Impero Software Wins 2017 Bett Awards EdTech Exporter of the Year
Impero Software wins for its incredible growth in the U.S. market
Simi Valley, CA, Jan. 31, 2017 – Impero Software was named EdTech Exporter of the Year at the 19th annual Bett Awards. The prestigious ceremony, which is produced in association with the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) and coincides with the Bett Show, took place on January 25, 2017 in London. Hosted by comedian Jenny Eclair, the evening saw shortlisted companies come together to celebrate the best in education technology.
Considered the most prestigious accolade in the English EdTech industry, the Bett Awards program encourages, recognizes and rewards outstanding sector resources, learning solutions and companies. Judged by a panel of experienced educational professionals, including teachers, consultants, advisers, and high profile journalists, the two-stage judging process determined the finalists of each category, which were announced in November 2016. Finalists were then invited to attend the Jan. 25th ceremony where highly commended and winning entries were awarded.
Impero’s customer-centric U.S. strategy, which focuses on meeting the needs of the U.S. education sector, secured the award. In response to the rise of Chromebook sales in U.S. education, Impero has focused development efforts around Chrome OS functionality to ensure that the classroom management and online safety features of Impero’s flagship product, Impero Education Pro, were compatible with this device type. With this added functionality, customers can simultaneously use Impero’s software across all major platforms.
A targeted marketing plan for the U.S. announced the production of a comprehensive research paper detailing the online safety requirements specific to each state; newly formed partnerships with relevant charities and specialist organizations (including Hey Ugly, ikeepsafe, Anad, and the Institute of Digital Citizenship) to inform Impero Education Pro’s keyword detection libraries; the creation of a U.S. specific website with localized SEO, Google AdWords, weekly blogging and social media activity; and new content, including videos, whitepapers, and case studies to support integrated campaigns.
Impero also established dedicated U.S. support, sales, and account management teams operating from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time.
Impero Software’s CEO, Sam Pemberton said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have won the prestigious EdTech Exporter of the Year at the Bett Awards 2017 and to have celebrated with such an impressive and inspiring line-up of companies, which are making huge contributions to the EdTech sector. Impero is dedicated to the sector, to helping teachers teach, to providing class-leading tools to IT managers, and to safeguarding young people. Understanding the changing needs of U.S. school districts and providing compelling solutions is a top priority for our business. We are proud that our products are now used not only by 40 percent of UK schools, but in over 70 countries around the globe to enhance learning and keep students safe.”
About Impero Software
Impero Software offers remote monitoring and management software, relied upon by education establishments around the world. Founded in 2002, it is accessed via one million computers in over 70 countries. In the UK it has a 40 percent market share of UK high schools and is used by over 500 U.S. districts. Impero’s cutting edge software consolidates a range of powerful classroom, network and device management features enabling schools and colleges to reduce costs and improve both staff and student productivity. Its online safety functionality uses keyword detection technology to help schools safeguard students online.
For more information visit: www.imperosoftware.com
Coweta County School System Pilots Boxlight
Labdisc Portable STEM Labs
Select schools investigating opportunities for using data loggers to introduce inquiry-based STEM learning in a real-world framework
Lawrenceville, GA – Jan. 31, 2017 – As part of its efforts to prepare for Georgia’s new science standards and usher in a hands-on, inquiry-based approach to its classrooms, the Coweta County School System (GA) is piloting the Labdisc portable STEM lab from Boxlight. A group of science teachers, selected by the district to serve as “science ambassadors,” are evaluating the Labdiscs to see how the data loggers can be incorporated into the new-standards-related district lesson plans that the ambassadors are developing.
“The new standards focus on student performance in science so there’ll be a lot of emphasis on students’ generating data to use as evidence to support the hypotheses that they are making,” said Dr. Donald White, the district’s science content specialist. “So we’re moving away from a worksheet-driven classroom to one where we’re expecting the students to really do science.”
The district has procured seven Labdiscs, purchasing two and five from its vendor, PowerUp EDU, a Georgia-based company offering professional development and edtech solutions. Three Coweta County high schools, two middle schools and two elementary schools are each piloting a Labdisc.
White also tapped Regina Ahmann, a zoology and AP environmental science teacher at East Coweta High School, to receive a free Labdisc as part of Boxlight STEM Day on December 9. Ahmann’s students used the portable STEM lab to study the relationship between temperature and humidity in several locations around their school, in both urban and green spaces. The students will soon share their data with other schools that participated in the event from New Mexico, Arizona, as well as schools in Mexico and Guatamala.
“What I loved about this product is that it’s collecting data every second. There’s no possible way my kids could have done that with a thermometer,” Ahmann said after the event. “It’s all recorded and it makes gorgeous graphs. And you can get your big core concept across to students in a real-world framework.”
Dr. White echoed Ahmann’s enthusiasm about the real-world framework. “What we’re trying to do with the Labdisc is replicate what our students are more than likely going to see when they go out into the job market,” he said. “They’re going to be working with technology that obviously we can’t always afford to bring into the classroom, but this takes us many steps closer to actually replicating the real world in the classroom.”
Dr. White also extolled the Labdisc’s 15 built-in sensors as a cost-effective benefit for the district. “From the administrative side, I think about the number of kits that I would have to buy in order to provide Regina all the probes that one Labdisc will cover,” he said. “Regina doesn’t have to have stacks of plastic shoeboxes to put all of her thermometers because she’s got that in one device. She doesn’t have to have a box to keep all the pH meters and buffers in; it’s all right there in one place.”
“The Labdisc portable lab opens the door to inquiry-based learning in a variety of science fields, including biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science, and geography,” said Mark Elliott, CEO of Boxlight. “We’re excited to see how our technology helps Coweta County Schools develop a new version of STEM curriculum for students at different grade levels.”
About Boxlight Corp.
The merging of Mimio and Boxlight Corp. has resulted in an expansive selection of premier digital classroom technology solutions designed for every K-12 classroom. The company is integrating Boxlight’s manufacturing of patented, award-winning interactive classroom technology and Mimio’s advanced line of classroom hardware and software solutions to create the most complete line of progressive, integrated classroom technologies available on the market today.
For more information about the extensive product offerings of the companies, please visit www.boxlight.com. You can also follow us on Twitter @boxlightinc or Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/boxlightusa.
The Virtual High School AP® Student Pass Rates Surpass the National Average:
Newest Survey Highlights Rigor and Quality of VHS Online Courses
Boston — Jan. 31, 2017 — Online classrooms are effective tools for delivering rigorous instruction, complex ideas and even organizing student lab work. That’s the finding of the latest survey of schools working with The Virtual High School(VHS, Inc.), a nonprofit empowering schools with the industry’s best online learning programs. The VHS online learning model has proven so successful that 66 percent of VHS students sitting for AP® exams passed with a score of 3 or higherin 2016, exceeding the national average of 60.4 percent.
One noteworthy example is AP® Environmental Science, which involves an independent research project as well as the use of laboratory materials and equipment. VHS students’ pass rate (a score of 3 or higher) for the related AP® exam was 76.3 percent while the national average was 46 percent. Another example is AP® European History, which includes activities such as debates and role-playing through student audio recordings as well as participation in research groups using Web 2.0 information tools. That course had a pass rate of 73.7 percent compared to the national average of 54 percent. But the most significant pass gate was in AP® English Literature and Composition, which involves an independent summer assignment and had a pass rate of 90.9 percent, well above the national average of 45 percent.
“AP® Environmental Science employs a hands on lab kit, as well as the same digital tools and data sets that scientists use, to engage students in meaningful lab experiences, supporting the development of key science practices,” said Kim Spangenberg, Associate Dean of STEM at The Virtual High School. “Students follow instructions in thoughtfully-designed investigations and work independently to successfully complete their labwork, and our AP® exam results show that this approach works. “
VHS is home to one of the largest catalogs of online AP® courses, with 23 AP® offerings. Students taking VHS AP®courses connect with other students across the country and around the world in a collaborative learning environment. Throughout their studies, students from diverse backgrounds share their thoughts, experiences and opinions with peers. In addition to the hands-on lab work for science courses, VHS AP® courses offer a variety of resources for students to explore including vibrant class discussions and intriguing projects.
The VHS course catalog consists of more than 200 unique online courses. The 2016 survey of VHS participants also found a 97 percent retention rate of VHS members in the 2015-16 school year (up from 93 percent in the previous year), indicating strong educator and student satisfaction with the quality of instruction being delivered.
“One of the many benefits of our courses is that they provide a classroom experience that reflects the world that students will know beyond high school,” said Carol Ribeiro, President & CEO of VHS. “In addition to critical thinking and analytical skills, our students develop respect for different ideas, cultures and opinions because they are learning in a global classroom environment. Our online classrooms contain students from a variety of backgrounds who learn with, and from, one another and their teachers. This approach has proven results and offers students a comprehensive education that prepares them to be successful in a global society.”
About The Virtual High School
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 middle and high school online courses for students and professional development for educators. The organization also meets the unique educational needs of schools through custom course development, individualized course offerings, and support for blended learning initiatives. 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, visitwww.VHSlearning.org or call (978) 897-1900.