Council for Exceptional Children 2017 Convention & Expo to take place in Boston, April 19–22.

Thousands of educators will convene in Boston for the world’s largest special education professional development event. Arlington, Va., April 17, 2017 – Wednesday, April 19 marks the opening of the Council for Exceptional Children’s (CEC) 2017 Convention & Expo (CEC 2017) in Boston. CEC 2017 will host over 4,000 educators from around the globe, where they will gain insights and explore solutions to the most important and challenging topics facing special education today.

CEC 2017 will feature over 500 sessions and workshops highlighting the newest research and strategies in special education and the policy developments that affect teachers and their work every day. Presentations range from diversity and inclusion to universal design for learning, differentiated instruction, and positive behavioral practices. New to the convention this year are Teacher2Teacher Sessions and Learning Labs. Teacher2Teacher Sessions are opportunities for teachers to learn from each other, sharing ideas that have worked in a variety of classroom settings. Learning Labs provide an interactive, hands-on opportunity to explore products, services, and teaching concepts.

The Convention keynote speaker, Rick Guidotti, is an award-winning photographer; additional general sessions include a panel on disproportionality and culturally responsive instruction, and a celebration of 12 children and youth receiving CEC’s Yes I Can award. CEC is an international professional education association dedicated to advancing the success of children with exceptionalities through advocacy, standards, and professional development.

Learn more about CEC at


Roberto Rivera Joins 7 Mindsets Leadership Team

Rivera is the founder of The Good Life Organization, which 7 Mindsets recently acquired


(Roswell, GA) April 18, 2017 — 7 Mindsets, the national leader in mindsets-based social and emotional learning, is excited to announce its new Chief Empowerment Officer, Roberto Rivera, along with the acquisition of The Good Life Organization (TGLO). Throughout 2017, The Good Life Organization’s curriculum, Fulfill the Dream, will be integrated into the 7 Mindsets Academy Portal. Both curricula can be used in schools, after-school programs, faith-based settings, and other community programs.


Roberto Rivera is a pre-doctoral Fellow with the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Research Group at the University of Illinois at Chicago, specializing in the relationship of youth voice to social and emotional learning. As a Research Collaborator for CASEL, he studies the intersection of SEL, culturally relevant pedagogy, and youth voice.


As a teen, Roberto was labeled an “at-risk” and “disadvantaged” student with learning disabilities. As an adult, he overcame these labels and completed his college degree at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he created his own major entitled “Social Change, Youth Culture and the Arts.” Today, he holds a master’s degree in Youth Development with a focus on Social Justice, Urban Education, and Hip-hop from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has received awards from former President Bill Clinton and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin.


“I’m delighted to join the 7 Mindsets team,” said Rivera. “My role will involve connecting research and practice in a way that expands the empirical base of our approach, while evolving a model that transforms schools and communities in the process.”


The Good Life Organization publishes multimedia educational tools and trains educators, youth workers, and parents in connecting positive youth development to community development. TGLO is best known for its Fulfill the Dream curriculum and its whole-community outcomes in Chicago and Milwaukee schools. Those outcomes include GPAs going up by a full point cumulatively in one quarter, attendance increasing from 55% to 96% in one month, and alternative schools reaching 100% graduation rates. This work has extended beyond school walls in urban communities, sparking gang peace treaties and inspiring community events that helped people save their homes.


“The mission of our new leadership team is to create an environment of hope in all schools across the nation.” said Lupita Knittel, the President of 7 Mindsets. “We’ve joined forces with The Good Life Organization as a major step towards that vision.”


For more information on Roberto Rivera, see his closing keynote from SXSWedu here.


About 7 Mindsets

Combining elements of relationship-based teaching and social-emotional learning, 7 Mindsets provides a framework that distills extensive research on the nature of happiness and success into tools, lessons, and training that provide a new language and operating system for schools and classrooms. With multiple courses of flexible, age-appropriate online curriculum for elementary, middle, and high school, 7 Mindsets Academy is an easy-to-implement, transformational program that has been established in 23 U.S. states. For more information, please visit


About The Good Life Organization

The Good Life Organization is an international organization that builds capacity in local leaders to support the positive development of youth for the purposes of enhancing democratic participation and academic achievement. This vision is fulfilled by building capacity in local leaders through speaking events, trainings, and the use of practical curriculum and tools that enable dialogue, critical reflection, and creative action.


New Professional Learning Book on Innovative Formative Assessment Practices to Check for Understanding with Technology

#FormativeTech: Meaningful, Sustainable, and Scalable Formative Assessment with Technology, the new book by Dr. Monica Burns is now available.


NEW YORK, NY – April 18, 2017

Tech tools can transform the way teachers check for understanding in the classroom. When used purposefully, they provide a window into student thinking and make it easier to figure out who needs extra help. Formative assessment can be meaningful, sustainable and scalable when teachers have clear success criteria and use the digital devices in their students’ hands to check for understanding.


How do teachers check for understanding in their classrooms? What does formative assessment look like in in today’s schools? It’s not about taking a test, it’s about gathering information in real-time to make sure the needs of all students are being met. #FormativeTech provides actionable information to make formative assessment meaningful (so it counts), sustainable (so it lasts), and scalable (so everyone in your school does it too).


Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, EdTech & Curriculum Consultant and Founder of Monica has shared her passion for thoughtful technology integration speaking at SXSWedu, ISTE, EdTechXEurope, EduTECH, and numerous other national and international events. This is Monica’s second book published with Corwin and she is excited to continue her work supporting educators across the country this summer and during the 2017-2018 school year.


In #FormativeTech readers will find practical tips to check for understanding with technology during whole class, small group, and individual lessons. This professional learning book includes ideas for assessing project-based and inquiry-based approaches and ways to evaluate data and communicate results with families. #FormativeTech is full of Monica’s favorite tools for teachers and big ideas for any type of classroom technology.


Praise for #FormativeTech, from Dr. Robert Dillon, Director of Innovative Learning, School District of University City, “This book is an ideal read for educators looking to grow more agile in their use of data to individualize and personalize instruction.” As well as praise from Jennie Magiera, Educator and Author of Courageous Edventures, “Assessment can often be seen as a four-letter-word, but Monica Burns reminds us that if done well, it can be a tool in better supporting student learning and creating student empowerment. #FormativeTech is approachable and full of ‘use it on Monday‘ ideas.”




Free #FormativeTech poster:

Media Kit:

Twitter: @classtechtips




#FormativeTech: Meaningful, Sustainable, and Scalable Formative Assessment with Technology, is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Monica is currently booking speaking engagements and workshops for educators throughout the United States and abroad. To bring Monica to your school, district, or next event please



Canvas Partners with Knovation to Bring Free Digital Content and OER to K-12 Classrooms
Partnership pairs OER and LMS services to provide educators with optimal, time-saving resources for diverse learners

CINCINNATI – April 18, 2017 — Knovation, provider of professionally vetted and aligned digital content and open education resources (OER), partners with Canvas, the open online learning management system (LMS) by Instructure that makes teaching and learning easier. This partnership distributes Knovation’s icurio application to current and prospective LMS subscribers, enabling teachers to easily embed relevant and engaging content into their Canvas classrooms, courses and lessons.

In response to undeniable demand from their LMS subscribers for access to standards aligned, quality learning resources, Canvas will accommodate teachers with OER services to meet the diverse needs of students.

To read the full release, click here.