the social network giant’s latest products and projects from AI to infra to Oculus through interactive demos and Q&A.


Wednesday, December 14

Morgan Stanley invites 34 students from the Young Women’s Leadership Network School to participate in an interactive career day event, providing hands-on learning about career opportunities for women in technology and a tour of the firm’s cybersecurity center that features advanced technology and a collaborative workspace.



CSNYC is a nonprofit founded in 2013 to ensure that all of New York City’s 1.1 million public school students have access to a high-quality computer science education that puts them on a pathway to college and career success. CSNYC is the City of New York’s partner in CS4All: a 10-year initiative to train 4,775 teachers and reach all 1,700 public schools.