PowerSchool Extends Its Unified Classroom Ecosystem Through Preferred Partnership With West’s SchoolMessenger Solutions


SchoolMessenger Communicate is the No. 1 emergency messaging and mass notification product used by PowerSchool districts today


FOLSOM, Calif. — Aug. 2, 2017 —PowerSchool, the leading provider of K-12 education technology solutions, today announced that West and its SchoolMessenger solutions have been named as PowerSchool’s preferred partner for emergency messaging and mass notification. With more than a thousand PowerSchool student information system districts using the SchoolMessenger Communicate notification system, West is the PowerSchool Independent Software Vendor (ISV) chosen most often for these services.


PowerSchool’s Unified Classroom is an industry-first solution that places student success at the center of the classroom by bringing together learning management, formative assessment, standards progress, grading, early warnings, analytics, and collaboration in one easy-to-use platform for teachers, students, and parents. While PowerSchool’s Unified Classroom contains its own classroom collaboration and messaging, it is also designed as a platform to support an ecosystem of best of breed ISV partners to give educators the option to use approved third party tools with the core solution. PowerSchool has chosen West and its SchoolMessenger solutions as the preferred partner for emergency messaging and broader notifications to showcase the platform integration capabilities and provide additional options to educators.


“We are very excited about this partnership,” said Mike Rhein, senior vice president of sales for PowerSchool. “Our collaborative efforts to integrate SchoolMessenger solutions’ functionality into the PowerSchool Unified Classroom platform provides an effective and reliable solution that will greatly enhance school to parent engagement.”


The school notification system trusted by tens of thousands of schools, SchoolMessenger Communicate is embedded within the PowerSchool user interface and was the first to be awarded all integration badges in the PowerSchool ISV Partner Program. With SchoolMessenger Communicate, PowerSchool districts can:


  • Send a message without leaving the PowerSchool user interface
  • Give access to parents to update contact preferences and review past messages
  • Use true single sign-on with added features through SchoolMessenger Passport


“With SchoolMessenger Communicate, PowerSchool districts know they are getting an integrated notification solution that offers maximum security, minimal ongoing maintenance, comprehensive features, and superior reliability,” said Robert Iskander, executive vice president and general manager of West’s Education group. “This recognition builds on our long and successful partnership with PowerSchool and the many districts that use its student information system.”

About West’s SchoolMessenger Solutions

West Corporation is the trusted provider of SchoolMessenger solutions. More than 63,000 schools and other educational institutions in all 50 states and Canada depend on SchoolMessenger products and services from notifications and websites to custom mobile apps and social media. School leaders have relied on the SchoolMessenger platform since 1999 to engage with their communities in multiple languages and on any device. To learn more about SchoolMessenger products, visitwww.schoolmessenger.com or call 888.527.5225.

About PowerSchool, LLC

PowerSchool is the leading K-12 education technology provider of solutions that improve the education experience for 100 million students, teachers, and parents in over 70 countries around the world. The company provides the industry’s first Unified Classroom experience, empowering teachers with best-in-class, secure, and compliant online solutions, including student information systems, learning management and classroom collaboration, assessment, analytics, behavior, and special education case management. To learn more about PowerSchool, visit www.powerschool.com.


Colorado Education Association Partners with Edthena to Provide Teachers with Video-Powered Professional Development


Edthena’s video coaching tools are now an embedded part of the COpilot learning platform allowing teachers to receive valuable peer-to-peer feedback


DENVER (August 2, 2017) – The Colorado Education Association (CEA) is partnering with Edthena to embed video observation and feedback into courses offered on COpilot, the state’s online professional learning platform.  Now, with COpilot, educators across the state can experience video feedback as part of their professional development.


“With Edthena, teachers who are taking classes on COpilot can collaborate with each other in a unique and personalized way, which is something many of them have never experienced,” said Casey Kilpatrick, director of learning services at the Colorado Education Association. “Edthena really is the best video coaching platform we looked at. It adds cutting-edge technology to our teachers’ experience.”


CEA, the state affiliate of the National Education Association, is the first association of educators in the country to launch a statewide, interactive tool delivering peer-to-peer teaching support. Trained CEA members facilitate all COpilot courses, including new courses designed to utilize the power of video coaching. Educators take these courses as part of a district initiative or to fulfill their yearly professional development requirements.


“Using Edthena, teachers can record their classroom instruction and receive feedback from other educators who they respect and trust,” said COpilot class facilitator Kim McLachlan. “Video coaching also allows teachers to become an active part of the evaluation process. Rather than sitting on the sidelines waiting for feedback, teachers can collect artifacts for their evaluation, showcasing a whole class period or specific strategy.”


With the Edthena platform, teachers quickly and easily upload videos of their classroom instruction from any video camera and then share those videos with facilitators who provide timestamped comments categorized as questions, suggestions, strengths, and notes. The platform enables teachers and facilitators to participate in collaborative professional learning cycles, identify teaching trends, and engage in ongoing dialogue about instructional best practices.


“CEA is helping lead the way in implementing next-generation, tech-enabled professional development opportunities for teachers,” said Adam Geller, founder and CEO of Edthena. “We look forward to working with teachers in districts across Colorado to help provide meaningful professional learning.”


Schools, districts, and teacher education programs in nearly 30 states – including Colorado – are using the Edthena platform to make video observation an integral part of teacher induction, teacher mentoring, professional learning communities (PLCs), and peer observation.


To learn more about COpilot, visit www.ceacopilot.org. To learn more about Edthena, visit www.edthena.com.


About the Colorado Education Association

The Colorado Education Association is a membership-based organization that represents 35,000 Colorado educators. The CEA promise to our students and communities is that the members of the Association will lead the way in guaranteeing every student access to the best public education.  By working collectively with all education stakeholders, we will provide the best public education for every student and assure Colorado’s standing as an excellent state in which to learn, live, work, and raise a family.


About Edthena
Edthena is the leading classroom observation platform for using teaching videos as part of professional development. Teachers upload classroom videos to share with colleagues who leave time stamped comments. Edthena also offers specialized collaboration tools to help organizations implement best practices for video-based professional learning. Edthena is the recipient of numerous awards from organizations such as SIIA, District Administration, and Tech & Learning. For more information, visit www.edthena.com. For more news about Edthena, visit blog.edthena.com.


Edsby Platform for K-12 Adds a Half Million More School District Users
445,200 new students, parents and educators are now using the Edsby social learning and analytics system for K-12 school districts

Richmond Hill, Canada (August 2, 2017) – Edsby®, the most comprehensive learning and analytics platform available for K-12, has added nearly a half million new paid school district users. The new users come courtesy of new district-wide implementations of Edsby at districts such as:

  • Algoma District School Board
  • Nippissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board
  • Rainy River District School Board
  • Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools
  • Superior-Greenstone District School Board
  • York Region District School Board

In total, these district-wide Edsby rollouts represent 161,900 students, 24,300 staff and 259,000 parent accounts, for a total of 445,200 new users.

For the full news release, click here.



Vernier Software & Technology to Host 31 Free Data-Collection Workshops this Fall


Hands-on workshops help science educators integrate probeware and data-collection technology into their curriculum


BEAVERTON, Oregon, August 2, 2017 — This fall, Vernier Software & Technology will host 31 free, hands-on workshops around the country to help science educators integrate data-collection technology into their curriculum. Each four-hour workshop will be led by a knowledgeable training specialist who will work alongside educators as they explore classroom-ready labs that incorporate the award-winning line of data-collection technology from Vernier.


“Our data-collection workshops provide educators at all levels with a great hands-on professional learning opportunity,” said John Wheeler, CEO of Vernier Software & Technology. “Whether they are new to probeware or just looking to hone their skills, educators will learn helpful techniques and best practices for using data-collection technology in new and innovative ways with their students.”


During the workshops, educators will learn important skills and strategies for integrating data-collection technology into their physics, chemistry, biology, and environmental/Earth Science lessons to help meet the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). After an overview of the technology, educators will have the opportunity to explore popular experiments across a wide variety of grade levels and science disciplines.


In addition to the training, each workshop includes a light meal and a downloadable Workshop Training Manual, which includes ready-to-use lab handouts for all science disciplines. Interested educators can select dates from the schedule below.


September 2017 Workshop Dates and Locations

September 13: Houston, TX September 14: Houston, TX
September 16: San Antonio, TX September 18: Austin, TX
September 19: Ft. Worth, TX September 19: St. Louis, MO
September 20: Dallas, TX September 20: Evansville, IN
September 21: Louisville, KY September 23: Oklahoma City, OK
September 23: Lexington, KY September 25: Cincinnati, OH
September 25: Tulsa, OK September 26: Indianapolis, IN
September 26: Wichita, KS September 27: Kansas City, MO
September 28: Omaha, NE September 28: Chicago, IL
September 30: Des Moines, IA September 30: Chicago, IL


October 2017 Workshop Dates and Locations

October 2: Milwaukee, WI October 2: Minneapolis, MN
October 3: Madison, WI October 12: Grand Rapids, MI
October 14: Detroit, MI October 14: Albany, NY
October 16: Cleveland, OH October 16: Providence, RI
October 17: Pittsburgh, PA October 17: Boston, MA
October 18: Nashua, NH


For complete details and to register for a Vernier workshop closest to you, visit http://www.vernier.com/training/workshops/.


About Vernier Software & Technology


Vernier Software & Technology has led the innovation of scientific data-collection technology for 36 years. Vernier was founded by a former physics teacher and employs educators at all levels of the organization. The company is committed to teachers and to developing creative ways to teach and learn science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) using hands-on science. Vernier creates easy-to-use and affordable science interfaces, sensors, and graphing/analysis software. With worldwide distribution to over 140 countries, Vernier data loggers are used by educators and students from elementary school to university. Vernier technology-based solutions enhance STEM education, increase learning, build students’ critical thinking skills, and support the science and engineering practices detailed in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The Vernier business culture is grounded in Earth-friendly policies and practices, and the company provides a family-friendly workplace. For more information, visit http://www.vernier.com.

Verso Learning Raises $2 Million

in Series A Funding Round; Plans

to Expand Operations in U.S.


LOS ANGELES, Aug. 1, 2017 — Verso Learning, a professional development platform that provides K-12 teachers  with high-impact strategies to promote deeper and more personalized learning, has raised $2 million in a Series A funding round, led by Ken Lowe of Australian-based Canberra Data Centers (CDC).

According to Verso Learning founders, Colin Wood and Philip Stubbs, the funding will in part be used to expand the company’s operations in the United States. In use by more than 12,000 K-12 schools in over 100 countries, Verso is in just its third year of marketing to K-12 districts in the U.S. with enterprise district-wide partnerships in California, Texas, New Jersey, and South Carolina.

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Moreover, it recently opened its first-ever U.S. headquarters, based in Los Angeles.

New Jersey’s Freehold Township District, recently named one of the country’s most innovative 20 school districts, has made Verso a critical part of its student personalized learning emphasis and the platform has been widely lauded by the district officials, school administrators and teachers. Superintendent Ross Kasun, selected 2017 New Jersey Superintendent of the Year, said, “Verso is the answer to many of the challenges we were facing.”

Initially launched as a free app to promote deeper learning in K-12 classrooms, Verso Learning has since evolved into a full-scale professional development and student learning platform focused on supporting educators to implement world-leading, evidence-based, high-impact teaching strategies using student feedback and data analytics.

According to Lowe, founder of CDC and ASI Solutions, who spent almost two decades as a high school teacher, “Verso Learning disrupts the traditional teacher training model by providing teachers with ongoing, timely feedback and the tools they need to teach at their best every day.”

The key to Verso Learning’s early success, Wood and Stubbs said, is recognizing the importance of reliable, easy-to-read data on how their students are engaged and helping teachers with the best, research-based instructional strategies to deliver quality personalized learning.

“Interest in the professional development aspects of Verso Learning has really taken off as schools seek a high-impact, cost-effective alternative to the expensive and often ineffective traditional teacher training, such as seminars and training days,” said Wood, Verso’s CEO and President. “For the cost of a single day of training for one teacher, a school can have access to a full year of ongoing, continuous professional development, focused on driving student engagement and learning outcomes and building teachers’ skills.”

Stubbs, Verso Learning’s Education Director, has spent much of the summer speaking at high-profile conferences in the U.S. He was a panelist at the Visible Learning Conference in San Francisco, and later led two workshops at the Building Learning Communities (BLC) Education Conference in Boston. His workshops guided teachers in finding strategies for deeper student engagement and learning.

For more information about Verso Learning, visit www.versolearning.com.