BeaLu Books to Launch Supernatural Thriller Series for Young Adults
‘One Chance’, Authored by 14-Year-Old Sarah Frank, Set for October Release
TAMPA, Fla. (June 20, 2017) —BeaLu Books, an indie children’s book publisher, today announced it is planning an October launch of the first novel in a new supernatural thriller series titled “One Chance.” The author of the series’ first book is Sarah Frank, a 14-year-old writer, poet and student-athlete who lives in Tampa and will be a high school freshman later this summer.
Frank’s debut novel, titled “One Chance,” combines mystery and magical powers, featuring the lead character, Sandy, as she joins others traveling back in time in an attempt to change history to save her parents from death.
“Readers expect happy endings, and expect their beloved heroes and heroines to succeed,” she said. “I gave them a good ending, but not the expected one. It’s an emotionally complex story of love, deadly sacrifices, family, friendship and the burden of disabilities.”
Though this will be Frank’s debut novel, she published her first book in fifth grade, a thank-you gift to her teacher who encouraged her creativity and love of writing. “What Really Happened in Elementary School! Super Silly Poems Scribbled in a Notebook” contains 28 poems and illustrations about school life.
“At BeaLu Books, we have a strong belief in the power of literacy to bring positive changes to the lives of children in our communities and the world,” said CEO Luana Mitten. “And we couldn’t be more thrilled and proud to introduce such a talented young writer such as Sarah onto the scene with her first novel. The ‘One Chance’ series is off to a great start, and we are confident will be a popular read for middle grades and young adults.”
Frank already is gaining notoriety as she will serve as the closing keynote speaker at “ReadingCon: Collaborating for Literacy,” a conference on Thursday (June 22) at Northern Illinois University in Naperville, Ill. Designed for K-12 educators, the event features an impressive array of award-winning authors.
At the same conference, Mitten will moderate a session titled, “Making Connections: Teaching Social and Emotional Topics with Literature,” where she will provide tips and activities for using literature with social and emotional topics.
BeaLu Books has introduced a collection of leveled readers forits initial introduction to the market. The publisher chose this due to Mitten’s background as a classroom teacher and her connection to the education market. Mitten said creating engaging books that support and challenge readers at all levels is key to the publishing mission of BeaLu Books and its advisory board. Many of the titles under consideration by BeaLu Books are a result of its direct partnership with the Tampa Bay Area Writing Project (TBAWP).
DISCOVERY EDUCATION AND 3M CELEBRATE 10th ANNIVERSARY OF YOUNG SCIENTIST CHALLENGE WITH ANNOUNCEMENT OF NATIONAL FINALISTS
— Ten Young Inventors Compete for $25,000 and the Title of ‘America’s Top Young Scientist’ in Nation’s Premier Science Competition –
Silver Spring, Md. and St. Paul, Minn. (June 20, 2017) – From alternative energy to sustainable agriculture to medical advancements, today’s scientific young minds work hard to solve today’s biggest challenges — making materials safer, solutions more efficient, and innovations more accessible. Today, Discovery Education(@DiscoveryEd) and 3M (@3M) announced 10 finalists from across America as part of its Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, which is celebrating its landmark 10th anniversary(#YoungScientist). The annual premier competition recognizes scientific thinking and imagination in students grades 5-8 who dream up a solution to an everyday problem that ultimately could reshape and improve the way we live our lives.
These young thinkers submitted short videos that communicate the science behind a possible solution to an everyday problem. Ten rose to the top of the competition and were selected over hundreds of others. These young ladies and gentlemen were selected based on their science acumen, innovative thinking and exceptional communication skills as demonstrated in their entry videos. The finalists ̶ six girls and four boys, ranging in age from 11-14 ̶ include those from public schools all across the nation.
The 10 Finalists
(in alphabetical order)*:
- Laalitya Acharya, Mason, Ohio, Mason Middle School, Mason City School District
- Karina Andersen, Rocklin, Calif., Granite Oaks Middle School, Rocklin Unified School District
- Anika Bhagavatula, Wilton, Conn., Middlebrook Middle School, Wilton Public School District
- Austin Crouchley, Garden City, N.Y., Garden City Middle School, Garden City School District
- Rithvik Ganesh, Plano, Texas, C.M. Rice Middle School, Plano Independent School District
- Simone Jacobs, Seattle, Wash., Washington Middle School, Seattle School District 1
- Gitanjali Rao, Brentwood, Tenn., Brentwood Middle School, Williamson County School District
- Samu Shrestha, Highlands Ranch, Colo., Cresthill Middle School, Douglas County School District Re-1
- Allie Weber, Sioux Falls, S.D., Edison Middle School, Sioux Falls School District 49-5
- Devin Willis, Boca Raton, Fla., A.D. Henderson University School, Florida Atlantic University Schools
Each finalist will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a 3M scientist during a summer mentorship program that will challenge their curious minds to develop an innovative idea that positively impacts them, their family, their community or the global population. Students meet virtually with their mentors, who provide guidance from the student’s concept to actual prototype. 3M is a company rooted in scientific exploration, and the belief that every problem has a solution. These practices set the stage for students’ complete experience of the scientific process in which the original idea may evolve. Throughout the program, each student will have access to resources and support provided by 3M and Discovery Education.
All 10 finalists receive $1,000 and a trip to 3M Headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., to participate in the final competition at the 3M Innovation Center on Oct. 16 and 17. There, they will be evaluated on a series of challenges, including a presentation of their completed innovation. Each challenge will be scored independently by a panel of judges. The winner will receive $25,000, a trip to watch the taping of a Discovery Network show, and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”
“At 3M, we have thrived for 115 years not just by adapting to the future, but by shaping it,” said Jon Lindekugel, Senior Vice President, Business Development and Marketing-Sales, 3M. “These young scientists – with their thirst for discovery and their determination to make the world a better place – are that future, and it’s our privilege to support them on their way.”
“Each year, Discovery Education proudly joins with 3M to support their commitment to fostering the next generation of passionate innovators,” said Lori McFarling, SVP of Discovery Education. “The Young Scientist Challenge brings science to life for young people and helps develop the communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills today’s students need for success beyond the classroom.”
Over the past ten years, the Young Scientist Challenge has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in student scholarships and prizes, paired students with world-renowned scientists to give them real-world insights and delivered much-needed science resources to millions of students, teachers and families across the country. It targets students in the years when research indicates their interest in science begins to wane and encourages them to explore scientific concepts and creatively communicate their findings. Winners have gone on to be featured inForbes magazine’s annual “30 Under 30” list, speak in front of members of Congress and attendees at the United Nations, meet the President of the United States, and demonstrate inventions on national news programs such as ABC World News Tonight, Fox & Friends, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
For more information on the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, including photos and bios of the 10 finalists and a list of the 35 state merit winners, please visit www.youngscientistlab.com/challenge. On Twitter, follow @3M and @DiscoveryEd and join the conversation using #YoungScientist.
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $30 billion in sales, our 90,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at www.3M.com or on Twitter @3M or @3MNewsroom.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools 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 atwww.discoveryeducation.com.
bulb Implements New Enterprise Features for ISTE 2017
Created exclusively for school, district, and classroom use, bulbSchool’s new features include LMS connectivity, auto-rostering, enhanced security, dashboards, and education pricing
(San Antonio, TX) June 20, 2017 — bulb, a leading provider of digital portfolios for the education marketplace, is proud to announce additional features of their bulbSchool platform, built specifically to address key issues of credentials management, rostering, and security.
bulbSchool is a collaborative community built for schools to curate, create, share, and showcase work. In this space, teachers can create private class groups for publishing shared work and assignments. Author-controlled Q&A encourages constructive conversations without the risk of unwanted comments. In-line commenting allows direct and detailed feedback from educators or peers on an author’s specific content.
More than 700,000 bulbs have been created because it is easy for users and makes work look beautiful. The newest features of bulbSchool complement the beauty by ensuring that it is easy to implement at the school, district or classroom level:
● LMS Connectivity is now offered in partnership with Schoology, Canvas, and Blackboard.
● Auto-Rostering is safe and simple, making interoperability an asset, not a liability.
● Privacy and Data Security allows users to share work as “read-only,” or give collaborators permission to add, edit, and delete using inline commenting.
● Administrative Dashboards evaluate usage and allow for best-practice sharing.
● Professional Development is now included, and advanced offerings in partnership with friEdTechnology are available.
● Advanced bulbPermissions allows users to choose how they want to connect with an audience.
● Education Pricing enables cost-effective rollout for every student and every teacher.
Now with bulbSchool, the platform is more affordable, so it is available to all students and teachers. It is more connected to leading LMS providers already used by schools, so bulb doesn’t require yet another set of credentials. Auto-rostering removes the maintenance time required to set-up, track and maintain accounts. Data-security and privacy are enhanced to meet enterprise demands. bulbSchool also includes on-site professional development to ensure every educator takes full advantage of the platform to curate, create and showcase knowledge.
“Teachers and students love how easy it is to use bulb and how beautiful it makes their work look, but educators must manage many ed-tech platforms to provide student with the best education possible,” said Eric Goldreyer, CEO and co-founder of bulb. “bulbSchool removes any possible barriers so administrators and teachers can offer students a best-of-breed digital portfolio to help turn information into knowledge.”
bulb’s online student portfolios assemble student work in one convenient place for teacher review. Portfolios are multimedia, so students can upload text, Pinterest photos and YouTube videos; or embed PDFs, Word files, documents from Google Drive, or 150 other file types. Teachers can also use bulb to upload lessons and demos to share with students. Work is automatically saved online, and can be organized into collections based on student needs. 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.
Other features included with bulbSchool are Presentation Mode, Asset Library, and responsive design for any device. For more information about these features and more, please visit bulbapp.com.
Educators can experience bulb in person at ISTE booth #3232.
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 bulbapp.com.
ABCmouse for Schools Announces Major Upgrades at ISTE 2017
New capabilities for teachers, administrators, and family engagement include Spanish activities and offline access
(Glendale, CA) June 21, 2017 – At the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) 2017 Conference, ABCmouseÒ for Schools will announce the launch of new product features to help students build a strong foundation for academic success and become third-grade ready. Arriving in time for the 2017–2018 school year, these exciting features make it easy for teachers to use ABCmouse.comÒ Early Learning Academy in their instructional day and for administrators to see the results.
For teachers: A reimagined Teacher Homepage helps teachers plan and build lessons; teach in whole-group, small-group, or individual instruction; and monitor class progress. Implementation support will continue to focus on helping teachers accomplish their third-grade readiness goals for all their students, starting with pre-K.
For administrators: Student Information System (SIS) Integration streamlines the process of rostering and provides ongoing data about progress and usage at the district, school, class, and student level. In addition, an enhanced Leadership Dashboard allows for real-time usage monitoring that drills down from the district to the individual student level.
For students and families: Students and families can now access key ABCmouse activities without Internet connectivity through a series of apps for use on mobile devices. A new Mastering Math app is the first in a series of adaptive, game-based apps that help children build a strong understanding of fundamental math concepts. Additionally, more than 100 Spanish-language learning activities have been added to ABCmouse; a total of 800 will be available by the end of 2017. A Spanish-language toggle for navigation will be added in the fall, making it easier for Spanish-speaking parents to access ABCmouse.
Since the initial launch last summer, dozens of schools and districts across the country have become paying customers of ABCmouse for Schools, including schools and districts in Texas, California, New York, and Florida.
“We’ve been implementing this exciting, engaging, and informative program with our primary-grade students and our special education students,” said Yubeda Miah, Principal of Gulfstream Elementary School, which is part of Miami-Dade County Public Schools. “Students love the action and colorful lessons, and have shown improvement on their benchmark reading skills. The support we’ve received has been phenomenal.”
ABCmouse offers a research-validated curriculum for pre-K through second grade, with more than 8,500 individual learning activities and 850 complete lessons, encompassing reading and language arts, math, science, health, social studies, art, and music. ABCmouse for Schools complements this curriculum with high-quality teacher support and implementation services including onboarding services, usage reports, and training for teachers and parents. By enabling fidelity of implementation and intentional use, ABCmouse for Schools drives significant learning gains.
To strengthen the school-home connection, ABCmouse for Schools also includes year-round home access to ABCmouse for all students. A recent study with the Miami-Dade County Public School District found that regular use of ABCmouse during the summer helped prevent “summer slide” in reading for rising first graders. Students who regularly used ABCmouse for at least 70 minutes per week over the summer demonstrated literacy gains equivalent to one month of academic instruction.
“ABCmouse has created fabulous opportunities for students to engage in learning while having fun,” said Norma Spencer, Principal of Dr. Theodore T. Alexander, Jr. Science Center School in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). “I am ecstatic about our students being able to enjoy this amazing experience at home and over the summer by logging in to the site. This extra feature will help our students retain important literacy skills that are sometimes lost over the summer.”
To experience ABCmouse for Schools in person at ISTE 2017, please make an appointment with Sue@PRwithPanache.com to visit the PR with Panache! Storytelling Suite in The Stetson Room at Hilton Palacio del Rio, 200 South Alamo Street, San Antonio, TX.
About ABCmouse for Schools
Age of Learning is a leading education technology innovator and producer of the multi-award-winning ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy that serves millions of children. Age of Learning’s content provides young learners, their families, and teachers with highly engaging and effective learning tools and a comprehensive curriculum that build a strong foundation for academic success. Recognized as the No. 1 digital learning resource for children ages 2–8, ABCmouse is regularly ranked as a leading children’s learning iPad, iPhone, and Android app in both Kids and Education categories. Age of Learning launched ABCmouse for Schools in 2016 to meet the needs of school districts and school groups in the U.S. and internationally. ABCmouse for Schools complements the comprehensive curriculum with student management, professional development, curriculum alignment, and progress reporting tools.
Google Gaining Ground on U.S. Education Tech Market: First Kahoot! EdTrends Report
Insights based on the game-based learning platform’s reach of 50 million monthly active users include trends and best practices for the education technology space
(Oslo, Norway) June 21, 2017 — Kahoot!, the game-based learning platform and one of the world’s fastest-growing learning brands, today launched its Kahoot! EdTrends Report, which addresses the latest education tech trends in the U.S. K-12 market. This new quarterly report will enable educators and administrators to stay better informed about trending educational technologies, methods, and best practices.
Key findings of the report include:
- Google is getting a stronghold in U.S. classrooms, with Chrome OS growing quickly on computers, while Apple’s iOS dominates on mobile devices and tablets. Microsoft is holding its ground, maintaining share on computers in the classroom, especially among teachers.
- Google Classroom/G Suite for Education is the most popular productivity suite in U.S. classrooms.
- U.S. educators’ biggest incentive to adopt ed tech is to improve student productivity. Their top priorities are: to improve student learning and outcomes, to motivate students, and to encourage more engagement in class.
- In the coming school year, U.S. schools will see increased use of digital platforms for teaching, learning, and assessment, as well as the rise of personalized learning.
- Public school educators in the U.S. are grappling with budget restraints and lack of resources, while private school teachers’ biggest challenge is lack of training to understand and adopt new technology.
- On a state level, California educators struggle with lack of training and “tech for the sake of tech,” and Texas teachers face the challenges of bureaucracy and budget constraints on adopting tech.
“We hope to better serve educators and the education market through the Kahoot! EdTrends Report, which will provide important data and insights to help educators better fulfill their educational needs,” said Erik Harrell, the CEO of Kahoot! “The report will extend our mission to make learning awesome and to unlock the deepest potential of every learner, regardless of location, age, or context.”
Other data in the report includes which hardware and software platforms educators and students are using, frequently searched subjects on the Kahoot! platform, as well as an interview with an educator and ed tech influencer about the trends he foresees in the coming school year.
Report data has been gathered from the Kahoot! platform used by 50 million monthly active users worldwide, 32 million of which are in the U.S. More than 2 million K-12 teachers in the U.S. have signed up for Kahoot!, and 25 million U.S. K-12 students (about 40% of all K-12 students in the U.S.) use Kahoot! on a monthly basis.
Report data also includes results from a survey of close to 600 U.S. educators.
Read the full report here.
Kahoot! is launching the report ahead of the ISTE 2017 conference in San Antonio, Texas, from June 25 to 28, 2017. At the event, the company will also be previewing its new mobile app with brand new features for both teachers and students. Visit Kahoot! at ISTE at booth 326 to learn more about the app and the Kahoot! EdTrends Report.
Since its launch in 2013, Kahoot! has turned game-based learning into a pop culture phenomenon. The game platform now hosts over 50 million monthly active users and a public library of over 20 million learning games, created and shared by fans in more than 180 countries. Kahoot! is on a mission to make learning awesome by unlocking the deepest potential of every learner—regardless of location, age or context. Kahoot! is a global company with offices in Oslo, London, and Austin. Let’s play!
Defined STEM Redesigns Website to Make PBL Lesson Planning Easier
The refreshed site provides educators with an easy-to-navigate, step-by-step approach to authentic applications of STEM and project-based learning
(CHICAGO, IL) June 20, 2017 — Defined STEM, a web-based curriculum resource by Defined Learning that supports project-based learning, today announced the launch of its newly redesigned website.
“Our goal is to make project-based learning extremely easy for educators to implement in their classrooms by providing video, multimedia, and text resources that can be easily differentiated to meet the needs of students with diverse abilities,”said Joel Jacobson, the co-founder and chief operating officer of Defined Learning. “This website renovation was inspired by our users and will save educators valuable time on lesson planning or searching for credible resources.”
Upon logging on, Defined STEM users will experience a refreshed, easy-to-navigate homepage where they can filter lessons by grade level, Common Core focus, curriculum unit, standard, and literacy task. Educators can also search for performance tasks based on the 16 standard career clusters.
The meaningful and authentic tasks presented by Defined STEM support students’ development of 21st-century skills. In these projects, students take on the role of a real-world job and solve problems while collaborating with their peers. These tasks increase engagement by showing how the material learned can be applied to a future career, which allows students to imagine themselves in that career path.
Performance tasks are now broken down into four easy steps: Set the Stage, Explore the Background, Do the Research, and Create the Product. Newly added to the Set the Stage step are open-ended questions to provide context and encourage critical thinking. The Design Process section is completely new and lays out all the steps students need to follow to reach their goals.
“The new step-by-step format is designed to increase student engagement by teaching them the process of taking a project from the idea and research stage to the final product,” concluded Jacobson.
To see the new format of Defined STEM for yourself, sign up for a free trial here.
About Defined Learning
Defined Learning is a K-12 educational media company that combines technology, creativity, and curriculum expertise to provide useful and relevant products to schools. Defined Learning’s flagship service, Defined STEM, is a platform that enables teachers to provide application of knowledge to students through the use of project-based learning, real-world careers, and meaningful reading and writing activities. To learn more, visit DefinedLearning.com.
AR Software Inspires Stunning Increase in Reading Proficiency
Alive Studios’ animal-themed augmented reality lessons help kindergarteners make leaps of learning in only 26 days
(ATLANTA, Georgia) June 20, 2017 — Just in time for ISTE 2017, leading provider of augmented reality (AR), early education software Alive Studios is sharing some impressive data about the impact that AR has on young English language learners (ELLs).
At J.E. Moss Elementary in Nashville Tennessee, Greg Smedley-Warren teaches a kindergarten class that is 90% ELLs. After only 26 days of integrating Letters alive Plus into his literacy curriculum, which uses 3D-generated zoo animals to teach letter sounds and recognition, Smedley-Warren said, “Our letter and sound knowledge went from less than 10 (average)…to all 26.” After using Letters alive Plus, he said, “90% of my students read at grade level or higher and are reading earlier in the year.”
Alive Studios provides engaging software kits for early learners, incorporating zoo animals that spring to life in 3D and interact with children as they learn. The Letters alive Plus kit incorporates evidence-based reading instruction through the use of AR software. The lessons and activities are presented within an animal-filled theme, which helps tie science into every lesson.
Smedley-Warren said that his students’ engagement in Letters alive Plus was “amazing,” adding that “It also builds excitement for school, which is vital for our students at the beginning of the year. The laughter and squeals are amazing!”
The Letters alive Plus kit that Smedley-Warren and his students used includes 26 letter cards, 97 sight-word cards, and 84 word-family cards. Each card is interactive and triggers multiple animations depending on the word or sentence that is created. While learning to identify and sound out each letter, the kindergarteners were able to hear, see, touch, build, and speak all throughout the lesson. This multimodal approach appeals to a broad range of learning styles and abilities, and increases long-term retention (especially for ELL, at-risk, and special needs students).
“My team and I were thrilled about the data Greg was able to collect,” said Cynthia Kaye, Alive Studios’ CEO and Chief Zoo Keeper. “Getting this affirmation for the effectiveness of our learning kits, especially with ELL students, further inspires us to spread awareness throughout the U.S. and beyond.”
To experience Alive Studios in person at ISTE 2017, please make an appointment with Sue@PRwithPanache.com to visit the PR with Panache! Storytelling Suite at The Stetson Room at Hilton Palacio del Rio, 200 South Alamo, San Antonio, TX.
About Alive Studios
Alive Studios is an educational technology company that provides reading and math instruction for early learners using augmented reality. Their software is the first of its kind to incorporate this 3D technology into a supplemental, full-year curriculum. This emerging technology allows three-dimensional computer animations to be added to real life objects without the need for special glasses. Alive Studios’ reading and math learning kits are presented within a theme filled with animals, which ties science into every lesson. Each learning kit is filled with brain-based activities that utilize multiple teaching modalities for engaging all learners from ages 2–8, and are is especially effective with English language learners, at-risk students, and those with special needs. Alive Studios’ mission is to help early learners become proficient in reading and math by 3rd grade. To learn more, please visit AliveSudiosCo.com.