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Texas Takes Aggressive First Steps to Address Autism with Humanoid Robotics
Through House Bill 21, the state has identified funding to provide districts the opportunity to address innovative and effective programs and services for autism

(Austin, TX) February 15, 2018 — The state of Texas recently announced the implementation of House Bill 21 (HB21), a state-funded initiative to provide its districts with innovative, evidence- and research-based, impact-proven programs and services for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Through this initiative, schools can help teach their students with ASD to tune in on emotions, express empathy, act appropriately in social situations, self-motivate, and reciprocate interactions. RoboKind, the world leader in social robotics and the creator of Milo and robots4autism, is proud to offer schools and districts a solution that meets or exceeds the expectations and goals spelled out in HB21.

To simplify the application process for educators, RoboKind is providing language for school and district administrators to use to ensure that Milo and the robots4autism curriculum are included in their grant. Schools and districts that take advantage of Milo the robot and the robots4autism curriculum will also have access to data collection and reporting analytics, a facilitator manual, training, IT and related technical support, and school and district customer service support.

“This is an incredible opportunity for schools and districts in the state of Texas to acquire life-changing technology to support their students with ASD,” said Dr. Gregory Firn, the Chief Operating Officer of RoboKind and former Texas Administrator. “It is our mission as a company to help every student on the autism spectrum connect to the world around them and reach their full potential.”

As of 2010, one in 68 children born in the U.S. are reported to have autism, a number that has risen 119.4% since 2000. Texas has the second-highest number of children with autism in the country. The total annual cost of autism in the U.S. is $236–$262 billion, but this cost can be reduced by two thirds with early diagnosis and intervention. Milo, paired with his evidence- and research-based ASD curriculum, is already bridging the gap and creating unprecedented engagement for ASD students in 26 Texas schools. This engagement has resulted in positive outcomes seen within 1–4 months in the following three areas:

  1. Increased self-regulation and decreased classroom disruptions and meltdowns;
  2. Increased understanding of human emotions, communication, and social interaction; and
  3. Increased human-to-human interaction.

Schools, school districts, and Educational Service Centers are encouraged to include robots4autism in their grant applications to provide their ASD learners the access and opportunity to develop social, emotional, behavioral, and communicative skills. HB21 grant applications are due March 8, 2018.

To learn more about how Milo and the robots4autism program meet or exceed HB21 requirements, administrators can visit RoboKind’s information page.

About RoboKind
RoboKind is a Dallas-based company whose mission is to create cost-effective and inclusive education for all. Working closely with the ASD community, RoboKind has developed robots4autism and Milo, the most advanced, facially expressive humanoid robot, who has proven effectiveness in engaging ASD learners at 70%, as opposed to the 3% for traditional therapy. Milo never gets tired, never gets frustrated, and is always consistent, which is important when teaching through repetition. His friendly demeanor and patience encourage ASD learners to step out of their shell and gives them the courage to interact with their environment.

The team behind robots4autism is constantly refining the curriculum through feedback from families and practitioners. RoboKind is dedicated to creating pathways for all ages and groups so they can thrive in the real world through cost-effective means. To learn more, please visit RoboKind.com.

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Follett Unveils New Release of Market-Leading Destiny
 
MCHENRY, Ill., Feb. 13, 2018 – With its latest release of Destiny, Follett continues to make impactful advances to its market-leading library/resource management solution. Destiny 15.5 provides enhancements to help students and teachers more easily find the best resources to meet learning goals and objectives, and includes updates to the entire Destiny family of products – Destiny Library Manager, Destiny Discover, Collections by Destiny, Destiny Resource Manager and Destiny Analytics.
 
“We continue to move our customers toward the best search interface for students and teachers, built for today’s devices,” said Nader Qaimari, President, Follett School Solutions. “Many of these enhancements originated as suggestions from our loyal users, and we pride ourselves on providing educators with the tools and resources they and their students seek.” 
 
The new version includes upgrades to Destiny Library Manager, now providing easier reporting of Follett digital content usage. Improvements to Destiny Resource Manager make it both easier to distribute textbooks and other learning resources to classes, and to report on those resources. Destiny Analytics, which adds powerful visualization and analysis capabilities to the overall Destiny solution, now delivers faster performance for a variety of activities.
 
In addition, Collections by Destiny will now support custom images for collections and resources. Collections by Destiny, which debuted last July headlining the Destiny 15.0 release, allows customers to create new, collaborative ways for librarians, teachers, and curriculum staff to share free or purchased resources across the district, schools or between users.
 
Upgrades to Destiny Discover, which provides one convenient discovery interface for students and teachers to search and access resources, include providing recommendations for students on their next book, as well as searching improvements to help students identify resources at their individualized reading level.
 
A “What’s New in Destiny” webinar is set for 3 p.m. EST on Thursday (Feb. 15). To register for the webinar, visit http://bit.ly/2rVLvEL.
 
For a complete look at all that is new in Destiny, visit https://resources.follettlearning.com/whats-new/destiny-155. For more information about Follett, visit follettlearning.com.
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Language Learning Solutions Provider EMC School Expands Computer Literacy Offerings With Acquisition of Zulama

Comprehensive Computer Science Curriculum Centers on Game Design to Make Coding and Programming Fun for Middle and High School Students

ST. PAUL, Minn., Feb. 05, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — EMC School (EMC), a leading provider of digital and blended language learning solutions, today announced its acquisition of Zulama, Inc., an award-winning ed tech company producing innovative digital programs for computer literacy in middle and high school classrooms. Zulama modules, courses and certifications will be available for sale immediately as part of EMC’s computer literacy product line, and ultimately available through EMC’s engaging and immersive learning environment Passport.

Developed with faculty from Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center, the Zulama program focuses on game creation, from developing a storyline to marketing an original videogame. The multidisciplinary curriculum for grades 6-12 adheres to national and state standards, including the Computer Science Teachers Association standards and can be easily incorporated into any existing middle or high school coursework.

“At EMC School, our focus is on digital literacy and communications, and providing schools with a comprehensive computer science offering is a key element of our strategy. The acquisition of Zulama accelerates our path to including an immersive and fully digital computer science and STEAM curriculum on Passport,” said Mick Demakos, division president at EMC School. “Zulama’s comprehensive course offering, coupled with EMC’s current foundational computer skills curriculum, offers students the opportunity to develop the critical skills they need to build digital competency and successfully pursue their career goals.”

Designed to be fun for both educators and students, Zulama contains more than 2,000 hours of engaging digital content, including lessons and project-based activities. Students learn programming languages and tools, such as Javascript, C#, 3DSMax, and Unity3D, which are commonly used by professionals. They can opt to participate in real-world projects, working with businesses, nonprofit organizations and community groups to create apps, games, websites and more. Zulama offers the opportunity to earn industry-recognized certifications that help students advance in their education and career path.

Zulama on Passport

With Zulama on Passport, students will access lessons, view assignments, collaborate with peers, submit game projects, and communicate with their teacher in an engaging and highly interactive learning environment. For teachers, Passport offers an easy and comprehensive way to provide feedback and track student progress. EMC first launched Passport in 2014 for the world language market, and this year, introduced its core English language arts program, Mirrors & Windows, onto Passport.

“Computer science is a core competency that all students need because most careers today require some technology and programming skills,” said Nikki Navta, Zulama’s chief executive officer who joined EMC School as part of the acquisition. “We’re excited to unite with EMC School and put our curriculum onto Passport, effectively reaching more teachers and students across the country.”

Zulama provides a comprehensive framework so educators can easily apply it to their own curriculum, regardless of their subject area. Beyond computer science, Zulama helps students develop skills needed for communication, creative expression and job preparedness in a digital world. Many Zulama courses prepare students and teachers to obtain industry-recognized certifications, including Unity Developer and 3DS Max,. Select higher education institutions accept completed Zulama courses, particularly AP Computer Science Principles, for college credit.

Earlier this school year, the White House announced plans to commit $200 million every year to computer science education. Virginia became the first state to require computer science instruction in grades K-12 and other states and districts are adopting computer science curriculum standards. Zulama is already in use in classrooms in three of the largest districts in the country: Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles.

About EMC School

EMC School, a business unit of New Mountain Learning, is a recognized leader in language learning solutions in classrooms throughout the nation. Founded in 1954, EMC offers core instructional materials, supplements, and assessments for the K-12 market, delivering blended learning solutions for world languages, literature and language arts, and computer science. Its innovative learning environment, Passport, was launched in 2014 and has achieved significant market adoptions due to its engaging student interface and easy-to-use teacher tools. For more information, visit us on FacebookTwitter, or on the web.

About Zulama, Inc.

Zulama, Inc. provides Computer Science education solutions that “hook” students by tapping into a topic they love—video games. Zulama’s curriculum for middle and high schoolers was created by faculty who teach these subjects to Master’s students at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center. A comprehensive, turnkey solution, Zulama provides in-depth teacher training to ensure their success teaching game design, programming, 3D art, and digital storytelling.

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FROM COSN: President’s Budget Takes Misguided Approach to Educational Investment

 

Washington, DC (February 12, 2018) – CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) CEO Keith Krueger today issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s fiscal year 2019 budget request to Congress:

 

 

 

“CoSN strongly opposes President Trump’s misguided proposal to eliminate the bipartisan Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant program. Congress established the program to encourage local innovation, which would support STEM education, develop open educational resources and identify other specific local needs.

 

“However, the President’s budget, ironically, would cut one of the largest existing sources of STEM funding only months after announcing a major STEM initiative.

 

“Now is not the time to walk away from SSAE grant investments. They are critical in providing our students with the technology and training required to be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow.”

 

About CoSN

CoSN is the premier voice and resource for K-12 education technology leaders nationwide. Serving more than 13 million students in America’s school systems, CoSN provides education leaders with the tools and relationships to leverage technology and advance modern, engaging learning environments. Visit CoSN.org to find out more about CoSN’s focus areas, annual conference and events, advocacy and policy, membership and the CETL certification exam.

 


 

 

Governors’ State of the States Signal the Beginning of  New Era for Edtech Says ISTE

 

WASHINGTON — February 9, 2018 — Governors, in their just-delivered State of the State addresses, highlighted major initiatives around using technology effectively in schools, expanding support for computational thinking, and building infrastructure that supports students and educators with digital learning opportunities.

 

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), in a careful review of the speeches, says the addresses underscored that state executives are committed to investing in using technology to enhance learning.

 

“There are some really exciting and innovative ideas coming from the states that will prepare students to thrive in a digital world,” said ISTE CEO Richard Culatta. “These governors clearly understand the need to be forward thinking and recognize that technology plays a key role in education. We’re especially impressed with plans from the governors of Indiana and South Carolina to support professional learning for teachers around the effective use of technology for learning.”

 

Culatta added that ISTE and its affiliates across the U.S., comprised of educators, administrators, coaches, librarians and computer science educators, are vital partners in the success of any initiative.

 

The governors’ speeches mark a renewed focus on leveraging technology to address long-standing challenges in education. Common themes among State of the State addresses delivered since early January include:

 

•                     Expanding the availability of and access to technical education programs, particularly computer science, coding boot camps and other high-tech initiatives.

•                     Encouraging public-private partnerships around career and technical education, internships and externships.

•                     Improving infrastructure in schools, most notably initiatives for devices and broadband.

 

Some of the most prominent examples of these trends by state include:

 

Alabama

Gov. Kay Ivey announced the creation of the Alabama School of Cyber-Technology and Engineering. The school aims to prepare some of the state’s highest achieving students to enter the cyber-technology and engineering professions.

 

Arizona

Gov. Doug Ducey discussed continued education investments for computer science and coding curriculum, and the importance of high-speed internet for rural K-12 schools.

 

California

Gov. Jerry Brown proposed creating the ground-breaking California Online College so that workers without a degree or credential can get convenient, affordable training.

 

Delaware

Gov. John Carney pledged  to strengthen the Delaware Pathways program that includes high-tech externships and championed the success of Zip Code Wilmington, a software development boot camp for students.

 

Idaho

Gov. Butch Otter called for investing an additional $10 million in school technology and requirements for schools to develop plans for integrating technology into their curriculum. He also called for the implementation of a statewide degree audit and data analytics system.

 

Indiana

Gov. Eric Holcomb called for legislation to require every Indiana K-12 school to offer computer science courses and to pay for the teacher professional development needed “to inspire students.”

 

Iowa

Gov. Kim Reynolds said the state had invested more than $37 million in STEM education programs through public–private partnerships.

 

Michigan

Gov. Rick Snyder touted the success and planned expansion of the Career Pathways Alliance, a statewide public-private partnership to join education with private industry. He also advocated to expand career and technical education statewide, and to provide equitable opportunities for all students. The governor called for additional funding for schools to offer career and technical education, as well as professional trades programs.

 

New Mexico

Gov. Susana Martinez proposed that schools allow chemists, biologists, engineers and others to be trained and certified to teach high school math and science to help address teacher shortages in these subjects. She also asked for funding to update schools with 21st century technology and  expand broadband coverage.

 

Rhode Island

Gov. Gina Raimondo touted Rhode Island as the “first state in America to teach computer science in every public school.”  She also explained how a cut in burdensome regulations has helped the growth of a math application developed in the state.

 

South Carolina

Gov. Henry McMaster’s budget included $3.3 million to train new computer science and coding teachers. He also called for the creation of the South Carolina Workforce Partnership that would encourage high schools, businesses and technical colleges to develop internships, certificate programs and dual-credit courses.

 

South Dakota

Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced a partnership among higher education, high schools and the state department of labor that will provide high school juniors and seniors courses in cybersecurity, network services and software development. These courses will count toward high school graduation and college credit.

 

Vermont

Gov. Phil Scott discussed his budget plan to expand adult technical education and other proposals to “better serve the current needs of workers and our businesses.” Vermont’s State Board of Education has adopted ISTE Updated Standards for Students.

 

Wisconsin

Gov. Scott Walker said the state increased its investment from $6 million to $41.5 million in linking communities to high-speed internet connections and giving schools access to the latest technology and training. The ambitious goal is to connect every part of the state over the next two years.

 

Throughout 2018, ISTE will follow these state-based developments and encourage other states to pursue initiatives that support teachers in the effective use of technology based on unique state and regional needs.

 

Those interested in keeping up on edtech policy and receiving periodic updates can join the ISTE Advocacy Network. The network provides access to state and federal edtech policy updates and practical resources to support advocacy efforts.

 

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 edtech events. 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 Twitter, Facebookand LinkedIn.

 


creatED by Crayola Pilots Program in Eight Districts, Transforms Teaching and Learning through Confident, Creative Educators

Innovative teaching practices spark students’ love of learning with hands-on professional learning program and resources

 

Easton, PA. (February 8, 2018) — Across the U.S., district leaders are embracing arts-infused teaching approaches to prepare K-8 students for an innovation-fueled workforce. creatED by Crayola®, the brand that inspires creativity in education, is piloting its professional learning program in eight districts across the U.S. during the 2017-18 school year. creatED provides educators with teaching strategies and resources that increase student engagement and improve learning outcomes.

The districts piloting creatED are in various stages of their arts-integration journey. Available in one, two or three-year configurations, creatED’s professional learning consultants tailor the program to each cohorts’ specific needs. The pilot districts begin creative leadership training with select schools or district teams that act as catalysts for change on a district-wide level.

To read the news release, please click here.

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CDI Partners with littleBits to Provide STEAM Coding Starter Kits to Schools

Kits provide an affordable solution to teach STEAM skills

 Chicago IL – Feb. 8, 2018 – CDI Computer Dealers announced today it has partnered with littleBits to offer STEAM Coding Starter Kits for classrooms, makerspaces and libraries. The package includes two of littleBits’ best-selling kits – the STEAM Student Set and the Code Kit –plus two add-on packages that allow students to expand on the lessons by creating games or electronic music. CDI is showcasing the STEAM Coding Starter Kits this week at TCEA 2018 (booth 1922) in Austin.

The STEAM Student Set and the Code Kit are designed for students in grades three through eight and are aligned to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core State Standards. They provide everything needed to launch a hands-on, successful STEAM (Science, Technology Engineering Arts and Math) program.

“Students learn by doing, and the littleBits STEAM Coding Starter Kits provide a great way to teach important STEAM skills through hands-on learning experiences,” said Glenn Collins, vice president of mobile computing at CDI. “Students learn through creating games and inventions, and even generating their own music. Our goal at CDI is to provide the tools and technology that schools need to be successful. Our partnership with littleBits provides an affordable way for organizations to launch a standards-aligned STEAM program that engages and excites students.”

littleBits kits are comprised of multiple electronic building blocks, or “Bits,” that snap together to create inventions and teach students about coding, circuits, music and more. Each CDI STEAM Coding Starter Kit includes:

  • A STEAM Student Set, which teaches engineering and design through hands-on inventing. It includes:

o   Eight challenges such as inventing a self-driving vehicle or an art machine. Additional challenges and inventions are available on the accompanying app.

o   19 Bits and 45 accessories.

o   A 72-page invention guidebook.

  • A Code Kit, which introduces coding to the classroom through creating and playing games. It includes:

o   Four games to invent and code such as “Ultimate Shootout and “Hot Potato..of Doom.” More are available in the accompanying app.

o   16 Bits and 30 accessories.

o   A computer-based app that provides tutorials, lessons and additional games.

o   Educator resources.

  • Gizmos & Gadgets Kit, 2nd Edition, an extension kit that provides tools to create big games, toys and pranks. It includes:

o   16 inventions such as the Bitbot electronic rover and Prank Package, a box that opens on command to surprise bystanders. More are available in the app.

o   13 Bits and 56 accessories. such as ball coasters and mechanical arms

  • A Synth Kit, an extension kit that teaches students how to create their own instruments and electronic music. It includes:

o   Two inventions: Keytar, in which students create their own electronic instrument; and Synth Spin Table, which allows students to play their Synth Kit like a DJ. More inventions are available in the app.

o   12 Bits and one accessory.

o   A 34-page invention guidebook.

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/.

About littleBits

littleBits empowers kids around the world to become inventors. Founded in 2011 by Ayah Bdeir, its innovative platform of easy-to-use electronic blocks allows anyone to create and prototype with electronics, independent of age, gender or technical ability. As the leader in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) learning, littleBits believes in creating the conditions of invention by creating products that encourage self-directed exploration and problem solving; support grit and tenacity; and create a safe place to experience both failure and accomplishment. The company is dedicated to successfully bridging the gender gap with its gender-neutral platform, attracting an industry high thirty five percent of young girls to invent with littleBits. By embracing STEAM, both girls and boys can invent solutions to the problems that matter to them. The company’s products have won over 150 industry awards in the toy and education industries. littleBits is headquartered in New York. For more information and inspiration, go to www.littleBits.cc.

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FLGI announces the first global standards for Flipped Learning training, the launch of a global standards initiative, and a global standards community

 CHICAGO, Feb. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the Flipped Learning Global Initiative (FLGI), a worldwide coalition of educators, researchers, technologists, professional development providers and education leaders, announced a global project to establish a global framework for Flipped Learning training. The project has three components, a global outreach to leading and practicing Flipped Learning practitioners, the launch of an online Global Standards Community, and the release of the FLGI’s first global standards for Flipped Learning trainers.  The flipped training standards project was launched in response to the growing interest in Flipped Learning and a pressing need for common standards. The most recent global data collected by FLGI suggests that as high as 80 percent of Flipped Learning practitioners and trainers are 3-5 years behind current best practices. International standards are needed to ensure the training educators receive is based on the most current global research and best practices in Flipped Learning.

The global gap in the quality of training delivered to educators, schools, and school districts is immense. “I’ve traveled over 600,000 miles on six continents facilitating training on the principles and best practices of Flipped Learning.  I’ve found that most flipped educators and trainers are practicing in silos. The overwhelming majority of even the best practitioners are unaware that global best practices even exist,” said Jon Bergmann, Chief Academic Officer and early Flipped Learning pioneer. “It’s disquieting to see flipped educators learning outdated practices.  Many are being taught Flipped Learning in a vacuum by people who learned and practiced in a vacuum, so they just don’t know that there are more advanced practices.”

The Flipped Learning Global Standards Community is an extension of the work done by FLGI’s founding International Faculty. The Faculty includes experienced Flipped Learning practitioners from New Zealand, Indonesia, Italy, Australia, Taiwan, Spain, Argentina, Canada, Malaysia, Belgium, Hong Kong and the United States.  The Faculty brings cultural and linguistic insights gleaned from delivering training in six languages including English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, German and Chinese. The International Faculty was created to enable FLGI to deliver a culturally responsive, but consistent standard of training and ongoing support to schools and school systems anywhere in the world. The FLGI Global Standards Community will open its doors later this month to begin to soliciting input from educators around the world.

The Global Standards Project began with FLGI’s International Faculty and expanded to seek input from other pioneers in Flipped Learning including, Eric Mazur, the Balkanski professor of Physics at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education; Dr. Richard Schwartzstein, professor of Medicine and Medical Education at Harvard Medical School; Richard Reis, professor in the Mechanical Engineering department at Stanford University; MEF University President Muhammed Şahin; and the Director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, Caroline Fell Kurban.

Based on the initial work of the International Faculty and the Global Standards Community, FLGI adopted and released the first global standard for flipped training. The standard applies to training facilitated by the Flipped Learning Global Initiative. Version 1.0 of the Global Standard establishes 25 criteria that FLGI has internally embraced, declared, and adopted for its International Faculty. Highlights of the FLGI Global Standard include:

  • Training based on the most current global research
  • Training grounded in global best practices
  • An ongoing post-training support system
  • The ability to deliver training that is culturally responsive to the local community
  • Completion of a rigorous and required international training program for all instructors
  • Emphasize and embed global collaboration in the training
  • Proven competence in collaborating across time zones, cultures, and disciplines
  • Training based on the latest Flipped Learning 3.0 framework
  • Include a system to ensure trainer competency and currency

“We are excited take the critical first steps in establishing a global standard for Flipped Learning instruction. We’re confident that educators, schools, and school systems around the world will benefit,” said Errol St.Clair Smith, Director of Global Development at the Flipped Learning Global Initiative.

About the Flipped Learning Global Initiative

The Flipped Learning Global Initiative, (FLGI), was created to support the rapidly expanding adoption of Flipped Learning all over the world. FLGI aims to fill the growing global need for collaboration across borders in three domains: evolving best practices in Flipped Learning, research curation and distribution, and technology selection and implementation.

To participate in the Global Standards Community or get a full list of FLGI’s Global Standard for Flipped Learning contact: Errol St.Clair Smith, Director of Global Development at 949-677-7381, 189893@email4pr.com or go to http://flglobal.org/2018faculty/


 

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Insight Education Group to Host National Educational Leaders’ Workshop

Insight’s leaders and members of its Empowering Educators to Excel community will share three instructional levers that are bringing success to schools nationwide 

(Encino, CA) February 8, 2017 — Insight Education Group today announced that its National Educational Leaders’ Workshop (NELW) will take place in San Diego, CA, on March 9th and 10th. As part of Insight’s Empowering Educators to Excel (E3) initiative, the event was created to present district leaders, principals, instructional coaches, teacher leaders, and teachers from districts nationwide with the latest research and best practices that they can use right away to support educators’ growth and impact student achievement.

NELW attendees will meet and learn from members of E3’s nationwide networked improvement community as well as other leaders from around the nation who have experienced real success with three key levers:

  1. Launching instructional leadership teams that execute on improvement goals that lead to student achievement;
  2. Building successful instructional coaching programs that are aligned to instructional priorities and provide meaningful feedback; and
  3. Implementing a PLC model, Supporting Teacher Effectiveness Project (STEP), based on a positive deviance approach that empowers teachers to find bright spots and replicate them.

“As a district leader, the Workshop will provide our instructional team with a unique, deliberate opportunity to learn and investigate the latest practices in what really works in improving student achievement,” said Nate Davis, the Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township. “I look forward to sharing what’s working for us and taking back what we’ve learned from others. The opportunity to develop a ‘network in practice’ is a wonderful chance to both provide and receive high-quality feedback and ideas in today’s ever-changing educational landscape. The Workshop will provide the time, space, and expertise to accomplish this.”

Dr. Michael Moody, the co-founder and CEO of Insight ADVANCE, will deliver the keynote, “Rethinking PD So It Actually Works.”

Panels will include “Equity, Equality, and Excellence: From Policy to Practice,” moderated by Jason Stricker, CEO of Insight Education Group with panelists Dr. Sharon Contreras, Superintendent of Guilford County Schools (North Carolina), Superintendent Dr. Demond Means of Clarke County School District (Georgia), and Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca, Board of Education Member of District 6, Houston Independent School District (Texas); and “STEP into Effective PLCs: Empowering Teachers & Improving Practice,” moderated by Dr. Anissa Rodriguez Dickerman, senior vice president of Insight Education Group.

NELW 2018 be held at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina, and the registration fee is $450 per attendee. Interested educators can register here until February 15, 2018.

About Insight Education Group
Insight Education Group is an international educational consulting organization that partners with education leaders to develop the strategy and confidence to lead bold change. Since 2000, Insight has provided wrap-around supports to K12 teachers, instructional coaches, principals, and district administrators that lead to increased educator effectiveness and ultimately student achievement.


CEV Multimedia Announces 900 District Adoptions in Texas

CTE curriculum provider serves over 80 percent of districts statewide with TEKS-aligned materials

 

LUBBOCK, Texas (Feb. 7, 2018) –  As part of Proclamation 2017, the Texas State Board of Education selected CEV Multimedia to provide Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculum to align with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Following the development and approval of 87 CTE courses for the iCEV online learning platform, CEV Multimedia announced today that 900 Texas school districts have successfully adopted courses.

School districts that adopted iCEV materials received pre-packed, TEKS-aligned courses and learning materials, an automatic testing and grading system, and numerous lessons that will guide students through their education and careers. Student licenses offer interactive learning opportunities through project-based activities, video assignments and industry-backed certifications.

To read the full news release, please click here.

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SXSW EDU® ANNOUNCES RENOWNED STORYTELLING NONPROFIT THE MOTH AS ITS OPENING KEYNOTE IN “STORIES OF
SCHOOLING AND GETTING SCHOOLED” 
TO ELEVATE STORYTELLING AND TEACHERS’ VOICES

Four Educators Showcase Their Journeys and the Importance of
Crafting Their Own Stories
February 6, 2018, AUSTIN, Texas – The SXSW EDU® Conference & Festival announced today its exciting opening keynote featuring storytelling phenomenon and renowned podcast, The Moth. In this opening session on March 5, 2018, The Moth Education Program will deliver a dynamic storytelling showcase, featuring educators Micaela BleiChris De La CruzCrystal Duckert, and Tim Manley as they inspire attendees with the power of true stories from their lives—journeys taken inside the classroom and outside of it.

In this showcase, the four educators will engage the audience with short stories highlighting their teaching journeys. The program builds on the premise that teachers bring themselves into the classroom, and their classrooms into their lives. In exploring this intersection of teacher identity, The Moth will inspire listeners to find their voices and share their own stories, launching a week of learning and connection at SXSW EDU, including their hands-on workshop for attendees to learn storytelling skills.

“Since its inception, SXSW EDU has aspired to elevate the voice—and more broadly, the profession—of teaching,” said Ron Reed, Director of Emerging Events, SXSW. “In collaboration with The Moth Education Program, we’ve found a like-minded group who shares our intention and goal to elevate every educator’s story. Mixing life and learning, we are thrilled to bring this inspirational kickoff to SXSW EDU 2018—spotlighting educator and innovator voices through the art of storytelling, to empower us all, in the days to come and beyond, to engage authentically, inform honestly, and inspire one another greatly.”

“Telling stories about our experiences connects us to one another, to our students, and even to our own identities as teachers,” says Micaela Blei, head of The Moth Education Program and one of the educators slated to take the stage at SXSW EDU. “We’re thrilled to work with SXSW EDU to present this special showcase.”

Opening Keynote Voices are:

  • Micaela Blei is a former third grade classroom teacher, two-time Moth GrandSLAM winner, PhD candidate, and Director of Education and Community Programs at The Moth. She has facilitated storytelling workshops and directed performance programs in schools across New York City and nationwide, as well as giving keynotes and professional development workshops at SXSW EDU, Lincoln Center Institute, Columbia University Reading and Writing Project, School of Visual Arts, and others. Micaela has regularly appeared on The Moth’s Mainstage across the country and on The Moth Radio Hour, and her solo storytelling show, “The Secret Life of Your Third Grade Teacher,” was a sold-out FringeFAVE at the 2016 NYC Fringe. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Education at New York University, focusing on personal narrative performance.
  • Chris De La Cruz is a regular host for the Moth High School Slams. He is a comedian, storyteller, and social justice educator originally from Dayton, Ohio. Originally trained as a teaching artist, he later received his MA in English Education from New York University. He is a founding Learning Coach at South Bronx Community Charter High School where he teaches a social justice / media class titled #FIGHTTHEPOWER and Freestyle Comedy based on MTV’s Wild N’ Out. His focus is designing and consulting for curriculum that centers student voice and culture.
  • Crystal Duckert is in her 13th year of teaching after receiving her degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Literature and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Trinity University. She is in her third year at the Greenhill School in Dallas, Texas where she teaches Narrative Non-Fiction and Contemporary Hip Hop Poetry to 11th and 12th grade students. As an avid reader and storyteller, Crystal believes that the stories we read come secondary to our life experiences. Because she values the power of storytelling, she works to inspire her students to use narrative writing as a way to find their voice and deepen their understanding of humanity.
  • Tim Manley is a former high school English teacher in New York City. His true stories have been featured on The Moth Radio Hour, Gimlet Media’s Surprisingly Awesome, and very briefly in HBO’s Girls. His web series The Feels, about a teacher with way too many feelings, has been covered by BBC World Service, TeenVogue, and Slate. He is also a teaching artist with National Book Foundation’s BookUp, Catapult, and The Moth’s High School SLAM program.

To learn more about SXSW EDU speakers, please visit the speakers page.

About The Moth
The Moth’s mission is to promote the art and craft of storytelling and to honor and celebrate the diversity and commonality of human experience. Since launching in 1997, The Moth has presented over 30,000 true stories, told live, in front of audiences around the world. The Moth Education Program works with young people and educators to build community through storytelling workshops, performances, and innovative workshops. To learn more about The Moth, please visit themoth.org.

About SXSW EDU
The SXSW EDU® Conference & Festival cultivates and empowers a community of engaged stakeholders to advance teaching and learning. The annual four-day event affords registrants open access to engaging sessions, immersive workshops, interactive learning experiences, film screenings, early-stage startups, business opportunities and networking. SXSW EDU is a component of the South by Southwest® family of conferences and festivals. Join the passionate and innovative community at SXSW EDU, March 5-8, 2018 in Austin, Texas. For more information, please visit sxswedu.com.

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Kano Breaks Into U.S. K-12 Education with New Education Packages

 The new range of free teacher resources empowers students to understand technology and create with code

 

London (Feb. 7, 2018) – Following its success in consumer markets worldwide, Kano, the DIY computer company, is bringing its computer coding kits to U.S. classrooms with a range of education packages available online. Each package delivers full curriculum support, training and resources from an ever-growing online community of educators.

Each education package comes with core-curricular lesson plans, design challenges, implementation guides, video training tutorials, “how-to” coding lessons, professional development webinars, support from the Kano staff, access to an educator community and more. With the variety of available packs, teachers can easily integrate Kano in learning spaces ranging from makerspaces to libraries to entire classrooms.

To read the full news release. please click here


**MEDIA ADVISORY FROM COSN **
 
February 13th Webinar: First Steps to Effective Cybersecurity in Schools
WHAT:

CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) will hold a webinar next Tuesday, February 13 on the actions schools can take to improve their network security.

Attendees will hear from school technology leaders and experts on their efforts and best practices. The session will be fully interactive and open to Q&A.

WHO:
Presenters
  • Diane Doersch, Chief Technology & Information Officer, Green Bay Area School District (WI)
  • Nathan Mielke, Director Of Technology Services, Hartford Union High School (WI)
  • Ryan Cloutier, Principal Security Architect, TIES CISSP (MN)
  • William Brackett, IT Infrastructure Manager, Oak Park Elementary District (IL)
Moderator
  • Marie Bjerede, CoSN Project Director
WHEN:
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
1:00 – 2:00 PM ET
REGISTRATION:
Media can register at no cost by emailing Michael Kaplun at mkaplun@fratelli.com.
 
Learn more about the webinar here.
About CoSN 
CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. For 25 years, CoSN has provided leaders with the management, community building and advocacy tools they need to succeed. Today, CoSN represents over 13 million students in school districts nationwide and continues to grow as a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education. VisitCoSN.org to find out more about CoSN’s focus areasannual conference and eventsadvocacy and policymembership and the CETL certification exam.