Discovery Education Offers No-Cost Resources, Special Content Collection, and More to Engage Students in 2017’s Great American Eclipse
–New Resources Empower Teachers to Bring this Unique Phenomena to Life for Students Nationwide-
Silver Spring, Md. (Aug. 1, 2017) – Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, is providing teachers and students nationwide a host of engaging digital resources to help them experience the Great American Eclipse on August 21, 2017 and integrate this unique learning opportunity into classroom instruction.
Among the Discovery Education resources available to help educators ignite the inquiry process and students’ natural sense of curiosity about the eclipse are a number of no-cost classroom digital resources. Collected and reviewed by Discovery Education’s expert curriculum team, these resources include pictures and video explaining what actually occurs during an eclipse, information about the eclipse to help educators build-out classroom lessons around this phenomena, as well as a map detailing the 2017 Great American Eclipse’s march across North America. These resources can be found at www.discoveryeducation.com/GreatAmericanEclipse.
Discovery Education has also placed additional digital resources within a special Great American Eclipse Content Collection. Accessible through both Discovery Education Streaming Plus and Discovery Education Science Techbook™, this special collection offers an even wider range of resources to support K-12 educators as they maximize the unique occasion of 2017’s coast to coast solar eclipse.
Also, between 10am PT/1pm ET – 12pm PT/ 3pm ET on August 21st, Discovery Education will host a live Twitter chat with internationally recognized astronomer and Director of Lowell Observatory Dr. Jeffrey Hall. During this online Q & A, Dr. Hall will answer questions from students around the country about the Great American Eclipse and discuss the science behind different types of eclipses. In addition, courtesy of the Science Channel, Discovery Education’s Great American Eclipse homepage will stream a portion of the eclipse live from Madras, Oregon. Finally, throughout the day, Discovery Education’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts will provide educators and students updates on the progress of the eclipse, as well as a forum in which they can share their experiences and observations about this event using both #CelebrateWithDE and #GreatAmericanEclipse.
“An event the size and scope of the Great American Eclipse is a great ‘teachable moment’ that can be used to engage students in a variety of topics,” said Peter Panico, a 5th Grade Teacher at the Rama Road Elementary School in North Carolina’s Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. “I am looking forward to using the many Great American Eclipse resources Discovery Education is making available to jump-start my students’ thinking about this natural wonder.”
Discovery Education Streaming Plus is a comprehensive digital service supporting instruction across all K-12 curricular areas. The high quality digital resources included in Discovery Education Streaming Plus help build students’ mastery in interpreting, evaluating, and citing accurate information. Students can access images, primary source documents, podcasts, oral interviews, books on tape, articles, and videos, and more, and are empowered to become content creators with a suite of content creation tools that help teachers and students safely and easily collaborate in real-time on virtual projects. Teacher resources include lesson plans, instructional strategies, and content collections organized around themes, as well as a collection of new STEM resources designed to fuel a cultural shift in teaching and learning.
Discovery Education’s Techbooks are breakthrough digital textbooks that are aligned to rigorous standards, support a comprehensive curriculum, and are updated regularly at no cost. The series encourages all learners through interactive features that change the reading level of text and enable text to be read aloud. The Techbook series saves teachers’ time with a comprehensive design that places model lessons, student activities and assessments at their fingertips. Techbooks are platform neutral and can be used in one-to-one or one-to-many configurations and in any instructional environment.
Utilizing an inquiry-based format built on the 5E model, Discovery Education’s Science Techbook, through hands-on labs, digital explorations, an interactive glossary, and data analysis activities, helps teach students to read, write, and think like scientists. In addition, the Science Techbook also features a variety of STEM resources that help educators create engaging STEM learning experiences in their classrooms.
“While an event such as the Great American Eclipse comes but once a generation, it has the potential to be a learning experience for students that can last a lifetime,” said Marty Creel, Discovery Education’s Chief Academic Officer and Vice President of Digital Instruction. “Discovery Education is pleased to provide these engaging resources to teachers and students nationwide. Our hope is that these materials will help inspire an interest in the scientific world among all who witness the Great American Eclipse.”
For more information about Discovery Education Streaming Plus or the Discovery Education’s Techbooks, visit, www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.
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 www.discoveryeducation.com.
Bloomz Now Connects More Than One Million Parents, Teachers, and Administrators
More and more schools are turning to the free communication app to support student success by engaging today’s smartphone-wielding parents
(Seattle, WA) August 1, 2017 — Bloomz is thrilled to announce that its fast-growing parent-teacher communication app has officially passed the one million user mark. This number includes teachers, administrators, and parents from more than 79 different countries, though 94% of users reside in the United States.
During the 2016–2017 school year, the app saw a remarkable amount of use, including:
- 8,194,464 messages sent (16 per minute)
- 5,738,374 photos shared (655 per hour)
- 114,578 videos shared (314 per day)
The company has seen rapid growth since launching in March 2015, now reaching teachers in more than 26,000 schools. Last year, the company raised more than $2 million in funding, and is poised to continue its accelerated growth with the new school year approaching.
Chaks Appalabattula, the CEO and founder of Bloomz, first got the idea to create the app when he and his wife simultaneously fell ill and were unable to take their children to school. “I know first-hand how vital the school community is for parents to lean on in difficult times,” said Appalabattula. “With Bloomz, parents are never more than a click away from support, whether that means support during an illness, help with their children’s homework, or a means of communication for ELL students and their families.”
According to research, one of the best predictors of student achievement is parental involvement in a child’s education. Bloomz offers a direct line of communication between parents and teachers, enabling both parties to easily work together to help students succeed.
The Bloomz app includes convenient tools such as real-time updates, photo and video sharing, event and volunteer coordination, behavior communication, student portfolios, parent-teacher conference signups, and much more. Bloomz is the only comprehensive app positioned to connect not only parents and educators, but also PTAs, church groups, Girl/Boy Scouts, and daycares. It even includes translation capabilities for non-English speaking parents in more than 80 languages.
Bloomz is the free mobile and web app that connects educators with parents in a secure, social, private environment. In Bloomz, parents feel more connected than they ever have to their children’s world, and teachers have more time than ever before, because they have everything they need in one simple-to-use tool. Learn more at Bloomz.com.
Reading Horizons Releases New Blended PD Course
The six professional development modules for ELA teachers will provide ongoing instruction through a combination of face-to-face, video, and online lessons
(Salt Lake City, UT) August 1, 2017 — Reading Horizons, a multisensory curriculum that fosters rapid increases in reading skills, today announced the release of a new online professional development course. The course, which consists of six modules, will serve as an always-accessible resource for educators learning how to teach reading or refining their instruction of reading fundamentals.
The Reading Horizons Online Professional Development Course provides ongoing input, follow-up, support, and practice through a blended learning model. The online course pairs with one day of initial face-to-face instruction. The course presents a method-based approach for Reading Horizons Elevate ® and Reading Horizons Discovery ®, providing varied approaches for different age groups when applicable. Modeled classroom footage for adult, secondary, and elementary learners is included.
“When we started our pre-initiative research for the project, all the best practice resources we found led back to a simple concept: well-trained teachers have successful students,” said Tyson Smith, the President of Reading Horizons. “An ongoing PD approach is more important than a one-time info dump. Workshops need ongoing support to really work. It’s not just learning the content; it’s learning to apply the actual practices that matters.”
The six modules include five common courses, with the sixth offered for advanced teachers. The courses include:
- a pretest to engage problem-solving and unlock potential extended content, depending on the teacher’s starting score;
- a video introduction;
- practice sessions;
- classroom observation videos with real classroom interaction;
- follow-up questions; and
- a post-test followed by a self-evaluation to measure teacher understanding.
During every step of the process, instructors can observe recorded, modeled lessons that are included with each course, allowing teachers to see concepts in practice as they go.
“Adults learn best through lessons that are relevant to them,” said Carrie Drake, Reading Horizons’ curriculum and training specialist. “By observing their colleagues enacting the exact same practices and approach, our teachers are given an opportunity to learn not only through observation, but collaboration as well.”
For more information on the Reading Horizons Online Professional Development Course, please visit ReadingHorizons.com/OnlinePD.
About Reading Horizons
For more than 30 years, Reading Horizons has dedicated its time and effort to perfecting a reading method that has proven successful for beginning readers, struggling readers, and students learning English. Reading Horizons products are research-based and use a multisensory system that provides explicit, systematic, and sequential decoding instruction. For more information, please visit ReadingHorizons.com.
Impero announces new owners Investcorp Technology Partners in $36.3M transaction
Nottingham, 1st August 2017 – Impero Software is delighted to welcome on board new owners Investcorp Technology Partners, who are backing the company in its next phase of business growth.
Following a management buy-out by Connection Capital in 2014, Impero has undergone a transformation to professionalize the business, strengthen the management team, establish growth in overseas territories and build an impressive market share and leadership position in the UK. Having hit all business KPIs for the last two financial years, and off the back of record results in its latest published accounts, Impero and owners Connection Capital agreed that it was time for the company to move to the next level. Working with advisors Houlihan Lokey, Impero selected technology investment professionals Investcorp Technology Partners, in a $36.3 million deal signed on July 31st, 2017.
Sam Pemberton, CEO of Impero says, “We recognized that, as a business, having achieved everything we set out to achieve with Connection Capital it was time to find new owners with a wealth of experience in the EdTech space, who would help us deliver on our next set of business goals and with the expertise to drive international expansion. We were impressed by Investcorp Technology Partners’ knowledge of our sector, enthusiasm and deep understanding of our business and commitment to growth. I am delighted to be working alongside their world-class team.”
Investcorp Technology Partners has a strong track record in the tech space, investing in European-headquartered technology companies with strong management teams. Commenting on the investment, Gilbert Kamieniecky, Managing Director of Investcorp, said, “The mission critical nature of Impero’s product offering, its strong reputation with customers and its attractive growth prospects in the UK and abroad represent a very attractive investment opportunity for Investcorp Technology Partners. Its best-in-class safeguarding software and high levels of recurring revenue have allowed it to secure a leading market position. These fundamental business strengths make it an ideal candidate for Investcorp Technology Partners to partner with.”
It is very much ‘business as usual’ at Impero’s Nottingham and LA offices and customers can look forward to realizing the benefits of Investcorp Technology Partners’ planned increased investment and strategic direction over the coming months and years. “Working with Investcorp Technology Partners not only allows us to accelerate our business plans, it opens new doors in terms of partnerships, opportunities and geographical reach,” explains Pemberton.
Having enlisted PricewaterhouseCoopers to carry out an extensive survey of Impero’s global customer base, Investcorp Technology Partners and Impero have a good understanding of where efforts should be focused moving forward. “The findings from this research will feed into the executive team’s existing impressive plans and we are excited to back the team in resourcing these plans. This is an exciting time for both Impero and Investcorp Technology Partners and we look forward to working together to create value for Impero’s customers, staff, and for other stakeholders,” says Kamieniecky.
Renaissance Announces Appointment of Daniel Hamburger
as Chief Executive Officer
Hamburger takes the helm effective July 31; Mike Evans to continue as chief financial officer
WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (July 31, 2017) – Renaissance®, the leader in pre-K–12 learning analytics, today announced the appointment of Daniel Hamburger as the company’s chief executive officer, effective immediately.
“We interviewed several strong candidates for the CEO role,” said Tarim Wasim, managing director at Hellman & Friedman and Renaissance board chairman. “It became clear that Daniel’s passion for education, his extensive leadership experience and his track record of growth made him the ideal fit. At his previous companies, he earned a reputation for building strong cultures based on core values, accelerating innovation and enhancing the student experience—all of which are essential to Renaissance.”
Hamburger brings 30 years of experience in leading global businesses and driving profitable growth through technology-based innovation across the education, healthcare, technology, and services markets. Most recently, he was the president, chief executive officer, and director of Adtalem Global Education (formerly DeVry Education Group, NYSE: ATGE), a global higher education leader with $1.8 billion in revenues. Hamburger led DeVry from 2006 through 2016 and drove its transformation from a domestic, single university to an industry-leading institution serving students across multiple geographies and disciplines.
To read the full news release, please click here.