The Learning Counsel Releases the Results of its 2016 National Digital Curriculum Strategy Survey
86% of schools expect to spend more on digital curriculum in 2017
(Sacramento, CA) December 21, 2016 — The Learning Counsel today released the results of its third annual Survey of school and district digital curriculum strategy and transformation, sponsored by Ruckus Wireless. A total of 708 U.S. schools and districts responded to the national Survey, which showed a primary point of attention by schools now is on teacher effectiveness in the implementation of digital curriculum.
The survey found that 78% of students nationally have access to a computing device for a good portion of the school day or the full school day. It also forecasts that district spending on hardware, networks, and major system software will see a slight increase in 2017, rising to $16.2 billion.
The top three digital device trends the survey found were the following: 1) tablets are losing popularity; 2) Chromebooks have had the most significant gain in popularity, a trend that is likely to continue; and 3) there is no agreement among schools about the best device based on the age of the student. Further, even though schools cite 79–91% network coverage in classrooms and common areas, it’s not enough to support the burgeoning use of digital curriculum. The networks are considered “unreliable” by most teachers.
The Survey found that 86% of schools and districts expect to be spending more on digital curriculum in the new year. 56% of respondents say teachers already use 50-75% paid resources over free open-education resources for their digital learning objects. However, billions in spending on curriculum overall has yet to move from paper textbooks into digital: 80% of respondents said district curriculum budgets still haven’t shifted from paper-based resources.
2016 was also the highest year on record for digital curriculum spending. A 25% jump was due to years of non-adoption of textbooks in several states, causing more digital acquisitions at the same time that the market reached an inflection point of saturation of devices.
Out of $9 billion in total K-12 digital curriculum spending, the market “flipped” by an estimated $2 billion to be weighted more in organizational spending than individual teacher spending for the first time. This is one of many signs the market is maturing.
LeiLani Cauthen, CEO and publisher of the Learning Counsel, said that the survey was developed as a tool to evaluate national trends in how digital transitions are happening, particularly from the view of software sophistication and its impact on device and network infrastructure. “Beyond providing all of education with that national view, it is an invaluable tool for every school and district to use to self-assess,” Cauthen said.
Kahle Charles, the Executive Director of Curriculum at St. Vrain Valley Schools, commented, “As our district was transitioning to digital content, it was critical to conduct a needs assessment early in the program planning and development process. The Learning Counsel’s Assessment Tool and Survey proved to be a valuable aide in this process. Through the survey, we were able to understand the extent of our digital content implementation, identify the gaps in our implementation of digital content, and gather the information about next steps in our action plan. This also provided a great opportunity to engage current staff members in the planning and implementation process.”
About the Learning Counsel
The Learning Counsel is a mission-based organization focused on helping education professionals in the K-12 sector gain research and context on the shift to digital curriculum. For more information, please visit TheLearningCounsel.com.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (December 20, 2016) — Today’s educators are facing the challenge of closing the wide achievement gap related to poverty among K-12 students. C8 Sciences, distributor of a sophisticated brain training program used to help students improve thinking skills, and thus academic performance, announces its findings that low-income students achieve significant improvements in math and reading scores when the ACTIVATE program is used in their classroom.
For the full release, click here.
New Soundtrap Apps Unveiled for Collaborative Music and Podcast Recording on iOS and Android Devices
First Music and Podcast Collaborative and Recording App for Android and iOS
Palo Alto, Calif. — December 21, 2016 – After seeing its online music and podcast recording studio explode to a million users in 2016, Soundtrap today is launching app versions of its compelling technology for Android and iOS devices. The first music solution of its kind that enables users to find and collaborate with people from all over the world on all leading platforms, the Soundtrap online recording studio can now be accessed through an app, which is downloaded from the Google and Apple app stores with one click. In addition, the new apps have notification features that notify users when others want to collaborate with them.
“Music making is important to the younger people who are flocking to Soundtrap and we see collaborative, creative activities as a growing kind of social behavior. With Soundtrap, multiple friends can be working on the same song, at the same time, from multiple types of devices from around the globe – it enables a completely new form of participatory creations to take form,” said Soundtrap CEO Per Emanuelsson. “We’ve added new features in our apps like ‘quick record’ for recording ideas, songs or recordings on-the-go that in real time are accessible to all other devices a user owns though the cloud.”
The Soundtrap app for Android platforms will be the first music app of its kind in the Google Play app store that allows collaborative music making. Such capabilities are also missing in Apple’s Garageband recording studio which, in addition, only works on Apple devices. Compared to other solutions, users can be up and running on Soundtrap in minutes.
Soundtrap provides users with the most compelling, simple online studio for real-time audio, podcast or music collaboration and is also known for producing professional-sounding recordings. As in the website version, the new apps will give users access to over 200 virtual instruments, over 2,700 royalty-free loops and 25 real-time effects, including Antares Auto-Tune→. The platform has a chat window where collaborators can work together in real time and create fully formed songs or podcasts with drums, loops, bass and synthesizers. The android app also offers video chatting capabilities when collaborating with friends using Soundtrap on other android or computer devices.
The education market has resonated with Soundtrap – schools across the country are using it as a productive learning tool. The product was named “The Best Website for Teaching and Learning 2015” by the American Association of School Librarians and has been included in Google for Education’s “Creative Apps for Chromebooks” program. “Now those schools that use iPads rather than Chromebooks in the classroom can download the new app and get all the features otherwise not available to them until now,” said Emanuelsson. “A lot of ‘iPad schools’ have been waiting for this app to be released so they can get all the benefits of Soundtrap on their devices, such as recording vocals.”
The new Soundtrap applications are available now. Pricing available here: https://www.soundtrap.com/pricing
Soundtrap is the first online music recording studio to work across all operating systems, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows and Chromebook, where you collaborate with music makers from all around the world in an easy-to-use browser, cloud-based system. Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, birthplace of many successful music tech startups such as Spotify, Soundcloud, Tidal and Beats Music, the company also has an officein Silicon Valley. Soundtrap provides an easy-to-use platform for all levels of musical interest and ability and is being used by the K-12 through higher-education markets. For more information, visit: www.soundtrap.com.
Soundtrap Education video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ViLQD_2RK4
Soundtrap photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/97627992@N07/sets/72157654452327362
Pricing information: www.soundtrap.com/pricing.