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VISIONARY EDUCATOR DR. MARK EDWARDS TO JOIN DISCOVERY EDUCATION AS SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF DIGITAL LEARNING

 

—World Renowned Thought Leader, Innovator, and Education Advocate to Lead the Continued Evolution, Expansion, and Implementation of Discovery Education’s Vision for Transforming Teaching and Learning—

 

Silver Spring, Md. (June 30, 2016) – Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, today announced that visionary educator Dr. Mark Edwards, Superintendent of North Carolina’s Mooresville Graded School District (MGSD), will join the organization as Senior Vice President, Digital Learning in August of this year.

 

As MGSD’s Superintendent, Dr. Edwards oversaw the creation of authentic digital learning environments that engaged all students and improved academic outcomes. In his new role at Discovery Education, Dr. Edwards will work with school systems worldwide to successfully implement similar digital transitions supporting the success of each learner.  He will also lead the continued evolution, expansion, and implementation of Discovery Education’s strategic vision for transforming teaching and learning through its unique combination of professional development, award-winning digital content, and educator community.

 

In addition, Dr. Edwards will provide strategic guidance and support across all aspects of the organization including, but not limited to, educational partnerships, state outreach, product development, partner success, and corporate partnerships.  His deep expertise in managing district-wide digital transitions, implementing successful 1-to-1 programs, designing effective professional development initiatives, and purposefully integrating digital content into classroom instruction will further enhance Discovery Education’s efforts to support educators and students worldwide.

 

A 38-year veteran of public education, Dr. Edwards previously served for nine years as MGSD’s superintendent. Under his leadership, the district was an early adopter of digital content as a core instructional resource, which helped drive dramatic increases in test scores, graduation rates and college readiness. Since 2007, the number of MGSD students testing proficient or advanced on state end-of-grade tests has increased by 16 percentage points from 73 percent to 89 percent, second best in the state of North Carolina despite being ranked 100th out of 115 districts in funding.

 

“Discovery Education is perfectly positioned to transform teaching and learning on a global scale and is the ideal place for me to broaden my impact on education and continue my personal mission to see that every child, every day, has the opportunity to receive the education they demand and deserve,” said Dr. Edwards.  “I am excited to embrace the challenges of my next role and will always be extremely proud of the groundbreaking results we accomplished as a team in Mooresville, and will forever be grateful to the Mooresville community for their tremendous support.”

 

A highly respected and sought-after global spokesperson on digital transformation, Dr. Edwards has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career.  In 2001 he was named Virginia State Superintendent of the Year, and in 2002, he was recognized as a Tech Savvy Superintendent by eSchool News and received the Community Leader Award from the Mooresville NAACP. In 2013, he was named National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators and Common Sense Media’s Educator of the Year. In 2014, Dr. Edwards was the recipient of the North Carolina Public School Forum’s 2014 Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award.  Most recently, he received a Bammy from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences and was named Technology Educator of the Year by the NC Technology Association.  Dr. Edwards has also briefed Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on the digital conversion and was asked to help launch Digital Promise at the White House. He is the author of Every Child, Every Day: A Digital Conversion Model for Student Achievement.

 

“Discovery Education is thrilled to welcome Mark to our innovative and growing global team,” said Bill Goodwyn, President and CEO, Discovery Education. “His work in transforming teaching and learning in Mooresville, combined with his efforts to support the work of the educators from around the globe who have visited the district to witness first-hand his teams’ impact on students, makes him the perfect leader to support Discovery Education’s vision for the future of education.   He will be a tremendous asset to both Discovery Education and the 30 million students and 3 million educators we serve around the world.”

 

Before coming to Mooresville, Dr. Edwards served as dean for the University of Northern Alabama’s School of Education, and superintendent of Virginia’s Henrico Public Schools and Danville Public Schools.

 

Dr. Edwards holds a Ph.D. in education from Vanderbilt University, a M.Ed. in administration and supervision from Tennessee Technical University, and a B.S. in education from the University of Tennessee.  He will be based in Discovery Education’s office in Charlotte, N.C., and will report directly to Discovery Education’s President and CEO Bill Goodwyn.

 

For more information about Discovery Education or its programs, services and initiatives, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.

 

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 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools 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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Mooresville Graded School District’s Superintendent to Accept New Position

Mooresville, NC — 2013 National Superintendent of the Year Dr. Mark Edwards will be leaving

his position as superintendent of the Mooresville Graded School District as of this August.

Edwards will be leaving public education to work as Senior Vice President, Digital Learning

with Discovery Education in its Charlotte, North Carolina office. Edwards has been with MGSD

for nine years and led the district’s Digital Conversion with impressive academic results. During

his tenure the district experienced gains in achievement, ranking in the top three in the state for

the past five years and watched its district graduation rank hold steady at 90 percent. Academic

achievement may not be Edwards’ most important legacy as MGSD’s superintendent, however.

Under his direction, the district has experienced a culture shift where accountability to every

child, every day has become the expectation of the MGSD organization and touted nationally by

academic journals and even the President of the United States.

When announcing his decision, Edwards said, “Words just cannot express my appreciation to our

staff and community for the love and dedication to our students. Please keep standing up for

every child, every day!”

“It is a sad day for MGSD. A superintendent with Dr. Edwards’ credentials will be difficult to

replace. He was very successful in putting together a strong infrastructure and team. As Dr.

Edwards has said, MGSD is more than one person and will continue on the path of excellence.

We will move as quickly as possible and consider all of our options when hiring a new

superintendent. We’ll let the community know as soon as a decision has been made,” stated

Larry Wilson, chair for the MGSD Board of Education.

Dr. Edwards and his wife, Marcia will continue to live in the Mooresville community where in

addition to his new responsibilities with Discovery Education, he plans on continuing to be an

advocate for public education and children.

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Hillary Is Right on Innovation!, Say Education Reformers:  The Center for Education Reform

 The best way to improve the U.S. education system is through innovation and opportunity.

WASHINGTON, DC — The Center for Education Reform (CER) today released the following statement fromJeanne Allen, founder and chief executive, applauding Hillary Clinton’s “innovation agenda” for higher education:

“Hillary’s innovation-focused agenda is exactly what higher education needs. Her emphasis on how different forms of learning can empower young people and provide greater opportunity embraces a notion that reformers have long advocated: that one model doesn’t fit all students.

“Indeed, once upon a time, Hillary supported substantive changes to the status quo. In 1996, she wrote in her book, It Takes a Village, that she found the charter school ‘argument persuasive.’ Presumably, the First Lady would have favored the pro-charter policies her husband put forward, including legislation that he said would put America ‘well on [its] way to creating 3,000 charter schools by the year 2000.’

“And yet, in 2015, Secretary Clinton seemed to take an opposite point of view, repeating an oft-used but inaccurate portrayal of charters: ‘Most charter schools — I don’t want to say every one — but most charter schools, they don’t take the hardest-to-teach kids, or, if they do, they don’t keep them,’ she said.

“The innovations in higher education Hillary is calling for today actually originated in charter schools and have taken hold at all levels of schooling. We call on her to embrace once again the needed, widespread changes to the status quo and to be a leader in ensuring that the principles of innovation and opportunity are embedded throughout all levels of education.”

For more information about how innovation can transform education, see CER’s recently released manifesto,Here Is Everything That’s Wrong With the U.S. Education System — And How to Fix It.

 

About the Center for Education Reform

Founded in 1993, the Center for Education Reform aims to expand educational opportunities that lead to improved economic outcomes for all Americans — particularly our youth — ensuring that the conditions are ripe for innovation, freedom and flexibility throughout U.S. education.

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Edgenuity Earns AdvancED Digital Learning Accreditation Demonstrating a Commitment to Continuous Improvement in Teaching and Learning

 

World’s Leading Continuous Improvement and Accreditation Provider with the Largest Community of Education Professionals Acknowledges Edgenuity for Instruction Quality, Academic Impact, Leadership Capacity, and Resource Utilization  

 

Scottsdale, AZ – June 29, 2016 – Edgenuity, a leading provider of online and blended learning solutions, announced today that it has become the newest online educational technology provider to have achieved Digital Learning Accreditation from AdvancED. AdvancED is the world’s largest international community of education professionals consisting of over 34,000 schools and school systems across 72 countries.

 

“Edgenuity is constantly evolving its curriculum, instruction and technology to meet the changing needs of students and educators,” said Sari Factor, CEO of Edgenuity. “We’re focused on continuing to improve student outcomes and are proud to be recognized for providing an empowering educational experience to help teachers and students achieve excellence.”

 

“Standards serve not only as a measurement for quality, but as a foundation for planning and implementing improvement strategies,” said Dr. Darrell Barringer, Director at AdvancED. “They provide a common language through which the education community can engage in conversations about educational advancement and continuous improvement. We applaud Edgenuity for earning AdvancED Digital Learning accreditation and its commitment to continuous improvement.”

 

Edgenuity was evaluated and approved for effectiveness across the following categories:

  • Teaching and Learning Impact: Student performance results, instructional quality, learner and family engagement, support services for student learning, curriculum quality and efficacy, and college and career readiness data.
  • Leadership Capacity: Institutional purpose and direction, governance and leadership effectiveness, stakeholder engagement, improvement capacity, and results.
  • Resource Utilization: Allocation and use of resources, equity of resource distribution to need, level and sustainability of resources, long range capital, and resource planning effectiveness.

 

AdvancED’s External Review Process involves a rigorous, innovative and state-of-the-art framework, called The Index of Education Quality™ (IEQ™). It provides a holistic measure of an institution’s overall performance based on a comprehensive set of indicators and evaluative criteria. As a formative tool for improvement, it pinpoints areas of strength as well as those in need of support or focus.

 

With the addition of AdvancED, Edgenuity is accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), and the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC). Together these groups cover nearly 75 percent of the United States.

 

Institutions seeking to gain or retain accreditation must meet AdvancED Standards specific to their institution type, demonstrate acceptable levels of student performance and the continuous improvement of student performance, and provide evidence of stakeholder engagement and satisfaction.

 

About Edgenuity

Edgenuity is a leading provider of online curriculum and services with implementations in 8 of the top 10 school districts in the U.S.  Our rigorous, standards-aligned digital content is fully flexible for use in any online or blended learning model to support a personalized learning environment, from NCAA-approved virtual courses to honors and Advanced Placement offerings to test preparation, credit recovery, and intervention.  Edgenuity’s Blended Learning Services, Instructional Services and Professional Development offerings, as well as supplemental programs such as Edgenuity MyPath, help students, educators and districts achieve success in their online learning programs.  For more information, visit Edgenuity.com.

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MimioStudio Software Now Available at No Cost for All Boxlight Interactive Display Products Sold from 2009 to Today

 

Lawrenceville, GA – June 27, 2016 – BOXLIGHT Corporation, which offers the education industry’s most comprehensive lineup of integrated instructional classroom technologies, announced today that it will offer its customers using Boxlight’s array of display products purchase since 2009 the award-winning MimioStudio™ classroom software.

 

“This is first of many positive outcomes coming from our merger with Mimio,” said Mark Elliott, CEO of Boxlight Corporation. “We work every day to advance our hardware and software solutions for one reason alone: to help teachers better engage students in the process of learning and improve student achievement.”

 

Earlier this year, the latest versions of MimioStudio software and the MimioMobile™ mobile application were launched. When integrated with MimioStudio software, the latest version of the MimioMobile app is compatible with any device with a supported Web browser. Educators and students can access and use the application’s assessment and collaboration features from nearly any device, including Chromebooks and Windows Surface tablets. All current customers have the opportunity to upgrade to these versions for free from app stores and at www.mimio.boxlight.com.

 

With the expanded functionality of MimioStudio software, teachers using Boxlight interactive display products now can choose to have an individual student, a group of students, or an entire class work on the same activity. Teachers now have a far greater ability to highlight, discuss, and share student work with the entire class, and can also pause student sessions or hide a session from view instantly, all on the front-of-the-class display. Interactive display products with MimioStudio software integrate seamlessly with all MimioClassroom™ technology, from the MimioView™ document camera to the MimioPad™ wireless tablet.

 

In addition, with a single MimioStudio classroom license and the MimioMobile app, any student with an Android or Apple mobile device can participate in collaborative learning and ongoing, real-time formative assessment, including open-response questions. Schools and students benefit from more collaborative group instruction, which encourages participation and idea sharing and a more student-centric learning environment.

 

For more information on how to retrofit their Boxlight interactive projectors, customers should call visit www.mimio.boxlight.com.

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Boxlight and Globisens Debut the New GlobiLab App for Chromebook at ISTE 2016

 

Newest version of science education software allows more classrooms to work with award-winning scientific measurement and analysis tools

 

Boston, MA – June 28, 2016 – Boxlight and K-12 science technology pioneer Globisens, unveiled their newest offering, the GlobiLab app for Chromebook laptops, at the 2016 ISTE Conference & Expo in Denver, Colo. STEM educators attending the conference were among the first to experience the newly-launched app in action.

 

The genesis for the Chromebook app came after the company realized that while the Chromebook has emerged as a unique utility for the education sector in recent years, many users were prohibited by the limited number of available apps for this platform, particularly in science education.

 

“As part of our tradition of pioneering technologies, we’re offering one of the first science education apps for Chromebook,” said Dov Bruker, Globisens CEO. “We’ve adapted our proven and highly successful GlobiLab, making hands-on science available to the millions of Chromebook users.”

 

GlobiLab software communicates wirelessly with Labdisc multi-sensor compact devices, allowing for full setup and control of the devices. Graphical and meter displays present data in real time, enabling students to quickly measure their world and analyze data samples. The software’s sophisticated data analysis functions help students develop skilled scientific responses by enabling users to perform derivative and regression functions as well as view comprehensive statistics. GlobiLab also merges the latest sensor, Internet and satellite technologies so that students can plot measurement data over a Google map, allowing them to map local pollution or weather conditions and compare their data with other schools – opening the door for meaningful collaboration between learners all over the world.

 

“Globisens had already leveraged the revolutionary design of iOS and the versatility of Android to help educators and students make the most of GlobiLab,” said Pat Henry, Boxlight’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Now that Chromebook is proving to be an increasingly popular choice for education, especially in the United States, updating the app for Chromebook laptops allows for a lot more users and flexibility. Sophisticated but easy-to-use features as well as the software’s productivity suite and research facilities, mean millions of educators and students will have no trouble making use of this light-weight cloud-based platform.”

 

About Globisens

Established in April 2009, Globisens is an education technology company, focused on delivering the most modern pioneering solutions for K-12 science. In October 2011, Globisens launched the Labdisc all-in-one multi-disciplinary laboratory for every science field including physics, biology, chemistry, environmental studies and geography.

 

About Boxlight

For more information about the extensive product offerings of the companies, please visit www.boxlight.com.

 

 

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Pioneering Study Reveals More Than 90 Percent of Colleges and Universities Embrace Alternative Credentials

 

Millennials prefer badging and certificates to traditional degrees, according to researchers from UPCEA, Penn State and Pearson

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 28, 2016 – A study released today by UPCEA (the University Professional and Continuing Education Association), Penn State and Pearson, at the UPCEA and the American Council on Education (ACE) Summit for Online Leadership in Washington, D.C., found widespread acceptance and use of alternative credentialing programs at American colleges and universities. Leading the way are millennial students, who the study found are more likely to favor an educational reward system that is built around badging and certificates, rather than the traditional bachelor’s degree.

 

The study, conducted by Jim Fong, director of UPCEA’s Center for Research and Marketing Strategy; Kyle Peck, director of the Center for Online Innovation in Learning and professor of education and research fellow in the learning, design, and technology program at Penn State University; and Peter Janzow, senior director of business development for Acclaim, Pearson; explored the role that alternative credentials play in higher education to better serve the needs of learners worldwide.

 

“The degree will always be an important credential, but it won’t always be the gold standard,” said Fong. “As millennials enter the prime years of their career and move into positions of greater power, we’ll see more alternative credentials for specific industries and possibly across the board. Higher education institutions, especially those in our survey, are showing that they are being progressive with workforce needs.”

 

Among the study’s key findings:

▪       Alternative credentials are offered by 94% of institutions.

▪       One in five institutions offers badges.

▪       Badges are most commonly offered in the business industry.

▪       71% of institutions has consistent engagement with the business community for internships, practicums, and job placement

▪       64% of respondents either strongly or somewhat agreed that their institution sees alternative credentialing as an important strategy for its future.

Janzow said, “Our research highlights the ways that higher education is changing to adapt to today’s demographic, technological and other societal shifts. Non-credit training courses, non-credit certificate programs, and micro-credentialing all provide learners with less expensive and faster alternatives to job opportunities than traditional degree programs. What was previously thought of as cutting edge is now becoming mainstream and is transforming the paths that learners take to success.”

 

The team at Acclaim, Pearson’s digital badging platform, works with numerous institutions around the country that are transforming the lives of learners in their communities and making a positive impact on their local economies by offering opportunities to earn alternative credentials.

 

Harper College in Palatine, Illinois, faces challenges shared by colleges across the United States: to create clear connections between coursework and careers, provide students with a transparent and portable way of defining what the school’s learning outcomes have prepared students to do in the workforce, and strengthen the credibility of continuing education programs. Harper launched its program by issuing badges through Acclaim across a variety of courses and skills, including CPR, network administration, pharmacy technician and Six Sigma Green Belt Training.

 

Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland, turned to digital badges to help fill an urgent workforce need. With a growing number of casinos in the area, the community college is offering a number of non-credit courses that teach the skills needed to work in that field. When students complete the courses, such as Carnival Games, Casino Blackjack and Mini Baccarat, they earn a digital badge through Acclaim, indicating their preparation for work relevant to those games in the local casinos.

 

Charlene Templeton, assistant dean of continuing education said, “In 2014 Anne Arundel Community College formed a focus group to investigate offering digital badges as a way to validate core competencies and student achievements. After considerable research on open and closed systems, the Pearson Acclaim platform was selected as it met all of the college’s security requirements, provided protection to the earner and could be shared by the earner using social media. Digital badge earners indicated that since all job applications are online, the badge sets them apart from other applicants. Employers like that they can click on the badge icon and verify an applicant’s skills. It’s a win-win for both.”

 

Capella University in Minneapolis is one of the first four-year online universities to offer digital badges through Acclaim. Designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense, Capella offers NSA Focus Area digital badges to students completing its master’s in information assurance and security, network defense and digital forensic specializations.

 

The authors of the report will present their findings during a Summit session, “Trends in Alternative Credentialing: Benchmarks, Badges, and Noncredit Programming,” on Tuesday, June 28, at 11:15 a.m.

 

About Pearson

Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit www.Pearsoned.com.

 

About UPCEA

UPCEA is the association for leaders in professional, continuing, and online education. Founded in 1915, UPCEA membership includes most of the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America. For more than 100 years, the association has served its members with innovative conferences and specialty seminars, research and benchmarking information, professional networking opportunities and timely publications. Based in Washington, D.C.,UPCEA also builds greater awareness of the vital link between contemporary learners and public policy issues. Learn more at upcea.edu

 

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Califone and Encore Data Products Donate Headsets to Denver Schools to Support Game-Based Learning
Companies gift GH507 and GH131 gaming headsets to Rangeview High School and Indian Peaks Elementary School


Denver (June 28, 2016) – Califone International and Encore Data Products Inc. donate 70 gaming headsets to Rangeview High School – Aurora Public Schools and Indian Peaks Elementary School – St. Vrain Valley Schools. The companies presented the gifts to school representatives today during the ISTE 2016 Conference.

“We value the opportunity to give back to the schools and classrooms working hard to prepare students for the future,” said Sabrina Manno, director of marketing of Encore Data Products. “The headsets will help Rangeview High School and Indian Peaks Elementary School put immersive, game-based learning into practice.”

To view the full news release, click here.

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Statement from CER Founder & CEO on Supreme Court Denial to Rehear Friedrichs Case

WASHINGTON, DC — The following statement was issued today by Jeanne Allen, founder and CEO of the Center for Education Reform, on the Supreme Court’s denial of a petition to rehear theFriedrichs v. California Teacher’s Association et al. case:

“It’s disappointing that freedom for teachers and their rights will have to wait another day. As we celebrate twenty-five years of charter schools and the innovation they brought to education — which were largely initiated by teachers seeking more autonomy to provide diverse learning opportunities for children — it’s unfathomable that we can still deny teachers the right to make their own decisions about how and under what conditions they should work. We cannot succeed as a nation in educating our children if we cannot ensure teachers are involved in decisions about where and how they teach. We are thankful to Rebecca Friedrichs and her colleagues for bravely raising this issue, and all who worked to fight for teacher freedom. The fight for teachers’ rights must continue.”

 

About the Center for Education Reform

Founded in 1993, the Center for Education Reform aims to expand educational opportunities that lead to improved economic outcomes for all Americans — particularly our youth — ensuring that the conditions are ripe for innovation, freedom and flexibility throughout U.S. education.

The Center for Education Reform
1901 L Street, NW, Suite 705
Washington, DC 20036

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Illume Learning Launches World’s Largest Database of Teaching Materials for College Instructors

Free, unique and comprehensive course creation tool now available for professors 

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. (June 29, 2016) — With responsibilities including research, grading, office hours, classroom prep and teaching, college professors have precious little time to build and update truly stimulating courses. Illume Learning, provider of a free, unique tool that allows college instructors to build great courses, announces the launch of its college course creation platform Illume, an end-to-end resource for professors to access materials that assist them in creating the best possible courses. Illume is designed to be a one-stop-shop, providing the most relevant materials and dramatically reducing the amount of time required to build or update a college course.

Illume is the largest database of its kind, and allows professors to collect learning materials from multiple sources, including: 25 million text, trade and scholarly books, tens of thousands of case studies, articles from 12,645 academic journals and millions of articles from 65 leading newspapers and 140 magazines. The database also hosts hundreds of thousands of  syllabi, reading lists and lecture slide presentations;  tens of thousands of tutorials from Khan Academy and simulations, problem sets, videos and course notes. Illume is free to use for professors.  There is nothing like it in the world.

To read the full release, click here. For a demo webinar of the platform, click here.

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Dremel Names Idea Builder Ambassadors, Connects Educators with 3D Printing 
Ten Dremel Idea Builder Ambassadors selected to document and share classroom 3D printing experiences during the 2016-17 school year 

MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. (June 28, 2016) – To recognize educators pioneering the maker movement in STEM education, Dremel (@DremelEdu), the trusted manufacturer of tools for life and learning, announces 10 Dremel Idea Builder Ambassadors for the 2016-17 school year. Ambassadors will receive a Dremel Idea Builder 3D40 and 10 spools of filament to use while sharing their experiences implementing 3D printing.

Educators with or without experience using 3D printing technology were invited to apply for the opportunity to serve as advocates for invigorating STEM through “making.” Idea Builder Ambassadors will generate multimedia content sharing their teaching and learning experiences with 3D printing. The videos, shared via Dremel Education social media channels, will include lesson ideas for 3D printing projects and explanations of the design and build process.

For the list of the first-ever Dremel Idea Builder Ambassadors, read the full news release here.
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New MAP Assessment Reports Make

Education Data More Accessible, Actionable for Teachers, Administrators

 

Next-Generation Reports Guided by Teacher Input

 

Portland, OR – June 29, 2016 – In an effort to support educators in understanding, interpreting, and using data for maximum student academic growth, Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) is releasing a series of new reports for the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment. These new reports are designed to be visually intuitive and make it easier for educators to use MAP results to inform classroom instruction, enrich parent-teacher conversations, and make systemic resource decisions.

 

An innovative series of Next-Generation Reports has launched, with new reports created on an ongoing basis, guided by continuous input by teachers about their data needs. These reports better visualize, consolidate, and coordinate data to make it easier for educators to interpret and apply the rich information they get from MAP assessments.

 

The interactive Student Profile report collects a host of valuable data about a student, enabling teachers to easily see how a student is growing academically and what the student needs to support continued growth. A snapshot of key data includes performance compared to national norms and projected proficiency on state summative tests. Instructional area modules provide teachers with insight for focused instruction for each individual student, making differentiated instruction easier.

 

The MAP Insights Report provides individual schools, districts, and systems with targeted and actionable insights from MAP growth and achievement data. A narrative format with top line results and clear charts and graphs, the MAP Insights Report highlights a school’s or district’s strengths and opportunities and helps educators answer key questions about student academic growth, college and career readiness, and the trajectory of future student growth and performance.

 

According to a recent survey conducted by Gallup for NWEA, Make Assessment Work for All Students: Multiple Measures Matter, only about 4 in 10 teachers feel very prepared to interpret results or use them effectively to inform instruction.

 

“We want to help move those Gallup numbers in a positive direction,” said Matt Chapman, CEO or NWEA. “MAP is known worldwide for the validity and reliability of its data, and the timeliness of its results. These new reports present that data in a visually compelling way to help illuminate instructional paths and make it easier for teachers to communicate with parents.”

 

About Northwest Evaluation Association

Northwest Evaluation Association™ (NWEA™) is a global not-for-profit educational services organization known for our flagship interim growth assessment, Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®); Skills Navigator®, a skills mastery and progress monitoring tool; and as the U.S. provider of the PISA-based OECD Test for Schools assessment.  More than 7,800 partners in U.S. schools, school districts, education agencies, and international schools trust us to offer PreK-12 assessments that accurately measure student growth and mastery and inform instruction; professional development that fosters educators’ ability to accelerate student learning; and research that supports assessment validity and data interpretation. Educators currently use NWEA assessments with nearly eight million students. Learn more at nwea.org.

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Wonder Workshop Hits Major Milestone for Elementary Robotics Clubs
Four thousand teams already signed up for the Wonder League, a worldwide community of robotics and coding clubs


San Mateo, Calif. 
(June 28, 2016) – Wonder Workshop (@WonderWorkshop), creators of robots that teach students foundational skills in computer coding, announces registration milestones in the first-ever network of elementary coding and robotics clubs. Four thousand clubs worldwide are registered for the Wonder League, nearly four times the amount of teams who participated in the 2015 Wonder League Robotics Competition.

Wonder League robotics clubs welcome educators and students, with or without experience in computer science, to join an all-inclusive program for enhancing STEM education. Educators can register a club of three or more students between the ages of 6 and 12 with access to one set of Dash & Dot robots. Registration is open through July 10, 2016.

To learn more about the robotics clubs and competition, read the full news release here. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best,

Kelsea
Kelsea Kierstead | Account Coordinator
C. Blohm & Associates, Inc.- Visibility Matters
kelsea@cblohm.com | http://www.cblohm.com/ | @kelsealc
https://twitter.com/cblohmassoc | https://www.facebook.com/cblohmassoc

 

WAGGLE ANNOUNCES JULY PRODUCT ENHANCEMENTS FOR TEACHERS
 
Award-Winning Adaptive Practice Solution Celebrates Two Years
 
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, June 27, 2016 – Launched in June 2014, Waggle has already delivered more than 10 million personalized learning recommendations. Waggle’s bold mission: give teachers and students information about daily learning interactions to transform the teaching and learning experience.
 
Now celebrating its second birthday, Waggle – the adaptive practice platform that adapts the learning environment after every student interaction – is excited to announce the first major updates to its student and teacher dashboards, in addition to enhanced implementation services. Waggle will also be rolling out Google Single Sign-On (SSO) this fall as part of a continued effort to respond to user requests. 
 
New Teacher Dashboard: Easier Access to Key Learning Information
Waggle provides teachers real-time, data-driven insights to discover exactly how each student is learning. Based on extensive user interviews, Waggle redesigned the Teacher Dashboard to make it even easier for teachers to access information they can use immediately.
  • Student and skill focus – Highlights individual students and skills for immediate teacher attention.
  • “Shout-outs” – New timeline feature that shows teachers individual student achievements in a running format.
  • “Leaderboard” – Ranks students by performance in different areas. Not just for the high achievers, Waggle’s leaderboard also recognizes students demonstrating the most grit.
  • “Skill Boosts” – Sets of five items focused on a specific skill. Teachers have flexibility in use, and all results feed into the adaptive engine.
  • Content discovery tool – Content is easily searchable by domains/strands, and Waggle now provides student previews for teachers.
New Student Experience: Clearer Student Ownership of Learning
Waggle gives students the right challenge at the right time and engages them in productive struggle. In an effort to give students more insight into their performance, Waggle has also recently released a new Student Dashboard.
  • “My Progress” view for students
  • Historical views for achievements
  • Skill bars measure progress in real-time on the dashboard and in-item
  • “Time Spent” view for students
  • Enhanced text-to-speech for grades 2-5
VIDEO CONTENT
Waggle Works Care Team
Waggle believes that strong customer partnerships are critical to user success. Waggle recently built out an entirely new Waggle Works Care Team – comprised of Waggle Professors, Waggle Mentors, and Waggle Aces. This team provides a variety of services that consistently impresses districts, schools, and teachers.
  • Professional Development: Waggle Professors (all former educators) deliver a variety of impactful workshops to provide teachers with best practices in digital learning and prepare them to use Waggle’s adaptive practice system with their students.
  • On-Boarding & Student Roster Review: Customers can elect to upload their own data or have a Waggle Ace review student rosters for accuracy and upload data for them. New for Back to School 2016, Waggle will offer a direct connect option using OneRoster protocols, giving district tech administrators access to a secure portal where they can manage data and data syncs.
  • Ongoing Customer Care: Each customer account is assigned a dedicated Waggle Mentor who helps plan the initial roll out, regularly reviews data, and helps customers better leverage the system.
  • Technology Support: Waggle Aces are available via phone, email, live chat, or through the Waggle support site.
  • Access to the Waggle Knowledge Base: Users can find articles, content alignment pacing guides, tutorials, short professional development videos, student videos, and parent materials.
Suggested Tweet: Celebrating two years of award-winning adaptive practice, @WagglePractice announces July product enhancements for #teachers. #edtech
 
About Waggle
Waggle is adaptive practice for ELA and math, grades 2-8, that adapts the learning environment after every student interaction to produce meaningful practice and real understanding. Productive struggle motivates students through helpful hints, supportive feedback, and achievement badges that build grit and confidence. Through real-time insights, teachers discover exactly how each student struggles or excels and achieve true, data-driven differentiation. Waggle launched in 2014 and has already garnered numerous accolades, including the 2016 CODiE Award for Best Learning Capacity-Building Solution,Tech & Learning’s ISTE 2015 Best of Show, Learning Magazine’s 2016 Teachers’ Choice Award, and District Administration’s 2015 Readers’ Choice Top Products. For more information, visit www.WagglePractice.com.

 

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Schoology Launches Assessment Management Platform Empowering Teachers and Administrators with Actionable Data, Embedded in LMS

 

Schoology Assessment Management Platform, or AMP, integrates learning management and assessment in one system, bringing together student learning experiences with comprehensive assessment and actionable reporting

 

DENVER, Colo. – June 27, 2016 – Announced today at the ISTE 2016 conference,Schoology introduced AMP (Assessment Management Platform), a new solution integrating the Schoology learning management system (LMS) with embedded institution-wide assessment management functionality. This combined system brings together student learning experiences with comprehensive institution-wide assessment and actionable reporting, so that the same system teachers use to deliver curriculum can also be used to assess student progress and preparedness. The functionality can be used not only across a district, but also at the building, department, or even professional learning community (PLC) levels. Click to Tweet

Schools currently use multiple tools for learning management and institution-wide assessments (such as interim, benchmark, or common assessments) requiring teachers and students to log-in multiple times to separate, disjointed systems. This creates a difficult scenario for educators to use and share data that can aid in the improvement of individual student outcomes. Schoology’s new Assessment Management Platform provides a centrally managed assessment authoring experience that can be delivered within the normal workflow of a class.

“For the K-12 administrator who wants to improve student outcomes, Schoology’s integrated learning management and assessment management systems bring total visibility and the ability to take immediate action,” said Jeremy Friedman, CEO of Schoology. “This solution enables administrators, faculty, students and parents to take part in helping improve teaching and learning.”

Additional features of the Schoology AMP include:

  • The ability to collaborate and author assessments or import third-party item banks
  • Utilize new, technology enhanced item types
  • Align assessments to standards and in turn, to curriculum
  • Align assessments to rubrics giving teachers the ability to use the results for grading
  • Use a versioning tool for easy revisions and updates pushed to sections or courses
  • Improve student outcomes by analyzing individual scores, as well as aggregated data

 

Cherry Creek School District located outside of Denver, Colorado was one of the first districts to pilot Schoology AMP. Cherry Creek Schools wanted to administer an Algebra 1 assessment to 4,000 students to help the district see how students performed on specific math standards. The assessment questions were entered in Schoology and delivered through Schoology which most students were all familiar with since they use it daily. When it was completed, the district office could see the results on various levels, which gives a greater understanding of where there may be gaps in student understanding or where additional instructional focus is needed.

Kellie Ady, Cherry Creek’s district instructional technology coordinator commented after the pilot, “We needed the ability, at the district level, to create and deploy periodic district-wide assessments. Schoology’s addition of the assessment management platform gives us the ability to make periodic district-wide assessments that have been, up to now, difficult to set up and deliver.”

About Schoology

Schoology is the education technology company putting collaboration at the heart of the learning experience. Schoology’s education cloud connects the people, content, and systems that fuel education, and provides all the tools needed including an integrated Assessment Management Platform (AMP) to personalize education and improve student outcomes. More than 14 million people from 60,000 K-12 schools and universities around the world use Schoology to transform how they teach and learn.  Find us online, follow us on Twitter, or join us on Facebook.

 

 

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Copia Interactive and Knowledge Academies Announce New Digital Learning Initiative   

 

Network of public charter schools will totally transition to digital learning

 

New York, NYJune 28, 2016— Copia Interactive, a global leader in digital learning, and Knowledge Academies, a Tennessee-based public charter network, today announced an initiative to transform Knowledge Academies’ network of public charter schools to a completely digital, student-centered learning environment.

Further building upon their commitment to personalized learning, every day, for every learner, Knowledge Academies is partnering with Copia to deliver standards-aligned digital content from leading publishers through Copia Class™, Copia’s cutting-edge digital learning platform featuring powerful collaboration and personalization tools. Copia Class™ captures and reports real-time actionable data that enable teachers to better understand and support student learning.

Copia Class™ will enable Knowledge Academies to fully integrate a complete, curated digital curriculum into project-based, standards-connected learning—all while supporting meaningful interaction among teachers and students directly inside the media-rich content.

“Copia applauds Knowledge Academies’ commitment to creating a personalized learning experience for each learner and we are honored to be able to help them achieve this vision,” said Ben Lowinger, Copia Interactive Executive Vice President.

Art Fuller, President of Knowledge Academies added, “Copia provides a seamless opportunity for teachers to become true facilitators of learning, using digital and social media that students already use every day. This will enable our team to focus on making real-life connections.”

About Copia Interactive

Copia Interactive, LLC is transforming digital learning by changing the way students and educators engage with content—and each other. Copia delivers best-in-class educational content in a cloud-based, socially-driven environment rich with cutting-edge collaboration and personalization tools. Copia Interactive, LLC is a DMC Capital Funding portfolio company, a privately held growth equity firm with a record of success spanning more than a half century. For more information, call 212-229-8400 or visit http://www.dmccapitalfunding.com and http://www.edu.thecopia.com.

 

About Knowledge Academies

Knowledge Academies is a Tennessee-based network of public charter schools for families. The mission of Knowledge Academies is to prepare students to make the best academic and social choices leading to a successful life connected to college, community, creativity, and culture. For more information visit http://www.knowledgeacademies.org.

Edgenuity’s New Online Gradebook Delivers In-Depth Student Performance Data in Real Time 

 

Combines Technology and the Simplicity of a Traditional Gradebook to Empower Teachers in Blended Learning Classrooms

Scottsdale, AZ – June 27, 2016 – Edgenuity, a leading provider of online and blended learning solutions, today announced the launch of a robust new teacher Gradebook. The Gradebook tool enables teachers to monitor student engagement, progress, and achievement in real time.

 

Edgenuity’s powerful data capabilities allow teachers in blended learning classrooms to view a range of key details about each student’s work at a glance. For example, Gradebook visually identifies which students are falling behind and which are on track, as well as how students are doing at a unit, lesson, and activity level. Additionally, the tool allows teachers to view key metrics for all students at once, which is particularly critical to teachers working in blended learning classrooms.

 

“Teachers spend one-third of their day on administrative tasks, including grading,” said Sari Factor, CEO of Edgenuity. “Our new Gradebook makes teachers’ time far more productive, empowering them by providing actionable data on student performance to tailor instructional approaches, identify which students may be in need of remediation, and personalize the learning experience.”

 

Edgenuity’s Gradebook provides teachers better student tracking through these features:

 

  • Averages Compute Automatically – Gradebook calculates both student and class averages across all activities.
  • Color Coding for Progress – A colored bar displays each student’s course completion in relation to where they should be green for on track, red for behind.
  • Engagement Tracking – Shows students’ total active time as well as days since last log in.
  • Traditional Gradebook View – All students in a section are listed on one page like a paper-and-pencil gradebook.

 

Gradebook will be available in fall 2016. To learn more click here.

 

About Edgenuity

Edgenuity is a leading provider of online curriculum and services with implementations in 8 of the top 10 school districts in the U.S.  Our rigorous, standards-aligned digital content is fully flexible for use in any online or blended learning model to support a personalized learning environment, from NCAA-approved virtual courses to honors and Advanced Placement offerings to test preparation, credit recovery, and intervention.  Edgenuity’s Blended Learning Services, Instructional Services and Professional Development offerings, as well as supplemental programs such as Edgenuity MyPath, help students, educators and districts achieve success in their online learning programs.  For more information, visit Edgenuity.com.

 

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ActivEd Showcases Groundbreaking Walkabouts Platform, Research at ISTE 2016

Third-party trials reveal benefits of technology that increases student activity in class 

Greenville, SC (June 27, 2016) – Walkabouts by ActivEd, the educational technology that helps teachers create movement-rich Pre-K through second grade lessons, showcases the ease and effectiveness of its online platform this week at ISTE 2016. ActivEd also reveals third-party research outlining how integrating movement in the classroom promotes cognition, academic achievement and improved behavior.

Walkabouts, a groundbreaking standards-based supplemental tool that increases movement during lessons, launched nationally earlier this year and is already in use in districts and schools across the country. Thanks to these early adopters, thousands of students of all learning styles are now moving and learning more.

To read the full release, click here. For more information about ActivEd and Walkabouts, visit booth #1311 at ISTE

 

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Touchjet Unveils Two Smart Projectors at ISTE, SETDA Emerging Technologies Forum

One-of-a-kind, next-gen projectors Pond and Wave empower the blended learning classroom, increase student collaboration 

San Francisco, Calif. (June 27, 2016) – Touchjet, the first company to create touch technology with a standalone Android operating system, introduces two smart touch projectors, Pond and Wave, to the education market at ISTE 2016 and SETDA’s Emerging Technologies Forum. The announcement marks the official debut of these products, which support small-group collaboration and whole-class interactive learning, in the education space.

Pond is an instructional tool that turns any surface into a giant touchscreen, enabling teachers and students to connect, collaborate, create and communicate in small groups in a blended learning environment. The device is built on the Android 4.4 operating system and fits in the palm of the hand, allowing easy portability and access to thousands of education apps that can be downloaded directly to the device via Google Play.

To view the full release and accompanying video, click here.  For more information during the ISTE conference, stop by ISTE booth #4222.


Funds For Learning Analysis of E-rate Data Reveals Fastest Funding Decision in Program History
Funds begin flowing 21 days after school E-rate window closed; highest demand for lit fiber data and internet service

Edmond, Okla. (June 27, 2016) – As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continues modernizing the E-rate program to expand robust networks in the nation’s schools and libraries, Funds For Learning reveals an analysis of the 2016 school E-rate filing window. Key findings include:

· Coming just 21 days after the close of the filing window for schools, this year’s initial funding decisions were the fastest in the history of the E-rate program…

“Internet connections for schools and libraries are essential, and the E-rate program exists to support this important mission,” John Harrington, CEO of Funds For Learning said.

To read the full news release, click here.

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Impero Software’s Keyword Library for U.S. Schools Addresses Online Safety Concerns such as Self-harm and Radicalization

New terms will help schools flag potential instances of bullying, abuse, self-harm or radicalization

 

Simi Valley, CA – June 27, 2016 – It makes the headlines often: A young man or woman in the U.S. ends his or her own life due to bullying or becomes radicalized and attempts to join ISIS or other hate groups. In both instances, adults in these youth’s lives are often left wondering what they could have done to intervene. In an effort to protect students in this always-on and connected world, Impero Software, the leading remote monitoring and management software provider, has updated its keyword libraries to include a more comprehensive list of U.S. specific terms related to bullying, self-harm, radicalization and more, in order to alert educators so they can  help students before a tragedy occurs.  Impero will showcase the updated library in their booth #708 during the 2016 ISTE conference June 26-29, 2016 in Denver.

 

The updated library, combined with Impero Education Pro software, gives educators an edge on internet safety by helping them monitor and analyze student activity on school devices. The software alerts educators when a student uses words or phrases that match a term in the keyword library.

 

“Students rarely tell adults that they want to join a gang or a terrorist group. They don’t brag about being suicidal or anorexic, or abused. They talk in code, especially when they are discussing something that is dangerous to themselves or others,” said Sam Pemberton, CEO of Impero Software. “We are already partnered with many respected charities worldwide, including some of the top organizations in the nation such as iKeepSafe, Hey U.G.L.Y and the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders in order to crack this ‘code,’ and help educators stop potential problems before they start. This keyword library is a much needed resource for our U.S. customers.”

 

Impero’s keyword library includes terms such as “gkys” which is text-speak for “go kill yourself;” “biscuit” which is a term to define a gun, “thinspiration,” a term often used by people with eating disorders, and “Yodo,” an acronym for “you only die once,” an extremist phrase used to promote suicide bombings and recruitment to violent extremist groups. The software also allows for adding new keywords or phrases so that educators can incorporate such things as neighborhood-specific gang references or student nicknames. Students can also use the software to anonymously report concerns about themselves or others to trusted, trained adults.

 

Impero Education Pro works on all school devices using algorithms to detect when a student uses certain keywords or phrases. The system will alert those responsible for “safeguarding” issues within the school such as counselors and capture a screen shot or short video to provide context. This enables those alerted to analyze the activity and determine if it is a true threat or if there is another explanation (such as suicide research for a class assignment on Romeo and Juliet).

 

Educators can also use Impero Education Pro to block students from accessing the Internet or certain web sites and view screenshots and timelines of student activity. Administrators can create reports and export data on student or class activity, or on trending phrases.

 

“Before Franklin County Public Schools implemented Impero Education Pro, we had many instances of students searching for inappropriate terms, improper use of email, and questionable student online behavior,” said Jimmy Pack, Chief Information Officer for Franklin County Public Schools in Franklin, Ky. “Today the number of incidents reported has dropped dramatically and there’s been a noticeable shift in the way students conduct themselves online. Keyword monitoring is just one important piece of what makes Impero such a wonderful tool for our schools.”

 

The updated library of U.S. keywords, including the radicalization terms, is free for existing Impero customers and will come standard for new customers. For more information, visit www.imperosoftware.com.

 

Impero also offers classroom management tools that teachers can use to share their screens, send and share files with students, take over or lock students’ computers, create exams, assign tasks, send messages to students, or mute the sound to draw students’ attention back to the teacher. Schools can also use Impero Software for administrative tasks such as controlling passwords or setting computers to power on or off at certain times.

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For further information

 

Felicia Rateliff

Impero Software

573-721-3901

frateliff@imperosoftware.com

About Impero Software

Impero Software is relied upon by education establishments around the world. Founded in 2002, it is currently accessed via one million computers in over 70 countries, including by 500 U.S. districts. In the UK it is the market-leading provider of Classroom, Network and Internet Safety Management Software, with a greater than 40 percent market share of UK secondary schools and 24 percent of colleges.

The company provides intelligent school IT management to help teams cut costs and maximize productivity. Its cutting edge software and powerful learning tools assist schools in the day-to-day running of their computer networks, putting teachers back in control of the classroom and enabling them to proactively deal with internet safety concerns on a daily basis.

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Women Leaders in Education Conference Features Three Distinguished Superintendents

Founders Dr. Carmella S. Franco, Dr. Darline P. Robles, and Dr. Maria G. Ott will be the primary presenters at this one-of-a-kind event to empower women in education

 

(TUSTIN, CA) June 17, 2016 — On July 31 and August 1 in Boston, the Women Leaders in Education Conference will gather some of the industry’s top thought leaders to share their insight with attendees. The program for the conference, which is produced by LRP Conferences LLC, is a combination of interactive, collaborative workshops and keynote presentations.

 

The workshop sessions will be facilitated by the creators of the conference, three former school superintendents: Dr. Carmella Franco, Dr. Maria Ott, and Dr. Darline Robles. Collectively, these three remarkable women have more than 100 years of experience in navigating education professional pathways.

 

Together they co-authored the 2011 book, A Culturally Proficient Society Begins in School: Leadership for Equity. This conference is the outgrowth of the many years they have each served as advisors and mentors to hundreds of women working in a wide variety of school settings.

 

Dr. Carmella S. Franco is a Search Associate with Hazard, Young & Attea, where she assists with superintendent searches. She recently completed her tenure as interim superintendent for the Compton Unified School District while the search for a permanent superintendent was completed. She was a founding member and a director of the Western region of the Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators.

 

Dr. Darline P. Robles is a professor of clinical education at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. Her primary responsibility is the development of a new national hybrid Master’s degree program in school leadership. Dr. Robles retired after serving eight years as the first Latina County superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), the nation’s largest regional service agency. As chief of the Salt Lake City School District from 1995–2002, she was recognized for raising student achievement. Prior to her position in Salt Lake City School District, she served as superintendent of the Montebello Unified School District in California.

 

Dr. Maria G. Ott started a new phase in her distinguished educational career when she joined the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. Previously she served more than seven years as superintendent of the Rowland Unified School District, leading the district through major instructional improvement initiatives and modernization of facilities. She is nationally known for establishing partnerships with private foundations in support of Rowland Unified and its strategic plan and efforts to reach high levels of literacy and raise student achievement.

 

Education industry icons Deb deVries, Kathy Hurley, Wendy LaDuke, and Ann McMullan will co-chair the event. “Helping women develop their individual professional roadmaps is something that I have enjoyed doing for over 40 years, and I am very excited to bring many of these professionals together in July,” said Hurley. “Together we will explore how each individual can expand her leadership and address the latest trends and issues within the industry.”

 

Keynote speakers will include the following:

 

  • Deborah Delisle, the executive director and CEO of ASCD;
  • Suhail Farooqui, the CEO of K12 Insight;
  • Sue Gendron, the president of the International Center for Leadership in Education;
  • Christine Johns, the superintendent of Utica Community Schools;
  • Deborah Quazzo, the founder and managing partner of GSV Advisors;
  • Priscilla Shumway, a senior trainer for The Bob Pike Group; and
  • Maree Sneed, a litigator and legal advisor to districts and educational associations.

 

To register for the Women Leaders in Education Conference, click here.

 

About the Women Leaders in Education Conference

 

The Women Leaders in Education Conference is designed for K-12 education professionals to share strategies, learn from experts, and connect with colleagues. This one-of-a-kind event empowers women within education to grow personally and professionally—providing the opportunity to engage with women leaders who share similar aspirations and goals, assisting in the development of each individual’s professional roadmap, and exploring the latest trends and issues within the industry. For more information, visit WomenLeadersInEducation.com.

 

About LRP Conferences, LLC

 

LRP Conferences, LLC, an affiliate of LRP Publications, produces more than a dozen professional conferences and trade shows annually, including: Campus Technology Conference, Transformational Technology in Higher Education Conference, Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC), Ergonomics Conference & ErgoExpo, HR Technology Conference, Talent Acquisition Tech Conference, and Recruiting Trends Conference. For more information, visit LRP.com/ed.

 

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Future Ready Schools in School Transformation

Future Ready Librarians Highlights Critical Role Librarians Play in Supporting the

Future-Ready Goals of Schools and Districts

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Future Ready Schools (FRS)—led by the Alliance for Excellent Education (the Alliance) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education—announced Future Ready Librarians, an expansion of the Future Ready initiative aimed at positioning librarians as leaders in the digital transformation of learning. The Future Ready initiative helps district leaders recognize the potential of digital tools and align necessary technologies with instructional goals to support teaching and learning.

“In today’s digital world, the school library has evolved from a place to merely check out books to one that offers opportunities for collaboration, project-based learning, and online access,” said Alliance for Excellent Education’s President Bob Wise. “Similarly, librarians are now playing central roles in school leadership and working daily with students, teachers, and administrators. Through Future Ready Librarians, school librarians will be better equipped to support teachers in their transition to a digital learning environment while themselves becoming more future ready.”

Follett, the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to Pre-K–12 schools in the United States, will support the development of tools and resources to connect librarians and libraries in support of the Future Ready initiative and enable district leaders to better engage and empower librarians to support their Future Ready vision.

“Follett is thrilled to support the Future Ready Librarians initiative, as it aligns perfectly with our history and our vision for the future of education,” said Nader Qaimari, president of Follett School Solutions. “Through Project Connect and this initiative, we will continue to advocate for strong, empowered school librarians. Now we can be even more effective as we create new resources and services designed to position librarians as leaders in a digital transformation.”

A network of nationally recognized librarians, including Mark Ray, Chief Digital Officer for Vancouver Public Schools in Washington,will provide input on the development of strategies, tools and resources aligned with the Future Ready Framework. A former high school librarian, Ray has been nationally recognized for transforming the role of the school librarian into a technological innovator in schools.

“Future Ready librarians embrace change and innovation in education,” said Ray. “As teachers, they empower students as creators and digital citizens; as coaches, they collaborate with teachers as curators and guides. Future Ready schools require new kinds of leadership. The Future Ready Librarians initiative will help define what that leadership can be.”

“School librarians lead transformational learning through their instructional leadership in the digital learning landscape,” said Leslie Preddy, president of the American Association of School Librarians, a FRS coalition partner. “They support educators and prepare youth for informed living in a technology- and information-rich society. The expansion of the Future Ready initiative to include Future Ready Librarians re-affirms school librarians as critical to the transition and sustainability of effective digital learning.”

Future Ready Librarians builds on the Alliance’s 2014 report, Leading In and Beyond the Library, which first outlined the Alliance’s belief that school librarians and libraries should play a key role in state- and district-wide efforts to transition to digital learning. The Alliance has also repeatedly stressed the importance of school librarians through Digital Learning Day, which the Alliance first created in 2012 to highlight great teaching practices and demonstrate how technology can improve student outcomes.

Today’s Future Ready Librarians announcement comes during the White House’s National Week of Making (June 17–23). The Maker Movement in schools is designed to provide physical spaces within schools where students can collaborate with their peers to build, create, and tinker. These maker spaces are frequently led by librarians and located within school libraries, which have been reconfigured and redesigned to include workstations where students work on projects involving coding and robots, inquiry-based building, and even 3-D printing.

“With skilled librarians leading the charge, school libraries evolve from quiet reading zones to active, flexible learning spaces for student collaboration and innovation,” said Wise. “Such approaches move students to become designers and creators engaged in real-world applications of their learning who are better prepared for success in college and a career.”

For more information on the Future Ready Librarians program, visitwww.FutureReady.org/Librarians.

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The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC–based national policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring all students, particularly those traditionally underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship. www.all4ed.org

Future Ready Schools (FRS) is a bold effort to maximize digital learning opportunities and help school districts move quickly toward preparing students for success in college, a career, and citizenship. FRS provides districts with resources and support to ensure that local technology and digital learning plans align with instructional best practices, are implemented by highly trained teachers, and lead to personalized learning experiences for all students, particularly those from traditionally underserved communities. FRS is led by the Alliance for Excellent Education alongside a vast coalition of organizations including the U.S. Department of Education.www.FutureReady.org

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. www.FollettLearning.com

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Flipped Classroom Gets Fuel from a Worldwide Coalition of Educators, Researchers, and Technologists

 

Flipped Learning Global Initiative launched to support the effective adoption of the flipped classroom around the world.

 

Chicago, IL. June 27, 2016 – Today a worldwide coalition of educators, researchers, technologists, professional development providers and education leaders announced the launch of the Flipped Learning Global Initiative (FLGI). The initiative known as FLGI was created to support the rapidly expanding adoption of flipped learning in countries from China and Taiwan to Spain, Dubai, the UK, Turkey, Italy, Korea, Argentina, Iceland, Sweden, India and the United States. FLGI aims to fill the rapidly 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.  FLGI has brought together a global cohort of flipped learning mission partners to support these three domains–all of which are critical to successfully implement flipped learning.  FLGI is the first global effort to address the emerging needs of the Flipped Learning Movement.

 

“For the last 10 years I have traveled the world speaking and training educators in the flipped classroom model, and I’ve seen firsthand the promise, passion, and potential of the flipped classroom,” said Jon Bergmann, flipped learning co-founder, evangelist, and center of a global network of flipped learning early adopters around the world. “I’ve also seen the pitfalls and myriad ways that flipped learning can be compromised by bad practice, inappropriate technology, and poor execution.”

 

The Flipped Learning Global Initiative launched with 21 mission partners, including MT Groupo in Spain; TES Global in the UK; IWBNet in Australia and New Zealand; iSchool in China and Taiwan, Udemy in the United States; BAM Education Radio Network in the United States and a cadre of some of the world’s leading flipped learning researchers.

 

FLGI will serve as a global hub for coordinating, orchestrating and scaling the key elements required to successfully expand flipped learning. FLGI’s primary focus is identifying and developing strategic partnerships, initiatives, projects, best-in-class technology, vendors and services to introduce and support flipped learning internationally.

 

“The global energy and scope of activity going on around flipped learning is breathtaking. The only thing more astounding is that most of the great flipped learning achievements are happening in silos.  FLGI was created to be the bridge for worldwide collaboration,” said Errol St.Clair Smith, FLGI, Director of Global Development.

 

Over the last ten years, flipped learning has become a worldwide movement as countries all around the globe are flipping classrooms, schools, and entire universities. The passion for flipped learning is accelerating, and the flipped learning sector is projected to grow by 34.7% per year through 2020. “The most convincing way I have seen technology utilized in education is with flipped learning,” said, Lord Jim Knight – Former Minister of Education for the United Kingdom and FLGI Mission Partner.

 

FLGI is an outgrowth of the decades-long work of Jon Bergmann, one of the co-founders and pioneers of the Flipped Classroom Movement.  For more information contact: Errol St.Clair Smith at 949-677-7381, esmith@flglobal.org or go towww.flgobal.org .

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Freshly Named a ‘Best Teaching & Learning Website’ by AASL, Bloomz Announces New Features at ISTE 2016

The teacher-parent communication app will be free for schools and introduces student timelines, behavior tracking, and video support 

(Denver, CO) June 27, 2016 Just in time for ISTE 2016, the popular teacher-parent communication app Bloomz is announcing a major award and introducing new features, including offering its basic schoolwide product for free.

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) recently named Bloomz a Best Website for Teaching & Learning in the Social Networking and Communications category. “Members of the Best Websites committee were very impressed by Bloomz,” said AASL President Leslie Preddy. “The site combines the features of several collaboration and social media platforms in order to optimize communication with parents. Bloomz’s ‘one-stop shop’ opens a window into the classroom that today’s parents expect—while protecting student privacy. One committee member said, ‘Honestly, I wish it had existed when I was a classroom teacher!’”

Bloomz also announced four new updates that will be coming to its mobile and web app in time for the upcoming school year:

·      Student Timelines: As teachers share pictures of a students’ work, parents will now see a portfolio or timeline of their child’s creations, and watch them evolve over time. The feature is similar to that of a Facebook timeline view for every student over time, across all activities. This feature is scheduled to launch in August.

·      Behavior Tracking: This feature helps teachers send home reports of how students behave in class. Taking a cue from the app’s name and to reinforce positive student behavior, “blooming” flowers will be used to provide parents a pictorial representation of their child’s behavior throughout the school year. Behavior tracking will also be available in August.

·      Video support: This feature has been the most requested by Bloomz users. Now, teachers will be able to record moments from the classroom and share them directly on Bloomz, where parents can watch and enjoy them. Video support will be available starting in September.

·      Free for schools: Bloomz is also making its current basic schoolwide communication product (currently in beta until the new school year), free for schools moving forward.

“It’s an honor to receive the AASL Best Website for Teaching & Learning award. It confirms the impact our app is having with educators and parents and underscores our commitment to quality and value,” said Chaks Appalabattula, the CEO of Bloomz. “With this series of announcements, Bloomz is strongly positioned as the most complete parent communication app for educators out there, providing them with the capabilities they need to create a strong bond with parents, and giving parents a one-stop solution to better participate in their kids’ growth.”

About Bloomz

Bloomz is the free mobile and web app that connects educators with parents in a secure, social, private environment. In Bloomz, parents feel more connected than they ever have to their children’s world, and teachers have more time than ever before, because they have everything they need in one simple-to-use tool. Learn more at Bloomz.net.

About AASL

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning. Learn more at AASL.org.

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ISTE and Microsoft collaborate to provide new school planning and

professional learning resources

 

Multi-project initiative to include first of its kind blueprint for school transformation, leadership courses, school development tools

 

DENVER–June 26, 2016– At today’s ISTE 2016 opening general session, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) and Microsoft Corp. announced they plan to combine and expand a host of their world-class initiatives to ensure educators and school leaders around the world have access to school planning and professional development resources. This collaboration stems from a shared belief that technology has the power to transform learning, and can do so most effectively when it’s embedded in how a school or educator thinks about and drives new learning opportunities.

 

“This new collaboration between ISTE and Microsoft springs from our shared, genuine commitment to have a real impact on learners around the globe,” said ISTE CEO Brian Lewis. “It will leverage our respective strengths and allow our substantive work on student empowerment, digital citizenship, education leadership and professional learning to be multiplied.”

 

As part of this new multi-project initiative, ISTE and Microsoft will bring together resources from the education and technology fields to inspire educators to design and develop schools where technology is woven into the culture and environment. Three of these resources will include:

 

  • ISTE and Microsoft Blueprint for School Transformation: To support leaders as they pioneer innovation and digital transformation, Microsoft and ISTE will align respective professional development pathways supporting leadership, policy and 21st century pedagogy. Mapping of the ISTE Essential Conditions and Microsoft Transformation Frameworkhas already begun and will provide common language and direction for future shared work.
  • Leadership courses designed in accordance with this blueprint: Microsoft has also partnered with edX, the nonprofit online learning destination founded by Harvard and MIT, and top global university innovation and education experts to develop a series of new courses in the areas of change leadership, design thinking, gameful learning, deep learning, and ambitious teaching and learning. They will be developed with the support and guidance of ISTE and Microsoft and will contain renowned curriculum created by leading edX university partners. The first course will be available for enrollment on edx.org starting in September 2016 and is scheduled to begin in December 2016. Additional courses will begin by March 2017. Stay updated about this offering at http://aka.ms/edx/schools.
  • Tools to help streamline the development of 21st century schools: Microsoft and ISTE plan to partner with schools around the world to further develop new Microsoft Showcase Schools, a global community of more than 600 schools engaged in digital transformation to improve learning and teaching. This community of schools plans to have additional support to further incorporate the ISTE Standards for learning, teaching and leading in the digital age and use the organization’s resources such as the ISTE Lead & Transform Diagnostic Tool and Microsoft’s Self Reflection Tool. Find out more about theMicrosoft Showcase School program.

 

“Microsoft’s focus on supporting education transformation has great synergy with the work of ISTE,” said Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Education, Microsoft. “We are proud of the collaboration announced today and the opportunity we have together to empower students, educators and school leaders globally to achieve more.”

 

About Microsoft

 

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

 

About ISTE

                                                                                    

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®is the premier nonprofit membership organization serving educators and education leaders committed to empowering connected learners in a connected world. ISTE serves more than 100,000 education stakeholders throughout the world.

 

Innovative offerings include the widely adopted ISTE Standards for learning, teaching and leading in the digital age– as well as the ISTE Conference & Expo–the world’s most comprehensive ed tech event. The organization’s robust suite of professional learning resources feature online courses, consulting services for schools and districts, books, and peer-reviewed journals and publications. For more information, visit iste.org. Connect with ISTE via Twitter, Facebook andLinkedIn. 

 

 

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Achieve3000 Unveils All-New Updates to Its Blended Learning, Differentiated Instruction Solutions at ISTE 2016

 

Achieve3000 offers innovative new ways to empower blended learning and accelerate student literacy gains through differentiated instruction in the 2016-2017 school year.

LAKEWOOD, N.J. – June 27, 2016 – At the 2016 ISTE Conference & Expo in Denver, Colorado, Achieve3000® will showcase an array of new and enhanced literacy solutions, all designed to help students and educators make a strong start when they head back to school. The updates include deeply customized state-specific editions for all products; new products for intervention, ELL, and bilingual programs; a new foundational literacy program; new high-stakes state assessment readiness courses; a redesigned Teacher’s Edition homepage; textbook alignment courses; new rostering and data integration options; and an upcoming LevelSet Writing assessment.

State-Customized Solutions

To support schools and districts across the country and around the world, the company has created state-customized editions of its patented, nonfiction blended learning literacy solutions:

  • KidBizPro®, TeenBizPro®, and EmpowerPro® for English language arts, science and social studies in grades two through 12
  • KidBizBoost®, TeenBizBoost®, and EmpowerBoost® for Tier 2 and 3 Response to Intervention and special education in grades two through 12
  • KidBizAccess®, TeenBizAccess®, and EmpowerAccess® for English language learners in grades two through 12
  • KidBizEspañol®, TeenBizEspañol®, and EmpowerEspañol® for Spanish immersion, bilingual, and dual language models in grades two through 12

With more than 65 customized editions – one for every state in the U.S. plus several international editions – Achieve3000 is ensuring both teachers and students have the standards-aligned, grade-appropriate content they need to meet grade-level state standards, perform on high-stakes state assessments, and achieve college and career readiness literacy goals. Using Achieve3000’s patented and proven method of online differentiated instruction, students of all ability levels work with grade-appropriate content delivered at 12 levels in English and 7 levels in Spanish, along with scaffolding precisely tailored for their learning needs. Each solution has embedded interim and formative assessments available in both English and Spanish that measure and monitor students’ reading levels to measure growth and show impact. Achieve3000’sPro, Boost, Access and Español solutions are available within Achieve3000’s family of literacy solutions: KidBiz3000® for grades two through five, TeenBiz3000® for grades six through eight, and Empower3000® for grades nine through 12.

Smarty Ants® Foundational Literacy Program

Smarty Ants is a research-driven solution for students in grades PreK-1 that differentiates instruction in foundational reading skills and accelerates student achievement in a motivating, interactive, online learning environment. The program continuously evaluates each student’s exact skill level, learning temperament and learning pace. Based on this information, the adaptive content system automatically delivers the right level of direct and guided skill instruction and game-based practice to keep emerging readers engaged in systematic, explicit, and spiraled instruction in foundational literacy skills. From letter identification and the alphabetic principle to structural analysis and comprehension skills, Smarty Ants provides the “just right” level of instruction to transform young learners into independent readers.

ELA Test Challenge Courses

Achieve3000 is introducing its brand-new ELA Test Challenge courses that prepare students for the rigor of high-stakes state assessments. Built for each grade level and customized for each high-stakes state assessment, the ELA Test Challenge courses help students develop strength and stamina for reading complex informational texts and practice with technology-enhanced items, including drag-and-drop sequencing, click-to-highlight evidence tasks, multi-part items, and multi-select multiple-choice questions. The Challenge courses, along with all of Achieve3000’s instructional content, are accessible at anywhere and anytime via Achieve3000’s mobile apps, online and offline.

New Teacher’s Edition Homepage

Based on teachers’ feedback from around the world, Achieve3000 is also unveiling an all-new Teacher’s Edition homepage with an improved workflow, easier navigation, enhanced grading options, and improved assessment tools that minimize administrative tasks. Teachers can access lessons via a new lesson carousel that allows them to quickly leaf through assigned instructional content, while lesson cards contain key information such as state standards. A new Key Insights panel displays class progress and performance metrics, so teachers can celebrate students’ successes and find opportunities for new challenges. Additionally, the redesigned homepage allows teachers to develop and strengthen students’ writing skills by quickly and easily providing feedback and assigning grades to Thought Questions at point of use. A new Celebration and Success section promotes student motivation and engagement with at-a-glance access to top daily and weekly student scores, plus contest scoreboards and weekly prizes.

Textbook Alignment Courses

Available for a wide variety of basal textbook programs, Achieve3000’s custom textbook alignment courses ensure students can fully engage with grade-level textbook passages and help them to build the comprehension, vocabulary, and critical-thinking skills they need to meet the state ELA Standards and succeed on high-stakes state assessments. Each Achieve3000 textbook alignment course provides a customized set of lessons designed to reinforce and extend the topics and themes in the most popular basal textbook programs.

Rostering and Data Integration

To support data-driven instruction, Achieve3000 has also improved data integration for rostering and dashboards. The company now offers flexible rostering options, from one-time uploads to automated imports to nightly updates, to meet educators’ specific data needs. The company also offers direct SIS integration through its partnership with the edtech platform company Clever, allowing educators to share their data with all of their applications – all from one place. Single sign-on (SSO) options mean that teachers do not have to log into multiple systems, saving both time and effort.

Upcoming LevelSet Writing Assessments

Finally, coming in 2017, Achieve3000’s LevelSet Writing assessment will feature immediate, automatic scoring of students’ writing on pre-, interim and post-tests. LevelSet Writing will be the first assessment of its kind to measure student writing on the Lexile writing scale, adding another embedded assessment to Achieve3000’s solutions to further inform and differentiate instruction. Interested parties can apply to join the LevelSet Writing pilot during the 2016-2017 school year.

For more information on these updates for the upcoming school year, visithttp://www.achieve3000.com/bts2016. Educators attending the ISTE Conference can find Achieve3000 at Booth 1315 in the Expo Hall. For more information, including in-booth presentations and demos, visit www.achieve3000.com/ISTE16.

About Achieve3000, Inc.

Achieve3000 is the leader in online differentiated literacy instruction, serving over two million students worldwide. For nearly 15 years, the company has been reaching students at their individual reading levels to deliver significant learning gains, with many making double to triple the expected gains in a single school year. Based on decades of scientific research, Achieve3000’s solutions – Smarty Ants (for grades PreK-1), KidBiz3000 (for grades 2-5), TeenBiz3000 (for grades 6-8), Empower3000 (for grades 9-12), Spark3000 (for adult learners), and eScience3000 (for grades 6-8) – support core curriculum, Response to Intervention, English language learner, and special education instructional models as well as 21st-century education initiatives. From learning how to read to workforce readiness, Achieve3000 empowers all learners to develop the college and career literacy skills needed for academic, professional, and personal success. The company is based in Lakewood, N.J. Learn more about Achieve3000 online atwww.achieve3000.com or by calling 888-968-6822.

 

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Workbench Partners with Parrot to Launch Online Education Community

Partnership will create online workbench for education makers to explore, build, teach, and share with drones

 

Baltimore, MD – June 27, 2016  –  Edtech company Workbench has partnered with Parrot to create the online workbench community, the “Parrot Education Community,” to bring the exciting world of programming and learning with drones and robots to students, teachers and STEM enthusiasts. The Parrot Education Community will allow users to interact with the company and with one another to share programs, videos, lessons and experiences. In addition, the content created in this workbench can be leveraged by educators to drive interactive, hands-on learning in the classroom, helping to meet NGSS standards.

 

The “Parrot Education Community” built on the Workbench platform features projects that use drones and robots to teach STEM skills such as geometry, science, art, physics and coding. With its fully integrated and custom learning management system, teachers can use it to assign lessons and monitor student progress.  To view Parrot’s online community, go to activities.parrot.com.

 

“Tomorrow’s jobs will use the latest technologies, such as drones, to accomplish new things and Parrot offers some of the best teaching drones on the market today,” said Chis Sleat, Workbench founder and CEO. “We are thrilled to help Parrot galvanize their community by helping educators access and share dynamic lessons that help prepare students for advanced learning. It is truly an exciting time in education.”

 

The Workbench platform allows partner companies to reach more people in a dynamic way and build long-term relationships with their customers as they expand content on the platform. For students and teachers, the Workbench platform provides a place to find free, engaging online projects that allow students to learn STEM skills while building and creating. To view the Workbench platform, go towww.workbenchplatform.com.

 

ABOUT PARROT

Founded in 1994 by Henri Seydoux, Parrot creates, develops and markets advanced technology wireless products for consumers and professionals.

 

The company builds on a common technological expertise to innovate and develop in three primary markets:

Civil drones: With recreational quadricopters and solutions for professional use.

Connected objects: With a focus on audio and gardening.

Automotive: With the most extensive range of hands-free communication and infotainment systems for vehicles on the market.

 

Headquartered in Paris, Parrot currently employs more than 1.000 people worldwide and generates the majority of its sales overseas. Parrot has been listed on Euronext Paris since 2006. (FR0004038263 – PARRO) For more information, please visit www.parrot.com

 

About Workbench

Workbench’s core mission is to partner with maker space companies to create online learning communities called workbenches.  These workbenches foster an engaged community where users can interact with the company and with one another to share programs, lessons and experiences in order to drive interactive, hands-on learning in the classroom. In addition, the fully integrated and custom learning management system within Workbench allows teachers to assign lessons and monitor student progress.

 

Workbench has partnered with some of the preeminent names in the maker space, including Parrot, Sphero and SparkFun.  For more information, visit www.workbenchplatform.com.

 

Sphero, the Sphero logo, SPRK, SPRK + and Lightning Lab are trademarks of Sphero. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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New Edsby Analytics Enable Unique Real-Time Insights for K-12 Districts
Big picture K-12 academic data reveals at-risk student and achievement trends to teachers and administrators
 
DENVER (June 27, 2016) — To offer new levels of insight to K-12 teachers and administrators, Edsby, an innovative cloud-based engagement and data aggregation platform for K-12 school districts, introduces breakthrough learning analytics capabilities at ISTE 2016. The new analytics enable educators to identify at-risk students and find trends in achievement data in real-time across an individual class, group of schools, or whole school district, depending on the user’s role.
The new analytics engine represents a dramatic shift in how districts and school leaders can measure and act on student achievement and progress, previously only available via conventional data warehouses. Features and capabilities include:
  • Insights from the Edsby learning management system and other sources
  • Identification of at-risk students and improvement areas
  • Scalability for large school districts
For more information about Edsby Advanced Analytics, visit here.

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Age of Learning Launches ABCmouse for Schools, a Scalable Solution for School Districts and School Groups in the U.S. and Globally

High-quality teacher support and implementation services maximize the educational impact of the award-winning ABCmouse curriculum in the classroom and at home

(GLENDALE, CA) June 27, 2016  Today, leading education technology innovator Age of Learning, Inc. announced the launch of ABCmouse® for Schools, a scalable solution to meet the pre-K through 2nd grade needs of school districts and school groups in the U.S. and internationally. ABCmouse for Schools builds on the success of the company’s award-winning and research-validated ABCmouse.com® Early Learning Academy, the leading and most comprehensive digital education resource for early learners. Available on computers, tablets, and smartphones, ABCmouse is already used by millions of children at home, in more than 65,000 U.S. classrooms, and in more than one third of all U.S. public libraries.

ABCmouse for Schools offers two solutions for pre-K through 2nd grade: ABCmouse Early Learning Academy, a comprehensive supplemental curriculum that builds a strong foundation for academic success across subject areas required for 3rd grade readiness; and the new ABCmouse English Language Learning Academy, which can be used by teachers as a core program or as a rich supplemental resource to provide a developmentally appropriate English language immersion experience.

ABCmouse for Schools complements these curriculum offerings with student management, professional development, curriculum alignment, and progress reporting tools. Uniquely, these products also offer home access versions that are designed specifically to engage children in learning outside of the classroom while strengthening the school-home connection that has been proven to improve student outcomes.

“ABCmouse is already a trusted early learning program for more than 65,000 classroom teachers,” explained David Samuelson, Age of Learning’s Head of Global Schools. “However, district-level educators have asked for additional features to support implementation of this highly effective supplemental curriculum across all of their early elementary classrooms, with the goal of ensuring that all of their younger students become truly 3rd-grade-ready. To meet this critical need, we spent more than a year developing the suite of ABCmouse for Schools tools and resources, based on feedback from teachers around the country and globally along with guidance from our Curriculum Board and Advisors.”

The ABCmouse Curriculum Board is composed of nationally recognized educators and experts in language development, child development, and early learning and primary grades curriculum and instruction, including 2014 U.S. National Teachers Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Rebecca Palacios; 2006 U.S. National Teacher of the Year Kimberly Oliver Burnim; Dr. Twila Tardif, professor of psychology and former Associate Dean and Director of the Center for Human Growth and Development at the University of Michigan; and others.

“ABCmouse for Schools helps to equalize access and improve the fidelity of implementation of a proven high-quality early learning resource,” said Dr. Palacios. “What schools and teachers will get is a powerful yet easy-to-use solution that strengthens the important school-home connection while reinforcing classroom learning to improve children’s academic skills.”

About ABCmouse Early Learning Academy

ABCmouse Early Learning Academy provides young learners, their families, and teachers with a comprehensive supplemental curriculum based on widely accepted education standards and early learning practices. Designed to prepare students for 3rd grade, the curriculum includes 830 lessons in 10 levels, with more than 8,500 standards-based learning activities such as books, songs, puzzles, and games that cover all major subjects: reading and language arts, math, science, social studies, health, art, and music. Large-scale research studies assessing the effectiveness of ABCmouse have concluded that ABCmouse accelerates learning and helps children make significant gains in early literacy and math skills. For more information on our research, please visit ABCmouseforschools.com/research.

About ABCmouse English Language Learning Academy

ABCmouse English Language Learning Academy teaches English in a natural way, beginning with listening and speaking activities that help children to quickly develop vocabulary and conversational skills. Once students have learned to speak and understand simple English, they progress to reading and writing. They will also develop independent learning skills and gain confidence in their own ability to understand and speak English, building a foundation that will help students to be successful throughout their education.

For more information, please visit ABCmouseForSchools.com.

For a live demonstration, visit Age of Learning at ISTE 2016 in Denver from June 27 to 29, 2016, at booth #2519.

About Age of Learning, Inc.
Age of Learning is a leading education technology innovator and producer of the multi-award–winning ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy, serving millions of children. Based in Los Angeles, the company blends education best practices, innovative technology, and insightful creativity to bring learning to life for children across the U.S. and around the world. Age of Learning’s content provides young learners, their families, and teachers with a comprehensive curriculum that includes thousands of highly engaging and effective learning activities that build a strong foundation for academic success. Recognized as the No. 1 digital learning resource for children ages 2–7, ABCmouse is regularly ranked as the leading children’s learning iPad, iPhone, and Android app in both the Kids and Education categories. To date, children have completed more than 1.8 billion ABCmouse learning activities. The company’s Education Access Initiatives reach millions of children by offering the full ABCmouse curriculum at no cost to teachers and community institutions such as libraries, Head Start programs, community centers, public housing authorities, and after-school programs.

 

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Promethean Becomes the Leading Brand of Interactive Flat Panel Displays 

in U.S. K12 Schools

-Growth rate for the award-winning ActivPanelTM more than doubles the overall market-

(ATLANTA – June 27, 2016) – According to data from Futuresource Consulting Ltd., an independent global research company that monitors demand for interactive displays, the Promethean ActivPanel is now the most preferred model of interactive flat panel display for K12 classrooms in the United States.  The latest report from Futuresource, which reports worldwide shipments quarterly and for the past 12 months, confirms that U.S. K12 school demand for Promethean interactive flat panels grew 235.7 percent, a growth rate of more than double the overall market and represents the highest share of all interactive flat panel providers in the United States.

Many K12 schools around the world have modernized their classrooms with interactive flat panel displays. Futursource reports that worldwide demand for interactive flat panels in K12 classrooms grew 69.5 percent through March 2016. Demand in the United States grew 111.2 percent over the same period. With interactive flat panels displays, K12 schools realize the benefits of lower cost of ownership, higher resolution viewing, lower maintenance, and longer life versus projector-based display technologies.  In addition to leading all providers in units shipped into K12 schools the United States, the Promethean ActivPanel is now also the leading brand among K12 schools in Australia, France, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, the Caribbean, Middle East, Iceland and Estonia.

“The award-winning ActivPanel is designed to meet the unique needs of educators, students and school IT administrators.  The ActivPanel’s range of interactive HD and ultra HD displays promote interactivity and reveal crisp details to boost readability, ensuring the best collaborative learning experience,” said Vincent Young, chief marketing officer at Promethean. “We are very proud that K12 schools around the world have expressed preference for the Promethean ActivPanel as a must-have technology for the modern classroom.”

Last week, Promethean announced plans to introduce a newer version of the ActivPanel later this summer.  The latest version of the ActivPanel will be powered by an externally accessible, upgradeable AndroidTM central processing unit (CPU) and will feature wireless and BlueToothTM connectivity, pre-loaded applications for mobile device mirroring, digital whiteboarding, and free collaboration software from ClassFlowTM.

For more information on the Promethean ActivPanel, visit https://www.prometheanworld.com/ActivPanel.

About Promethean

Promethean is a global education company that improves learning productivity by developing, integrating, and implementing innovative 21st-century learning environments that help make everyone more engaged, empowered, and successful. Promethean’s main corporate offices are located in Blackburn, UK, and Atlanta, USA. Promethean is a member of the Net Dragon Websoft, Inc. (HKSE: 0777) group of companies.  For more information, please visit PrometheanWorld.com.

Promethean Press Contact

Suzy Swindle

suzy.swindle@prometheanworld.com

(206) 661-0757

About NetDragon Websoft Inc.

NetDragon Websoft Inc. (HKSE: 0777) is a leading innovator and creative force in China’s mobile Internet industry. Established in 1999, NetDragon is a vertically integrated, cutting-edge R&D powerhouse with a highly successful track record which includes the development of flagship MMORPGs such as Eudemons Online and Conquer Online, China’s number one online gaming portal, 17173.com, and China’s most influential smartphone app store platform, 91 Wireless, which was sold to Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) in 2013 as the largest Internet M&A transaction in China at the time. Being China’s pioneer in overseas expansion, NetDragon also directly operates a number of game titles in over 10 languages internationally since 2003. In recent years, NetDragon has become a major player in global online and mobile learning space as it works to leverage its mobile Internet technologies and operational know-how to develop a game-changing learning ecosystem. For more information, please visit NetDragon.com.

NetDragon Press Contact

Alvin Chan

alvinchan@nd.com.hk+852 9484 0333

NetDragon Investor Contact

Maggie Zhou

maggie@nd.com.cn+852 2850 7266 / +86 591 8754 3120

Android is a trademark of Google Inc.

Bluetooth is a trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc.

©Promethean 2016. All Rights Reserved. Promethean, the Promethean logo, ActivPanel and ClassFlow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Promethean Limited in the United Kingdom, United States, and other countries around the world.

 

 

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itslearning Unveils New Release at ISTE 2016:

Enhanced Platform Personalizes and Improves the User Experience

 

Interface of Brand New Learning Management Platform is Designed Around Educators Most Important and Frequent Tasks for an Easy, Intuitive and Efficient Experience

 

Boston, MA – June 27, 2016 — ISTE 2016 attendees interested in the Digital Age Teaching and Learning focus area may want to stop by the itslearning booth (#1541) to see how the company’s brand new personalized learning management platform is changing how educators and students work in a learning platform. The new platform will be live in July 1.

 

“Our main focus with this new platform is enhancing the user experience,” said Arne Bergby, itslearning CEO. “So we’ve done a great deal of research to understand what our users are really trying to do when they use our platform. And we’ve tested and rebuilt the platform so that educators can more easily carry out their core tasks and get support from a system that is truly intuitive and doesn’t complicate their work but rather puts the focus on student learning outcomes.”

 

The main benefits educators will of the new platform include the following:

  • Simplification and modernization of the interface and navigation
  • Making the platform feel like an extension of the physical classroom
  • Empowering teachers to follow best practices
  • Increased compatibility with mobile devices

 

Simplification and Modernization

The main menu of the new platform has streamlined navigational features that allow educators to easily find and focus on their most important tasks: courses, current groups, students (if the educator is a teacher), a calendar and access to the platform’s library of resources. The groups menu places users’ communities, joint projects and associated dashboards all in one place. New system wizards help users understand how each new feature works.

 

Extension of the Physical Classroom

When users log in, a personalized start screen helps them immediately get organized and up to date by showing them upcoming events on their calendar, a sidebar list of follow-up tasks, and a stream of updates from courses and groups. Additionally, the bulletin system for course communications has become a simplified, stream-based system that allows teachers to easily embed links and content for students’ review. Students can then comment on that content from their own home pages.

 

The new instant messaging system better facilitates communication among students and between students and teachers. In addition to enabling live discussions, the new system allows users to share resources and collaborate. Messages sent before the launch of the new itslearning platform will be available to users in an archive.

 

Empowering Teachers to Follow Best Practices

In the previous platform, teachers had to go to different course pages in order to see relevant student profiles, now they have one-click access to information on all their students. The new Students page, accessible from the main menu, provides a quick overview of students and all their recent activities. Additionally, the page generates profile cards that present more details on each student and allow the teacher to start a conversation directly with the student without having to navigate to another part of the platform.

 

Teachers now have a larger itslearning library of teacher-created and third-party resources with which to support and enrich instruction including a repository of overmore than 20 million objects and over 5 million in open education resource. These have been revamped to make it easier for educators to access it as well as find and share resources.

 

Increased Compatibility with Mobile Devices

To accommodate educators accessing the platform via smartphones, the new navigational layout translates elegantly to mobile screens to create a seamless experience on the web. The updated app us optimize for educators’ most common tasks and includes the stream feature.

 

To smooth the transition to the new platform for all existing customers, the previous itslearning platform will continue to be available for the foreseeable future. That version will keep its existing functionality but will also include the live messaging system, the upgraded library with easy access to learning resources and student profile cards.

For more information, visit http://www.itslearning.net.

 

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ISTE 2016: Second Avenue Learning and BrainPOP® Offer Free Voters Ed Trial with New Partnership
Partnership will deliver engaging civics education content to educators and students

Rochester, N.Y. (June 27, 2016) – Second Avenue Learning, a leader in the design and development of serious games for education, announces its partnership with BrainPOP®, a creator of award-winning educational animated movies, learning games, playful assessments, interactive quizzes and more. In this partnership, the companies seek to provide engaging content to educators teaching K-12 students about the election process.

To read the full news release, click here.
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PD Learning Network and Dremel Partner to Provide K-12 Teacher PD Badges for 3D Printing 
Partnership connects industry-leading manufacturer of 3D printers for K-12 education with teacher professional development, provides rigorous badge certification 

Santa Barbara, CA (June 27, 2016) — PD Learning Network (PDLN) (@PDLNTeam) announces a partnership with Dremel (@DremelEdu) to provide badge certified K-12 teacher professional development for the Dremel Idea Builder printer.

“One of our most important responsibilities as an education technology provider is supporting teachers as they learn how to implement new tools in their classrooms,” said George Velez, manager, Dremel 3D education. “Partnering with a reputable professional development organization is emblematic of our mission to ensure 3D printing is applied in a purposeful way that enhances students’ understanding of STEAM principles.”

Access to a PDLN badge certification training course accompanies the purchase of every Dremel Idea Builder 3D40-EDU kit. Courses include videos, articles, lesson plans, school case studies and hands-on learning opportunities that provide a pathway to help educators master implementation of 3D printing in instruction. PDLN’s signature emphasis on effective classroom application ensures teachers can put 3D printing to most effective use to achieve desired student learning outcomes.

For more details, read the full release here.

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Renaissance Learning doubles down on commitment to nurture student growth

Company shares vision for creating a unified learning ecosystem designed to reduce
teacher prep time and boost student performance

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (June 27, 2016) – In this era of assessment and accountability, teachers and administrators are exploring every opportunity to support student achievement. Yet, educators too often fall victim to “time drain” and low-value tasks that rob time and energy from purposeful instruction. Renaissance Learning, the leader in K-12 cloud-based assessment and learning analytics, announces its plan to bridge assessment to lesson planning and instruction in a way that liberates teachers from tedious prep work and enables them to focus on student growth.

“The most common refrain we hear from teachers is that they wish they had more time to spend on things that truly make a difference for students,” said Jack Lynch, CEO of Renaissance Learning. “So we’re creating a connected learning ecosystem that helps teachers realize that aspiration and gives them back precious time that they can spend helping students do their best work.”

To read the full release, click here.

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Skyward Unveils New Mobile App
The upgraded Skyward mobile app is now available for district clients

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (June 27, 2016) ­– Skyward, a K-12 school administrative software provider, unveils its redesigned mobile app at ISTE 2016. Four key features included in the updated app are improved menu navigation, home screen widgets, push notifications, and Touch ID for iOS devices – among additional enhancements.

With Skyward’s June 2016 release now live, the app is out of its beta testing stage, and all district clients have access to the new app from a mobile device. Users will first notice the enhanced menu navigation, which allows for the customization of favorites – areas of the app a user frequently views – saving clients valuable time and streamlining user-experience.

To view the full news release, click here.

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Samsung Debuts New Education Solution to Improve Reading Comprehension at ISTE 2016

Partnering with Pearson, Samsung’s Literacy Lab digital learning solution focuses on improving and advancing vocabulary, comprehension and writing skills

June 27, 2016 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Samsung Electronics America at ISTE 2016 has debuted a new solution to help improve student reading comprehension. Designed in partnership with Pearson, Samsung Literacy Lab combines Pearson’s iLit software with Samsung Chromebook 3 or Galaxy Tab® E devices to create a digital learning solution focused on improving and advancing vocabulary, comprehension and writing skills. In addition to Samsung Literacy Lab, Samsung will display its full suite of education solutions in booth#2500 at the Colorado Convention Center from June 26-29.

“Beyond transforming teaching and learning, technology can be used to engage students and improve critical literacy skills in struggling readers”

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According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), just 37 percent of high school seniors were ready for college-level reading, and about20 percent of Americans 15 and older lack basic functional literacy skills, as reported by the United Nations. Today’s learners are digital natives and thrive in technology-driven environments. Molded on the foundation of the three Cs – conversion, curriculum and collaboration – Samsung’s Literacy Lab helps close these gaps and encourage tomorrow’s thinkers and creators to excel.

“Beyond transforming teaching and learning, technology can be used to engage students and improve critical literacy skills in struggling readers,” said Ted Brodheim, vice president of Vertical Business at Samsung Electronics America. “Students who are unable to read at their grade level are at least twice as likely to drop out of school, according to a recent Scholastic report. Samsung is committed to providing solutions that are targeted at closing the gap in reading comprehension and arming teachers with the necessary tools to carry this out.”

Available to students grades 3 to 12, Samsung Literacy Lab is a mobile solution that’s easily transported to reach students in any location. Offered in packages of 10, the solution includes:

  • 10 Samsung Chromebook 3 or Galaxy Tab® E devices
  • 10 Pearson iLit licenses – iLit 20, iLit 45, iLit 90 or iLit ELL
  • One day of professional development to ensure effective implementation

“Since debuting iLit in 2013, we have seen impressive learning outcomes, including improved student literacy skills by more than two grade levels in a single school year,” said Doug McCollum, who runs the Intervention, ELL, Pre-K and Supplemental Solutions businesses at Pearson. “By pairing iLit’s proven instructional model with Samsung’s leading Chromebook and tablet devices, we believe we can help even more schools nationwide see a vast improvement in reading, writing and vocabulary skills with Samsung Literacy Lab.”

Samsung will also bring together educators, technology experts and education providers to discuss virtual reality and literacy in two panel sessions:

  • Virtual Reality: Blend This Into Your Learning
    Monday, June 27, from 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. MTBeyond blended learning, virtual reality technology offers exciting opportunities to bring new learning experiences into the classroom, inspiring students with three-dimensional, interactive curriculum. Samsung will join a panel of education technology thought-leaders for an engaging discussion on how virtual reality technology can be integrated into student learning.
  • Leveraging Technology to Improve Literacy Rates for Struggling Readers
    Tuesday, June 28 from 10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. MTBeyond transforming teaching and learning, technology can be used to engage students and improve critical literacy skills in struggling readers. Samsung will join a panel of education technology thought-leaders for an engaging discussion on how digital curriculum and resources are being used to help struggling readers close the gap.

For more information about Samsung K-12 products and solutions, please visit: www.samsung.com/education. Join the conversation on Twitter at @SamsungEDU. Download an infographic detailing the survey findings at: http://www.slideshare.net/SamsungBusinessUSA/.

Additional Resources:

About Samsung Electronics America, Inc.

Headquartered in Ridgefield Park, NJ, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA), is a recognized innovation leader in consumer electronics design and technology. A wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., SEA delivers a broad range of digital consumer electronics, IT and home appliance products. Samsung is the market leader for HDTVs in the U.S and America’s fastest growing home appliance brands. To discover more of the award-winning products you love with Samsung, please visit www.samsung.com and for the latest Samsung news, please visit news.samsung.com/us and follow on Twitter@SamsungNewsUS.

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Northwest Evaluation Association Hits Industry Milestone with

Ten Instructional Content Partnerships

 

Integration with MAP Provides Educators Greatest Flexibility for

Instruction Informed by Assessment

 

 

Portland, OR (June 27, 2016) – Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) announced its 10th partnership with an instructional content provider, Curriculum Crafter, this month, signifying a new milestone for in-depth content integration in the industry. These partnerships allow educators to select appropriate teaching resources from a range of instructional content options – including open education resources – using a student’s RIT score from NWEA’s Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment.

 

The integration of a breadth of instructional content with reliable, accurate MAP data allows teachers to deepen differentiated instruction through MAP Informed Learning Paths.  Teachers can personalize instruction for each student with a customized ILP that optimizes the individual student learning experience.

 

“NWEA believes that assessment should inform instruction,” said Matt Chapman, CEO of NWEA. “So we are dedicated to giving educators a wide range of high-quality instructional choices, so that they are able to use the resources best suited for their students’ individual needs. This milestone exemplifies our mission, partnering to help all kids learn.”

 

Resources and tools from these Instructional Content Providers are available to more than 7,800 schools, districts, and educational agencies currently using MAP assessments to measure student academic growth.

 

  • Achieve3000® enables educators to deepen differentiated instruction through MAP Informed Learning Paths, which support and strengthen the skills required for college and career readiness.
  • Compass Learning provides a complete solution for teachers’ instructional needs and produces individualized learning paths.
  • Curriculum Advantage integrates MAP assessment results to provide interactive, online K-8 math, reading, language arts, and science instruction as well as assessment and productivity tools.
  • Curriculum Crafter aligns MAP data with standards-aligned instructional content from a web-based curriculum management platform. Teachers have immediate access to thousands of K-12 resources.
  • Edgenuity integrates MAP assessment results with Edgenuity’s online courseware, creating data-driven individualized learning paths for each student.
  • Edmentum assimilates MAP assessment results with Study Island® content and instructional materials to create individualized learning paths for each student, and helps K-12 students master the content specified in state and Common Core standards.
  • Learning A-Z integrates MAP assessment results with Reading A-Z’s literacy-focused curriculum resources, creating differentiated instructional recommendations for teachers to use with each student or groups of students.
  • NoRedInk uses MAP assessment results with NoRedInk’s popular grammar and writing software, creating personalized content recommendations for each student.
  • Odysseyware combines MAP assessment results with customized, flexible K–12 core, elective, and CTE curriculum and instructional tools.
  • Triumph Learning integrates MAP assessment results to create personalized learning paths for every student.

 

These partnerships are in addition to a wide range of Open Education Resources  (OER) that are also linked to MAP, such as Kahn Academy.  More information about NWEA’s Instructional Content Provider program is available online.

 

About Northwest Evaluation Association

Northwest Evaluation Association™ (NWEA™) is a global not-for-profit educational services organization known for our flagship interim growth assessment, Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®); Skills Navigator®, a skills mastery and progress monitoring tool; and as the U.S. provider of the PISA-based OECD Test for Schools assessment.  More than 7,800 partners in U.S. schools, school districts, education agencies, and international schools trust us to offer PreK-12 assessments that accurately measure student growth and mastery and inform instruction; professional development that fosters educators’ ability to accelerate student learning; and research that supports assessment validity and data interpretation. Educators currently use NWEA assessments with nearly eight million students. Learn more at nwea.org.

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Vernier Helps Science and STEM Teachers Prepare for Back-to-School with a Collection of Free Resources

 

Professional learning and support tools include in-person workshops, webinars, video tutorials, grant opportunities and more.

 

BEAVERTON, Oregon, June 27, 2016 — To support science and STEM teachers in delivering quality instruction to their students at the start of, and throughout, the school year, Vernier Software & Technology is offering an abundance of free professional learning resources, support tools, grant opportunities and more. This comprehensive collection of offerings provides teachers with the skills and resources needed to effectively use data-collection technology in their classrooms.

 

“Helping both educators and students succeed in today’s science classrooms is our top priority,” said John Wheeler, CEO of Vernier Software & Technology. “To support this, we are committed to providing stellar service, teacher-based tech support, and useful professional development year round to meet the needs of our customers.”

 

Free resources from Vernier include:

  • Award and grant opportunities: Among others, these include the annual Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards and Vernier Engineering Contest, both of which award teachers with cash and technology prizes.
  • Community Forum: Customers can access the forum to exchange advice, trade used equipment, look at DIY projects and discuss lab ideas with other educators.
  • Hands-on workshops: These free educator-led seminars provide teachers with innovative ways to integrate probeware into their curricula.
  • Sample experiments: The student version of these classroom-ready investigations can be downloaded directly from the Vernier website. More than 1,000 sample experiments are available.
  • Tech Tips Videos: This collection of more than 180 videos provides helpful tutorials on using various Vernier data-collection technologies.
  • Technical Information Library (TIL): An extensive collection of technical information, troubleshooting advice, frequently asked questions and more than 1,000 searchable technology tips are available 24/7. The Vernier TIL was honored with a Stellar Service Award from Tech & Learning magazine.
  • Warranty and repair program: In addition to an ample five-year warranty, Vernier will attempt to repair most products, many times at no charge.
  • Webinars: These personalized, customized webinars provide an effective way for educators and their science departments to learn more about using Vernier technology.

 

In addition to these resources, Vernier provides award-winning customer service. When educators call the company with questions or for technical support they speak with a former science teacher, a product engineer, or a curriculum developer who is well-versed in the technology. The company also monitors its social media channels to quickly respond to customers when they have questions.

 

To learn more about Vernier and their free resources for teachers, visitwww.vernier.com.

 

About Vernier Software & Technology

Vernier Software & Technology has led the innovation of scientific data-collection technology for 35 years. Vernier was founded by a former physics teacher and hires 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 130 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.

 


CEV Multimedia Releases Law Enforcement Curriculum

Cloud-based iCEV platform offers new courses to educate next generation of law enforcement professionals 

LUBBOCK, Texas (June 22, 2016) – The nature of training today’s police and law enforcement officials has changed significantly within the last 15 years. To reflect the changing landscape of police training, CEV Multimedia announces the release of a new law enforcement curriculum that will help prepare students interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement, security, public safety and corrections.

Delivered through iCEV, an online learning platform, and developed in collaboration with various industry organizations and professionals, the Law Enforcement curriculum will offer courses focused on the content areas of principles of law, public safety, corrections and security. The content areas of the curriculum will focus on career exploration, court systems and structures, criminal law history and development, emergency and fire management services, ethical practices, interagency cooperation and more.

You can read the full release here. Please contact me if you have any questions about CEV Multimedia.

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Promethean Introduces New ActivPanel at ISTE 2016

The tablet-like display for the modern classroom features externally accessible, upgradeable Android processing power and access to more than 500,000 educational apps

(ATLANTA – June 23, 2016) – Promethean, a leading global provider of educational technology solutions, will introduce its new ActivPanel interactive display at ISTE 2016 in Denver. Powered by an externally accessible, upgradeable Android™ platform central processing unit (CPU), the market-leading ActivPanel unleashes the power of teacher and student connectivity. The new Promethean ActivPanel features wireless and BlueTooth® connectivity, pre-loaded applications for mobile device mirroring, digital whiteboarding, and free collaboration software from ClassFlow.

“The new Promethean ActivPanel has been completely re-imagined to function as a captivating, interactive display as well as the wirelessly accessible teaching and learning hub of the modern classroom,” said Promethean’s Chief Marketing Officer Vincent Young. “With its externally accessible Android processor, the new Promethean ActivPanel can be easily upgraded over time to keep pace with frequent advances in computing technology.”

Without the need to connect a separate computer, the new Promethean ActivPanel provides teachers with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, while also providing instant access to instructional apps directly from the home screen. Teachers and students can interact with the touchscreen display with tablet-like gestures such as swipe, pinch, or zoom. In addition to touchscreen interactivity, the ActivPanel features a digital pen to draw, move, and scale.

With the new Promethean ActivPanel, schools also receive a complimentary license for Promethean ActivInspire™ software as well as free use of ClassFlow™, the award-winning collaborative teaching and learning software. ClassFlow improves student engagement by facilitating the interactive and collaborative use of classroom devices, digital curriculum, and assessments for learning.

Available in both 70-inch and 80-inch display sizes, the new ActivPanel offers full HD 1080p and ultra HD 2160p resolution for brilliant colors and crisp details. Versatile classroom mounting options include fixed, height-adjustable, or a mobile stand to meet the needs of every learning environment. The new Promethean ActivPanel will be available in July 2016.

For more information, visit PrometheanWorld.com/ActivPanel.

About Promethean

Promethean is a global education company that improves learning productivity by developing, integrating, and implementing innovative 21st-century learning environments that help make everyone more engaged, empowered, and successful. Promethean’s main corporate offices are located in Blackburn, UK, and Atlanta, USA. Promethean is a member of the Net Dragon Websoft, Inc. (HKSE: 0777) group of companies.  For more information, please visit PrometheanWorld.com.

 

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Workbench Builds Engaged Online Communities for Maker Companies

Company expands beyond its former CWIST name to build integrated communities and engaging hands-on lessons for the classroom

 

Baltimore, MD – June 24, 2016  –  Edtech company CWIST is expanding to become Workbench as it brings its branding in line with its core mission of creating online communities called “workbenches.”  Workbench develops and maintains these communities on behalf of their education partners, which are some of the preeminent names in the maker space.

 

Workbenches foster an engaged community where users can interact with the company and with one another to share programs, lessons and experiences. In addition, the content created in these workbenches can be leveraged by educators to drive interactive, hands-on learning in the classroom helping to meet NGSS standards.

 

Teachers, students and fans can now share lessons that use drones, robots and circuits to teach STEM skills.  With the fully integrated and custom learning management system within Workbench, teachers can use it to assign lessons and monitor student progress.  Workbench will begin working with schools and districts across the country to facilitate this maker-driven engaged education later this year.

 

“We revolve around project-based learning so we wanted our name to reflect this key focus on making, building and learning,” said Workbench founder and CEO Chris Sleat. “But this is not your father’s workbench. These online sites, or “workbenches,” provide a new generation of fun, exciting learning experiences that teach programming, coding and other critical STEM skills. You can use the workbenches to make and program your own robots and drones or to share designs to print your own parts. The sky is the limit.”

 

The Workbench platform allows partner companies to reach more people in a dynamic way and build long-term relationships with their customers as they expand content on the platform. For students and teachers, the Workbench platform provides a place to find free, engaging online projects that allow students to learn STEM skills while building and creating.   Workbench has partnered with Sphero, which makes app-enabled teachable robots, to power its SPRK Lightning LabTM and PowerUp Toys to offer its PowerUp Flight Deck for building and using paper airplane drones. To view the Workbench platform, go to www.workbenchplatform.com.

 

About Workbench

Workbench’s core mission is to partner with maker space companies to create online learning communities called workbenches.  These workbenches foster an engaged community where users can interact with the company and with one another to share programs, lessons and experiences in order to drive interactive, hands-on learning in the classroom. In addition, the fully integrated and custom learning management system within Workbench allows teachers to assign lessons and monitor student progress.

 

Workbench has partnered with some of the preeminent names in the maker space including Sphero and PowerUp Toys.  For more information, visitwww.workbenchplatform.com.

 

Sphero, the Sphero logo, SPRK, SPRK + and Lightning Lab are trademarks of Sphero. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

 

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PowerSchool to Unveil New Innovations in its Differentiated Unified Classroom Platform at ISTE

 

Initiatives and innovations in PowerSchool’s 10.0 release further expands its Unified Classroom Platform, empowering teachers to improve all aspects of instruction, standard-based grading, classroom collaboration, and student performance.

 

June 23, 2016—Folsom, CA—PowerSchool, the #1 provider of K-12 education technology solutions, will present its comprehensive industry-first Unified Classroom Platform, including new innovations in the PowerSchool 10.0 release, at ISTE in Denver next week. Visitors will see demonstrations of PowerSchool’s comprehensive classroom platform and talk to teachers and administrators from districts of all sizes who are leveraging PowerSchool’s solutions to empower teachers and improve student learning.

 

PowerSchool 10.0 has many breakthrough innovations designed and developed by working closely with hundreds of teachers and educators in focus groups who were early adopters over the last year. One of its feature-rich enhancements includes PowerTeacher Pro, a newly designed digital gradebook optimized for both standards-based and traditional grading. Teachers can quickly view each student’s trends graphically, interface in real-time within parent and student portals, and save significant administrative hours through district-level configurations.

 

“We are so excited to finally use PowerTeacher Pro. We think this rendition of the gradebook will make the job for our teachers easier. The ability for administrators to push uniform settings to everyone will also help reduce the training we do each term. It means a lot to us that PowerSchool has listened to the users and built us the best gradebook yet,” said Betty Wagner of Hatboro Horsham School District in Pennsylvania.

 

“PowerTeacher Pro will be one of the greatest advancements for PowerSchool since the inception of the product. Thank you PowerSchool for investing in our teachers and our students and parents,” said Jerry Burch, Deputy Superintendent of Woodward Public Schools in Oklahoma.

 

Some key highlights of the 10.0 release to be unveiled at ISTE include:

 

  • Unified Classroom flows that improve teacher productivity – PowerSchool 10.0 delivers many new process flows across PowerSchool’s Student Information System, Online Student Registration, and Assessment and Analytics solutions. Users will experience an increased level of productivity with the ability to manage instruction, assessments, grades, compliance, administrative tasks, and collaboration in PowerSchool’s Unified Classroom Platform.
  • PowerTeacher Pro Gradebook – Designed and developed by teachers, the new Gradebook improves the teacher experience in managing both standards-based and traditional grading. It is a responsive, HTML-5 design that adapts to any computer or tablet to enable teachers to be effective anywhere and at any time. Easy-to-use charts/graphs provide a 360º view of student performance across all aspects.
  • Graduation Planner – Enhanced reporting capabilities allow for data to be accessed directly in a streamlined process. It allows district-level configuration of tasks to fulfill graduation requirements and keeps students on track for graduation goals.
  • Ad hoc comprehensive Enterprise Reporting – Users can enable the creation of custom reports that accommodate distinct data analysis requirements. Data can be viewed in a number of ways to more easily visualize and recognize significant and relative measures of data. Easier and streamlined reporting saves time and resources.
  • Enhancements to highly adopted Mobile App – PowerSchool is one of the top K-12 mobile apps across the App store and Android platform adopted by more than 5 million users. Updates include enhanced accessibility for all users including readers to accommodate disabilities. It also provides new personalization with the ability to turn trending indicators on or off.

 

“Working with more than 1 million teachers nationwide, we’ve seen first-hand the daily hurdle educators face in the classroom trying to utilize technology to more effectively manage instruction. PowerSchool’s Unified Classroom platform innovates with capabilities in the new gradebook that allows teachers to more efficiently conduct their daily tasks, manage complex state and federal compliance, adopt standards-based or traditional grading styles, while also helping inform teachers on instructional outcomes with insights into student performance and learning trends,” said Hardeep Gulati, PowerSchool CEO.

 

The release of PowerSchool 10.0 comes on the heels of the announcement of PowerSchool’s teacher survey, an independent third party survey of 800 U.S. teachers and administrators, intended to understand their pain points and needs as it relates to educational technology for the classroom. Some key findings include:

 

  • 97 percent of teachers agree that unifying classroom applications would allow them to spend more time teaching.
  • 96 percent of all teachers and administrators feel it is important to have a single online interface that shows student performance.
  • 67 percent of all teachers and administrators are looking for educational software and technology to help them save time.
  • 89 percent of teachers and administrators feel that personalized learning models need improvement.
  • More than 90 percent of teachers think it’s important for teachers and students to have access to technology in the classroom.

Visitors at ISTE can find PowerSchool at booth #1749 to learn more about the features of PowerSchool 10.0, the Unified Classroom Experience, and the PowerSchool teacher survey. Visitors can also enter to win one of 32 $1000 education grants PowerSchool will be giving away throughout the conference.

 

About PowerSchool Group LLC

PowerSchool is the #1 leading education technology platform for K-12, serving more than 57 million users, 20 million students, 36 million parents, and 70 countries around the world. We provide best-in-class, secure, and compliant online solutions, including a learning management system, student information system, registration and school choice, assessment and analytics, and special education case management. We empower teachers and drive student growth through innovative digital classroom capabilities, and we engage families through real-time communications across any device. Visit www.powerschool.com to learn more.

 

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SQUARE PANDA AND ANDRE AGASSI ANNOUNCE PHONICS PLAYSET TO IMPROVE READING SKILLS HAS BEGUN SHIPPING

 

Named by Mashable as one of the “coolest gadgets” at CES 2016, the Square Panda playset promotes literacy through “multi-sensory” technology; the Silicon Valley-based EdTech startup has partnered with The Andre Agassi Foundation for Education to advance reading readiness skills for young children before they enter kindergarten; Announcement was made by Square Panda CEO Andy Butler at ISTE 2016

 

SUNNYVALE, CA & DENVER, CO, June 23, 2016  – Today, Square Panda, announced ahead of the 2016 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference, that the company’s phonics playset has begun shipping and is available for purchase. The education technology startup that designs connected learning toys and digital games to fuel the curiosity of early learners is shipping the new playset, just as school is out for summer vacation so children can continue to improve their reading skills. The playset, which debuted at CES 2016, was named one of the “coolest gadgets for Generation Z” to come out of the international trade show. Almost thirty-five percent of incoming kindergarteners do not have basic language skills that are needed in order to learn how to read. And sixty-six percent of all U.S. fourth graders are not reading at grade level. Among students from low-income households, eighty percent score below grade level in reading.

 

“The only way to make real systemic change in a child’s life is through education,” said Andre Agassi, Chairman and Founder of the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education. “And the great thing about the Square Panda playset is that it introduces children to reading in a fun and engaging way at young age, to create a new generation of confident readers.”

 

Earlier this year, Square Panda announced a partnership with the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education and the appointment of Andre Agassi as a board member. Agassi is a founder of the Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund which was established to provide investors seeking both financial and societal returns access to the growth of America’s most innovative educational organizations.

 

“Square Panda is proud to join with Andre in his mission to bring quality education to every child in this country,” said Tom Boeckle, Founder and Chairman of Square Panda. “As a child growing up with dyslexia, I know how much of a struggle learning to read can be for some kids. That’s why I’m excited that our new playset is now available to improve early reading skills and unlock a child’s potential.”

 

The playset, which is compatible with the iPad 3 and later (including all iPad mini models) includes 45 smart letters that interact with learning apps available for download from the App Store. Available apps include “Letter Lab,” where children discover letters and sounds using a microscope; “Chameleon Word Creator,” which introduces users to phonics in a fun and exploratory way; and “Island Bowling” that helps build children’s vocabulary.

 

“We are thrilled to start shipping the Square Panda phonics playset, a groundbreaking reading fluency tool for for early learners that teaches phonics and alphabetic awareness in a completely multisensory way,” said Andy Butler, CEO of Square Panda. “The tactile experience that the playset provides, along with our fun and engaging learning apps introduce key reading readiness skills like learning the alphabet, exploring letter sounds, discovering rhyming and building vocabulary. We think that both parents and kids will agree that Square Panda rocks!”

 

Designed to teach, engage, and entertain early learners (ages three and up), the phonics playset uses connected letter toys and multi-sensory apps to explore early reading skills. Drawing from the latest research on phonics and multi-sensory instruction, Square Panda’s adaptive technology combines multi-sensory learning, humor, and exploratory play. Built upon proprietary hardware and software technology, its connected play-set adapts to recognize what a child is ready to learn and presents challenges to stretch growth and language skills.

 

Square Panda will be showcasing the phonics playset during ISTE (JUNE 26-29) at Booth #4104

 

The Square Panda phonics playset is available for purchase at: www.squarepanda.com.

 

To learn more about the Andre Agassi Education Foundation visit: www.agassifoundation.org

 

About Square Panda

Square Panda is an education technology company that creates educational products for children that inspire active learning and discovery. Through a unique blend of digital apps and connected accessories, Square Panda brings children rich multi-sensory experience that encourage learning and exploration. For more information, visit www.squarepanda.com.

About the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education

The Andre Agassi Foundation for Education seeks to transform public education in two ways. Through its signature project, the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, the Foundation works to provide underserved children in Las Vegas with a first‐class K‐12 education to prepare them for excellence in college and beyond. Through state and national advocacy, the Foundation strives to increase investment in, and accountability for, public schools. To support the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education or to obtain additional information, please visit www.agassifoundation.org.


PR with Panache! Will Host Carl Hooker’s Book Signing at ISTE 2016

The event, sponsored by myON, will celebrate the founder of iPadpalooza and author of the Mobile Learning Mindset series of books

 (MINNEAPOLIS, MN) June 22, 2016 – During ISTE 2016 in Denver, PR with Panache! will host a book signing by Carl Hooker, the Director of Innovation and Digital Learning at Eanes ISD (TX) and the founder of iPadpalooza.

On Monday, June 27, Hooker will sign copies of Mobile Learning Mindset: The District Leader’s Guide to Implementation and Mobile Learning Mindset: The Principal’s Guide to Implementation. The books are part of the six-volume Mobile Learning Mindset series, which offers practical knowledge and strategies for successful implementation of K-12 BYOD programs and 1:1 initiatives.

“These books are my way of sharing tips and tools to a successful mobile device implementation as well as pitfalls to avoid, and I’m looking forward to sharing them in person at ISTE,” said Hooker, who has been named PR with Panache! Thought Leader of the Year, Tech & Learning magazine’s 2014 Leader of the Year, and an Apple Distinguished Educator. “I hope that the Mobile Learning Mindset series can give some practical guidance to my colleagues who are navigating this momentous shift in the way we teach.”

The event, sponsored by myON, will take place from 5–6 PM at PRP’s Storytelling Suite at The Corner Office Restaurant and Martini Bar (1401 Curtis Street, Denver) EXO U, well known supporter of both Hooker’s work and mobile learning,  is a contributing sponsor for the event.

“We are proud to sponsor Carl’s signing,” said Todd Brekhus, the president of myON. “As an educator, he is not only devoted to his students, but he has dedicated himself to sharing what he himself has learned, whether through his iPadpalooza learning festival or through his series of books. He is a true leader in education.”

About PR with Panache!

PR with Panache! (PRP) is a bold, fast-moving public relations and strategic marketing firm for the education marketplace with an international reputation for smart, entrepreneurial communications, content marketing, product publicity, and brand awareness. Its success is built on the achievements of its clients. Its team consistently delivers explosive results. PRP speaks the right language as it expands client brands, supports PR and marketing, or launches new products through long-established media relationships. Recently named the Best PR firm in Education by EdTech Digest for the second year in a row, PRP is the premiere Modern-Day Storytelling firm for the education marketplace. To learn more, visit PRwithPanache.com.

About myON

myON, a business unit of Capstone, has created a personalized digital literacy environment that transforms learning. myON expands the classroom for teachers and students by providing unlimited access to the largest collection of more than 10,000 enhanced digital books with multimedia supports, real-time assessments, and a growing Literacy Toolkit that enhances the myON literacy ecosystem. myON empowers students and teachers with real-time, actionable data—number and type of books opened and read, time spent reading, results of regular benchmark assessments, and more—based on embedded Lexile® assessments that measure student reading and writing growth. With myON, every student experiences the benefits of personalized literacy instruction to propel them to new and unlimited learning opportunities. To learn more, visit myON.com.

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Odysseyware Releases More Than 250 New Courses Ahead of ISTE 2016

Leading curriculum provider responding to educator requests with 1,600 new direct-instruction videos, state-specific courses, enhanced assessment item types, and new lessons and projects

(CHANDLER, AZ) June 23, 2016 Odysseyware, a leading provider of dynamic,  individualized online courses for K-12 education, today announced its summer release of more than 250 new national and state-specific courses.

Just in time for ISTE 2016 and bolstered by Odysseyware’s new Search by Standards feature, these courses were created in response to educators’ demand for more personalized, flexible, and standards-aligned content. The new national courses include the following:

·      Odysseyware Grades 6–12 ELA and Math Fundamental courses;

·      Spanish III; and

·      Spelling 300, 400, 500, and 600.

Additionally, Odysseyware is launching more than 200 new state-specific courses designed specifically to meet standards in California, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

In conjunction with the new courses, Odysseyware is supporting teachers by launching 1,600 new direct-instruction videos; enhanced assessment item types; and new lessons and projects in Math 400–800, Science 600–800, and History 600–800.

“We take educators’ feedback and requests to heart at Odysseyware,” said Beth TeGrotenhuis, Odysseyware’s president and the CEO of its parent company, Glynlyon. “These new courses and supporting materials are part of our commitment to continuous improvement and providing educators the most effective and flexible instructional tools and resources to meet the needs of their students.”

Odysseyware’s award-winning platform is recognized as one of the leading providers of personalized and individualized learning resources available in education today.

About Odysseyware

Headquartered in Chandler, AZ, Odysseyware is an innovative, multimedia-enriched online curriculum. Completely web-based, Odysseyware provides 21st-century educational solutions by offering the core subjects of history and geography, math, language arts, and science along with enriching electives, CTE, placement testing, diagnostics, and professional development. This curriculum is sold directly through regional education specialists.

To learn more, visit Odysseyware.com or call (877) 795-8904.

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Texas Department of Information Services Adds itslearning to Statewide Approved List of Learning Management Systems

 

Cloud-based platform drives personalized student learning, improved curriculum management, professional development and greater district efficiencies

 

Boston, MA – June 22, 2016 — itslearning (www.itslearning.net), developer of the award winning personalized learning management platform of the same name, today announced it has been awarded a contract with the Texas Department of Information Services (DIR) that gives Texas school districts the assurances that they can now purchase the teaching and learning platform with the knowledge that it as been successfully reviewed and found to meet or exceed all of the technical requirements outlined by the state purchasing and procurement guidelines.

 

“This partnership is great news for Texas educators looking for a state-authorized purchasing solution that leverages the credibility of the Texas DIR,” said itslearning CEO, Arne Bergby.  “Not all learning platforms and providers are created equal and we have gone the extra mile through this procurement process to demonstrate just that.”

 

Designed specifically for the K-12 sector, itslearning is a leading, cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that enables teachers to more effectively engage and personalize learning for today’s “digitally wired” students anytime, anywhere and on any device.

 

As a student-centered learning environment, itslearning gives teachers, students and parents access, as appropriate, to course materials, assignments, communities for collaboration, professional development tools and student progress reports. Theplatform’s user-friendly dashboards give teachers a way to quickly and easily share instructional resources, assignments and activities, and assessments with students while informing parents via personalized dashboards.

 

At the same time, students have the power to decide how they learn as the platform enables curriculum managers and teachers the ability to offer students a voice and choice support learning styles that offer the best opportunities for success. A proprietary “standards mastery and recommendation engine” facilitates remediation, acceleration and review by automating the recommendation of resources and activities based upon standards mastery assessments. The recommendations are also tailored specifically to the individual learning styles of each student – regardless of age, ability level, interests or special requirements.

 

Bergby concluded, “More than just being positioned as a software platform provider,we also share a grander vision to enable educational transformation and draw on our extensive experience over the past 16 years in project and change management.  A key goal for us is to contribute and learn from the community of outstanding technology leaders to develop long-term partnerships that delivers best-in-class functionality to all districts so that they can keep their focus on elevating teacher efficiencies and facilitating student success.”

 

Texas administrators interested in learning more can go to http://dir.texas.gov/View-Search/Contracts-Detail.aspx?contractnumber=DIR-TSO-3425&keyword=itslearning

 

About itslearning

Designed for teachers and how they want to teach, itslearning is a cloud-based learning platform used by millions of teachers, students, administration staff and parents around the world. It can be found at all levels of education, from primary schools to universities, helping teachers make education more inspiring and valuable for today’s students. Established in 1999, itslearning is headquartered in Bergen, Norway, and has offices in multiple locations around the world. For more information, visit http://www.itslearning.net.

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Study Reveals Voyager Sopris Learning Key Factor In Helping Drive K-3 Literacy Gains in Mississippi

LETRS Professional Development Program Linked

To Students’ Significant, Steady Progress in state

 

DALLAS, June 22, 2016 – The State of Mississippi is witnessing significant improvement in children’s literacy, and one of the key contributing factors is Voyager Sopris Learning’s LETRS® professional development program, according to a recently released study. Voyager Sopris Learning’s LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) provides the deep foundational knowledge necessary to understand how students learn to read, write, and spell — and why some of them struggle.

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) study, “Strong Readers = Strong Leaders,” documents how the state’s Literacy Based Promotion Act of 2013 has had a major impact with steadily improving statewide test scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the nation’s report card. It further documents the integral role played by LETRS, which the MDE has used for professional development for its K-3 teachers beginning with the 2014-15 school year.

Since that time, Mississippi is the lone state in the U.S. to see increased reading levels on the NAEP, at a time when most states showed decreased levels. “NAEP scores are continuing to improve; we have stronger students,” the study concluded. “Promising practices and signs of momentum are emerging.”

“The state of Mississippi, and the many passionate people behind the 2013 Literacy Act, are to be applauded for tackling this important literacy challenge,” said Jeffrey A. Elliott, President, Voyager Sopris Learning. “We are proud to be a partner with Mississippi’s dedicated  educators,  working to ensure that all students are proficient in reading, and laying the groundwork for them to be successful in college and the workforce.”

As part of the LETRS implementation at MDE, teachers and principals attended a six-day LETRS training, in which they collaborated with the Department of Education’s literacy coaches. According to the report, more than 15,000 teachers and administrators were trained to help “connect training content to classroom instruction, relate scientific research and theory to classroom instruction, discuss research through interactive activities and exercises,” plus apply best practices to instruction.

According to the study, “PD is one of the fundamental drivers of organizational change, and at the school level, teachers and principals are the main targets for change. In the LETRS training, there is great emphasis on evidence- and data-based decision making. Unanimously the teachers agree that their professional learning has been advanced by the MDE’s literacy coaches and LETRS training.”

“LETRS explores the reasons why many students have reading difficulties and the ways children learn to read and examines the sequence of phonological skill development,” one MDE staff member was quoted in the report. A teacher said: “Before the training (of LETRS), I was lost; I was old-fashioned in my teaching.”

The eye-opening results have attracted the attention of other U.S. states – Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Tennessee and South Carolina– as they consider enacting similar such laws as Mississippi enacted. Under the guidance of Governor Phil Bryant, the Mississippi Board of Education’s vision was “to create a world-class educational system that gives students the knowledge and skills to be successful in college and the workforce.”

Recently, the Colorado-based Education Commission of the States awarded Mississippi the 2016 “Frank Newman Award for State Innovation,” calling Bryant’s legislation a “transformational education reform package that prioritized early learning reading skills…”

LETRS was developed for Voyager Sopris Learning in conjunction with Dr. Louisa C. Moats, a world-renowned literacy expert.

For more information on Voyager Sopris Learning, visit www.voyagersopris.com. For more information on LETRS, visit www.voyagersopris.com/professional-development/professional-books/letrs-second-edition/overview.

 

About Voyager Sopris Learning

Voyager Sopris Learning™ is an education partner committed to unlocking the full potential of every teacher and every student. We believe that the best way to meet and exceed standards in education is to address the underlying systems of teaching and learning, and to nurture those systems at their most fundamental levels. Our suite of instructional and service solutions is based not only in research but also in real classroom evidence, ensuring that every solution is as easy-to-implement and teacher-friendly as it is effective. We offer a variety of digital and blended instructional tools and assessments, as well as professional development and school improvement services, all of which are designed to help every teacher deliver nothing short of the highest-quality instruction to every student. Voyager Sopris Learning is a business unit of Cambium Learning® Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABCD), based in Dallas, Texas.

 

For more information, visit www.voyagersopris.com, or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

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CB&A Continues to Grow, Welcomes Account Executive
Reid brings wealth of education knowledge to CB&A and the industry

Madison, Wis. (June 22, 2016) – C. Blohm & Associates, Inc. (CB&A), the premier public relations and digital marketing agency for the education and special needs industries, announces the addition of Account Executive Lauren Reid. In her role, Reid will manage and support client relationships and visibility campaigns.

“Lauren’s extensive background in brand promotions, media relations and the field of education is a perfect fit for our clients,” said Charlene Blohm, Founder and President of CB&A. “Her understanding of the industry and application of related media strategies will benefit CB&A and its client family immensely.”

To read the full new release, visit cblohm.com. For more information, please contact me.

 

 


 Gryphon House Releases Practical Strategies for Supporting Young Learners with

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Lewisville, N.C. – The latest autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research joins time-tested

teaching techniques in a new book from Gryphon House, the award-winning publisher of

early childhood teaching resources. Practical Strategies for Supporting Young Learners

with Autism Spectrum Disorder, by Tricia H. Shelton, EdD, with contributions from Mary

Renck Jalongo, PhD, will be released in September.

The book, which focuses on helping teachers who work with students ages three to eight

with ASD or pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), recognizes the individual

strengths and needs of each child and offers solutions for teachers struggling to connect

with them.

“Autism spectrum disorder is a reality in a growing number of preschool classrooms,”

said Shelton. “Our hope is that teachers can draw on our experiences and strategies and

incorporate them into their classrooms in ways that fit their students’ unique needs.”

Practical Strategies for Supporting Young Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder is

available for pre-order now.

About the AuthorsTricia H. Shelton, EdD, has been an early childhood educator for 17 years, first teaching

grades one through three and later serving as an elementary school principal. She holds

a master’s degree in education and a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction. She

was a finalist for the 2014 Pennsylvania Autism Connection Temple Grandin Award.

Mary Renck Jalongo, PhD, is an internationally respected educator, author, presenter,

editor and consultant. She is the editor-in- chief of the Early Childhood Education

Journal, a position she has held since 1995. Since 2006, she has served as senior editor

of the Educating the Young Child series, published by SpringerNature. In 2015, she

retired from Indiana university of Pennsylvania after 37 years of service. She has

authored, co-authored, or edited over 20 books for various publishers including NAEYC,

Pearson, and Teachers College Press.

About Gryphon House, Inc.

Gryphon House, Inc., is an award-winning publisher of resource books for parents and

teachers of children from birth through age eight. Filled with developmentally appropriate

and easy-to- use strategies, Gryphon House books provide parents and teachers with the

tools they need to bring the joy of learning to young children. To learn more or to check

out the entire collection, visit http://www.gryphonhouse.com.

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Capstone Launches pivotEd to Deliver Teacher-Led Lessons

The new platform pairs award-winning content with more than 500 pre-built, on-demand lessons that cover science, social studies, and language arts for grades 3–6

(Minneapolis, MN) June 22, 2016 – Capstone, a leading publisher of children’s books, digital products, and services, today announced the official launch of its newest digital tool for schools, pivotEd.

pivotEd pairs Capstone’s award-winning content with more than 500 pre-built, on-demand, teacher-led lessons that cover science, social studies, and language arts for students in grades 3–6. The platform seamlessly connects educators and students in 1:1, device-agnostic, and blended-learning environments, putting teachers—not technology—in control of the lessons.

pivotEd empowers teachers to control the pace of lessons. With pivotEd, teachers can instantly lock, unlock, and deploy interactive lessons to keep students in the moment, and can also monitor students’ work in real time.

To encourage cooperative learning, pivotEd provides 13 different lesson types, including short lessons, “morning meeting”-style lessons, lessons focused on connecting content and literacy, and more. Lessons integrate literacy with content instruction and are designed to get students critically thinking about the text. Small-group activities encourage students to work together to accomplish tasks. Students can submit their responses using their devices, giving each an equal voice and an opportunity to engage in the group discussion at a level they’re comfortable with. Teachers then provide students immediate feedback via intervention and monitor lesson results without disrupting instruction.

The wide range of fiction and non-fiction books and e-books are leveled to fit individual reading levels and support Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, STEM, and state standards. All books and activities are also available in digital and PDF printable versions.

“Our goal was to create a tool that fosters 21st-century learning and the four C’s of creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. The abundance of readily accessible, high-caliber, interactive lessons on pivotEd do just that,” said Matt Keller, Capstone’s chief marketing officer. “Using our robust collection of trusted Capstone content to create pivotEd’s pre-built lessons will help save teachers time in building cross-curricular lessons and give them more control over 1:1 devices in their classrooms.”

pivotEd is fully integrated with Google Classroom, and includes professional development resources to help teachers successfully implement effective digital strategies in their classrooms.

To learn more about pivotEd, visit pivotEd.com.

About Capstone

Capstone is a leading publisher of children’s books, digital solutions and services, literacy programs, and K–12 professional development resources. Capstone creates content in a variety of print, digital, and media formats for school libraries, classrooms, and at-home reading. For more information, visit MyCapstone.com.

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New Study: Teacher Prep Programs Fail to Prepare Future Preschool Teachers  in Essential Classroom Skills 

Even many “Gold Standard” programs lack essential content that many assume is being taught 

Washington, DC — A new study from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) takes a first look at the inner workings of teacher preparation programs aimed at aspiring preschool teachers, discovering major omissions in essential content and best practices.

The study, Some Assembly Required: Piecing Together the Preparation Preschool Teachers Need, examines a large sample 100 teacher prep programs located in 29 states. All but 5 of the 100 programs lead to a bachelor’s or master’s degree—considered by many states and preschool advocates to be the “gold standard” for ensuring a well prepared preschool teacher. The study scanned these programs for their coverage of a range of topics accepted by preschool experts as essential: building language, vocabulary and literacy skills; introducing math and science concepts; understanding the development of young children; and being able to create a warm and productive classroom environment.

Kate Walsh, President of NCTQ, remarked, “While states continue to invest heavily in preschool, they too often overlook the quality of those preschools, and particularly their most important ingredient: the classroom teacher. It’s no wonder that increasing funding for preschool has yielded such mixed results.”

Walsh continued, “If preschool is as crucial as so many experts believe it to be, then training for preschool teachers must be just as important. Today, that is not the case.”

Examining how teachers are trained to teach our children is vitally important,” said Todd Klunk, program officer of Education and Learning at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “When educators receive the development and training they need to deliver high-quality early learning in the classroom, they’re helping to ensure that those children are ready to succeed in life.”

Big takeaways for states:

  • In many states and programs, preschool teachers receive training alongside of teachers heading to older grades, with the result that their coursework often marginalizes the content specific to preschool years.  In a typical two-year training program, preschool content is typically either completely overlooked or may be addressed in a tiny fraction of a single course.  For example, the average program devotes 2 percent of a program’s total coursework to language development.

  • States and programs should not assume that a BA or MA degree ensures that a preschool teacher is fully prepared.  States may need to be far more explicit about essential content or no longer allow individual programs to prepare teachers for so many grades.

Highlights

On language and literacy:

  • On the plus side, more programs addressed this essential content than other areas reviewed in this study, yet the coverage was by no means universal:

    • Four in ten programs fail to address how to build young children’s language, essential for closing the achievement gap between children of different socio economic backgrounds.

    • Almost no programs (20 percent) spend time learning about and practicing a central preschool strategy:  reading books out loud.

On mathematics and science:

  • Emergent math concepts such as comparing shapes, exploring patterns, andmeasuring objects should be introduced in preschool, yet fewer than half of theprograms (40 percent) require a course that includes teaching math to preschool children.

  • Only a third of programs dedicate time to how to teach science to young children.

On classroom environment and child development:

  • Despite the alarming and escalating rate of suspensions among preschool children, teacher prep programs routinely fail to evaluate student teachers on their ability to manage a classroom of young children.

    • Only 19 percent of programs hold candidates responsible for knowing how to redirect a young child who is engaging in disruptive behavior.

  • Strong executive function is considered essential to help children develop reasoning and focus their attention, and is associated with improving reading and math skills. Yet only half of programs (48 percent) evaluate student teachers on whether they help children build executive functioning skills.

For the study, NCTQ reviewed multiple data sources, with particular emphasis on outcome measures used to evaluate what preschool candidates know and can do upon completion of their student teaching. Sources included program’s course requirements, class lecture topics, required textbooks, assignments, and student teaching evaluation instruments.  The full study as well as policy recommendations and preschool teacher resources can be accessed here.

NCTQ is grateful to the W. K. Kellogg Foundation for the funding for this work.

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 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. To that end we work to achieve fundamental changes in the policy and practices of teacher preparation programs, school districts, state governments, and teachers unions. More information about NCTQ can be found on our website,www.nctq.org.

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myON Unveils Expanded Literacy Toolkit at ISTE to Further Measure Reading with Reading

New features include expanded personalization, updated search features, and on-demand Lexile® assessments

 

(MINNEAPOLIS, MN) June 22, 2016 – myON, a business unit of Capstone and leading provider of personalized literacy solutions in the K-12 marketplace, today announced new additions to its literacy toolkit and newly designed literacy environment, myON 3.3. Since its official launch in August 2015, myON v3.0 has reached more than seven million readers and has expanded its digital offering to more than 11,000 digitally enhanced titles with an extensive literacy toolkit and metrics, completing a first-of-its-kind Literacy Ecosystem.

 

myON 3.3, which will launch at ISTE 2016, is the first major upgrade to myON 3.0. The expanded literacy toolkit gives educators the freedom to create full assignments complete with book lists, writing prompts, and checklists—all within the myON platform. Students can now write essays and journal entries or use an embedded dictionary. New graphic organizers include KWL charts, Venn diagrams, and knowledge maps to help students and teachers take a deep dive into the text.

 

“Each new tool we unveil aims to focus on innovative approaches to measure reading with reading, not test scores. Our engagement tools and reporting features help educators track students reading, including when they’re reading, how much they’re reading, and how long they’re reading, creating an entirely new metric correlating Lexile growth and type of text to engagement level,” said myON’s President Todd Brekhus. “The idea to add graphic organizers comes directly from educators using myON as a complete literacy solution to improve reading and writing in one comprehensive environment.”

 

Features to be launched at ISTE 2016 include an updated version of myON apps available on iTunes and the Google Chrome Web Store, providing easy access to offline reading. Expanded search features now allow users to search for keywords and phrases. In addition, on-demand Lexile assessments guide teachers to assign specific students a Lexile benchmark quiz regardless of when the last Lexile measurement was taken. Monitoring benchmark assessments helps teachers to accurately track students’ literacy growth.

About myON

myON, a business unit of Capstone, has created a personalized digital literacy environment that transforms learning. myON expands the classroom for teachers and students by providing unlimited access to the largest collection of more than 11,000 enhanced digital books with multimedia supports, real-time assessments, and a growing Literacy Toolkit that enhances the myON literacy ecosystem. myON empowers students and teachers with real-time, actionable data—number and type of books opened and read, time spent reading, results of regular benchmark assessments, and more—based on embedded Lexile® assessments that measure student reading and writing growth. With myON, every student experiences the benefits of personalized literacy instruction to propel them to new and unlimited learning opportunities. To learn more, visit myON.com.

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Ogment by EvoText Wins REVERE Award and is Picked as Most Innovative Supplemental Education Resource by Association of American Publishers

Ogment described as “one-stop shopping for a teacher to create all the instructional resources” needed to benefit students

BURLINGTON, Mass. – June 21, 2016 — Ogment by EvoText has been selected as the most innovative supplemental education resource in the 2016 REVERE Awards. Ogment is a curriculum creation and delivery program that simplifies the process of developing and publishing lesson plans. The REVERE Awards is a well-respected awards program hosted by the Association of American Publishers, and every year, it picks the most outstanding educational products through a competitive, juried awards program. Click to Tweet

“In the past few months, Ogment has won three BESSIE Awards, won an SIIA CODiE Award, and now a REVERE Award,” said Johanna Wetmore, who created Ogment with her team of “edu-neers” at EvoText. “I want to thank our team who worked so hard to create a program that is a true solution to a need teachers and administrators face every day. It is an honor to be part of something that will help teachers and our education system in so many ways.”

Ogment is a curriculum creation and delivery program solving a real need in education today. Writing curriculum and developing lesson plans has become increasingly more complicated than it was only a few years ago. On one hand, the Internet is a boon because of the wealth of resources and information available for teachers to use in building more relevant and engaging curriculum. On the other hand, this same wealth of resources threatens to bury teachers with the burden of selecting, organizing, and using those resources in lessons that are suitable for their classrooms and aligned to district curriculum maps.

Instructional specialist, Bryan Sandala of Palm Beach, Florida described Ogment from a teacher’s point of view. “Instead of having a textbook in one place and then some digital component here and another digital component there, Ogment is one-stop shopping for a teacher to create all the instructional resources that are going to be most beneficial to their students,” said Mr. Sandala.

Ogment gives educators a way to quickly and seamlessly integrate web content with teacher-created material in the building of multimedia lessons and curriculum. Teachers can take any content from the web including articles, videos, and images, and with one click, pull them into Ogment where they are formatted and cited with Lexile® measures and other helpful teaching information. See Ogment in action.

About Ogment
Teachers use Ogment to make lesson planning and development easier. With Ogment, teachers in K12 plan and build lessons from web content, map courses, create assessments, and monitor progress. Ogment “edu-neers” are educators, engineers and designers who have been at the forefront of educational technology for the past two decades. Ogment is a subsidiary of EvoText, LLC headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts. To learn more, visit GetOgment.com.

About EvoText
EvoText is an educational software development house that develops custom eLearning solutions. EvoText’s experts have developed several of the most well-known, award-winning eLearning products for basal and supplemental publishers, schools and teachers. EvoText is headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts. To learn more, visit EvoText.com.

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Nureva announces Span™ 1.3 software

Plethora of new features increases ease of creating and importing content

Calgary, Alberta — June 21, 2016 — Nureva Inc., an award-winning collaboration-solutions company, announces a new release of its software for the Nureva™ Span system. Span 1.3 software, which customers receive automatically through the cloud, further enhances student collaboration in several key ways. Students have more flexibility in the type of information they can capture and more tools available to them within the Span application. It is also easier for students to use personal devices to contribute to collaborative activities. While many new functions have been added to Span software, its hallmark intuitive ease of use has been retained.

These software enhancements reflect Nureva’s commitment to rapidly and regularly deliver new functionality that enables and extends classroom collaboration activities in meaningful ways, based on educator input. For example, without exiting Span software, students can now capture screenshots from their web browsers and other applications. Canvases can now be duplicated to enable small groups to take their explorations in new directions or to serve as a template for future lessons. While Span software has always included auto-save to the cloud, students and teachers can now easily save versions of the same canvas during extended collaboration sessions, making it easy to look back at earlier iterations of their work. Students can also ink within groups to draw connections between elements. More note colors and ink colors add flexibility to enable easy grouping with powerful visual differentiation. A new text box feature allows for large-font headings and larger blocks of text, so students have more options for expressing and organizing their contributions. Collectively, these enhancements make the overall experience more intuitive and enjoyable.

“To guide our priorities for new functionality, we continue to deeply engage with educators to understand how their students work and what tools they need,” said Nancy Knowlton, Nureva’s CEO. “The new features in Span 1.3 software deliver on the priorities identified by educators as being essential to enabling student-led collaboration.”

About the Span system
Designed for use in a broad range of collaborative activities, the Span system is ideal for developing 21st-century skills including creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. The system uses a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model to enable collaboration on an expansive 40′ (12.19 m) digital canvas using familiar tools such as notes, sketches and images. Students capture their contributions using personal devices, either a computer or a tablet, and share them on the digital canvas in the cloud. The Span system transforms classroom walls into a 10′ 2″ or 20′ 2″ (3.10 m or 6.15 m) interactive panoramic workspace for small-group or whole-class collaboration.

Availability
In August Span 1.3 software will be available to subscribers at no additional cost.

Image
Download an image of the software in use.

About Nureva
Nureva Inc. develops education solutions that foster a joy for learning. The company focuses on delighting customers with simple, thoughtful hardware, software and services. A passion for deep customer understanding and a commitment to innovation drive the company’s product road map.
For more information, visit www.nureva.com.