Free Virtual Field Trip to be Live-Streamed in Classrooms Nationwide


SILVER SPRING, Md. (January 19, 2017) The NFL and American Heart Association, together with Discovery Education, will host the first-ever AHA-NFL PLAY 60 Challenge Virtual Field Trip (VFT) live from Houston on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 12 PM CT from the NFL Experience Driven by Genesis. The free virtual experience will be live-streamed in classrooms across the country, reaching thousands of students. Houston Texans players WHITNEY MERCILUS and CHRISTIAN COVINGTON and the American Heart Association’s MERCEDES CARNETHON, Ph.D. will teach students the science behind cardio and strength exercises that NFL players use to stay fit and active. The hour-long session will also feature a Q&A, a physical activity session designed for a classroom setting and a behind-the-scenes look at the Houston Texans practice facility and Houston’s Health Museum.


“The NFL is always seeking ways to innovate the PLAY 60 campaign and get kids active and healthy through the use of modern technology. We are excited to work with the American Heart Association and Discovery Education to provide new resources to classrooms nationwide to make physical activity easy and fun,” said NFL Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility ANNA ISAACSON. “The VFT is an example of how to creatively use technology and digital resources to teach students the importance of a healthy lifestyle.”


The NFL and the American Heart Association teamed in 2006 to create the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge to meet the American Heart Association’s recommendation of at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Research has shown that physical activity leads to increased academic performance, and that in-classroom physical activity breaks improve cognitive skills and classroom behavior.


“Our collaboration with the NFL and Discovery Education helps to instill knowledge and healthy habits in young audiences in diverse populations across the country,” said Chief Medical Officer for Prevention at the American Heart Association EDUARDO SANCHEZ, M.D. “Prevention is key to improving cardiovascular health and reducing heart disease and its risk factors, and engaging children in fun programs like The NFL PLAY 60 Challenge is a strategy to start early to get kids to be physically active and to help build future generations of adults with good health.”


In addition to the Virtual Field Trip, the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge includes lesson plans that help teachers explain the impact of physical activity on health and wellness, a series of quick workout videos featuring Washington Redskins’ player RYAN KERRIGAN and fun activities designed to get the entire family up and moving.


“A student’s health and wellbeing can have a tremendous impact on their classroom performance,” said Senior Vice President, Discovery Education LORI MCFARLING.  “Discovery Education is pleased to partner with the American Heart Association and National Football League to bring this event to schools nationwide, as it provides educators an engaging ‘teachable moment’ in which they can discuss with their students the importance of physical activity and the great impact it has on all areas of their lives.”


For more information about the upcoming Virtual Field Trip or the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge, visit To register for the Virtual Field Trip, please visit


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About NFL PLAY 60:

For nearly a decade, NFL PLAY 60 has brought together the NFL’s long-standing commitment to health and fitness with partner organizations to increase physical activity among youth. Since the program was launched in 2007, the NFL has committed more than $325 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for public service announcements.  The NFL and its teams have constructed more than 200 NFL Youth Fitness Zones and integrated programs into more than 73,000 schools since the campaign launched. NFL PLAY 60 is also implemented locally, as part of the NFL’s in-school, after-school and team-based programs. For more information, visit


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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


bulb Named Bett Award Finalist for ICT Tools for Teaching, Learning and Assessment – Classroom Aids

Winners to be announced during the conference in London on January 25, 2017


(Austin, TX) January 19, 2017 – bulb, a leading provider of digital portfolios for the education marketplace, is thrilled to announce that its flagship solution has been named a finalist in the 2017 Bett Awards, in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Tools for Teaching, Learning and Assessment – Classroom Aids category. Currently, educators in more than 70 countries across the globe are using bulb.


The Bett Awards, one of the industry’s highest accolades, are a showcase of creativity and innovation in the field of educational technology. The mission of the awards is to recognize, reward, and promote excellent resources and companies that provide educators with information, ideas, and inspiration fundamental to the learning process. Every year, winners of the Bett Award are those resources and companies that have proven to excel in ICT provision and support for nurseries, schools, and colleges.


bulb’s online student portfolios collect student work in one convenient place for teacher review. The clean and consistent format and targeted commenting system makes grading and feedback painless, and the drag-and-drop interface lets students upload experiments, reports, and art projects in no time—or create them from scratch. Portfolios are multimedia, so students can upload text, Pinterest photos and YouTube videos or embed PDFs, Word files, or documents from Google Drive. Teachers can also use bulb to upload lessons and demos to share with students.


“We built bulb to create knowledge. In other words, bulb allows users to curate content and then refine those ideas into useable knowledge and ultimately showcase the results to an audience,” said Eric Goldreyer, CEO and co-founder of bulb. “Most importantly, bulb is your very own and is designed to make your hard work look amazing.”


With bulb, students have access to their work free of charge, even after they graduate. Work is automatically saved online, and can be organized into collections based on student needs. This means students are building beautiful portfolios of their work without even realizing it. bulb can be used in any subject, creating a tangible demonstration of personalized, integrated learning, relevant to wherever a student’s path takes them in life.


“bulb has changed my students’ educational experience, as they can now use this site as evidence of an online portfolio when they apply to universities in their future,” said Mandy Bartell from the Nanjing Foreign Language School in China. “bulb is easy to navigate and, best of all, it is set up for portfolios when so many sites are set up for blogs and websites.”


About bulb

bulb is an ed-tech company specializing in digital portfolios. bulb is committed to the discipline of learning and the craft of teaching; we believe that technology should enhance and accelerate both rather than detract from them. bulb is the place where students and educators curate, create, share, and showcase their smarts. bulb understands that form follows function so we not only make bulb pleasing to the eye, we also make it super easy to use. At its essence, bulb is where ideas are cultivated into amazing work, which can be shared and refined over a lifetime. For more information, visit


IO Education Partners with Vanderbilt University to Service and Improve the VAL-ED Leadership Evaluation System

Vanderbilt University selects IO Education to assume servicing and future development of the Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education (VAL-ED) school leadership evaluation system

ATLANTA – Jan. 19, 2017 – IO Education announces today that it has formed a strategic relationship with Vanderbilt University to assume distribution rights for the Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education (VAL-ED) school leadership evaluation system and began servicing and supporting existing customers as of January 1, 2017. IO Education will offer the VAL-ED tool to districts nation-wide to support their efforts in increasing principal effectiveness, a research-based prerequisite for improving educational outcomes. Using VAL-ED will also help states and districts qualify for Title I and Title II funds for principal professional learning.

VAL-ED is a research-based evaluation tool that measures the effectiveness of school leaders by use of a 360-degree, evidence-based, multi-rater assessment protocol focused on learning-centered leadership behaviors that influence teachers, staff, and most importantly, student achievement.
To read the full release, please click here.
Acumen Partners Announces Appointment of Industry Veteran, Ed                                  Kisman as New Principal Advisor

Kisman will play leading role in Acumen Partners growth strategy with a data-driven approach to sales

(Manhattan, KS) January 19, 2017 — Acumen Partners, the leader in data-driven advising for small to mid-sized organizations, announced today that Ed Kisman joined the firm as Principal Advisor. He joins a growing team of respected experts and will be a complement to Acumen Partner’s expanded focus on helping companies take a data-driven approach to sales and providing their revenue team with powerful tools for growth.

“Ed will play a key role in executing on our growth strategy as we continue our evolution to Acumen 3.0. He is a proven leader and industry veteran who will help our clients put greater focus on maximizing the capacity and success of their revenue teams,” said Steve Rowley, Acumen Partners, CEO and Founder. “As organizations evolve they need to make sure they are leaning forward with a comprehensive understanding of their mission, markets, message, people, capacity and competition. Acumen begins every client engagement by using our proprietary technology called DataSlice™ which quickly analyzes stakeholder and market data to define each of these items and highlight strengths and challenges. We move forward with our clients by ensuring that the focus is on short-term, mission critical activities with an eye on long-term success. Ed’s experience across geographies and multi-product technology sales and leadership will be a major asset for Acumen and for our clients.”

Kisman brings to Acumen Partners his 30 years of leadership experience in the professional services and technology sector in companies that offer digital content, library and inventory media systems and classroom audio solutions. Kisman has held executive roles across the spectrum. Beginning in 2002 he served as Vice President of Sales for Follett Software Company, a leading educational solution provider, where he received numerous awards for excellence. Kisman also provided his expertise to Apex Learning and Rourke Educational Media, which are actively challenging students to learn while supporting differential student learning.

Kisman’s skills in rebuilding sales organizations and their sales process has been deepened by his most recent position as Vice President of Sales for FrontRow, a leading Integrated Campus Communication Solution provider. “Ed is a dynamic business leader who takes a hands-on approach and has a track record of executing and driving measurable results,” said Michael Campbell, Vice President, Client Development at Acumen Partners. “He is also a proven leader of highly successful teams. Ed brings bench strength as Acumen’s experts work as a team to meet our client’s business needs. We are excited to have him join us as he is excellent at providing executive coaching and will serve as a strong mentor for other consultants.”

In a statement about his new role, Kisman explains why he is looking forward to joining Acumen Partners, “They are excellent at using data to help companies recognize and acknowledge their potential of shared revenue goals and sales objectives with the promise of quicker and faster results…all while increasing capacity across the organization. Using Acumen’s real-time database and DataSlice technology we can help clients navigate successfully through identified points of high risk with a proven roadmap. I chose to become part of the Acumen Partners team because the combination of their 360° Baseline Assessment, strong partnerships, and a committed team of experts puts us in a strong position in the advising and consulting market as we help clients to more quickly realize their opportunities.”

For more information about Acumen Partners, visit


About Acumen Partners Acumen Partners is a data-driven advisory firm that is committed to guiding leaders to more accurately gauge their market position, target mission-critical actions and achieve better-than-market results. Acumen works with companies at all points in their lifecycle, from seed to start-up to growth and beyond. Acumen’s DataSlice™ solution, using real-time market data and executive team insights, enables our advisors and consultants to assess your company and provide a 90-day plan of action…always with an eye on the mission and long-term goals. Acumen’s team of experienced advisors and consultants will help you realize the shortest path to strategic success by ensuring that your company is doing the right things in their day-to-day business operations, the right way and with an optimized team. To learn more, please


Executive Preparatory Academy of Finance is Making History in Gardena with

100% Graduation and 100% 4-Year College Acceptance for

All Students in the Senior Class of 2017


Gardena, CA – January 18, 2017 – Executive Preparatory Academy of Finance (EPAF), a nonprofit public charter high school in Gardena, announced today that they are making history with one hundred percent graduation and one hundred percent early acceptance into four-year colleges or universities for all students in the senior class of 2017. It is a remarkable achievement to reach this milestone goal in only the fourth year of operation with their first class of seniors – including many students who began their high school careers in the 9th grade when EPAF launched in 2013.


Although many prominent education advocates expected the fledgling charter school to fail, EPAF is proving them wrong with the leadership and guidance of Founder and CEO, Omar McGee. He is responsible for working together with some of Los Angeles’ best educators to specially design the school’s innovative curriculum which has generated groundbreaking results. “This year every Executive Prep senior will not only graduate high school, they’re all currently choosing which institutions of higher learning to attend next fall. This was the goal we’ve worked towards since we opened our doors, and our kids have surpassed all expectations,” boasts Mr. McGee.


EPAF is the only Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) public charter high school in a Mester system, also known as a Four by Four Block schedule, which shortens the class schedule to 4 periods a day and extends the length of class from 50 minutes to 90 minutes. Students are exposed to accelerated learning while receiving the individual attention needed to comprehend and advance through rigorous curriculum, in classrooms with an average of 20 students. There is a special focus on financial literacy, entrepreneurship and community, along with STEM learning across subjects. Empowering students with the use of technology in the classroom has been essential to enabling EPAF students to learn more in two Mesters than a regular public school covers in an entire year.


The average test scores in English, math and science have improved in all grade levels for consecutive years and EPAF is academically outperforming other schools in the South Los Angeles area. There is now more than three years of data that clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of EPAF’s educational program, which is focused on serving kids located in an area known for having the lowest graduation rate in all of LAUSD. Students attending EPAF come from the surrounding neighborhoods of Watts, Inglewood, Compton, South Central and Hawthorne because they want a new opportunity to succeed in high school and beyond. Success has been contagious among EPAF students with almost the entire school making the honor roll, thus earning EPAF the official designation of an Honor Society School.


Every student on EPAF’s campus has become a success story because each one is overcoming their own unique obstacles. Whether dealing with behavioral issues and not caring about school, to starting the 9th grade with a 2ndgrade reading level, these kids have become thriving students engaged in the learning process. They are no longer bored and disinterested in subject matter; instead they’re enjoying every bit of their high school experience. There are several students who have even turned class projects into revenue generating businesses, including a mobile barber shop and Layed Hair Company, a hair accessories shop with a storefront on El Segundo Boulevard.


Mr. McGee credits the success of EPAF to the dedication of teachers and staff along with the commitment from students and parents. Together they have created a positive learning environment where all students have the ability and opportunity to succeed. “I am so proud of all of our students. We are a family that supports each other whether in class or outside of school,” says Mr. McGee. Evidence of this authentic interaction can be seen in all of the social media posts and photos the school shares. There are only more good things to come in the New Year at Executive Prep Academy of Finance as everyone is looking forward to continued success and an extraordinary graduation ceremony in June 2017.


About Executive Preparatory Academy of Finance

Executive Preparatory Academy of Finance (EPAF) is a Los Angeles based nonprofit public charter high school with a focus on closing the financial literacy gap within the minority community. Executive Prep Academy’s mission is to provide a high-quality and extensive college-preparatory educational experience to youth that results in our students succeeding in college, and ultimately in their professional careers.


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