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STATES FALL SHORT IN PLANS TO ADDRESS MAJOR INEQUALITIES FOR VULNERABLE STUDENTS 

ANALYSES OF STATES’ ESSA PLANS REVEAL MOST DO LITTLE TO ADDRESS THE DISPARITIES IN ACCESS TO STRONG TEACHERS FOR LOW-INCOME STUDENTS AND STUDENTS OF COLOR

Washington, DC–Today, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) completed its analyses of what all 50 states intend to do to provide a more equitable education to all students in the state, as they were required to do under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). These analyses highlight strengths and opportunities, ultimately demonstrating that most states are not planning to do enough to prevent low-income students and students of color from being disproportionately taught by ineffective, out-of-field, or inexperienced teachers.

This research presents new analyses for 34 states to supplement the analyses of 17 ESSA state plans released in June 2017. NCTQ developed these analyses, along with an ESSA Educator Equity Best Practices Guide, to support state efforts to provide all students with strong teachers.

“States’ failure to address the ESSA’s educator equity requirement in a meaningful way goes beyond shameful,” said Elizabeth Ross, Managing Director of State Policy at NCTQ. “States had months to develop these plans, and this problem has been going on for decades, so these plans should have done a far better job ensuring that states, districts, and schools do not discriminate against low-income students and students of color in the quality of their teachers.”

These analyses examine four key areas of educator equity under the ESSA — definitions, data, timelines and interim targets, and strategies.  These elements are critical to help ensure that states are adequately identifying the teachers that are most likely to contribute to student academic achievement and establishing rigorous and transparent systems to help ensure that where such teachers are less likely to teach low-income students and students of color, the state is taking action to ensure that these inequities do not persist.

Across the 50 states and the District of Columbia, more than half of the plans fail to publicly report data regarding the rates at which low-income students and students of color are taught by ineffective teachers as compared to their higher-income, non-minority peers.

Additionally, only seven states included information regarding the timeline under and the rates at which they anticipated eliminating identified educator equity gaps.  Including timelines and interim targets is critically important to help ensure that states and stakeholders are able to hold themselves accountable for monitoring, assessing, and — ultimately — eliminating any existing educator equity gaps over time.

Also available is a Best Practices Guide with examples of strong state practices to achieve greater equity in teacher assignment in several key areas. This Guide is designed to support all states in developing and implementing strong plans to meet ESSA’s educator equity requirements.

Below are several promising practices from states plans that are highlighted in the Guide:

  • Kentucky and New York each calculate and report additional data on student characteristics, including English learners and students with disabilities.
  • Utah gives bonuses to teachers who are considered effective in the highest poverty schools
  • Florida has state legislation that requires districts to assure that students are not assigned to an ineffective teacher for two consecutive years.
  • South Carolina and Ohio calculate and report educator equity gaps using, among other data, student-level data to show equity gaps that exist within schools.

While these strong practices are worth applauding, the plans as a whole do not adequately address an important issue for traditionally-underrepresented students.

“The opportunities for improvement are, in many cases, significant, and we hope that states will carefully review and consider these analyses, which provide opportunities that states can use to not only strengthen their plans, but also provide greater equity in how teachers are assigned, regardless of students’ socioeconomic status, race, or ethnicity within their state,” said Ross.

These analyses are available here.

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About the National Council on Teacher Quality: 
The National Council on Teacher Quality is a nonpartisan research and policy group, committed to modernizing the teaching profession and based on the belief that all children deserve effective teachers. We recognize that it is not teachers who bear responsibility for their profession’s many challenges, but the institutions with the greatest authority and influence over teachers. More information about NCTQ can be found on our website, www.nctq.org.
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Louisiana’s Rapides Parish School District Deepens Ongoing Partnership with Discovery Education to Further “SCALE Up” District Initiative

 

Silver Spring, MD. (November 16, 2017) – Louisiana’s Rapides Parish School District (RPSD) announced today an expansion of their ongoing partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms. In the latest phase of this collaboration, Discovery Education will provide ongoing professional development to educators in 28 district schools through a customized initiative that supports the growth of teacher-leaders as they become change agents powering the district’s transition to student-centered learning environments.

The deepening of RPSD’s collaboration with Discovery Education supports the district’s efforts to constantly improve instruction and provide every child in the district an excellent education that nurtures the development of the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in any professional career.  Specifically, the decision to use Discovery Education’s model of professional development will aid efforts to transition to student-centered academic learning environments envisioned by RPSD’s SCALE Up initiative.

Already, RPSD’s K-12 educators are using Discovery Education’s Science Techbooks™ to create engaging student-focused learning environments.  Discovery Education’s award-winning 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.

Discovery Education’s customized professional development model will help RPSD’s educators combine proven instructional approaches with using dynamic resources to create modern, student-centered academic learning environments. These instructional approaches are first practiced in educator created, student-centered Learning Labs. In these labs, teachers adapt their new skills in a classroom setting before sharing their successes broadly with their colleagues. The custom professional development model deployed in RPSD will provide teachers with continuous, job-embedded consultation, on-going modeling, and coaching, as well as feedback from Discovery Education experts in the pre-planning, stakeholder communications and implementation phases.

“At the Rapides Parish School District, we believe the successful creation of engaging, student-centered learning environments is incredibly dependent on the classroom teacher,” said Rapides Parish School District Superintendent Nason “Tony” Authement.  “That belief drives our dedication to provide district educators the combination of sustained professional development and the content they need to create the exciting classrooms we know today’s students desire. We are very pleased to continue partnering with our colleagues at Discovery Education on this project and are excited to have this new phase of our relationship underway.”

The Discovery Education Community will continue supporting RPSD’s educators’ efforts to transform students’ learning experiences with dynamic digital media. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing and inspiration.

“Discovery Education is honored to support Rapides Parish School District’s SCALE Up initiative,” said Jason Sinquefield, Discovery Education Director of Education Partnerships.  “Superintendent Authement and his incredibly talented team have an exciting vision for the future of education in Rapides Parish and are dedicated to constantly improving instruction and providing every child in the district with an excellent education. We look forward to continuing to work together to help all district children reach their highest potential.”

For more information about Discovery Education’s Professional Development initiatives, and other services, 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.

 

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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.

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Educators and Administrators Called on to Set Vision for Future Digital Leadership

ISTE seeks comments from education community on draft Administrator Standards

WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 16, 2017 – Today, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is calling on educators to help set a vision for what future digital leadership should look like. With the release of the first draft of the new ISTE Standards for Administrators, ISTE is encouraging educators and administrators at all levels to provide feedback and help define what it means to be a visionary change agent and education leader.

 

The ISTE Standards are a framework for rethinking education and empowering learners. ISTE began a cycle of updating the widely used standards with the ISTE Standards for Students (released in summer 2016), followed by the ISTE Standards for Educators (released in summer 2017).These standards are a road map for educators worldwide to navigate decisions about curriculum, instruction and professional learning that are focused on the learner-driven application of technology.

 

During the refresh of the Administrator Standards, key themes that have initially emerged include the need for education leaders to be learners themselves, to tell the story of their school or district, and to plan for educational equity that accounts for every student’s individual needs.

 

Throughout 2017-18, ISTE will be working with the education community to update the Administrator Standards. This process is an opportunity for those who impact student success – superintendents, CIOs, curriculum leaders, principals, CTOS and educators – to help develop these standards as a framework to prepare leaders who can embrace the rapid changes and opportunities in education.

 

“I would never leave for a destination without a plan of action, without a direction and the right equipment to complete the journey. The ISTE Standards are important in that they provide the set of expectations to effectively lead our schools and districts in an ever-changing digital world. These standards are the road map to accomplish the journey our students, teachers and schools seek to complete,” said Dan Lawson, director of schools, Tullahoma City Schools in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

 

The ISTE Standards are refreshed every seven to 10 years to ensure they remain relevant and prepare students for the future, while also allowing schools, districts and states to have time to adopt, implement and show an impact on learning. As part of the refresh process, ISTE is working with a group of thought leaders in education, including Lawson, to assist in the development of the latest standards. This group, called the ISTE Technical Working Group, includes administrators and educators both in K-12 and higher education to ensure that ISTE receives input and direction from a diverse group of stakeholders.

 

“Starting the refresh process with the ISTE Student Standards was important because they clearly outline the knowledge, understanding and skills students need to possess to traverse the global digital landscape with success,” said Paula Cordoba, Technical Working Group member and principal at San Pascual STEAM Magnet in the Los Angeles Unified School District. “The ISTE Administrator Standards serve as important checkpoints for the implementation of and support for leveraging diverse technologies to empower students to take ownership of their own learning and for teachers to transform the way they teach.”

 

In its first meeting, the Technical Working Group was tasked with bringing together the feedback provided by hundreds of educators across the U.S. and around the world into an initial framework.

 

Technical Working Group members:

  • Annette Anderson, associate professor and assistant dean for community schools, Johns Hopkins University School of Education, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Gary Brantley, chief information officer, DeKalb County Schools, Atlanta, Georgia, and an ISTE board member
  • Doug Casey, executive director, Connecticut Commission for Education Technology, Hartford, Connecticut
  • Paula Cordoba, principal, San Pascual STEAM Magnet, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Theresa Cullen, associate professor of instructional psychology and technology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma
  • Paula Dillon, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, Barrington Public Schools, Barrington, Rhode Island
  • Christina Garcia, elementary school teacher, Atwater Elementary School District, Atwater, California
  • Jennifer LaMaster, assistant principal, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Dan Lawson, superintendent of schools, Tullahoma City Schools, Tullahoma, Tennessee
  • Curt Mould, director of digital media, innovation and strategy, Sun Prairie School District, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
  • Julianne Ross-Kleinmann, technology integration specialist, Dutchess Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Poughkeepsie, New York
  • Shannon Terry, director of professional learning, Arlington Independent Schools, Arlington, Texas

 

As has been done in the past with the ISTE Standards for Students and Educators, getting input from those who will implement the standards and be affected by them is paramount. The Administrator Standards refresh is open and inclusive, soliciting input from administrators, educators and other education stakeholders. To help individuals participate in the process, ISTE is providing a toolkit to host feedback forums and an individual response survey for people to share their perspectives on the draft. The toolkit includes a facilitator’s guide, surveys for gathering feedback and annotated presentation slides. Comment on the first draft is open until January 2018. Find more information on ISTE’s Administrator Standards Refresh page.

 

The refreshed ISTE Standards for Administrators will be released in June 2018 in Chicago at the ISTE Conference & Expo, one of the world’s most influential edtech events.

 

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About ISTE

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is a nonprofit organization that works with the global education community to accelerate the use of technology to solve tough problems and inspire innovation. Our worldwide network believes in the potential technology holds to transform teaching and learning.

 

ISTE sets a bold vision for education transformation through the ISTE Standards, a framework for students, educators, administrators, coaches and computer science educators to rethink education and create innovative learning environments. ISTE hosts the annual ISTE Conference & Expo, one of the world’s most influential edtechevents. The organization’s professional learning offerings include online courses, professional networks, year-round academies, peer-reviewed journals and other publications. ISTE is also the leading publisher of books focused on technology in education. For more information or to become an ISTE member, visit iste.org. Subscribe to ISTE’s YouTube channel and connect with ISTE on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

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Crayola and NAESP Award Grants to 20 Schools, Support Arts-Infused Education

Champion Creatively Alive Children grant funds arts-infused initiatives in K-8 schools

Easton, PA. (November 15, 2017) —Crayola®, in collaboration with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), awards the Champion Creatively Alive Children (CCAC) grant each year to support arts-infused education in K-8 schools. For the 2017-18 school year, Crayola and NAESP have awarded the CCAC grant to 20 schools across the U.S. Each recipient received a $2,500 grant and $1,000 value in Crayola products to implement art integration projects in their school.

To apply for the CCAC grant, principals propose a plan to infuse the arts into everyday instruction. With the grant funding, this year’s recipients will execute projects such as incorporating art therapy for refugee students and using art to promote connectedness for students of military families.

To read the full news release, please click here.

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KinderLab Robotics Announces New Marker Extension Set for KIBO Robot Kit

New accessory enables young children to program their KIBO robot to draw, developing STEAM skills

(Waltham, MA) November 15, 2017 — KinderLab Robotics has expanded its KIBO™family of products by announcing the new Marker Extension Set, which enables the KIBO robot to draw as it moves. Children using KIBO can use code to create art or geometric shapes, and to document the adventurous travels of their KIBO robot. Specifically designed for young children, KIBO lets them build, code, decorate, and bring their own robot to life—without requiring screen-time of any kind.

Using the Marker Extension Set, kids can turn their KIBO robot into a programmable artist. The child designs “code” for what they want their KIBO to draw by pegging together a sequence of illustrated wooden programming blocks, and then scanning them with the scanner built into the robot’s body. With the markers attached, the Marker Extension Set enables KIBO to draw as it moves according to the child’s code.

Mitch Rosenberg, the CEO of KinderLab Robotics, Inc. said, “We continue to make products which enable playful STEAM learning that is age-appropriate for young children. Our new Marker Extension Set is a perfect complement to our KIBO robot because it provides fun, creative ways to get kids, parents, and educators excited about learning with robotics. We know kids will love watching their KIBO create drawings.

The Marker Extension Set attaches to the KIBO body, providing fixed and pivoting attachment points, or “arms” that hold the included washable markers (or your own markers). Attach an arm using the fixed attachment and the marker it holds will draw precisely; attach an arm using a pivoting attachment and the marker it holds will swing freely as it draws. Multiple arm attachment points give children lots of options to explore different drawing styles and line qualities. The opportunities for young children to explore sequences, motion, and art designs are endless.

The Marker Extension Set includes the Marker body, three arms for holding markers, and three washable markers; it is priced at $35 and available at the KinderLab Robotics web storeAdditional markers and arms are also available.

KinderLab wants to give as many kids as possible the chance to try the Marker Extension Set this holiday season. Starting today, customers purchasing any KIBO kit will receive a free Market Extension Set! (There is a limit of one per customer, and the offer expires 12/31/17). Kids that get the Maker Extension Set before the holidays can use it to make their own wrapping paper or holiday poster!

About KinderLab Robotics, Inc.
KinderLab Robotics is the creator of KIBO, a robot kit based on 15 years of child development research, that enables young children to build, program, decorate, and run their own robot. Developed by Dr. Marina Umaschi Bers at Tufts University specifically for teachers, KIBO is used in 50 countries and has proven efficacy in helping kids learn STEAM—and get excited about it! KinderLab offers a complete suite of teaching materials that help integrate STEAM elements into a wide range of curricula, including art, cultural studies, and reading literacy. KIBO is a GOLD Winner of the 2017 Parents’ Choice Award in the Toy Category, and a Finalist in The Tech Edvocate “Best Early Childhood Education App/Tool” category.

For more information, please visit KinderLabRobotics.com.

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Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area Educators Learn Computational Thinking to Prepare Students For 21st Century Careers

 

— Through “Ignite My Future in School” Tata Consultancy Services and Discovery Education Deliver World-Class Professional Development to Educators within Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland —

 

SILVER SPRING, MD | NEW YORK, NY, November 14, 2017 – Tata Consultancy Services, (TCS), (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS) a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, and Discovery Education, the premier provider of digital education content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, have announced the continuation of their Ignite My Future in School program in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Teachers will receive professional development, educational resources and year-round support to integrate computational thinking into core subjects such as math, sciences, arts, and social studies. In turn, students will be exposed to foundational skills for 21st century careers – across industries – through this transdisciplinary approach.

“Creating pathways for teachers to gain relevant skills is essential to ensuring the success of students and the future of the nation,” said Balaji Ganapathy, Head of Workforce Effectiveness, TCS. “I applaud these districts for being forward-thinking and committed to integrating computer science into core subjects. We are excited to provide instructors from all communities, rural, suburban and city with opportunities to succeed and create curriculums that are contextually aligned with the needs of industries in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia.”

Educators from District of Columbia Public Schools, Maryland’s Anne Arundel County, Kent County and Prince George’s County, as well as Virginia’s Loudoun County and Arlington Public Schools will experience immersive computational thinking training. The participating districts are diverse; from urban Washington D.C., to suburban Anne Arundel County and rural Kent County. Nonetheless, the school systems share a common interest of providing their employees with the necessary tools to teach students how to thrive in a tech savvy world. Approximately 100 teachers from 46 schools will participate in Day of Discovery at Discovery Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. The program is estimated to impact 8,000 students across the districts.

“Today’s Day of Discovery will bring together K-12 educators from every level to reimage how they can use computational thinking to help students develop the foundational skills needed for 21st century careers,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice-president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “We are proud to be partnering with Tata Consultancy Services on this exciting event, and look forward to continue to continuing building on the tremendous momentum the Ignite My Future in School initiative is creating nationwide.”

Leading businesses from across sectors, including technology and telecommunication, form a major presence employing thousands of residents in and around Washington D.C. Yet, Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C still have thousands of open computing jobs – in fact, 4.3 times the demand rate for the region. Maryland has over 18,000 open computing jobs, while the state produced less than 3,000 graduates this past year. Virginia’s disparity is more drastic, with over 32,000 available computing jobs, but less than 1,600 computer science graduates.

 

Ignite My Future in School hopes to bridge the gap by developing relevant skills for 21st century job opportunities in the new digital economy, including Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT).

On a National level, Ignite My Future in School has a goal of engaging 20,000 teachers and one million U.S. students by 2021. As a first step towards this goal, TCS and Discovery Education announced that 10 U.S. school systems across the country – with more than 6,700 teachers and 194,000 students – joined the effort as early adopters of this transdisciplinary approach in a five-year educator training and learning commitment to empower middle school teachers.

These select schools will experience the unique opportunity to learn and apply computational thinking through an annual free day of professional development for educators and community night for parents. TCS and Discovery Education have also launched an online program, TECHademy, which will engage teachers nationwide in an exclusive, cost-free, virtual professional development experience that includes curriculum resources, eLearning courses, webinars and more. These resources are aligned to national standards, as well as the recently launched K-12 Computer Science Framework.

Ignite My Future in School builds on TCS’ robust community initiatives that have inspired more than two million young people in STEM education and careers. TCS is a founding partner for two national mentoring initiatives in the United States, US2020 and Million Women Mentors. Its flagship student engagement program, TCS goIT, has engaged more than 12,000 middle and high school students across 56 cities in the United States and Canada with hands-on experiences in computer science, inspiring them towards tech careers in all sectors. Moreover, TCS is part of the CSforAll Consortium and has national partnerships with NCWIT, NPower, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, CECP, National 4H Council, Boys Scouts of America, and Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

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About Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS)

Tata Consultancy Services is an IT servicesconsulting and business solutions organization that delivers real results to global business, ensuring a level of certainty no other firm can match. TCS offers a consulting-led, integrated portfolio of ITBPSinfrastructureengineering and assurance services. This is delivered through its unique Global Network Delivery Model™, recognized as the benchmark of excellence in software development. A part of the Tata group, India’s largest industrial conglomerate, TCS has over 389,000 of the world’s best-trained consultants in 46 countries. The company generated consolidated revenues of U.S. $17.6 billion for year ended March 31, 2017 and is listed on the BSE Limited and National Stock Exchange of India Limited. For more information, visit us at www.tcs.com. To stay up-to-date on TCS news in North America, follow @TCS_NA. For TCS global news, follow @TCS_News.

 

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 DiscoveryEducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.

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EcoRise, Google, and the Collaborative for High Performance Schools Announce Curriculum Development Partnership

Jointly-developed sustainability curriculum will integrate Google educational tools with EcoRise and CHPS platforms to enhance STEM teaching and learning

Austin, TX―EcoRise, Google, and the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) have announced a partnership to develop a project-based learning sustainability curriculum that will enhance STEM instruction in public education, including for underserved communities. Google will support the project, “Citizen Science: Student and Community Engagement in Assessing and Improving School Buildings,” with a $50,000 grant, will jointly develop the curriculum along with EcoRise and CHPS, and will put it into use with their Science Journal App and Google Classroom platform.

“We are beyond excited to partner with Google and CHPS on this project that will bring new elements to STEM instruction in public schools and further our mission of developing the next generation of sustainability leaders,” said Gina LaMotte, EcoRise founder and executive director. “We believe this project has the power to not only enhance, but truly transform teaching and learning in a way that opens students up to a new and brighter future as difference-makers in our global society.”

In the new curriculum, the school building will be used as a learning tool to not only educate students, but to bring awareness of current school facility conditions and the ways in which they can be improved. Students will learn the importance of school design and maintenance on facility conditions and on student learning and achievement, as well as how to undertake the assessment measurements, analyze the results, and document their findings so they can be communicated to the community.

The project will be run by CHPS and EcoRise. In Phase 1, to take place through July 2018, EcoRise and CHPS will focus on integrating existing tools and resources into the Science Journal app and other Google educational tools, and vice versa. Among other endeavors, this will include:

  • Integration of the Science Journal into EcoRise’s Eco-Audit Waste unit―which is used at more than 500 schools internationally, is aligned to national standard frameworks, including the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core, and is available in English and Spanish―for high school students, as a mechanism to collect data, store photographs, and take lab notes.

  • Integration of the Science Journal and other Google tools into EcoRise’s Student Innovation Fund, a learner-facing grant platform that awards numerous micro-grants to fund student-led sustainability projects each year.

  • Integration of CHPS’s benchmarking tool, the Operations Report Card (ORC)―used to assess building energy and water use, waste management, and four indoor environmental quality factors: indoor air quality, acoustics, lighting and thermal comfort―into the Google Science Journal platform and with other Google tools.

  • Integration of CHPS and EcoRise platforms with one another, and alignment of these platforms with science curriculum standards.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this collaboration with Google and EcoRise to merge our building assessment tool with Google’s learning platform and EcoRise’s STEM curriculum as a way to provide students with new opportunities to learn about the environment around them,” said Elisabeth Krautscheid, Managing Director of CHPS. “We have always viewed the school building as an excellent teaching tool, and this partnership will enhance the ability of all three organizations to engage students in the science behind building operations and how that science directly impacts them.”

EcoRise and CHPS have combined for more than 50 years of successful programming and worked with a network of more than 1,000 K-12 schools across the United States. By working together alongside Google, the organizations plan to develop a project that can eventually deepen the integration of the Science Journal app and Google Drive with project activities; scale curriculum and the Google Science Journal to schools internationally; develop new curriculum on related career opportunities in facilities management, design, construction, and building sciences; and more.

About EcoRise

EcoRise develops the next generation of creative problem solvers by enlivening conventional classrooms with academically-aligned K-12 curriculum that introduce students to environmental literacy, social innovation and hands-on design skills. Green professionals serve as guest speakers and project mentors to help students solve real-world sustainability challenges concerning energy, water, waste, transportation, air quality, food and public spaces. The program focuses on enhancing STEM education, promoting sustainability, introducing students to green careers, and helping students develop 21st century skills. To learn more about EcoRise, visit ecorise.org.

About the Collaborative for High Performance Schools

The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, created the nation’s first green building rating program developed especially for school buildings. CHPS’ mission is to make every school an ideal place to learn by facilitating the design, construction, and operation of high performance schools: learning environments that are healthy and productive, resource efficient, and environmentally responsible. That is why CHPS works with schools and experts to take action to ensure that every child has the best possible learning environment with the smallest impact on the planet. To date, over three hundred CHPS Verified and CHPS Designed schools have been built nationwide with 300 more in the pipeline. For more information, visit our website at www.chps.net.

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Impero Software Named Finalist in 2018 Bett Awards

 

Impero is shortlisted for “Company of the Year” and “Classroom Aids for Learning, Teaching and Assessment” categories

 

 

Simi Valley, CA, Nov. 13, 2017 – Impero Software is a finalist in two categories for the 2018 Bett Awards: “Company of the Year” and “Classroom Aids for Learning, Teaching and Assessment.” The final judging takes place in December and the winners will be named at a prestigious ceremony in January, 2018 during the Bett Show in London.

The annual Bett Awards is considered among the most prestigious awards programs in the EdTech Industry. It is produced in association with the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) and, recognizes outstanding sector resources, learning solutions and companies.

This is the second time Impero has been recognized by the awards program. Impero was named EdTech Exporter of the Year in the 2017 Bett Awards for its customer-centric U.S. strategy. In 2017, Impero had focused development efforts around Chrome OS functionality and launched a marketing effort to announce the production of a comprehensive research paper detailing online safety requirements of each state, new partnerships with non-profit and specialist organizations, and the creation of a U.S. specific web page. It also established dedicated U.S. support, sales and account management teams.

“We are honored to be shortlisted again for this prestigious awards program,” said Sam Pemberton, CEO of Impero Software. “We provide tools and resources to help schools keep students safe in an increasingly digital world, help teachers manage their classrooms and teach with technology, and help school and district IT departments save time and money. Having our efforts recognized by the Bett Awards is validation that what we are doing is working for schools.”

Impero partners with schools to provide online monitoring software that can alert instructors or administrators if it detects students typing or searching for certain keywords related to sexting, cyberbullying, radicalization, self-harm and more. It also provides anonymous reporting features and classroom management tools to help schools and IT departments manage multiple devices, as the use of technology in the classroom continues to rise. Impero also offers EdLink, a mobile device management tool to help schools manage one-to-one initiatives and BYOD programs.

Impero supports schools in keeping students safe online and promoting good digital citizenship. The company has partnered with advocacy organizations to produce white papers at the 2017 and 2016 Digital Citizenship Summits. It also released an Online Safety Handbook this year which provides resources and best practices for schools that are using Impero Education Pro. It released a video earlier this month highlighting the dangers of bullying and sexting, and how online monitoring software can help schools detect problems before they escalate.

About Impero Software

Impero Software offers remote monitoring and management software, relied upon by education establishments around the world. Founded in 2002, Impero software is now accessed by over 1.5 million devices in over 90 countries. Impero is used by over 1,400 UK high schools and in over 500 U.S. districts.

Impero’s cutting edge EdTech 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. Impero’s sophisticated online safety functionality uses keyword detection technology to help schools safeguard students online.

For more information visit: www.imperosoftware.com

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CDI Launches a Chromebook Trade-In Program for Schools

The Trade-In Program offers a free two-year warranty on new Chromebooks and removal and recycling of the old devices

Chicago IL – Nov. 14, 2017 – CDI Computer Dealers has launched a Chromebook Trade-In Program that provides a hassle-free, environmentally-friendly way for schools to dispose of their aging Chromebooks and obtain a free two-year premium extended warranty on the new ones purchased from CDI (a value of $23 per device). To take advantage of this program, visit:https://cdicomputers.com/education/chromebook-trade-in-program/.

CDI, which has deployed more than 270,000 Chromebooks in schools, launched the Chromebook Trade-In Program in response to customer feedback as education IT leaders look for ways to dispose of old devices. Quick and simple to participate in, the Chromebook Trade-In Program offers interested individuals a website where they can fill out a brief online form providing details about the devices they want to trade in* and what type of Chromebook they’d like to purchase from CDI. They can choose from top brands such as eduGear, HP, Lenovo and Acer. CDI then arranges to pick up the old Chromebooks and recycles them at no cost to the school through Lifespan, its ITAD (I.T. Asset Disposition) company. The new Chromebooks come with a two-year warranty with a $0 Cost of Ownership Guarantee which helps customers lower and even eliminate maintenance costs.

“Chromebooks have become the digital learning device of choice for many schools because of their low total cost of ownership and ease of use,” said Glenn Collins, vice president of mobile computing at CDI. “Our Chromebook Trade-In Program will provide schools and districts with a convenient way to update their technology and get a great warranty on their new equipment,” Glenn added.

To date, CDI has helped 1,800 schools adopt Chromebooks in the classroom. CDI is a Google Education Partner and in addition to providing the devices, also supports schools with needs assessments, RFP assistance, professional development, software and custom app bundles for their Chromebook initiatives. To learn more about CDI’s Chromebook program, visit https://cdicomputers.com/education/chromebooks/.

To learn more about CDI Computer Dealers please visit: http://cdicomputers.com/

*Trade-in Chromebooks must be in working condition and must be decommissioned from the customer Google Management Console to qualify.

About CDI

CDI is the leading provider of technology-based solutions to the North American education market and has worked with over 10,000 schools and colleges. CDI delivers a powerful value proposition to budget-conscious institutions by providing new and recertified I.T. products and services at a significant discount along with the longest warranties in the industry. CDI’s product line includes PCs, Notebooks, Chromebooks, Tablets, Servers and Networking Equipment, 3D printers and classroom accessories. The company holds ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 certifications, and processes more than one million I.T. assets annually. Learn more at https://cdicomputers.com/education/

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50+ Houston Charter Schools Launch a Common Online Application through SchoolMint

An increasing number of cities partner with SchoolMint to meet demand for a more accessible and equitable application process for families

SAN FRANCISCO, November 14, 2017 – Houston’s Families Empowered is the latest organization to partner with SchoolMint, the leading provider of cloud-based strategic enrollment management software for PreK-12 school systems worldwide, to launch a common online application for its city’s charter schools. In addition to Houston, SchoolMint’s common online application for charter schools has been implemented in cities with some of the highest percentages of charter enrollment nationwide, including Boston, Kansas City, New York City, Oakland, Rochester, St. Louis, and West Contra Costa. Growing parent demand for a more equitable and accessible application process is prompting multiple regions nationwide to provide a common application system, which improves and simplifies the enrollment experience for parents.

“Organizations in an increasing number of cities like Houston are recognizing the need to provide a streamlined application process for families submitting applications to multiple schools,” said Jinal Jhaveri, founder and CEO of SchoolMint. “A common online application eases the burden placed on families each year to navigate, select, and then apply to schools for their child.”

Created by non-profit Families Empowered, Apply Houston is a partnership between multiple public charter school networks designed to streamline the PreK-12 school application process. Parents looking for school options can fill out one application and apply to any or all of the 50-plus participating schools. The Apply Houston application takes parents approximately 10 minutes to complete, can be accessed on mobile devices, and is available in multiple languages.

“Apply Houston was born out of the need to make the school choice process more accessible and equitable for all Houston families,” said Rachael Dempsey, spokesperson for Families Empowered. “SchoolMint’s experience implementing a common application in other cities, as well as the platform’s overall ease of use for families, will help us meet this goal as we work to make Apply Houston a citywide initiative and the go-to destination for parents applying to schools.”

As school choice becomes more prevalent, SchoolMint is also partnering with an increasing number of schools districts such as Camden City School District, Chicago Public Schools, and Denver Public Schools to provide a robust set of tools allowing parents to easily research and compare school options and efficiently complete the school selection, application, and registration processes for their child. “As more school systems across the country are interested in providing a more simplified, equitable enrollment experience for their parents, we don’t see this trend slowing down,” said Jhaveri.

To learn more about SchoolMint, visit http://www.schoolmint.com.

About SchoolMint

SchoolMint provides a cloud-based student enrollment and school choice platform to PreK-12 school systems worldwide. Since its founding in 2013, close to 6,000 schools have chosen SchoolMint to streamline all aspects of student enrollment – student registration management, application, lottery, and school choice management, and digital forms and document uploads. Available online and on mobile devices, SchoolMint integrates with leading student information systems (SIS) and transforms the end-to-end enrollment experience for school staff and parents. SchoolMint is part of the new BV Investment Partners-funded EdTech Platform along with Hero K12. Visit www.SchoolMint.com to learn more.


Zoetis, The National FFA Organization and Discovery Education Host

Live Virtual Field Trip Highlighting Exciting STEM Careers in Animal Health

 

— New ‘STEM Careers Improving Animal Health’ Virtual Field Trip exposes students to a variety of STEM Careers at Zoetis —

 

Silver Spring, Maryland (November 13, 2017) – In an effort to encourage students to explore careers in agriculture, Zoetis, the leading global animal health company, the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Organization, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, are joining forces to launch a new, cost-free Virtual Field Trip. STEM Careers Improving Animal Health will broadcast LIVE on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. ET from the Zoetis Headquarters in Parsippany, New Jersey.

 

The STEM Careers Improving Animal Health Virtual Field Trip will give students a look into careers found at Zoetis that provide medicines and vaccines, along with diagnostic products, genetic tests, biodevices, and a wide range of services to veterinarians, livestock producers, and those who raise and care for farm and companion animals. Virtual Field Trip viewers will be transported to the Zoetis headquarters where they will hear first-hand accounts from current employees about careers within the company and the educational background each job requires. For more information on the STEM Careers Improving Animal Health Virtual Field Trip or to register to participate, visit agexplorer.com/virtual-field-trip. To access the website’s free resources, visit AgExplorer.com.

 

“We have reached an exciting time in the animal health industry when the need for innovation is accelerating. It is imperative for the next generation of solution seekers to engage in opportunities to explore agriculture and STEM,” said Kristin Peck, President, U.S. Operations, Zoetis.  “By partnering with the FFA Organization and Discovery Education to create STEM Careers Improving Animal Health, we hope to empower students everywhere to pursue agriculture careers that truly make a difference in the world.”

 

By the year 2050, the world’s farmers will need to double food production, in particular, animal protein such as meat, milk, poultry, eggs, and fish, to meet the demands of a global population estimated to be 9.1 billion. Continuous innovation will be ever more important to help farmers produce increasing amounts of high-quality, safe animal protein with finite resources. Through its mission of bringing animal health customers quality products, services, and commitment, Zoetis aims to help its veterinarian and livestock farmers customers tackle this challenge.

 

“With job openings expanding rapidly every year in agriculture, there is no better time than now to start sparking student interest in the field,” said National FFA CEO Mark Poeschl. “We are thrilled to continue the AgExplorermission in partnership with Zoetis and Discovery Education to transform today’s high school students into the field’s leaders of tomorrow.”

 

To accompany the virtual experience, Zoetis, the National FFA Organization and Discovery Education have developed both pre-and post-virtual field trip teaching resources available for classroom use atagexplorer.com/virtual-field-trip.

 

“Discovery Education is proud to team up with Zoetis and the National FFA to advocate for greater student interest in agriculture career fields,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “Through exploration of leading organizations like Zoetis and their thriving opportunities, students will be excited about the possibilities that exist to obtain jobs that are crucial to conquering real-world challenges.”

 

The STEM Careers Improving Animal Health Virtual Field Trip is an extension of the National FFA and Discovery Education’s comprehensive career resource, AgExplorer. Launched last year, the AgExplorer program intends to drive interest in high school students to pursue careers in agriculture, a field with a variety and abundance of opportunities for the future. Among the career pathways highlighted at AgExplorer.com are animal systems; biotechnology systems; environmental service systems; food products and processing systems; natural resources systems; plant systems; power, structural and technical systems; and agricultural education. In addition, AgExplorer.com includes more than 250 career descriptions with education requirements and average salaries, links to a college and university database and more.

 

Educators and classrooms can join the conversation and ask questions of participants LIVE on Twitter@NationalFFA@DiscoveryEd and using the hashtag #AGExplorerVFT. Following this live event, a Virtual Field Trip Archive will be made available on-demand through Discovery Education’s website.

 

The STEM Careers Improving Animal Health Virtual Field Trip is also available through Discovery Education Streaming Plus. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital content and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @DiscoveryEd.

 

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About Zoetis

Zoetis is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products, genetic tests, biodevices and a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2016, the company generated annual revenue of $4.9 billion with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information, visit www.zoetis.com.

 

About National FFA Organization

The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 653,359 student members as part of 8,568 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at FFA.org, on FacebookTwitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.

 

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.

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itslearning Webinar Alert:

Replacing Inclement Weather Days with Virtual Online Learning

 

WHAT: Free webinar on strategies for ensuring continuity of learning during weather disruptions

WHO: Rachel Riggio, senior project manager/team lead for itslearning

WHEN: Thursday, November 16, 1 PM ET 

REGISTER: http://bit.ly/2hlxMm4

Boston, MA – Nov. 13, 2017 – As technology evolves so does the concept of snow days. Gone are the days of sleeping in and cartoon marathons. Now, when the weather gets bad and schools close, the learning turns online with learning management systems providing students with some type of instruction to compensate for missed classroom time. In fact,experts say the use of online learning as a remedy to the loss of class time on snow days is growing nationally as more school systems look for ways to continue learning without extending their school calendars. Several northern states, including Pennsylvania and Ohio, allow the online-snow day replacement. But implementing the virtual systems must be done carefully and with proper planning.

To learn new approaches to keep the learning going even on days of inclement weather, educators can join Rachel Riggio on Thursday, November 16 at 1 PM ET for “Battling Bad Weather: Strategies for Ensuring Continuity of Learning.”

 

During this one-hour webinar, Rachel will share ways in which district leaders and teachers can prepare for winter weather and ensure their students will benefit from continuity of learning throughout the winter months. Learn best practices for planning for bad weather and providing support to teachers, parents and students. Hear about virtual learning days and how one Georgia district successfully implements them during storms.

Join the synchronous Twitter discussion using #winteriscoming

There is no cost to join the webinar, but registration is required. For more information, go to http://bit.ly/2hlxMm4

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New Edgenuity Courses Approved By Virginia Department of Education

The expanded list of courses, approved by the Virginia Department of Education, spans the creative, science, technology and management fields

 

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. – NOVEMBER 13, 2017 – Edgenuity, a leader in online and blended learning solutions, today announced that additional Edgenuity courses have been approved by the Virginia Department of Education (DOE). As an approved Virginia Department of Education Multidivisional Online Provider, Edgenuity is proud to now offer more than 60 Virginia DOE-approved courses for Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) and Career Technical Education (CTE).’

 

New courses approved by the VA DOE for SOL/CTE include a wide variety of subjects – everything from photography, fashion design and restaurant management to astronomy, forensic science and manufacturing.

 

“We are excited to be working alongside Virginia educators to meet the diverse needs and interests of their students,” said Sari Factor, CEO of Edgenuity. “With each expansion of our course offerings, we are able to provide students with greater options for learning both in and outside of the classroom. Choice is a cornerstone of Edgenuity’s mission and we aim to continually provide access to rigorous and engaging courses that propel success.”

 

Edgenuity Instructional Services offers standards-aligned courses taught by highly qualified, Virginia-certified virtual instructors. The flexible implementation model is designed to meet the specific academic needs and goals of any district by:

 

  • Offsetting teacher shortages with virtual teachers who can serve as the teacher of record;
  • Providing a rigorous learning option for homebound or homeschooled students; and
  • Expanding the courses available to students, including engaging electives that help them explore new interests

 

Edgenuity Courseware® offers Virginia students in grades six through 12 a full suite of over 200 Virginia standards-aligned core, AP®, honors, elective, dual credit and concept/credit recovery courses. These courses can be taught by district teachers or by Edgenuity’s highly qualified, state-certified virtual instructors. Virginia schools or districts can partner with Edgenuity on Instructional Services at any point during the school year.

 

A full, updated list of courses approved and available in Virginia is available here.


Discovery Education Introduces Science Techbook Aligned to British Columbia’s New Curriculum

 

-Digital Textbook for Grades K-9 Empowers Provincial Educators to Help Students Build the Skills Needed for Success Beyond High School-

 

Silver Spring, Md. (November 9, 2017) – Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms in North America, today announced the launch of a new edition of the Discovery Education Science Techbook™ for K-9 students aligned to British Columbia’s New Curriculum. Fully supporting the instructional shifts required by the New Curriculum, this edition of the Discovery Education Science Techbook empowers educators to help their students develop the skills they need to succeed in life beyond high school.

 

Discovery Education’s award-winning Techbooks are breakthrough digital textbooks that are aligned to curricular 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.

 

Embracing the New Curriculum’s “Know-Do-Understand” model to support a concept-based competency-driven approach to learning, the New Curriculum-aligned Science Techbook includes rich, standards-aligned content such as video, audio, text, interactives with hands-on activities, and virtual labs that help educators personalize instruction and provide a rich and engaging learning experience for students. Additional student features include bilingual text-to-speech and leveled reading tools, and note-taking and highlighting capabilities.

 

Discovery Education’s Science Techbooks include valuable STEM resources as well. STEM Project Starters encourage students to connect math, technology, and engineering to their understanding of science concepts to produce creative solutions to real world problems. In addition, the STEM In Action resources help students connect their work to STEM careers, which promotes a clearer understanding of how skills used in school can be applied to jobs “in the real world.”  Embedded formative assessment opportunities that help educators monitor student progress are embedded into each Techbook, and like all Discovery Education digital textbooks, the Science Techbooks work on any device and can be implemented in any instructional setting.

 

“British Columbia’s New Curriculum was developed in response to the needs of our increasingly demanding world,” said Jordan Tinney, Superintendent of British Columbia’s Surrey Public Schools.   “Discovery Education’s New Curriculum-aligned Science Techbook, provides teachers with one more option to help students learn not only the basics of reading, writing, and math, but also the collaboration, communication, and critical thinking skills so important for success in this new environment.”

 

The Discovery Education Community supports educators using all editions of Discovery Education’s Techbooks in their efforts to transform students’ learning experiences with digital media. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing, and inspiration.

 

“British Columbia’s New Curriculum represents a bold direction in education for educators across the province,” said Andy Schaefer, Discovery Education Canada’s General Manager.  “Discovery Education is dedicated to providing the region’s educators innovative resources like the New Curriculum-aligned Science Techbook that will bring British Columbia’s new vision for education alive.”

For more information about Discovery Education’s Techbooks, digital content and professional development services, visit www.discoveryeducation.ca. Stay connected with Discovery Education on social media throughFacebook, follow us on twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.

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About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in curriculum-based digital content for primary and secondary classrooms, 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 used in classrooms across North American, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries worldwide. Discovery Education Canada partners with districts, provinces 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 Canadian education atwww.discoveryeducation.ca.

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D2L’s Autumn17 Delivers Unprecedented Flexibility, Letting Teachers and Educators Work the Way They Want
Innovative features streamline the day, letting educators focus on what’s important: learning
D2L, the global learning technology leader, unveils the Autumn17 release of Brightspace, its award-winning learning management system (LMS). With new features to simplify work, it gives teachers and educators more flexibility to deliver impactful learning experiences.

Flexibility — in how, where and when you do your work and learning — is critically important. In fact, The Journal of Vocational Behavior’s meta-analysis of 60 published studies in the United States and Canada confirms that flexibility benefits both employers and employees while reducing stress.

“We’ve been listening closely to feedback from the Brightspace community. You’ve made it clear ¾ you want to work in a way that’s convenient for you, not in a way a system forces you to work,” explained Cheryl Ainoa, COO of D2L. “The new features in Autumn17 allow you to streamline your day, freeing up time so you can focus on student engagement and success.”

“Your company is evolving and always adding new features as suggested by your clients,” said Grace Dorrington, eLearning Support Officer, Saint Stephens College. “I also feel that D2L offers a personal touch to its clients. This makes us feel satisfied and well cared for.”

With Brightspace Autumn17, teachers and educators can work the way they want with these new capabilities.

USE THE TOOLS THEY LOVE
With more options to leverage existing resources, it’s easy for teachers and educators to build compelling courses. They can leverage content from Microsoft OneDrive® or Google Drive™ effortlessly by adding them with a simple click to the Content tool, Brightspace Lessons and Portfolio. YouTube™ videos now display elegantly inline when the link is added to Brightspace Lessons. As well, teachers and educators can quickly build surveys, self-assessments and quizzes by uploading questions from existing sources to the Brightspace question library.

PROVIDE VALUABLE AND UNBIASED FEEDBACK
Meaningful reviews will help students improve, and can be facilitated with rich annotations and peer reviews using Critique^It Assignments. As well, teachers and educators have the option to use anonymous grading to remove unconscious bias.

WORK WHEN IT’S CONVENIENT
Busy teachers and educators can save a draft of an upcoming assignment to share later, and prep communications ahead of time by scheduling posts for the activity feed. They can maximize their impact with Brightspace by accessing on-demand or live training that is targeted to their skill level and specific needs with new subscription training.

ACCESS FAST AND TIMELY DATA
Admins and CIOs can refresh their data hourly, providing them with powerful knowledge that they can turn into timely actions. Brightspace is the only LMS to provide data this frequently, giving schools confidence that their actions are relevant and based off the most current information.

KEEP IN TOUCH WITH PARENTS IN REAL-TIME
Brightspace for Parents lets teachers connect with parents and guardians to share student work, upcoming assignments and communications effortlessly ¾ enabling positive reinforcement when children need it most.

“Parent engagement at Springfield is one of our key strategies, making sure parents are aware of what’s happening with their students. It’s critically important because we can’t alone provide everything that our students need. That needs to be done in partnership with parents, family, with the community more broadly,” stated Paul Foster, Chief Information Officer, Springfield Public School. “We want parents to log in and see the kind of assignments students are being asked to complete, see the kind of discussion topics that teachers are engaging the students with, and obviously being able to see their students’ grades so they can keep track of where their students are at.”

GIVE YOUNG STUDENTS MORE INDEPENDENCE
Exploring the LMS freely and independently is easy for young students with image-based navigation. Portfolio’s new animated cartoon character guides students through every step as they document their learning, enabling them to be more self-sufficient and independent. Teachers can approve posts and share work with parents and guardians using a single click.

“Portfolio’s setup, ease of use and innovative design has teachers from Kindergarten to High School excited to document learning. By putting the documentation in the student’s hands, it makes capturing learning feasible and fun. Teachers in all roles and subject areas have been looking for a tool like this to help them capture the observations and conversations in the classroom that they need to make fair assessments,” said Robert Dunlop, Blended Learning Resource Teacher, Niagara School Board. “D2L has done an amazing job listening to the needs of teachers and students when they designed this tool.”

Brightspace Autumn17 will work on whatever device people want: a mobile device, tablet or desktop. Brightspace is the only LMS that has adopted the industry’s best practice of fully responsive design that enables a user interface to adapt beautifully to different screen sizes. Ian Wolf, Assistant Professor of English, Louisburg College, commented: “In all honesty, D2L benefits greatly by comparison to our old LMS, but even disregarding that, the cross-platform functionality truly meets our students where they are most comfortable, i.e., their mobile devices.”

To view the complete list of new features in Brightspace Autumn17, please visit www.D2L.com/seasonalrelease.

ABOUT BRIGHTSPACE
D2L’s Brightspace is a learning management system (LMS) that helps schools and institutions deliver personalized learning in a classroom or online to people anywhere in the world. Created for the digital learner, Brightspace is cloud-based, runs on mobile devices and offers rich multimedia to increase engagement, productivity and knowledge retention. The platform makes it easy to design courses, create content and grade assignments, giving instructors more time to focus on what’s most important: greater teaching and learning. At the same time, analytics reports track and deliver insights into the performance levels of departments, courses or individuals.

Brightspace was recently named the #1 LMS in Higher Ed by Ovum Research and #1 in Adaptive Learning by eLearning Magazine. In addition, Aragon Research included Brightspace in its highly coveted Hot Vendors In Learning list.

ABOUT D2L
D2L is the software leader that makes the learning experience better. The company’s cloud-based platform is easier to use, more flexible and smart. With Brightspace, companies can personalize the experience for every learner to deliver real results. The company is a world leader in learning analytics: its platform predicts learner performance so that companies can act in real-time to keep employees on track. Brightspace is used by learners in higher educationK-12 and the enterprise sector, including the Fortune 1000. D2L has operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Brazil and Singapore. www.D2L.com

 

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Charter Schools Across the Country Renew and Expand Use of

Lexia Reading Core5 Literacy Program After Experiencing Extraordinary Gains

 

86% of charter school students using the program with fidelity advance one or more

grade levels in Core5 during 2016-2017 school year

BOSTON (Nov. 9, 2017) – Committed to rigorous personalized instruction, positive school culture, and support of lifelong learners, the nation’s charter schools are posting remarkable gains with the Lexia Reading Core5® literacy program. With almost 700 charter institutions already using Core5 to enhance students’ reading abilities, Charter Schools USA; Somerset Academy Miramar (Florida); and Chicago International Charter Schools (CICS) Irving Park, a Distinctive Schools campus, are among the most recent Charter Management Organizations and charter schools to renew and expand their use of Lexia’s highly regarded, research-proven reading approach.

In fact, for the 2016/17 school year, more than 73,000 charter school students in grades K–5 used the blended learning program to meet the demands of reaching higher levels of reading competency. Students of all abilities made substantial improvement in the program across the year, according to an end-of-year gains analysis showing:

  • When students used the program with fidelity, 86 percent advanced one or more grade levels in Core5
  • The percentage of students who were classified as working in or above grade level nearly doubled from 50 percent 91 percent by end-of-year
  • Two-thirds (66 percent) reached their grade-level benchmark in Core5

 

“Core5 provides our students personalized, engaging learning that supports the development of foundational skills and is an important tool in our literacy instruction,” said J.W. Kuebler, Director of Chicago International Charter Schools (CICS) Irving Park. “It gives our students practice opportunities that help them grow and our teachers real-time data to identify areas of need, as well as provide suggested interventions based on those needs.”

 

Developed by Lexia Learning, a Rosetta Stone Inc. (NYSE: RST) Company, Lexia Reading Core5 is a technology-based program that accelerates the development of fundamental literacy skills for students of all abilities in grades pre-K–5. Following a rigorous scope and sequence built for college and career ready standards, the program provides explicit, systematic instruction through personalized learning paths in six areas of reading. It seamlessly adapts with student performance, targeting skill gaps as they emerge, and equipping teachers with the data and instructional resources they need to personalize instruction for every student. Embedded assessment technology predicts students’ year-end performance and provides ongoing norm-referenced and actionable data to help teachers prioritize and plan instruction with the offline instructional materials. The online student dashboard encourages students to set goals and take ownership of their learning, for an experience that’s motivating and engaging for students and teachers alike.

 

Michelle Rojas, reading coach at Somerset Academy Miramar explained that they first rolled out Core5 to all students in grades pre-K─2 and recently expanded the use of the program to struggling readers in grades 3─8 because, “There are so many reasons why we love Lexia, but the most important one of all is the growth we see in our students. There’s nothing more important than that. Students in grades K–2 using the program achieved substantial growth. The percent of students working in or above grade level in Core5 increased from 48 percent to 95 percent in less than one school year,” Rojas continued. “And the number of students working below their grade level in the program reduced from 52 percent to 5 percent.”

 

“The teacher is the single greatest in-school factor when it comes to improving student outcomes. Online learning programs, like Core5, enable our teachers to provide high-quality, differentiated, small group instruction targeted to specific groups of students’ needs. The program provides personalized practice opportunities online, so that when a student isn’t working with a teacher directly, they are working in their zone of proximal development,” concludes Kuebler. “It’s like an independent station that is custom tailored to give students the personalized, engaging practice they need to be successful readers.”

 

#  #  #

 

About Lexia Learning

Lexia Learning, a division of Rosetta Stone, empowers educators through adaptive assessment and personalized instruction. For more than 30 years, the company has been on the leading edge of research and product development as it relates to student reading skills. With a robust offering that includes solutions for differentiated instruction, personalized learning, and assessment, Lexia Learning provides educators with the tools to intensify and accelerate literacy skills development for students of all abilities. For more information, visit www.lexialearning.com.

 

About Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone Inc. (NYSE: RST) is dedicated to changing people’s lives through the power of language and literacy education. The company’s innovative digital solutions drive positive learning outcomes for the inspired learner at home or in schools and workplaces around the world. Founded in 1992, Rosetta Stone’s language division uses cloud-based solutions to help all types of learners read, write, and speak more than 30 languages. Lexia Learning, Rosetta Stone’s literacy education division, was founded more than 30 years ago and is a leader in the literacy education space. Today, Lexia helps students build fundamental reading skills through its rigorously researched, independently evaluated, and widely respected instruction and assessment programs. For more information, visit www.rosettastone.com. “Rosetta Stone” is a registered trademark or trademark of Rosetta Stone Ltd. in the United States and other countries.

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Follett announces it will sell LEGO® Education solutions

to U.S. school libraries

 

PHOENIX, Nov. 9, 2017 – In its continuing effort to serve the growing makerspace movement, Follettannounced today it will sell a selection of LEGO® Education solutions. These solutions will be offered by Follett specifically for school librarians in the U.S. who are interested in establishing a makerspace in their library.

The announcement was made in Phoenix at the 18th American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Conference & Exhibition. At Follett’s booth (409), the company is featuring an array of makerspace resources, including LEGO Education solutions.

“In the wake of the successful introduction of our Makerspace Bundles last year, selling LEGO Education solutions is a natural next step,” said Nader Qaimari, President, Follett School Solutions. “The LEGO Education solutions are a perfect fit for librarians to further promote STEM and 21st-century learning no matter what stage they are at with their makerspaces.”

For more information about Follett’s makerspace resources, visit www.Titlewave.com, or contact a sales representative. For more information about Follett, visit follettlearning.com.

 

About Follett’s PreK-12 Businessfollettlearning.com
Follett is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. Follett distributes books, reference materials, digital resources, ebooks and audiovisual materials, as well as pre-owned textbooks. Follett also is one of the leading providers of integrated educational technology for the management of physical and digital assets, the tracking, storing and analyzing of academic data, and digital learning environment tools for the classroom focusing on student achievement.

 

About Follett Corporation follett.com

For more than 140 years, Follett has been a trusted partner to preK-12 schools, colleges and campus stores, taking care of the critical details that make it easier for schools to run, teachers to teach, students to learn and fans to celebrate. A leading provider of education technology, services and physical and digital content, Follett currently works with 70,000 schools and operates more than 1,250 local campus stores and 1,600 virtual stores. With the 2016 acquisition of Baker & Taylor, LLC, Follett’s reach also extends into the public library and global retail markets. Today Follett Corporation is the world’s largest single source of books, entertainment products, digital content and multi-media for libraries, schools and retailers. Follett is a $3.6-billion privately held company headquartered in Westchester, Illinois.

 

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Legends of Learning to Release Science Games for Grades 3-5 this Winter
New suite expands existing middle school library into elementary schools

Washington, D.C. — November 9, 2017 — Legends of Learning announced today it will develop more than 300 curriculum-based education games for elementary science curricula to be available Winter 2018. The new elementary school games, created by more than 100 game developers, are based on rigorous academic research conducted in partnership with Vanderbilt University.

The new Legends of Learning elementary school games will complement Legends of Learning’s existing middle school suite of more than 800 games and simulations, bringing the depth and breadth of content on the site to more than 1,300 games spanning grades 3-8. The games and platform were developed with direct input and feedback from Legends of Learning’s teacher community, resulting in a platform that is easy to use and educator friendly.

Legends of Learning’s game-based learning platform includes:

  • Short games (5-20 minutes) that align to state science curriculum standards to ensure content engages students and helps them succeed in their studies;
  • Support for many state standards including Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), TEKS (Texas), GSE (Georgia), and SOL (Virginia);
  • An intuitive platform that allows teachers to easily deploy games in class via playlists, and empowers advanced features like in-class assessments and personalized learning; and
  • A dashboard to observe student comprehension in real time and assess content mastery.

“Many districts and teachers requested elementary school science games since we launched Legends of Learning,” said Legends of Learning founder and CEO Dr. Vadim Polikov. “We are excited about the addition of grades 3-5. This will make for a comprehensive science content series that provides engagement and boosts academic performance. This unique platform and game content model builds off of research and pragmatic in-classroom experience to deliver that curricula content in a way students enjoy.”

Polikov, a research scientist, believes that research is the foundation for successful game-based learning and long-term education reform. He worked in partnership with Vanderbilt University to conduct a study “Substantial Integration of Typical Educational Games into Extended Curricula,” which measured the performance of more than 1,000 students in seven states and in schools with differing student bodies, socioeconomic factors, and geographic locations. The study demonstrated with statistical significance that academic performance and engagement increase with curriculum-aligned game-based learning.

Legends of Learning is showcasing its platform and games at the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching (CAST) conference (Booth #945) in Houston, through November 11. For more information about Legends of Learning visit legendsoflearning.com.

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About Legends of Learning
American children need new education heroes, teachers dedicated to using new, engaging methods to teach curriculum. Legends of Learning helps educators make their classrooms fun, engaging, and productive learning environments through research-driven, curriculum-based games. We use ongoing original research to create an edgame platform filled with an epic range of lessons for stronger subject mastery and classroom engagement. All games are based on state curriculum standards. Teachers can don their masks with Legends of Learning at legendsoflearning.com.

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Curriculum Associates Acquires Motion Math to Enhance Engagement and Strengthen Conceptual Understanding for K–6 Students

 

Partnership will ensure more students benefit from Motion Math’s engaging learning games and develop healthy growth mindsets

 

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., November 8, 2017—Curriculum Associates has acquired Motion Math® to further help elementary students improve their math fluency and number sense in key conceptual areas. Both Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready® program and Motion Math’s games are designed with a focus on nurturing healthy growth mindsets, and the alignment of these two offerings will enrich student experience in the development of critical math skills. As a result of this partnership, Motion Math’s award-winning games will be available as a supplement to i-Ready, which is currently used by over 5 million students and educators nationwide.

 

“We are thrilled to partner with Motion Math both because of the integrity of their games and because of the close alignment of our values, which put student learning first,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “This is only the second company we’ve acquired in our nearly 50-year history, a testament to the high regard in which we hold Motion Math’s remarkable product. We look forward to enriching the i-Ready learning experience for the millions of students we serve with this unique offering.”

 

Founded by Gabriel Adauto and Jacob Klein while they were students at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, Motion Math engages students with visual math games that promote a growth mindset through feedback and coaching, challenging and empowering students to understand difficult concepts. It offers more than 500 levels of adaptive, game-based content in the areas of fractions, addition, subtraction, number line, division, multiplication, proportions, estimation, measurement, and more. These pedagogically strong games can be accessed on computers or iOS devices, both in the classroom and at home. Motion Math additionally includes a dashboard that allows teachers to track student usage, skill progression, and factors of learning such as confidence.

 

“To help children find delight in intellectual challenge—that’s our team’s mission, and we’re delighted to continue it with our new colleagues at Curriculum Associates,” said Klein, CEO of Motion Math. “This partnership means our current and future games will impact millions more students, including a large percentage in underprivileged Title I districts. In the context of i-Ready’s powerful instruction and assessment platform, students will benefit from gameplay in ways we’ve only dreamed of.”

 

 

About i-Ready

Built to address the rigor of the new standards, i-Ready’s mathematics and English language arts programs help students make real gains. i-Ready collects a broad spectrum of rich data on student abilities that identifies areas where a student is struggling, measures growth across a student’s career, supports teacher-led differentiated instruction, and provides a personalized instructional path within a single online solution.

 

i-Ready is currently being used this school year by nearly 15 percent of all K–8 students nationwide across all 50 states. Additionally, more than 1 million students use the program every school day.

To learn more about i-Ready, visit www.i-Ready.com.

 

About Curriculum Associates

Founded in 1969, Curriculum Associates, LLC designs research-based print and online instructional materials, screens and assessments, and data management tools. The company’s products and outstanding customer service provide teachers and administrators with the resources necessary for teaching diverse student populations and fostering learning for all students.

 

Motion Math was financially advised by Tyton Partners and Good Harbor Partners.

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WittyWe Launches New Video-based Learning Environment to Help Students in Grades K-9 Develop and Practice Life Skills

 

Online platform features 60+ courses, 5,000+ minutes of animated video, and thousands of interactive lessons students can use in school or at home 

 

CORAL GABLES, Florida, November 8, 2017 — WittyWe, a learning environment covering school curriculum topics, life skills and college-level enrichment, has launched to help students in grades K-9 engage in deeper learning while developing and practicing important life skills. The platform, which can be used in school or at home, features more than 60 online courses, 5,000-plus minutes of animated video, and thousands of lessons and interactive resources.

 

“WittyWe was created to help students deepen their knowledge and introduce them to potential career paths,” said Yafit Ohana Baruch, founder of WittyWe. “Students who want to become doctors, for example, can watch videos about health-related topics such as dental hygiene and allergies, and aspiring lawyers can watch videos about different fields of law and the legal system. WittyWe is all about inspiring students, tapping their interests, and providing a meaningful and engaging learning experience.”

 

The WittyWe platform uses proven teaching techniques such as storytelling, design thinking, resolving real-life cases, learning through play, and self-learning to provide students with a fun and informative way to introduce new topics. The videos and courses cover a wide array of curricular topics and help students develop important skills such as decision making, goal setting, time management, future planning, and more.

 

During the WittyWe experience, students earn points, badges, certificates and prizes as a reward and motivation to continue learning. The platform, which is used to supplement classroom and at-home learning, is supported on all devices, including computers, tablets, and Smartphones.

 

There are various WittyWe subscription packages available for both educators and parents. Annual classroom, school, home school, and virtual school packages are available for educators and there is a free trial option so individuals can try the service. Parent packages start at $19 for a 50-video package or $12 per month for an unlimited subscription.

 

To learn more about WittyWe, visit www.wittywe.com.

 

About WittyWe

WittyWe is a cool new learning environment that inspires kids around the world to become passionate about meaningful learning. The WittyWe platform includes online courses, animated video, and interactive lessons and resources that encourage deeper learning and help students to practice their life skills and learn how to deal with everyday challenges. Learn more about WittyWe at www.wittywe.com.

 

 


Chipotle and Discovery Education Teach Kids the Importance of Maintaining a Healthy Diet and Caring for the Environment with Immersive Virtual Field Trip

 

— Chipotle and Discovery Education’s ‘RAD Lands in School’ New Virtual Field Trip sets off on an epic journey where students can explore techniques to preserve the environment and lead healthy lifestyles —

 

Denver, Co. | Silver Spring, Md. (Tuesday, November 7, 2017) – Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital education content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, are expanding their joint program RAD Lands in School to release a new Virtual Field Trip. The immersive experience will broadcast tomorrowNovember 8, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT. During the Virtual Field Trip, students grades K-5 will be transported to a distant galaxy where they will meet virtual characters who will teach them about sustainable eating, and protecting the environment’s plants and animals. The virtual adventure will feature cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs, engaging lessons about the science behind where food comes from, and animated action segments that bring health and science content to life. The presentation will combine useful food literacy expertise with Rad Lands entertainment for an engaging 20 minutes of learning and fun.

 

“Chipotle is thrilled to continue the RAD Lands in School partnership with Discovery Education by launching this exciting Virtual Field Trip to classrooms nationwide,” said Mark Shambura, executive director of marketing at Chipotle. “The goal of Rad Lands is to foster curiousity and inform young people and their families about where their food comes from in a captivating and informative way. By bringing this to life via a virtual experience, we can further that mission and educate even more families across the country.”

 

RAD Lands in School aims to educate and entertain students about where their food comes from and how it is prepared. Through the initiative, Chipotle and Discovery Education have provided educators with no-cost resources that are U.S. science and health standards aligned. While focusing on encouraging students to make healthy food choices, RAD Lands in School engages youth in the interconnections between care for our environment, understanding where our food comes from, and the importance of including fresh food in our daily diets.

 

With childhood obesity at an all-time high, we applaud organizations who make a sustained commitment to supporting educators in their effort to integrate health and wellness conversations into classroom instruction,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice-president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “Discovery Education is proud to continue in its work to support student understanding about the importance of adopting healthy lifestyle habits.”

 

Launched in March 2017, Rad Lands was released by Chipotle as an original video series about food for kids between the ages of 7 and 10. The episodes were unbranded and produced in partnership with CAA Marketing and The Magic Store, the powerhouse behind the Daytime Emmy-nominated series Yo Gabba Gabba! Each enthralling, upbeat episode featured special guests such as celebrity chefs and YouTube personalities, grabbing the attention of families and their children about where their food comes from and how it is prepared. There are currently six episodes available on radlandsinschool.com and iTunes.

 

“The RAD Lands in School Virtual Field Trip is an exciting addition to our school’s curriculum because it shows students that learning can be fun,” said Brandon Wislocki, Elementary Teacher, Beacon Park School, Irvine Unified School District. “Incorporating an immersive virtual experience such as a Rad Lands video to a day’s lesson has proven to better engage and leave them more likely to retain the information presented. We are looking forward to even more productive classroom conversations after viewing RAD Lands in School’s latest production.”

 

For more information on RAD Lands in School or to access the online resources, visit radlandsinschool.com. TheRAD Lands in School Virtual Field Trip is also available through Discovery Education Streaming Plus. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital content and professional development services, visitdiscoveryeducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.

 

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About Chipotle

Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in an interactive style allowing people to get exactly what they want. Chipotle seeks out extraordinary ingredients that are not only fresh, but that are raised responsibly, with respect for the animals, land, and people who produce them. Chipotle prepares its food using whole, unprocessed ingredients and without the use of added colors, flavors or other additives typically found in fast food. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in Denver in 1993 and now operates more than 2,200 restaurants. For more information, visit www.chipotle.com.

 

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 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 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.

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SIIA Education Business Forum Offers Interactive Strategies for Increased Profitability 
Premier educational technology event to take place Dec. 5-6 in Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, DC (Nov. 7, 2017) – The Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN) of SIIA will host its annual Education Business Forum (EBF) on Dec. 5-6 at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. EBF, the premier event for education business leadership and the investor community, welcomes attendees to engage in interactive sessions, gain insight from peer-reviewed product showcases and participate in one-on-one networking events.

EBF attracts senior management teams of education software companies and platform technology firms, as well as financial analysts, solution providers and distributors, publishers, private equity firms and venture capitalists. This year’s conference boasts a powerful line up of sessions and speakers who will share insight on a range of topics, including new paths to revenue, capital and profit, industry trends, artificial intelligence, AR and VR, new markets, and more.

For the full release, click here.

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New Report Reveals Gaps in Digital and Online Accountability Standards

Getting Smart proposes solutions for accountability practices for K-12 digital education.

 

November 7, 2017 — A new report published by Getting SmartExploring Accountability in K-12 Digital Education, investigates the factors influencing online and digital learning, the current state of accountability, and proposed solutions to best align practice and policy.

Today, 30 U.S. states have statewide online schools. Each online learning scenario is as unique as students’ individual circumstances. The flexible nature of online learning attracts a variety of students, which is the main reason it has grown and evolved rapidly over the past two decades. According to the report, the top three issues in measuring digital education accountability are the following:

  • Existing standards are ill-fitting.
  • Students’ mobility isn’t acknowledged or tracked.
  • Time spent doesn’t reflect the quality of the learning experience.

The most significant hurdle for online education providers is accommodating an extremely broad spectrum of students that ranges from the academically struggling and disengaged to gifted students. The report details how many schools are penalized when working with struggling students over short periods of time, and goes on to suggest that online schools should have the option to measure students’ success based on achievement and growth as opposed to traditional standards.

“It is clear that we need to start having conversations about digital accountability and how we can make adjustments to help students succeed,” says Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart’s CEO. “Online programs have the power to help a wide variety of students achieve their goals. As the use of online and digital learning grows, we are seeing gaps between the providers and school accountability standards for their students. As thought leaders in the industry, we have identified areas where policy supported intiatives can boost student equity and set students up for success.”

The report concludes with best practices and recommended next steps to improve accountability standards, including improved outreach and information accessibility, engagement policies, trial periods, data integration and more.

To learn more, download Exploring Accountability in K-12 Education.

 

About Getting Smart
As a mission-driven organization, Getting Smart® is passionate about accelerating and amplifying innovations in teaching and learning. Getting Smart Services designs customized partnerships to amplify and extend the work of those dedicated to impacting the way the world learns. Through our advocacy, advisory and coaching services, we work with impact-oriented partners to invent the future of learning. Our innovations in learning blog, GettingSmart.com, is a community of learners and contributors that cover important events, trends, products and publications across K-12, early, post-secondary education and lifelong learning opportunities.

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myON Launches New Data Reports Allowing Educators to Measure Reading with Reading™

 New reporting, goal-setting, and literacy tools free teachers to spend less time assessing and more time teaching

(Minneapolis, MN) November 7, 2017 — myON, leading provider of digital literacy solutions, today announced enhanced reporting capabilities to include opportunities for goal-setting, reporting, and text coding (literacy emojis), all aimed at inspiring growth and engagement in student reading.

myON encourages educators to assess student growth using real-time data collected while students read. Teachers are often not provided with student data collected during assessments in a timely manner. This makes personalization difficult for teachers as they are not able to provide student intervention until it’s too late. The real-time data collection gives teachers more time to teach, because they aren’t having to distribute and review assessments to see growth.

“myON is a growth-first platform that puts students in the driver’s seat of their own learning,” said Todd Brekhus, President of myON. “Our new features are designed to inspire students to develop a love for reading and to support their reading goals by providing a personalized pathway to success. It is also important to provide time saving features for educators that allows data to be easily accessed. Additionally, this allows students more time for reading and learning versus testing and assessments.”

myON’s new features include:

Real-time, Actionable Reporting Features: The real-time, actionable data allows teachers time to respond to the data and provide students the necessary guidance to ensure progress is being made. Original reporting features (such as time spent reading, number of books opened and completed, and Lexile® growth) are still available, along with additional reports to measure reading habits, word count, project involvement, news article consumption, and more.

Text Coding – Literacy Emojis: With the embedded Literacy Toolkit, students can now use emojis to mark passages in the text to express their thoughts and feelings. The codes help students remember connections they’ve made to the text, or respond to the text in a personal way. For example, students can place a star on a passage that is important, and a heart to confirm what they thought.

Goal Setting: Administrators and teachers can set goals for up to 14 different data measurements, including average minutes read per week, time spent reading outside of school, Lexile® growth, and more. Goals will be highlighted on the student and teacher dashboards and can be analyzed in myON’s reporting features to ensure students stay on track. This data can also be used to celebrate reading success as students reach their goals.

About myON

Since launching in 2011, myON has established itself as the fastest-growing digital literacy company for the K-12 education market. More than 7.5 million students have access to myON throughout 49 states and 20 countries worldwide. myON students have access to a personalized Literacy Ecosystem that offers unlimited reading in a curated library of more than 13,000 digital books and daily news articles dynamically matched to each learner’s reading level and interests.


myON is an award-winning personalized literacy environment that incorporates a state-of-the art learning platform, enhanced digital reading content including five daily news articles written for students, The Lexile® Framework for Reading, cutting-edge literacy tools, and embedded metrics to monitor activity and growth. Robust professional development ensures that educators have the support needed to effectively implement myON. Together, these components power a Literacy Ecosystem that is built upon five pillars: personalization, unparalleled content, unlimited access, collaboration, and success.

 


Impero Software Launches Video about the Dangers of Sexting and Bullying

 

Video highlights how schools can help prevent harmful situations from escalating

 

Simi Valley, CA, Nov. 2, 2017 – Impero Software has released a powerful new video showing the dangers of sexting and online bullying, and the important role online monitoring software plays in schools to keep students safe. Impero’s release of the video coincides with the 2017 Digital Citizenship Summit November 2nd and 3rd, which focuses on expanding conversations around young people and their use of technology. Impero’s goal is to draw attention to the issues of sexting and cyberbullying, and to the importance of teaching digital citizenship and intervening early to prevent tragedy.

 

The video tells the story of “Chloe,” a teenage girl who sends explicit images to another student with his promise that he won’t share them with anyone else. But he does. By morning, it has circulated throughout her school and someone has posted it to a website to further share the image with others. Her inbox is filled with messages about the picture. Classmates are making fun of her and calling her degrading names. Chloe skips school, and searches online for “painless suicide”. The video then implies that she commits suicide.

 

The video then backtracks and shows how different that scenario could have been if Chloe’s school had been using monitoring software that could alert her teachers of the cyberbullying. The school blocks access to the site from the school network and holds an assembly about the dangers of cyberbullying. The messages to Chloe slow down, classmates instead voice their support, and instead of searching for ways to commit suicide Chloe posts a smiling photo on Instagram that she is “looking forward to the weekend.”

 

The video is framed as if the viewer is looking at Chloe’s mobile phone. The story is told via the texts and photos that appear on the phones of Chloe and her classmates – and later on her instructor’s computer.

 

“Shocking as this video is, scenarios like this are playing out across the country. We hear from schools each day that have had issues with cyberbullying, sexting and in worst case scenarios teen suicide.  By being proactive, schools can have better success in preventing these scenarios before they escalate” said Sam Pemberton, CEO of Impero Software. “We hope this video will bring attention to the issue and offer schools a solution.”

 

Impero partners with schools to provide online monitoring software that can alert instructors or administrators if it detects students typing or searching for certain keywords related to sexting, cyberbullying, radicalization, self-harm and more. It also provides anonymous reporting features and classroom management tools to help schools and IT departments manage multiple devices, as the use of technology in the classroom continues to rise. Impero also offers EdLink, a mobile device management tool to help schools manage one-to-one initiatives and BYOD programs.

 

“Detecting messages from students indicating cyberbullying, sexting, or other issues, such as threats of gun violence or racial tension, can be a key to early intervention and preventing a potentially tragic situation from getting out of hand,” said Pemberton. “We provide tools to help schools do this.”

 

The video is part of Impero’s ongoing work to support schools in keeping students safe online and promoting good digital citizenship. The company has partnered with advocacy organizations to produce white papers at the 2017 and 2016 Digital Citizenship Summits. It also released an Online Safety Handbook this year which provides resources and best practices for schools that are using Impero Education Pro.

 

Contact

For further information or to schedule interview opportunities, contact:

 

Jessica Axt – KEH Communications

Jessica@kehcomm.com

410-975-9638

 

About Impero Software

Impero Software offers remote monitoring and management software, relied upon by education establishments around the world. Founded in 2002, Impero software is now accessed by over 1.5 million devices in over 90 countries. Impero is used by over 1,400 UK high schools and in over 500 U.S. districts.

Impero’s cutting edge EdTech 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. Impero’s sophisticated online safety functionality uses keyword detection technology to help schools safeguard students online.

For more information visit: www.imperosoftware.com

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CDI Expands Chromebook Solutions with Google Learning Bundles


Apps and digital tools will improve learning outcomes and support teachers in K-12 schools transitioning to Chrome-based education 

 

Chicago IL – Nov. 2, 2017 – CDI Computer Dealers announces the launch of Google Learning Bundles: four carefully-vetted product suites that enable K-12 institutions to maximize the benefits of Chrome-based learning. The Google Learning Bundles focus on the areas of creativity, media literacy, STEM, and active listening to help educators begin teaching with the devices from day one.

 

Chromebooks have become the digital learning device of choice for schools and CDI has already deployed more than 270,000 units. These versatile and cost-effective devices provide unprecedented learning opportunities; however, navigating the seemingly endless choice of apps and tools is often overwhelming for educators. The Google Learning Bundles simplify this process.

 

“CDI works with more than 2,000 districts each year and we understand they need a comprehensive range of solutions that go beyond devices,” said Glenn Collins, Vice President of Mobile Computing at CDI. “Along with professional development and other services, we are offering these Google Learning Bundles to our education clients so they can better leverage the Chrome ecosystem.”

 

The products included in the Google Learning Bundles have been researched and vetted by the experts at Google for Education, with whom CDI has a long-standing partnership. To make these apps accessible to a wide range of school districts, Google worked with Chromebook partners to create a special price when the apps are purchased as a bundle.

 

The Learning Bundles fall into four distinct categories:

 

  • Creative Apps: This bundle includes the Explain Everything, Soundtrap, and WeVideo apps which allow teachers to engage their students in innovative ways in the classroom. With this bundle, students can easily animate, record, annotate, collaborate, and explore ideas to make music online and collaboratively edit video in the cloud.
  • Media Literacy Apps: The two apps in this bundle, Frontier and Scrible, are designed to help students evaluate and think critically about the information they see online. An app from eSpark Learning teaches critical thinking about media through reading and writing lessons for students in grades three through eight. Scrible is a research platform enabling students to curate, annotate and collaborate on authentic online sources such as news articles and blog posts.
  • STEM Tools: This bundle consists of a Dremel 3D40 3D Printer and littleBits. Both tools can be integrated in classrooms to help students become makers and inventors. The 3D printer supports design tools such as Tinkercad and BlocksCAD that help students create three-dimensional versions of just about anything. The littleBits Code Kit combines block-based visual coding, powered by Google’s Blockly, with programmable physical “bits” that are electronic color-coded building blocks that snap together with magnets.

 

  • Active Listening Apps: With Listenwise and Fluency Tutor, teachers can integrate active listening into classrooms and lessons, across a range of grades and subjects. Listenwise is a collection of podcasts and public radio stories featuring NPR content that help improve students’ listening comprehension skills. Fluency Tutor lets students record themselves reading different types of texts, like web content and Google Docs, and then send their recordings to their teacher for feedback.

 

To help introduce these bundles to educators, CDI hosted a series of webinars co-hosted by Google for Education. The webinars described in detail the individual products in each learning bundle. These webinars are recorded and available on demand.

 

To learn more about CDI Computer Dealers please visit: http://cdicomputers.com/

 

 

About CDI

CDI is the leading provider of technology-based solutions to the North American education market and has worked with over 10,000 schools and colleges. CDI delivers a powerful value proposition to budget-conscious institutions by providing new and recertified I.T. products and services at a significant discount along with the longest warranties in the industry. CDI’s product line includes PCs, Notebooks, Chromebooks, Tablets, Servers and Networking Equipment, 3D printers and classroom accessories. The company holds ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 certifications, and processes more than one million I.T. assets annually. Learn more at https://cdicomputers.com/education/

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STEM Educators: Apply for the 2018 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards by December 15, 2017

 

K–12 and college educators encouraged to share their innovative uses of data-collection technology for chance to win $5,500 in prizes

 

BEAVERTON, Oregon, November 2, 2017 — Vernier Software & Technology and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) will be accepting applications for the 2018 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards until December 15. This annual awards program recognizes seven educators—one elementary teacher, two middle school teachers, three high school teachers, and one college-level educator—for their innovative use of data-collection technology in the science classroom.

 

Each winner will be chosen by a panel of NSTA-appointed experts and will receive $1,000 in cash, $3,000 in Vernier products, and up to $1,500 toward expenses to attend the annual NSTA National Conference in Atlanta, GA on March 1518, 2018. All current K–12 and college science and STEM educators are eligible and encouraged to apply by the December 15, 2017 deadline.

 

“Year after year, we are so impressed by the innovative ways teachers are using data-collection technology in their classrooms,” said John Wheeler, CEO of Vernier Software & Technology. “This annual awards program provides a great way to highlight these innovative uses and recognize those educators for their creative approach to engaging students in meaningful, hands-on learning.”

 

Last year’s Vernier/NSTA Technology Award winners used data-collection technology in a variety of ways, including investigating renewable and nonrenewable energy resources, studying the impact of wind turbines on a native bird species, determining the impact of atmospheric CO2 levels on asthma rates, and more.

 

For more information and to prepare your 2018 entry, visit http://www.vernier.com/grants/nsta/.

 

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

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OppU Achievers Scholarship Awarded to Student Who Endured Iraq War and Went on to Create Maker Space Start-Up in his Country

 

University of Rochester sophomore is fifth recipient of quarterly $2,500 scholarship

 

Chicago – Nov. 1, 2017 – OppU, a financial literacy site that provides free money management education, named University of Rochester sophomore Salih Zainulabdeen as the fifth recipient of its quarterly OppU Achievers Scholarship. Zainulabdeen, who was born in Baghdad in 1996, spent his childhood in a war zone. He went on to help found the first tech-space start-up in Iraq and is now pursuing a degree in computer science in the U.S. The OppU Achievers Scholarship provides $2,500 for his education expenses.

 

“We’re thrilled to name Salih the latest recipient of the OppU Achievers Scholarship,” said Jared Kaplan, CEO of OppLoans, the financial firm that developed OppU. “His ambition, hard work, and perseverance are a perfect example of the type of self-empowerment that the scholarship celebrates.”

 

Zainulabdeen first came to the U.S. to attend a semester-long entrepreneurship program at the Watson Institute in Boulder, Colo. A financial donor subsequently sponsored his education at Reynolds Community College in Richmond, Va., which he attended until this fall when he gained acceptance to the University of Rochester.

 

But his success followed years of struggle in Iraq. As a child, he witnessed the horrors of the Iraq War and suffered a personal tragedy when a 20-year-old cousin was kidnapped and murdered. Despite this, he pursued his love of technology and helped create Fikra Space, Iraq’s first “maker space” for tech enthusiasts, which he discusses in an interview for the OppLoans Financial Sense Blog.

 

“Receiving the OppU Achievers Scholarship is truly an honor,” said Zainulabdeen. “The money it provides will allow me to stay focused on school and continue to work toward my dreams.”

 

The OppU Achievers Scholarship is awarded four times a year. Recipients are selected based on their demonstrated achievements and the opportunities they’ve created for themselves and others. The scholarship is open to seniors in high school, college students, and those attending graduate, professional, or trade school. Applications are accepted year-round through the OppU Achievers Scholarship web portal.

 

About OppU and OppLoans

 

OppU is a free financial literacy site that teaches money management through interactive videos, cumulative quizzes, and more. It is available to the public at OppLoans.com/mooc. The standards-based curriculum was created by OppLoans, a socially responsible online lender that provides safer, more affordable borrowing options to the underbanked. One of the highest-rated online lenders in the industry, OppLoans offers free financial education to its customers and reports their on-time payments to help improve their credit scores. OppLoans donates $10,000 annually through its OppU Achievers Scholarship to students who have demonstrated outstanding drive and achievement.

 

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CentralReach Debuts ‘CentralReach PK-12’ to Unlock the Power of Data in Special Ed Instruction

Experienced ABA/clinician software provider releases solution for schools during CASE Annual Conference 

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 1, 2017) – After success in the clinician and applied behavior analysis (ABA) markets, CentralReach launches CentralReach PK-12, a collaborative and data-driven software for special education. The software helps public, private and charter schools foster communication and coordination of instruction and care for students in special education programs. 

CentralReach PK-12 empowers individualized educational program (IEP) teams to seamlessly record data and access information about students in real-time, creating data-driven insights to inform instruction. The software gives educators new tools, so they can more easily comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and create reports and customizable graphs to visualize student progress and guide discussions with parents.

Educators also have access to a Marketplace of professional development resources and the capability to assign courses to colleagues and track their progress.

To read the full news release, please click here.
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New Guide from Boxlight Provides Resources and Tips for

Integrating STEM into the Curriculum

 

Lawrenceville, GA – Nov. 2, 2017 – Awareness of the benefits of STEM education are at an all-time high. Education experts have found that the hands-on activities involved in STEM learning stimulate brain development and promote a multitude of other desired skills, for example, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, collaboration, inquiry and teamwork. Also, the Department of Commerce reports that STEM occupations are increasing at a faster rate and paying higher wages than non-STEM fields. To help educators harness the promise of this discipline and find the resources they need, Boxlight has published “The Big Guide to STEM.”

 

Available at no charge at http://news.mimio.boxlight.com/stem-guide, the 30-page PDF explains why STEM is critical for today’s students and shares several ways to incorporate STEM learning into the classroom. Links throughout the guide give readers easy access to resources and supplementary information. Additionally, the guide includes an at-a-glance infographic on the current state of STEM professions and a collection of top 10 STEM lists:

 

  • Top 10 STEM apps
  • Top 10 STEM tech products
  • Top 10 STEM blogs and online communities
  • Top 10 STEM websites
  • Top 10 STEM events
  • Top 10 STEM Software Solutions
  • Top 10 Resources for STEM Funding
  • Top 10 STEM Resources for Girls

 

Elementary school principal Kelly Bielefeld, teacher Kristy Nerstheimer, assistant high school principal Travis Rink, and award-winning high school science teacher Denise Scribner contributed to the guide. Each has included contact information so that readers can ask for more information or ideas via Twitter or email.

 

“These educators have first-hand knowledge of how to integrate STEM into the classroom,” said Boxlight’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Sunshine Nance. “And they bring that expertise in what resources and techniques work in real classrooms to this guide. A focus on STEM is necessary in order for Americans to be competitive in the job market in future years, and this guide gives every educators an effective place to start or go even further.”

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 


Florida and Tennessee the Latest States to Approve Discovery Education Techbooks for Classroom Use Statewide

 

-Florida’s Adoption of the Social Studies Techbook and Tennessee’s Adoption of the Science Techbook Continue Trend of Nationwide Approval of Award-Winning Digital Textbooks-

 

Silver Spring, Md. (November 1, 2017) – Recently, Florida and Tennessee joined eleven other states nationwide in adopting Discovery Education’s award-winning digital textbook series for classroom use.  Following an intensive review process, Florida’s Commissioner of Education, as recommended by the state’s Instructional Materials Reviewers, approved the adoption of the Discovery Education Social Studies Techbook™, while the Tennessee Board of Education approved the Discovery Education Science Techbook™ for statewide use on the recommendation of the state’s Instructional Materials Quality Commission.

 

With Florida’s approval of the Social Studies Techbook’s Civics, United States History, and World History courses and Tennessee’s adoption of the Science Techbook’s K-8, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics courses, school districts in both states are now able to purchase and integrate these Techbooks into teaching and learning.  Discovery Education’s Techbooks are breakthrough digital textbooks that support a comprehensive curriculum, are aligned to rigorous standards, and are updated regularly at no cost. The Techbook series encourages all learners through interactive features that change the reading level of text and enable text to be read aloud. In addition, the Techbook series saves teachers’ time with a comprehensive design that places model lessons, student activities and assessments at their fingertips.

 

The Social Studies Techbook series adopted in Florida uses an inquiry-based instructional approach that emphasizes informational text literacy, analytical writing, and problem-solving skills that students will apply in the classroom and beyond. Each subject area includes primary source documents and activities, digital investigations, multimedia reference library, interactive maps, and more.

 

Utilizing an inquiry-based format built on the 5E model, the Discovery Education Science Techbook adopted in Tennessee helps teach students to read, write, and think like scientists through hands-on labs, digital explorations, an interactive glossary, and data analysis activities.  In addition, a host of new STEM/STEAM resources have recently been integrated into the Science Techbook which encourage students to connect math, technology, and engineering to their understanding of science concepts to produce creative solutions to real world problems.

 

“Discovery Education is grateful to the educators and state administrators in both Florida and Tennessee who painstakingly evaluated and reviewed Discovery Education’s Techbooks as part of their adoption process,” said Coni Rechner, Discovery Education Senior Vice President of National Partnerships.  “Our Techbooks empower teachers to improve academic achievement as they introduce students to people, places and ideas they might not otherwise experience.  We look forward to working with school systems in Florida, Tennessee, and across the country as they build immersive digital learning environment that support the success of all learners.”

 

For more information about Discovery Education’s Techbook Series, Professional Development initiatives, and other services, 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.

 

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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.

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Benetech Secures U.S. Department of Education Award to Enable All Students to Read

Benetech’s Bookshare Software Serves Students Who Read Differently in Over 25,000 Schools and School Districts

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Nov. 1, 2017 — Benetech, the leading software for social good nonprofit, today announced a five-year award from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, to expand and improve access to books for students who read differently due to blindness, low vision, a physical disability, or dyslexia. Bookshare, the largest online library of accessible books, along with training and support, will remain free for all U.S. school districts, schools, educators, and their qualified students.

“Access to knowledge through reading is a basic human right and a critical step on the path to economic, educational, and social development,” said Brad Turner, VP of Global Literacy, Benetech. “Many students struggle in school and in life because they read differently. Benetech is proud to work with these students, their parents, and their educators to make reading not only possible but also fun and enjoyable with personalized reading experiences.”

Bookshare has already delivered over 11 million books to students and is used in schools and districts across the United States, ranging from the largest urban districts such as Los Angeles Unified School District and New York Public Schools, to small, rural districts in all 50 states. Qualified students attending community colleges and universities, charter schools, and homeschools also access the Bookshare library free of charge. In tandem with Bookshare, Benetech’s Born Accessible and Global Certified Accessible initiatives engage publishers and the education community to prioritize the creation and procurement of accessible content.

Benetech will use the award funding to reach an additional 200,000+ students, on top of the half million existing Bookshare student members, with personalized access to over 800,000 books. The company will deliver four million downloads of those accessible ebooks to qualified students over the five-year award period and will work directly with publishers to ensure accessibility features are included in production and are present in over 50 percent of educational books by 2022.

“Bookshare allows students to have immediate access to academic resources alongside their peers,” said Jonathan Fine, assistive technology specialist, Boston Public Schools. “For example, a high-school student with a visual impairment is able to access classroom reading materials by independently accessing books on her iPad in a digital and audio format. In another example, a student with dyslexia is able to access a grade level novel via Bookshare and read alongside his peers. In both scenarios, the playing field is leveled and the students are given equal opportunity to access their curriculum.”

Benetech’s approach to achieving personalized education solutions at scale, including Bookshare, follows the company’s proven software for social good model: identify unmet social needs, prototype solutions, and scale those solutions to drive systemic change. Benetech works with the communities it serves to ensure solutions meet the needs and improve the lives of individuals in those communities. Benetech’s software for social good efforts span education, human rights, social services, and the environment.

Benetech’s ability to deliver positive, lasting impact at scale is made possible by philanthropy, government and corporate funding, and community participation. To learn more about and to join the Benetech community, visit: https://benetech.org/get-involved/.

This project is supported by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (Award Number H327D170002). Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the U.S. Department of Education.

About Benetech

Benetech is a nonprofit that empowers communities with software for social good. Our work transforms how people with disabilities read and learn, makes it safer for human rights defenders to pursue truth and justice, and connects people to the services they need to live and prosper. We’re constantly pursuing the next big social impact. Visit www.benetech.org.

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School District U-46 Adopts Defined STEM to Reach Project-Based Assessment Goals

The Illinois district aims to use performance tasks to encourage student growth and assess students’ understanding of standards-aligned learning.

(CHICAGO, IL) November 1, 2017 —Defined Learning today announced its partnership with School District U-46 in northern Illinois for a district-wide implementation of Defined STEM, a web-based curriculum resource that supports project-based learning. The partnership will begin in 2018.

District U-46 is the second-largest district in Illinois, serving families in 11 suburbs northwest of Chicago, with its central headquarters in Elgin. Nearly 40,000 preschoolers through 12th -graders attend the district’s schools and programs. The district chose to adopt Defined STEM for all students to align with new Every Student Succeeds Act requirements to assess students’ true progress toward standards using methods that are more meaningful than a paper-and-pencil test.

“Defined STEM provides us with an opportunity to align curriculum in all areas with performance-based assessments,” said Dr. Suzanne Johnson, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning for District U-46.  “We believe assessing students using performance tasks will help encourage student growth and support the district’s transition to standards-based teaching and learning. Defined STEM’s career-focused performance tasks ask students to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and strategies by creating a cross-curricular, integrated response or a product that also aligns to career pathways. It nests within the idea of introducing students into career clusters as early as kindergarten.”

As part of the Large Countywide and Suburban District ConsortiumDistrict U-46 plans to use Defined STEM to create a world-class learning environment for all students and to align with the consortium’s overarching goal of college- and career-readiness. The district is also a member of the Performance Assessment Collaborativea group of schools aiming to use performance-based assessments to help build high-quality systems of assessment that support the shifts in teaching and learning needed to raise achievement and close gaps while enhancing federal and state policy.

“We are excited to partner with District U-46 to provide its students and teachers with a plethora of opportunities to make cross-curricular connections while exploring a variety of new career options,” said Joel Jacobson, the co-founder and chief operating officer of Defined Learning. “Defined STEM makes project-based learning easy for educators to implement by providing video, multimedia, and text resources all in one place. Our performance tasks provide schools with the ability to thoroughly assess student learning and compare it against the standards.”

District U-46 and all Defined STEM users will experience a refreshed, easy-to-navigate homepage where they can filter lessons by grade level, Common Core focus, curriculum unit, learning standard(s), and literacy task. Educators can also search for performance tasks based on the 16 standard career clusters.

Defined STEM provides meaningful tasks in which students take on a role in a real-world job and solve problems while collaborating with their peers. These tasks increase engagement by showing how the material students learn can be applied to a future career, which allows students to imagine themselves on that career path.

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.

About School District U-46

School District U-46 serves families in 11 communities across 90 square miles within Chicago’s northwest suburbs. The District is nestled in the Fox River Valley, approximately 45 minutes west of downtown Chicago, and includes communities within Cook, DuPage, and Kane counties. Nearly 40,000 preschoolers through 12th-graders attend the district’s 57 schools and programs. Communities served include Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Hanover Park, Streamwood, and Wayne; and portions of Carol Stream, West Chicago, St. Charles, Schaumburg, and Hoffman Estates.