VOLUME 39 / NUMBER 8
IDEAS AND TOOLS FOR ED TECH LEADERS
SAFET Y FIRST
HOW NE W TECH CAN PRO STUDEN TS IN SC T HOOL A ECT ND ONLI
NE GETTY IMAGES
See page 34 for more.
See page 26 for more.
CHANGING PEDAGOGY POST 1:1
25 READING SITES AND APPS
NEXT-GEN SCHOOL SAFETY AND SECURITY: USING THE POWER OF TECHNOLOGY TO PROTECT STUDENTS
By Tara Smith Student safety has always been a number-one priority. But because many of the menaces are more lethal and omnipresent than ever, safety has become an urgent and expensive challenge for K–12 schools. Four districts share their successful safety strategies.
KEY CHANGES TO LOOK FOR IN SCHOOL SAFETY TECHNOLOGY
By Steven Lahullier Many schools still need to move beyond metal detectors, local door alarms, and door intercoms or buzzers to keep schools protected. This article explains how to get started.
TECH & LEARNING LEADERSHIP SUMMIT REPORT
BEYOND THE DEVICES: CHANGING PEDAGOGY POST 1:1
By Matthew Joseph More than 50 education technology and curriculum leaders came together to learn, share, and make connections to support instruction in districts across the country. Read their takeaways on everything from emerging technologies, to digital leadership, to changing pedagogies. By Todd Dugan As anyone who has led a digital conversion knows, deploying the devices and software subscriptions is only the first step in the ultimate goal of edtech. Read how one district leader furthers the cause.
24 25 READING SITES AND APPS 26 BACK OFFICE BUSINESS: IMPROVING READING SCORES WITH EDTECH
WHAT’S NEW: NEW TOOLS FOR SCHOOLS
DEPARTMENTS & COLUMNS 4
EDITOR’S NOTE: BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY
12 BIG IDEAS: WHAT IS MEDIA LITERACY?; CYBER ROBOTICS TRAINING CAMPS; THE REAL MEANING OF PERSONALIZED LEARNING
Tech & Learning (ISSN-1053-6728) (USPS 695-590) is published monthly (except July and December) by Future US, Inc., 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036-8002 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Tech & Learning, PO Box 8746, Lowell, MA 01853 Periodicals Postage Paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices.
| A PR IL 2 01 9
note APRIL 2019
BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY
hile I wish otherwise, the topic of student safety continues to be the most pressing topic in education today. Whether it be physical surveillance on campus or virtual protection and prevention online, school districts large and small around the country are in continuous pursuit of new solutions. This month Tara Smith reached out to several school safety officers in her feature on page 16 to report on what they are implementing on a day-to-day basis. Some are using software services that monitor student online behavior 24/7. “Students know we’re watching and often we find these alerts are their cries for help,” says Christina Iremonger, Chief Digital Officer for Vancouver (WA) Public Schools (VPS). Others are attempting to control what and where students are accessing. “Teachers can engage and direct students and focus on educating instead of walking around checking screens,” says Rob McCartney, Director of Technology for Sioux Central (IA) Community School. But director of district safety and security Kevin Sutherland says it’s more than the tools.“Tech is great TECH IS GREAT AND and there are lots of collaborative tools THERE ARE LOTS OF and resources, but the force multiplier is COLLABORATIVE TOOLS empowering students, staff, and parents to AND RESOURCES, BUT take responsibility for their own life safety THE FORCE MULTIPLIER IS and to work together to create a safe school EMPOWERING STUDENTS, environment.” STAFF, AND PARENTS TO Franky, the Libertarian in me finds TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR much of this stuff to be a bit creepy—1984 comes to mind. But then the father of three THEIR OWN LIFE SAFETY in me brings me back to reality. If these AND TO WORK TOGETHER technologies can save the lives of children, TO CREATE A SAFE then they are well worth the investment. SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT.
— Kevin Hogan Managing Director, Content email@example.com
| AP R IL 2 019
VOL. 39 NO. 8
www.techlearning.com FOLLOW US
twitter.com/techlearning CONTENT Managing Content Director Kevin Hogan
firstname.lastname@example.org Advisors Carl Hooker, Andrew Wallace, Marianthe Williams, Steve Baule, Jean Tower, Hank Thiele, Jenith Mishne, Frank Pileiro, Patricia Brown, Phil Hintz, Ken Wallace, Rick Cave, Chris Aviles, Diane Doersh, Mike Jamerson, Rico D’Amore, Todd Dugan, Grace Magley, Andrew Marcinek, John Marcus, Laura Chesson, Jon Castelhano, Karen Fuller
Production Manager Fred Vega, email@example.com Managing Design Director Nicole Cobban
Senior Design Director Lisa McIntosh ADVERTISING SALES Market Leader Christine Weiser, firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Managers Allison Knapp, email@example.com Katrina Frazer, firstname.lastname@example.org SUBSCRIBER CUSTOMER SERVICE To subscribe, change your address, or check on your current account status, go to www.techlearning.com and click on About Us, email email@example.com, call 888-266-5828, or write P.O. Box 8692, Lowell, MA 01853. LICENSING/REPRINTS/PERMISSIONS Tech & Learning is available for licensing. Contact the Licensing team to discuss partnership opportunities. Head of Print Licensing Rachel Shaw firstname.lastname@example.org MANAGEMENT Managing Director/Senior Vice President Christine Shaw Chief Revenue Officer Luke Edson Chief Marketing Officer Wendy Lissau Head of Production US & UK Mark Constance FUTURE US, INC. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036
All contents © 2019 Future US, Inc. or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any other changes or updates to them. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. If you submit material to us, you warrant that you own the material and/or have the necessary rights/permissions to supply the material and you automatically grant Future and its licensees a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in any/ all issues and/or editions of publications, in any format published worldwide and on associated websites, social media channels and associated products. Any material you submit is sent at your own risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents, subcontractors or licensees shall be liable for loss or damage. We assume all unsolicited material is for publication unless otherwise stated, and reserve the right to edit, amend, adapt all submissions.
NEWS TRENDING ANDTRENDS THE LATEST NEWS & STATS AFFECTING THE K-12 EDTECH COMMUNITY
top10 WEB STORIES
75+ Professional Learning Opportunities That Will Make You Smarter Apply now for summer study, here or abroad—choose from over 75 different free or lowcost learning opportunities for social studies teachers.
| AP R IL 2 019
Take students to amazing places via Google Expeditions. Here are travel tips, lesson links, and project ideas.
Top 25 Sites and Apps of 2018
Google Tools and Activities for Art Education In addition to encouraging creativity, technology also enables students to explore and learn about art in new and engaging ways.
Award of Excellence Grand Prize Winners Read about the three innovative tools that won best use of edtech in the classroom, school, and district.
From ABCYa to ZooWhiz, here are learning tools for reading, comprehension, and language arts.
Learn about the products and services that, according to the country’s most tech-savvy educators, show the greatest promise.
25 Reading Sites and Apps
New Tools for Schools and the Best of TCEA
The Future of Field Trips
“Personalized learning must embrace the need to engage the interests of the individual learner.” —Steven M. Baule “As educators, we must take that next step—teaching students to problem solve and come up with algorithms of their own.” —Michael Gorman “The skills that you develop as a content creator are applicable across a wide range of disciplines. Creating content helps kids develop valuable skills and a growth mindset that will likely help them be successful in other areas away from the screen.” —Chris Aviles
Lots of tools on this year’s list from David Kapuler focus on STEM, programming, and coding.
Nine Top YouTube Channels to Boost Classroom Lessons Find those perfect, one-of-akind, just-right-for-your-lesson videos that make you think, “Oh, my students have to see this!”
N ew Math Tools and Best Practices Add Up to Positive Results Learn how new research-based edtech tools can help students learn now and also equip them to solve the world’s problems.
Top 50 Math Sites and Apps This useful list includes lots of math games for all levels and interests, digital scratch pads, videos, worksheets, and more.
TOP TWEETS Stephen Woicik (@swoicik): Takeaway from #TLTechlive Digital Literacy/Citizenship should just be Citizenship. Involving SEL as much as technology. #digitalliteracy #digitalcitizenship Frank Pileiro (@FrankPileiro): Biggest takeaway from T&L Marina Del Rey summit—all topics of discussion this weekend can be holistically put together to improve many aspects of SS experiences and education. #tltechlive
45 MILLION STUDENTS CONNEC
BUT SOME STUDENTS STILL MISSIN
A new State of the States report by Education Superhighway updates the statistics for their ong
98% of schools have the fiber-optic connections needed to meet current and future connectivity needs
1,356 schools still need fiber
The cost of K-12 Internet access has
declined 85% in the last five years
| AP R IL 2 019
CTED TO BROADBAND
going effort to connect every student to next-generation broadband.
WHERE WE STAND
2.3 MILLION 81,000
more students still left to connect
Existing E-rate funding is sufficient to
bring fiber to all schools at no cost to school districts
SOURCE: EDUCATION SUPERHIGHWAY
| A PR IL 2 01 9
THE STATE OF CYBERSECURITY: 2018 YEAR IN REVIEW During the 2018 calendar year, the K–12 Cyber Incident Map cataloged 122 publicly-disclosed cybersecurity incidents affecting 119 public K–12 education agencies across 38 states. Primary Incident Type •
Denial of Service
DATA BREACHES • •
• • •
Just over half of all data breach incidents were directly carried out or caused by staff or students. Another 23% of data breach incidents were the result of loss of control of school data by school vendors or partners. The remaining 23% of data breach incidents were carried out by unknown actors. 60% of data breaches in 2018 included student data. 46% of data breaches included data about current and former staff.
THE TOP TEN K-12 CYBER INCIDENTS OF 2018 • • • •
The K-12 Cyber incident Map has identified 418 incidents since 2016 involving public schools across the United States (as of January 29, 2019).
A Pennsylvania data breach put every one of the 330,000 teachers in the state at risk. A targeted phishing attack in Texas acquired W-2 tax forms for all district employees. A data breach at the Florida Virtual School led to the sale of student data on the dark web. A Massachusetts school district paid $10,000 bitcoin ransom to restore access to systems.
• • • • • •
Police raided a 16-year-old California student’s home in grade-changing incident via phishing. The FBI warned of the security and privacy risks of edtech adoption in an unprecedented statement. A US Senator called for federal aid after repeated denial-of-service attacks (DDOS) crippled districts. Former Chicago Public Schools employee stole the personal data of 70,000 school employees. A Texas district lost a $2 million school construction payment, which was diverted to a fraudulent account. The San Diego Unified data breach compromised the data of 500,000 students and staff members.
SITE OF THE DAY ANNENBERG LEARNER: INTERACTIVE PERIODIC TABLE OF THE ELEMENTS This site teaches the Periodic Table of Elements through orbitals, element types, electronegativity, melting and boiling points, and percent of the Earth’s crust.
| A P R IL 2 019
WHAT IS MEDIA LITERACY? By Carl Hooker
t a session on media literacy at #SXSWedu, one of the panelists mentioned that the term “media literacy” is really built around new forms of media. When becoming literate in film, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, social media, and so on, it’s about learning new forms of media. The term “literacy” still centers around reading and writing. Thus, anything listed as “media” literacy must be new. Merriam-Webster’s primary definition of “literate” ties reading and writing to literacy, though literacy can also mean “having knowledge or competence.” So “media literacy” would mean having knowledge or competence of the media. Another panelist mentioned that those who have an Alexa or Google Home need to learn and become literate in yet another form of media (AI). Many people add these tools, however, without learning how to really use or leverage
| A P R IL 2 018
them. They don’t think about the long-term consequences of a tool capturing their verbal data over time. Banning or turning away all new forms of media is not productive or a good long-term solution. Becoming literate in a tool means understanding the downsides as well as the positives to using such a tool. That’s what we need to be teaching students. During the event, I threw out a question about the term media literacy on Twitter, asking if what we call “media literacy” now would eventually become just “literacy” like reading and writing. The tweets in response all referred to how the term can influence certain thoughts. The idea that reading=consuming media and writing=creating media seems to make the most sense to me. Removing the term “media,” then, would imply that the person who has set up an AI home assistant would know how to “consume” it (e.g., have it play music) as well as “create” with it (e.g., have it add to a shopping list). This new form of literacy in the AR/VR world looks fairly weighted at the moment
to consuming literacy. We’re interacting and consuming virtual worlds or augmented material, but very few are actually creating in this space. As this becomes much more user-friendly through apps like ARMakr or Panoform, we’ll start to create with these tools and become more literate in their use. I’m beginning to wonder if the definition of literacy needs to be reexamined. It’s clear that, in the future, students (and adults) will need to interact with multiple forms of media. Becoming literate in those forms of media can only help to give them an advantage in the future workplace. Knowing that, we would be doing a disservice to our students if we don’t show them how to interact with multiple forms of media. Making them literate, thoughtful, empathetic and impactful members of society is one of the most powerful things we can do. Creating this literacy doesn’t happen without the right tools, teachers, leaders, and mindsets when it comes to using all of this “media” in our world. Carl Hooker (@mrhooker) is the Director of Innovation & Digital Learning at Eanes ISD (TX), founder of “iPadpalooza,” and author of the six-book series titled Mobile Learning Mindset, a guide for teachers, administrators, parents and others to support and embrace mobile learning in schools.
Screenshots from the CoderZ Online Platform
BRING THE EXCITEMENT OF LEARNING STEM AND CODING TO ALL STUDENTS WITH CYBER ROBOTIC TRAINING CAMPS How robotics training camps can help engage students and get them interested in technical education and careers. By Ben Smith
here’s nothing quite like a robotics competition to get young minds interested in technical topics. Organized by the Intelitek STEM and CTE Education Foundation (ISCEF), Cyber Robotics Coding Competitions (CRCCs) engage students in STEM learning by using game-based competitions that are both safe and fun. Pennsylvania participated in this competition in the fall of 2018, and more than 6,000 students from over 100 middle schools spent eight weeks coding robots. Approximately 46 percent of students taking part were female, 46 percent of participating teachers were from rural districts, and 12 percent were from urban districts. Challenged by limited time and money, K–12 school districts aren’t always in the best position to set up onsite robotics and coding classes for their students. Activities like CRCC are valuable
| AP R IL 2 018
for introducing STEM, coding, and robotics to a broad cross section of students. To overcome these challenges, a host of Pennsylvania schools are leveraging CoderZ, an online platform that’s helped them bring the fascinating world of robots and coding to a greater number of students. Here’s how you can do it too: Find an internal champion to lead the cause. To think beyond the basic K–12 curriculum and prepare students for today’s work world, districts need a champion to get behind the cause. This person can be tasked with securing grants that can be used to hire robotics instructors that support teachers in robotics implementation, for example. An internal champion can recruit teachers and administrators to get more involved and make events like CRCC successful. Offer professional development. In my school, students using CoderZ went on to compete in the Cyber Robotics Coding Competition (CRCC)
finals. After the event, there was a great deal of positive feedback from all involved. Because the CRCC was so successful, students and teachers were inspired to want more, so Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12 developed PD programs to help teachers get on board, be more comfortable, and be more willing to take on the challenge of robotics and instruction. also developed PD programs around the online platform, using the same tool the students use to introduce teachers to the concepts and prepare them to teach the topic. Weave robotics and coding right into the school day. This not only levels the playing field for all students—including those who may not have internet access at home—but it also encourages collaboration among students and creates an atmosphere of accountability. For example, students have dedicated class time to work on the coding/robotics program and were also given the links to access information if they wanted to go home and continue to work there. Foster a love of STEM across the board. As technology continues to make its way into the workforce in all fields, graduates need to be tech savvy and able to understand code. Teachers need to be talking to students about potential careers that involve STEM, creating project-based experiences for them, integrating robotics into their standards-based lessons, and fostering a love of STEM for both girls and boys. It’s all about encouraging student interest in engineering and science, developing students’ abilities, and stoking their enthusiasm for these opportunities. With more K–12 schools rising up to meet the STEM challenge, it’s a great time for all of us to embrace coding competitions, virtual robotics platforms, and other tools that are out there for the asking. The more we can do on this front, the more we can prepare students for success in school, in the workforce, and in life. Ben Smith is Supervisor of Educational Technology at Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12 in New Oxford, PA.
WHAT IS GENUINE PERSONALIZED LEARNING? By Steven M. Baule
ersonalized learning seems to be one of the key buzzwords in today’s educational lexicon. Just as ubiquitous access and engaged learning had their time in the limelight, “personalized learning” seems to be what many school leaders are looking for today. What does it mean? According to the Glossary of Educational Reform, personalized learning refers to a diverse variety of educational programs, learning experiences, instructional approaches, and academic-support strategies that are intended to address the distinct learning needs, interests, aspirations, or cultural backgrounds of individual students. It’s the opposite of “one size fits all learning,” where all students work through the same materials and take the same assessments. Many commercial software products tout the ability to personalize learning—in most cases by reviewing student performance data and then using a variety of analytics to modify the content provided to any given student. However, the individualization is usually partial, because only the student’s individual performance is considered, and not their interests. Many
virtual schools present themselves as being exceptionally good at providing personalized learning. Personalized learning must go beyond simply adjusting the instructional modalities used. It must embrace the need to engage the interests of the individual learner as well. Some examples of personalized learning include Khan Academy, the Loudoun (VA) Public Schools (which uses #LoudounPL to identify personalized learning initiatives), the Lindsay (CA) Unified School District, and the Winnetka Public Schools, where Carleton Washburne, the superintendent from 1919 to 1943, developed the Winnetka Plan, which provided an individualized learning plan for each child. The Next Generation Learning Challenge (NGLC) is trying to identify the most effective methods for the future of education, and personalization is one facet of their work. There’s no doubt that personalized learning will continue to expand over the next few years. The key will be how schools embrace all facets of their learners when making decisions about individualization. Steve Baule is an Educational Leadership Professor at the University of Wisconsin – Superior.
| AP RI L 2 01 9
NEXT-GEN SCHOOL SAFETY AND SECURITY Using the Power of Technology to Protect Students
By Tara Smith
he goal hasn’t changed: Student safety has always been a numberone priority. But because many of the menaces are more lethal and omnipresent than ever, safety has become an urgent and expensive challenge for K–12 schools. Next-gen school safety involves keeping everyone in school buildings physically safe, and it also means keeping them safe online. While threats from various quarters have multiplied in recent years, innovative technologies and cutting-edge solutions that can help educators keep kids safe are becoming more sophisticated and user friendly. As these case studies from districts around the country reveal, next-gen school safety is complex, nuanced, and requires a blend of technology and human wisdom. The stakes are high, and lives are being saved.
DISTRICT-SUPPLIED TOOLS = DISTRICT RESPONSIBILITY “It’s a district’s responsibility to monitor and keep kids safe when they’re using districtsupplied digital tools—whether they’re logging on at school or at home,” says Christina Iremonger, Chief Digital Officer for Vancouver (WA) Public Schools (VPS). With 24,000 students and 1:1 devices for all students in grades three through 12, VPS needed a powerful and effective solution to keep students safe online and to ensure that the devices were being used as tools for learning. “Collaboration and a flexible learning environment are very important,” says Iremonger, “but with Canvas as our LMS we had no access to what students were writing on Google docs, for example, and some students were using it as a chat room.” The team that Superintendent Steve Webb appointed to investigate various security solutions identified
| AP R IL 2 019
Students at Eisenhower Elementary School enjoy learning using edtech tools with Vancouver Public Schools’ Superintendent Steve Webb. Gaggle as the best tool to meet the district’s needs.
24/7 ALERTS AND SERVICES
“It’s worked out really, really well,” says Iremonger. “Gaggle provides 24/7 alerts and real people on the other side of the devices who are highly trained and skilled in looking at the context of potential problems. There are multiple levels of alerts, and they will email, text, or even call in the case of imminent danger. If no one responds, they will call 911 in a case of imminent danger. It’s very reassuring to know that there’s another person looking out for our kids, and we’re not depending on an algorithm to be sophisticated enough to protect them.” The idea of being on call to respond to 24/7 alerts can seem overwhelming to school
personnel who already work long days, but VPS solved the problem by bringing on a few people on supplemental contracts to handle afterhours calls. There aren’t many of these, says Iremonger, but it’s critical to be able to handle them when they do come in.” Local police have been 100 percent supportive, she says, and the school collaborates with local entities to provide wrap-around services as needed.
CRIES FOR HELP
Vancouver has had many incidents of students sharing inappropriate pictures, and families are always thankful to be contacted so they can work with their child. But students are also using the tool to ask for intervention. “Students know we’re watching,” Iremonger says, “and often we find these alerts are their
cries for help.” What this means, says CUSTOMIZATION AND SUPPORT Dana Selby, Career and Technical Sioux City also appreciates Education, is that “The power of Relay’s advanced reporting features Gaggle has been a sense of relief for and the ability to customize each some of our students.” Students know student’s profile as well as to toggle their drives are being monitored features on or off by grade level. for inappropriate material and calls Teachers can set controls to allow for help, and so when they use their certain sites in their classrooms. “It school accounts to make threats of makes it easier to manage the whole Sioux Central (IA) self-harm, or to send concerning class,” McCartney says. “Teachers Community School’s emails to friends, they know the can engage and direct students and Director of Technology, Rob district will respond. “With our focus on educating instead of walking McCartney. after-hours program we seldom hear around checking screens.” Parents the outcome once we’ve contacted can also opt in to receive weekly the crisis team or law enforcement, but we reports. Some features also help to make the have yet to receive a complaint about them devices personal, such as the ability to block being contacted. This tells me that families are Facebook during school hours and then allow thankful we’re looking out for their kids and students to log on when school is over. appreciate that we’re willing to do this any hour For all of Relay’s sophistication, “the of the day.” implementation has been a breeze,” McCartney says. It’s all cloud based and is a “set it and forget A COMPLETE AND it” solution to keep students safe. McCartney CUSTOMIZABLE SOLUTION also appreciates that Lightspeed focuses only on Sioux Central (IA) Community School serves education. “And their support is phenomenal,” 700 students, pre-K–12, in one building. The McCartney says. “They really care.” district is 1:1 with iPads, which students in grades seven through 12 can take home. The student CRIME PREVENTION THROUGH body is very diverse, says Director of Technology ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN Rob McCartney, with a unique mix of ethnicities Increasing student and staff safety was a major and quite a large LGBTQ community. focus of the 2016 school bond in GreshamWhile Lightspeed’s Relay satisfies the CIPA Barlow (OR) School District. Specifically, requirement to provide a content filter, it’s much more, McCartney says. “It’s a complete solution for internet safety for students.”
the district was tasked with three tasks: limiting access points to school buildings, installing modern equipment for emergency communications, and installing internal classroom locks. “We call it improving our SAT score—surveillance, access control, and territoriality,” says director of district safety and security Kevin Sutherland. Crime prevention through environmental design, he says, requires the kind of data-driven, third-party assessment that NewDawn Security and its expert team and principle, Sean Spellecy, provide. Sutherland himself brings credentials as a former Marine and law enforcement officer to this new position in the district. After NewDawn conducted a data-supported assessment, Gresham-Barlow installed intrusion alarms, video surveillance, and district-wide radio communications equipment. The perimeters of all schools are secure, Sutherland says, and every classroom will be equipped with interior locking doors by the end of the school year. Through its radio enhancement, the district can communicate with all schools and departments in a moment to change from normal to emergency operations.
THE FORCE MULTIPLIER
All of the best tech and equipment won’t make a difference, however, unless the protocols are simple and clear enough so that everyone
It’s also a life saver. When Relay picked up a student’s search for suicide methods, the district was able to get the student help immediately. “It saved that student’s life,” McCartney says with a catch in his voice. McCartney appreciates the innovative features of Safety Check, which sends screenshots of the actual search in addition to screenshots over the following five minutes. This critical context helps to determine, for example, if the student is doing school-related research on a topic such as suicide or if they’re contemplating action. Students need to be protected 24/7, McCartney says, because they’re connected 24/7. If they’re being bullied, for example, even at home they’re not away from it. Another product the district uses to help protect students is Bark. “We love it,” says McCartney. “It’s free to schools and scans district-owned G Suite and Office 365 accounts.”
Gresham-Barlow SD has installed district-wide radio communications.
| A PR IL 2 01 9
NEXT-GEN SAFETY AND SECURITY
Gresham-Barlow SD has installed intrusion alarms in all buildings.
making, as well as training in Standard Response Protocol (SRP) and Standard Reunification Method (SRM) from the “I Love U Guys” foundation. In addition, Gresham-Barlow has a collaborative relationship with Concordia University’s VR lab, where emergency technology is used in simulation training. Everyone, Sutherland says, is empowered to implement a “lockout, lockdown, shelter or evacuate” to respond to an emergency. Gresham-Barlow also held a successful town hall to educate stakeholders on their school safety goals as well as a tabletop exercise for key leaders and first responders using the FBI video The Coming Storm. “Tech is great,” Sutherland says, “and there are lots of collaborative tools and resources, but the force multiplier is empowering students, staff, and parents to take responsibility for their own life safety and to work together to create a safe school environment.” For more information about how to implement an active shooter drill, go to https:// www.opb.org/radio/programs/thinkoutloud/ segment/what-goes-into-planning-an-activeshooter-drill/ [Source: OPB, “What Goes into Planning an Active Shooter Drill?”]
POWER TO THE TEACHERS One of the features that West Rusk (TX) CCISD IT co-supervisor Cody Walker appreciates most about Impero Education Pro is that it puts power in the hands of teachers. With this robust, consolidated solution, teachers can manage and
set the safety policies that work best for them and their students in real time, including the dynamic list for key-word detection. “There’s never one single answer that works in every classroom,” Walker says, “and Impero is modular, so it’s easy to manage different students in different periods.” Teachers can see live thumbnails from selected machines, receive alerts of inappropriate activity, and address issues as they arise. Beyond security, Education Pro facilitates learning as well. Teachers can broadcast their own screen to every device in the classroom, for example, instead of to a whiteboard. With the basic training the district offers teachers, they’re able to set advanced policies. “It’s easier to learn Impero than to learn all the functions in Excel,” Walker says. Education Pro also makes it easy to manage information—so people have the data they need without being overwhelmed by what they don’t need. A lab teacher, for example, can see who logged into a lab, when, and what they did. That information can be shared and exported as needed. Thanks to remote monitoring and screenshot reporting, the district was able to thwart plans for illegal drug deals. The proper school staff were tipped off, the situation was monitored, and screenshots gave instant proof so the situation could be dealt with swiftly and discretely.
POWER TO THE TECH DEPARTMENT
As one of two tech department employees responsible for the 22-building district with
Gresham-Barlow SD held a successful town hall to educate stakeholders on their school safety goals. working in a K–12 environment can implement them under stress. A comprehensive safety plan, therefore, takes into account both the physics of things (the equipment and target hardening) and the psychology (operational protocols) used by staff interfacing with technology. All Gresham-Barlow staff receive training, as well as regular refresher training, in situational awareness, life safety, and option-based decision
| AP R IL 2 019
Impero Education Pro helps students and teachers at West Rusk (TX) High School and Junior High use their devices to focus on learning.
1,300 students and staff, Walker is delighted to give teachers the ability to manage these devices so they don’t have to call IT for every customization. He also appreciates Impero’s powerful functionality for managing the district’s devices. “The ability to pull inventory on a device is itself awesome,” he says. These functions save lots of time, and the power management tool, which enables the district to power off machines on a schedule, also saves power and money. “Education Pro has a whole plethora of tools that are useful for both administrators and teachers,” Walker says. “There’s never a dull day. We have to be general surgeons and on our toes, but we have great tools like Education Pro to help us. I can’t imagine the district running efficiently without it.”
TARGETED, STREAMLINED TRAINING AND ACCIDENT REPORTING In 2015, Adams County (CO) School District 14 (Adams 14) was looking for a simple, efficient solution to maintain compliance and to help teachers and students feel safe so they could
concentrate on teaching and learning. To solve the vulnerability issues surrounding their paper-based safety management process, the district decided to implement the EmployeeSafe Suite, an online risk management and school safety solution from PublicSchoolWORKS. The solution helped the district streamline staff training, accident reporting and management, and more.
Through a link on the district’s website, employees now complete an online accident report form that ensures they complete all pertinent fields. This helps eliminate the need for follow-up inquiries. Submitted reports are automatically sent to the district’s insurance company and to Regina Baca, Executive Assistant to Operations, Finance & Risk, for processing. All reports are stored online, and Baca says the system has also significantly decreased the amount of time it takes to process accident reports.
“The suite’s embedded automation features
Adams County School District 14 helps teachers and students feel safe in school so they’re ready to teach and learn. changed the way we deploy staff safety training and manage completion,” says Mark Langston, Manager of Educator Effectiveness. Employees can complete the tool’s online training course
NEXT-GEN SAFETY AND SECURITY
EmployeeSafe staff safety training has provided Adams County School District 14 teachers with more access to information about safety best practices. whenever and wherever they want—as long as they do so before the deadline. EmployeeSafe automatically updates online training transcripts and sends supervisors a report listing employees who still have outstanding training once the deadline passes. EmployeeSafe has also provided staff with more access to information about safety best practices. Because the training needs of classroom teachers, custodians, paraprofessionals, PE teachers, food handlers, and others are very different, the more than 500 courses in the online course catalog cover a large range of safety issues, including suicide prevention, chemical safety, bullying prevention, and more. Adams 14 has deployed dozens of additional courses to support
employees’ specific job responsibilities and help ensure they’re safe on the job. “We also use the online courses as improvement or remediation tools,” says Langston. He’s assigned courses, for example, to employees struggling with effective communication and to those who need additional courses on developing leadership qualities and positive workplace relationships “We have a solid library of content to pull from,” he says. “Security is a 24/7 task,” says Langston, “and with EmployeeSafe, access to proper training is available 24/7 as well.”
INTEGRATING SYSTEMS FOR EFFICIENT COMMUNICATION When the Walton (NY) Central School District needed to replace its PBX phone system last year, it chose a Cisco VOIP platform because its InformaCast integration would allow them to communicate with its roughly 1,200 students and 250 staff across three locations. “InformaCast provides us with a means to send emergency messages to multiple platforms and individuals with the click of a button or an automatic trigger,” says Walton’s director of technology and safety coordinator Rick Robinson. The district was able to incorporate existing hardware with new additions such as cameras, digital signage, Cisco VOIP phones, IP speakers, and door access control. “The most important aspect of the entire project was making sure all of our systems work
2018–19 SELF-HARM STATISTICS Many educators report that next-gen school safety solutions are helping them to protect students from self-harm. Gaggle’s new student safety report lists the following stats from the first six months of the 2018–19 school year: •F ive out of every 10,000 students threatened that they—or someone they knew— were planning a suicidal act or were engaging in self harm. •F our out of every 10,000 students shared child pornographic content on their school account involving themselves or peers. •O ne out of every 10,000 students planned a specific threat of violence toward others or their school. Gaggle found more than 51,000 instances of questionable content over a six-month period among its 4.8 million users, and identified more than 56,000 safety issues. Though they face an enormous challenge keeping students safe, if K–12 leaders have visibility into students’ online activity they can step in and take appropriate action to protect students from harming themselves or others—in some cases, preventing a situation from becoming tragic before it’s too late.
| A P R IL 2 019
together,” Robinson says. InformaCast gave the district the features needed to make sure all new systems, which weren’t meant to work together, could coexist and work well together.
COMPREHENSIVE COMMUNICATION IN EVERY SITUATION
This integrated system enables the district to manage alerts for 911 calls, lockdown situations, fire alarms, and door access control. “InformaCast allows us to track all 911 calls and distribute the information accordingly,” Robinson says. “When 911 is dialed, all members of that building’s first response team are immediately notified via email, text, or Cisco phone display and computer desktop popup. The message includes the name of the person who placed the call, a description of the device, as well as the time and date. This has drastically decreased our response time to incidents, as every vital member of the response team is notified at the same time of the call and location.” Similarly, the system allows them to send and receive notifications when a fire alarm is triggered. Email and text notifications are sent to members of the emergency notification squad with the date, time, and description of the emergency. Separate and distinct messages are sent to all Cisco phones, classroom desktop computers, smartboards, digital signage, and IP speakers, Robinson says. “A hold in place, or lockdown, can be triggered by any staff member with that shortcut on their phone or by dialing code for that emergency,” he says. In addition to displaying the alert on all school signs and devices, vital lockdown information is immediately emailed and texted to all members of the emergency notification team, who then contact the proper authorities. With InformaCast’s M2M feature, the district has integrated with door access control systems. Using a custom phone app, select team members can trigger lockdowns from their cell phones using two thumbs. Triggering any emergency immediately disables card access into buildings, except for members of the emergency response team and people who possess an emergency access card. The implementation of this technology has transformed the way Walton CSD attempts to keep the community’s children safe, says Robinson, and enables the district to focus on their main priority, which is providing highquality education in a safe environment where all students can flourish and grow.
KEY CHANGES TO LOOK FOR IN SCHOOL SAFETY TECHNOLOGY 22
| A P R IL 2 019
By Steven Lahullier
chool safety is a topic that’s of the utmost importance (and rightfully so), especially in today’s world. As there have been far too many tragedies in schools, it’s essential that school safety evolve to meet new and emerging safety demands. Technology can be integrated in many ways to provide schools with the necessary tools required to ensure a safe learning environment for all.
The focus here is on safety in the physical space of a school, rather than virtual threats such as cyberbullying, hacking, and data privacy. Many schools still need to move beyond metal detectors, local door alarms, and door intercoms or buzzers to keep schools protected. One concept that would improve safety would be a system to monitor students’ access to various areas of a school building. Such a system would involve a student identification card that a student would swipe upon entering and leaving the school building, classrooms, restrooms, and other areas. This would help with accountability within the school building but could take some time to adapt and could be costly. Data from such a system could be used to identify trends such as time out of class and could verify student attendance. A growing trend in school safety is the use of cameras and video recording devices. These could be deterrents in and of themselves, but they’re also useful for identifying safety issues in the school. While many schools already have this technology, it’s important to make sure that it’s working properly and utilized correctly. Regular testing and inspections should be done on camera systems to make sure blind spots are minimized, the system is functioning, and the recording are backed up and secured. Monitoring the visitors allowed into a school is probably one of the areas of highest concern when it comes to school safety. There are always people that need to be granted access to the school while students are in attendance—whether it’s parents dropping off medications, mail or package deliveries, or repair personnel. This is an area of high vulnerability that’s difficult to address. One solution involves intercom systems with video to identify entrants as well as additional security features. Sometimes visitors are asked to present identification, such as a driver’s license or other official identification, which is then recorded and stored while the entrant is still outside the building. While this is certainly not an infallible system, it can add an extra layer of security. Door security is another area where technology could be used to add security. Lockdown and active shooter drills are necessary, and there are many ideas that can be used to help secure a classroom in such instances. One of the simplest solutions I’ve heard about involves using an old six-inch piece of fire hose to secure the overhead hinge mechanism
on a classroom door so that the door cannot be forced open easily. This is an example of an extremely simple piece of technology that could be obtained for free and could provide an excellent layer of protection. Other similar devices, such as interior door latches that drop into the floor to prevent the door from being opened, serve a similar purpose but are costlier. Magnetic release and automatically closing/ locking doors are other possible solutions to ensure that every door is closed and locked. This system also has its issues. It’s important to note that the type of security device that would be needed would vary greatly from building to building, as the design of some classrooms will mean that such devices cannot secure the door. Exterior door security is yet another area of concern. While the entrance to the main office of the school can generally be more closely monitored, side doors and emergency exits provide another challenge. The main concern with these doors is that a student could open them to get out of the building or allow someone in. Due to fire code regulations, these doors cannot be locked from the inside. Local sounding alarms on these doors can tell building staff when the door is opened, but they do little to prevent someone from entering an opened door. Other options might include exit doors with a time-delayed opening. A person exiting the building when the doors are not open would have to hold down the panic bar for a set period of time. With properly integrated technology, the exit delay would give time for a local sounding alarm to go off, for the main office to be notified, and even for contacting the police department. While this would be a step in the right direction, it would have to be approved and reviewed to assure compliance with building and fire safety codes. Technological advances in school safety will continue to be front of mind in the foreseeable future. Ensuring a safe school environment for all should be a top priority for all schools. While there are ways to integrate technology to improve safety, unfortunately there are limitations and no one perfect solution exists. This opens the door and provides a challenge to innovators to step up to try to develop new and better solutions to help make schools more secure. Steven Lahullier is an elementary school technology teacher at the Robert Gordon School in Roselle Park (NJ) and a doctoral candidate in the Educational Technology Leadership program at New Jersey City University.
| A PR IL 2 01 9
| A P R IL 2 019
READING SITES AND APPS
Reading Raven HD
Hideout: Early reading
By David Kapuler
obile learning and BYOD make it easier for students to learn any core subject, especially reading. Here’s an alphabetical list of my favorite learning tools for reading, comprehension, and
language arts. 1. ABCYa—This popular site features educational games for grades K–5 in math and reading. Check out their Word Cloud app. 2. Actively Learn—On this site educators can flip a lesson, gauge student learning, and make any reading material their own by adding questions, annotating and collaborating, and more. 3. Adapted Mind—A great site for math and reading for grades 1–6 that breaks reading down into comprehension, spelling, and vocabulary. 4. Brain Pop and Brain Pop Jr.—One of the world’s most popular tools for students to learn different subjects, including reading, through animated videos. 5. Cookie—A fun site for younger learners with lots of educational games, puzzles, activities, and more. 6. Hideout: Early reading—This iOS app for
young readers helps them learn through a series of educational games and activities that focus on sounds, word recognition, and more. 7. IXL—A popular site for online curriculum in core subjects for grades K–12. The educational portal allows for student tracking to generate reports and differentiate instruction. 8. K5 Learning—An online reading and math program for grades K–5 with detailed results and reports. 9. Khan Academy Kids—A fun free app for ages 2–6 with resources in math, reading, and writing. 10. PBS Kids Lab—A great collection of games and activities to build reading and math skills for ages 3–8. 11. Play Kids Games—A site with alphabet, memory, and vocabulary games. 12. PlayBrighter—Learn any subject in these anime-themed games by completing educational missions. 13. Reading Racer—An innovative app that uses a mobile device’s microphone to listen to students read and compete in a race. 14. Reading Raven HD—With this iPad app, young readers learn letters and phonics and work up to reading full sentences. 15. Room Recess—A favorite site for educational
games in a wide variety of subjects including typing and reading. 16. Sentence Reading Magic—With this iOS app beginner readers learn to build and read sentences. 17. Sheppard Software—This site features games for reading/language arts. 18. Sight Words Hangman—This iOS app focuses on over 300 sight words and 30 word lists. 19. Skoolbo—This site for ages 4–10 focuses on math and literacy/reading skills. 20. Socrates—On this site educators can differentiate instruction through gamebased learning. 21. Sumdog—On this site educators can track student progress through game-based learning. 22. Super Teacher Worksheets—My all-time favorite site for educational resources in subjects including reading, writing, spelling, grammar, and more. 23. ThinkFluency—This iOS/Google Play app uses cutting-edge technology to assess reading fluency. 24. Time4Learning—Features resources and online programs in subjects including language arts/reading. 25. ZooWhiz—This site uses game-based learning to teach a wide variety of subjects such as math, reading, and spelling.
| A PR IL 2 01 9
Back Office Business:
IMPROVING READING SCORES WITH EDTECH GUADALUPE UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT LAUNCHES GIFTS OF LITERACY PROGRAM Guadalupe Union School District is tucked into the northwestern corner of Santa Barbara County, just a few miles from the California coast. The district was ranked the lowest-performing in the county when Superintendent Dr. Emilio Handall came on board. Recent projects to strengthen educational services include state-funded facilities improvements and a 1:1 tablet initiative for junior high students. To further encourage students and families to read together at home over winter break, the district launched the Gift of Literacy program, a new offering of digital books and news articles built around Renaissance myON Reader and Renaissance myON News, powered by News-OMatic. Guadalupe’s Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Gina Branum explains, “We wanted a hook, using programs that make reading so engaging that students would rather read than watch movies or play video games.” According to Branum, the results were immediate. “On the Wednesday before holiday break, students signed into their individual myON accounts for the first time. By early dismissal on Friday, they had logged 3,239 minutes reading. But more encouraging was that they continued reading over the weekend. From that Friday afternoon to 9:15 the following Monday morning, they read another 1,293 minutes and raised average Lexile scores by three points.” Handall states, “We know that the more students read, the more they learn and achieve. We want everyone—staff, parents, guardians, and the surrounding communities at large—to encourage our children to read at school, at home, over break, and every day.”
| A P R IL 2 019
LEARNING ALLY ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF THE GREAT READING GAMES Learning Ally has announced the winners of the 2019 Great Reading Games, adding the latest chapter to an inspiring story. The New Jerseybased educational solutions organization, whose mission is to empower students with learning differences to succeed in the classroom and beyond, initiated the Great Reading Games four years ago as a way to motivate and engage struggling readers, and has seen it grow in size and scope every year since. “The Great Reading Games is a fun, competitive way to promote reading nationwide,” says Terrie Noland, VP of Educator Initiatives at Learning Ally. “This event gets everybody going, especially struggling readers. Our data shows that students who participate read twice as much and three times as often.”
The goal of the event is to get students reading with frequency, which Learning Ally defines as reading for twenty minutes a day for thirty-three days, a critical tipping point shown to lead to improved academic and socialemotional outcomes. This year, more than 37,000 students from 1,600 schools competed in the Great Reading Games, and they read a record-breaking 12 million pages during the seven-week event. Top student performers win Chromebooks, headphones, and gift cards. Teachers win prizes and recognition for their schools.
LINCOLN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IMPROVES READING PROFICIENCY The New Jersey North Bergen School District, which has a 90 percent minority student body, mostly Hispanic, is challenged with improving its current 42 percent reading proficiency rating. To tackle this problem, Lincoln Elementary School adopted MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach (MVRC), from MindPlay. “At only pennies per-day per-student and very easy to use, it appeared to be the most cost-efficient and effective way to implement research-
a demonstration with actual Lincoln School student data along with an interpretation of the numerous reports produced through MindPlay. “Being able to see growth when the program is used with fidelity helped our staff gain a better appreciation of the value of this product for administrators, teachers and students,” she says.
OAK GROVE SCHOOL DISTRICT EMPOWERED TEACHERS AND ACCELERATED STUDENT GROWTH Amy Boles is Director of Educational Services for Oak Grove School District (OGSD), where over 70% of students are Latino, Asian, or Pacific Islander and nearly one quarter are English Learners. “Our students reflect a great diversity of backgrounds and needs. We’re always working to understand what they’ve come in with and where they can go next,” she says. Amid economic disparities, budget pressures, and decreasing enrollments, OGSD is striving to invest wisely and fulfill its mission of equipping every child to achieve their maximum potential. They chose i‑Ready, citing its ability to pinpoint students’ placement across domains and then build out an appropriate learning progression, its coverage of K–8, and its overall ease of use. The goal during OGSD’s multi-year implementation has been getting solid data and helping teachers to use that data to inform instruction. Since adopting i‑Ready, Oak Grove’s proficiency rates as measured by the SBAC have increased 8 percentage points in Mathematics and 7 percentage points in ELA. Year 3’s third graders, who had used i‑Ready for the largest portion of their schooling, delivered the biggest grade-level improvement yet: their SBAC results reflected an increase of 13 and 10 percentage points in Mathematics and ELA, respectively, for Grade 3 since adoption of the program. A performance gap between OGSD and other districts in Santa Clara County has begun to close in both subjects: a 14-point spread in Mathematics has narrowed to 10 points.
based instruction for our struggling readers,” says Gloria Vazquez, Dyslexia therapist and teacher. After just three months of use, the school saw a 16 percent gain in reading proficiency for grade one students, a 41 percent gain for grade two, a 29 percent gain for grade three and a 36 percent gain for grade four learners. Additional results from that same time frame show a five percent decrease in students testing as Critical (students who started the program two or more grade levels below their current grade), and one student even exceeding grade level, where previously there were none. Working at fidelity, some students have increased their reading by one entire grade level in three months. Vazquez thanks the MindPlay Professional Development Team for their “extremely valuable introductory training session.” This session included
| A PR IL 2 01 9
ATTENTION CLASS Classrooms Embrace IP, Enhanced Intelligibility, and Support for Distance Learning By Margot Douaihy
alk onto any college campus and the optics will tell a story. Trends in BYOD, distance learning, and active learning are dramatically changing how classrooms operate. Expect to see teachers and students moving from seats to smartboards to reconfigurable huddles. While learning spaces look different than the chalky classrooms of yore, the core objectives remain the same. The success of any learning experience—on-site or virtual— depends on the ability to share ideas clearly and easily. If a student cannot see materials or hear properly, learning processes will be severely compromised. Video is usually the first thought in the classroom technology discussion, but uniform audio coverage is absolutely critical to student success. New IP-based developments and industry standards promise to bring more audio fidelity into classrooms large and small.
ACOUSTIC FUNDAMENTALS Justin Rexing, CTS-D, ISF-C, DMC-E-4K, audiovisual systems engineer at Western Kentucky University, is passionate about technologies for learning spaces. He asserts that the most challenging part of the classroom audio equation is—ironically—education. Rexing, who is also the owner of the Rexing Consulting Group, believes we need to inform end users about room acoustics and how it affects the selection of a microphone as part of an audio system. He shared an example: “We have end users who request a sensitive, headworn mic to be used in a room where RT60 is simply terrible. [RT60 is a measurement of how long it would take a sound to decay 60 dB in a large room.] Just a little amount of gain creates problems, even with the proper DSP configured with the proper speaker design. For a noisier room, we would suggest using a handheld-based mic that is less sensitive if no acoustical treatment is being considered.” Addressing acoustics and alerting
| A P R IL 2 019
stakeholders early in the process are of paramount importance, especially in older rooms. End users or venue managers need to understand the relationship between the return on investment for an audio system as it pertains to speech intelligibility. When Rexing specifies amplified audio in a room, he follows industry best practices. “TV speakers are wildly inconsistent,” he said, “and you never know what your quality will be from a consumer or pro-grade display from model to model. When we do provide amplified audio in rooms, it helps to follow the AVIXA standards for audio coverage uniformity.” While specifics are decided on a case-by-case basis, contingent on seating and ambient noise levels, Rexing generally uses amplification in auditorium-style rooms or larger.
AUDIO AFFECTS UX, SO DON’T CHANCE IT Rexing encourages using modeling software to ensure predictable results, even on “simple” 30by 30-foot rooms or huddle spaces. “The right amplified audio system makes a difference for the user experience,” he added. “If you are not going to do it right, then you might as well not even do it. Nothing is worse than spending money on something that doesn’t work with the room.” AtlasIED offers all the pieces of the classroom audio puzzle, such as ceiling speakers and intercom, but Gina Sansivero, the company’s vice president of marketing and corporate communications, pointed to the new IPX speakers as reflections of key trends: enhanced intelligibility and IP flexibility. “They have improved intelligibility—market-leading intelligibility, as far as IP speakers go,” Sansivero said. They also incorporate visual displays. The IPX line can be used with existing infrastructure, another benefit of nextgeneration, network-ready systems. If category cable has already been run, the AV professional can add the IPX onto the network, and it autoregisters.
FUTURE FEATURE: ARTICLE REPRINTED FROM SYSTEMS CONTRACTOR NEWS (APRIL 2019), PART OF THE FUTURE FAMILY OF PUBLICATIONS
“Not only is it great for classroom audio, it can be used with audio reinforcement,” Sansivero said. Installers can also tie IPX into critical alert and life safety systems, and it can be used with third-party software like Cisco.
MULTIPURPOSE CLASSROOMS Sansivero added that the IP-based approach can streamline setup, and it supports multi-
use applications. “That’s part of where we see classroom audio going—in a more nimble direction,” she opined. IP speakers, like AtlasIED IPX endpoints, allow for two-way communication so users can both hear signals and seamlessly send information back. “That’s what higher ed and K-12 users are looking for: dynamic, multi-use systems that will give them the sound they need with no quality
tradeoff, but also the flexibility to coordinate with life safety, critical alerts, emergency communications, and mass notification.”
AUDIO FOR DISTANCE LEARNING As online models—including asynchronous and flipped—become more popular, classroom designs are adapting. In some cases, the shift to
At the Boston University School of Law, each of the Sumner M. Redstone Building’s classrooms, practice courtrooms, and seminar rooms are equipped with Biamp’s Tesira DSP to enable webcasting for remote learning and record-and-playback capabilities. HB Communications managed this integration project.
| A PR IL 2 01 9
AtlasIED’s IPX Series uses existing IT infrastructure for convenience and cost savings, and it offers auto provisioning once it is on the network. “Talk to Me” interoperability ensures the IPX units can work within any VoIP system, as they are open-platform engineered to communicate and be controlled by the top-selling providers of unified communications software platforms and standard SIP PBX systems. distance learning can counter some of the budget shortfalls due to dropping enrollment. Flex-use and multi-use classrooms can support more modular designs, morphing when and where needed; a morning class might include distance learners, while the afternoon course may consist exclusively of on-site students. No matter what the setup, audio quality must stay consistent. Every seat should be the best seat in the house. According to Joe Andrulis, executive vice president of corporate development at Biamp, smart audio systems can bridge on-site and virtual learners. Audio reinforcement is often needed for an instructor, and when there is a remote component, support needs to be extended “so virtual students can still be part of the classroom experience,” Andrulis explained. One challenge in the contemporary classroom is providing audio coverage for distance learners if a professor is moving around a large classroom. Lecturers are no longer stationary or fixed behind lecterns; they might work on smartboards, demo a 3D-printing skill, or engage with students in smaller groups. “For that scenario, we’ve been focusing on— and this is true for both corporate environment conferencing and distance learning— microphones to support the speakers’ interests without being encumbered or worrying about microphone placement.” The goal is to deliver
| A P R IL 2 019
an audio experience for distance students that is just as good as it would be if they were hearing the material in situ. Andrulis explained that the technology in Biamp’s dynamic beamtracking microphones trace an active user as they move around a space. The solution picks up other participants, too. If a student asks a question, the mics can zero in and capture her voice. Even if a teacher turns away from students to write on a board, or the room doesn’t have great acoustics, the coverage should be consistent.
SOFTWARE-DRIVEN AUDIO As with other elements of the AV ecosystem, including UCC and VoIP phone systems, software-based updates can extend audio products’ longevity, efficiency, and economy. Some technology managers are still reticent about distributing media from one classroom— or satellite branch—to another, but the interest is growing in centrally managed systems remote access. The ability to push firmware updates and monitor audio endpoints via a network promises to save time.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ONLINE AtlasIED www.atlasied.com AVIXA AV/IT Infrastructure Guidelines for Higher Education www.avixa.org/standards/currentstandards/av-it-infrastructureguidelines-for-higher-education AVIXA Standards for Uniform Audio Coverage www.avixa.org/standards/audiocoverage-uniformity-in-enclosedlistener-areas Biamp www.biamp.com Steelcase Education Insights + Applications Guide www.steelcase.com/eu-en/
AUDIO AND ACCESSIBILITY
Higher education stakeholders, from professors to technologists, are tasked with cultivating inclusive environments where all students
University of Minnesota administrators sought to upgrade the audiovisual equipment in Rapson and Willey Halls, with the goal of providing students and instructors with a more immersive academic experience. Biamp’s Tesira was integrated as it is a scalable solution.
feel welcome. AV is leveling the field for many nontraditional or differently abled students. Wireless collaboration systems and voiceactivated interfaces, for example, can help make classrooms more conducive to various learning and teaching styles. While some students may be initially shy about using microphones in
a larger classroom or lecture hall, personal audio presents alternatives to raising hands. “A microphone can dramatically increase engagement because it is so straightforward,” said Andrulis. The idea then is to extend this mic sensibility to off-site participants so they can ask questions
remotely just as if they were sitting in the space. “They can digitally raise their hands,” he said. “There are many possibilities for audio now— how it can encourage richer conversations within classrooms.” Margot Douaihy is a writer, editor, and storyteller.
| A PR IL 2 01 9
SUMMIT REPORT A DISTRICT-LEVEL LOOK AT INNOVATION IN Kâ€“12
| A P R IL 2 019
Strategies for K-12 Technology Leaders Tech & Learning Leadership Summit Report
A DISTRICT-LEVEL LOOK AT INNOVATION IN K–12 By Matthew X. Joseph
his past March, more than 50 education technology and curriculum leaders came together to learn, share, and make connections to support instruction in districts across the country. From Boston, Houston, Seattle, and everywhere in between, leaders converged in Marina Del Rey, California, to collaborate. The Tech & Learning team planned a robust agenda that was a mix of content, connections, site visits, learning about new products, and opportunities for district-level leaders to share their challenges and successes as they strive to improve teaching and learning. The Tech & Learning Summit was not just a technology event, but a leadership event.
USING TECH TO SUPPORT SOCIAL EMOTIONAL WELLNESS Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a growing Dr. Street shows attendee Randy Rodgers the VR experience from USC Shoah.
Slide from Dr. Street of USC Shoah Foundation’s presentation
concern for districts across the country, and tech can be a powerful tool to support the social emotional health of students. With this in mind, Tech & Learning started the Summit with a visit to Headspace (https:// my.headspace.com), creator of the popular mindfulness app. Headspace has one mission: to improve the health and happiness of the world. And with millions of users in more than 190 countries, they are well on their way to achieving this goal. Headspace founder Andy Puddicombe, who’s in his early twenties, cut his sports
science degree short to become a Buddhist monk. Over time, he started a meditation consultancy and began working with politicians, athletes, and business leaders. Andy then met Rich Pierson, who needed help dealing with the stress of the advertising world. Before long, Andy and Rich were skill-swapping meditation for business advice. That’s how Headspace was born. Tech & Learning Summit participants heard the Headspace story, took time to experience a mindfulness exercise, and saw the inner workings of a start-up focused on design
| A PR IL 2 01 9
Visit to Headspace thinking. Headspace challenges every employee to bring their unique lens to their projects. The building is equipped with work spaces, quiet cubicles, Ping-Pong tables, popcorn makers, swings, a full kitchen (with snacks), and many other items that allow the staff to create, collaborate, and build. Group thinking and design organization were on full display. Tech & Learning Summit participants saw Headspace’s creativity and freedom and began talking about how to bring those strategies back to a school setting. Supporting SEL and giving participants an inside look into a start-up was the perfect way to kick off the Summit. The conversations that followed the Headspace visit focused on creating learning environments where teachers are supportive, students are inspired, and children care about one another. Students and staff must feel safe when working together to solve challenging problems. Headspace is one example of how technology can help cultivate this kind of environment.
| A P R IL 2 019
USING TECH TO CULTIVATE EMPATHY Day two of the Summit kicked off with a presentation from Dr. Kori Street, Senior Director of Programs and Operations for the USC Shoah Foundation, founded by Steven Spielberg. Dr. Street gave a demonstration of their archive of video testimonials of genocide survivors—from the Holocaust to modern-day accounts. What started out looking like an archive of history videos turned out to be an experience the participants were not expecting. Attendees learned that the visual history archive is an online portal that allows users to search through and view 55,000 audiovisual testimonies of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides. The testimonies have all been catalogued and indexed. The highlight of these testimonials came when attendees “met” Tola Pinkus, a Holocaust survivor who spent dozens of hours recording replies to thousands of possible
questions. Through technology that involved natural speech recognition and enhanced video recording techniques, viewers had the opportunity to interact with this “interactive biography,” asking Pinkus questions ranging from “what did you eat?” to “can you sing us a song?” The experience of having a conversation with Pinkus gave viewers a more personal connection with their experience. To create this experience, the USC Shoah Foundation partnered with the late Dr. J. Michael Hagopian to use current technologies and green-screen tools to film Pinkus’s stories and digitally archive all the interviews. The Shoah Foundation then used coding and software to identify keywords, so Pinkus’s answers would match the questions asked. Individuals can still watch the full interview in its entirety. But using the Q&A process allows learners to interact with the individuals, see mannerisms, observe personalities, and begin to take a true interest in learning more. Dr. Street shared that approximately 1,200
English-language testimony videos from survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust, 10 from survivors and witnesses of the genocide in Rwanda, and 12 from survivors of the Nanjing Massacre, are available. To learn more about this amazing free resource, visit https://sfi.usc.edu/.
TAKING LESSONS BACK TO OUR DISTRICTS It was obvious by high level of participation that the sessions hit the mark. One common theme across all of the presentations was a focus on the process, or journey, of learning rather than the final product. The breakout sessions were based on a “students-first” idea— everything else simply follows and supports the learning. The true power of Tech & Learning events is the connections. This was on full display in Marina Del Rey. The connections with new and long-standing district leaders support the ebbs and flows of education and technology implementation. It was inspiring to see the incredible passion and inspiration of the participants. In Dr. Street’s presentation, she said, “It is not high tech, low tech, or no tech that makes an impact on learning. It is about the people and the testimonials.” The Marina Del Rey event was rooted in sharing, connection, and taking knowledge back to districts to support learning and student growth through innovative ideas and strategies. Dr. Matthew X. Joseph (@ MatthewXJoseph) is Director of Digital Learning and Innovation for Milford Public Schools, Milford, MA.
TAKEAWAYS FROM SMALL-GROUP DISCUSSIONS After Dr. Sreet’s presentation, attendees broke into small groups for discussions covering a variety of topics. Here are some highlights: Emerging Technologies Take-away: Independent initiatives are starting to come together in the world of education. The fusion of cross-curricular skills such as SEL, diversity, and citizenship are all being supported with technology to engage students and teachers. Data Privacy Take-away: Too often, people consider data security as a single topic. By breaking this topic into more granular components, such as data privacy, security, and identity management, district leaders across departments can work together to address related needs and issues. Digital Citizenship Take-away: It’s no longer “digital citizenship” but just citizenship! Digital is the world we live in now. It comes down to teaching citizenship. Changing Pedagogy Take-away: Tools such as Makey Makey, Ozobot, Bee-Bots, Dash and Dot, and maker spaces, as well as organizations like Destination Imagination, push learning to more than just scope and sequence and integrate content creation as part of the learning. Blended Learning Take-away: Edtech tools are more effective when they match the learning goals. Starting with the pedagogy and then adding the most appropriate edtech tools will enhance learning. Learning Spaces Take-away: We need to start adding furniture into classrooms that, rather than causing restrictions, helps teachers to use their spaces to improve instruction. STEM Instruction Take-away: We need a system-wide approach to embed technology throughout the curriculum instead of teaching it in isolation.
USC Shoah Foundation's Interactive Biography, Tola Pinkus, a Holocaust survivor
Dr. Kori Street, Senior Director of Programs and Operations for the USC Shoah Foundation
| A PR IL 2 01 9
By Todd Dugan
or several years, the infusion of technology into education has been occurring at dizzying speed, often at a 1:1 scale. However, as anyone who has led a digital conversion knows, deploying the devices and software subscriptions is only the first step in the ultimate goal of edtech—changing the pedagogy of the classroom teacher for the better. I speak from firsthand experience when I say that it can feel like the mission has been accomplished after the completion of the initial implementation. Given the substantial amount of community support, funding, infrastructure upgrades, and professional development required to complete the initial rollout, many schools view this feat as the endgame, rather than the beginning. Sadly, if a fundamental shift in classroom instruction does not occur, what schools have actually accomplished is the conversion of a low-performing (or high-performing) school into a digital low-performing (or high-performing) school. If the devices are being used to run low-level apps (digital flash cards) or automated remediation programs, or worse, if they serve as $200 note-takers, fundamental instruction has not changed. If, in the words of Wisdom Amouzou, the Executive Director of Denver’s Empower Community High School, devices are being used to “kill and drill” instead of “code and create,” schools have only exacerbated the digital inequity that existed prior to their digital learning initiative. At a recent Tech & Learning Leadership Summit, edtech leaders considered follow-up
| A P R IL 2 019
BEYOND THE DEVICES: CHANGING PEDAGOGY POST 1:1
steps to a 1:1 initiative. Two prominent case studies from two innovative and tech-ready school districts were featured. The first district, Community Consolidated School District 59 (CCSD59) in the northwestern Chicago suburb of Mount Prospect, Illinois, demonstrated how their district had adopted four new learning priorities in response to the district’s successful technology integration initiative. These four focus points are successfully changing the pedagogy of teachers in this district: 1) higherlevel thinking, 2) student agency, 3) authentic work, and 4) technology infusion. The result has been “nothing short of a paradigm shift in how instruction and services are delivered,” according to CCSD59 Superintendent Dr. Art Fessler. This innovative district is answering the question “What happens after the technology is deployed?” with a resounding, “Keep innovating.”
In a district that has been 1:1 and even 2:1 (two devices per student) for years, the focus after deployment has been on using that technology to find ways to transform the pedagogy into a highlevel, student-centered approach. In the latter half of the breakout, a second case study from the Wichita Falls School District in Wichita Falls, Texas told another tale of successful post-deployment innovation in the classroom. As curriculum and technology continue to develop their symbiotic relationship, it’s natural to expect a transformation of classroom instruction. As technology integration was achieved, Wichita Falls prioritized continual improvement of “successful” integration. The result was a shift toward making learning visible by branding the district and ensuring learning occurred in “connected classrooms.” Connected classrooms offer collaborative learning, flexible seating arrangements, and innovative lessons. Wichita Falls administrators also stressed that teachers are encouraged to take chances without fear of failure. These priorities have led to an increase in the number of classrooms addressing the 4 Cs of 21stcentury learning: communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration. An analysis of these two case studies reveals similarities and differences in their approaches to innovation beyond the devices. But these districts both embody the spirit of innovation because they’re free from the fear of taking risks. Many years have passed since the very first district took a chance and deployed digital devices to every student in the district, but the capacity for positive change seen in Illinois and Texas means that the spirit of K–12 education technology innovation is alive and well! Todd Dugan is superintendent of Bunker Hill (IL) Community School District #8.
IN A DISTRICT THAT HAS BEEN 1:1 AND EVEN 2:1 FOR YEARS, THE FOCUS AFTER DEPLOYMENT HAS BEEN ON USING THAT TECHNOLOGY TO FIND WAYS TO TRANSFORM THE PEDAGOGY INTO A HIGHLEVEL, STUDENTCENTERED APPROACH.
| AP RI L 2 01 9
ESTABLISHING COMMUNITY SCHOOL ZONES TO REDUCE STUDENT MOBILITY By Tara Smith
esearch shows that every time a student changes schools they lose weeks, if not months, of instruction. Students in 14 urban schools in Rapides Parish in Alexandria, Louisiana were losing too much instruction time for this reason. Crime and poverty are high in some areas of Alexandria, explains Luke Purdy, director of technology, and families are “very, very mobile.” The district sometimes loses track of students when their parents fail to re-enroll them after moving to a new apartment in the city. The district resolved to help these students and stabilize their student population. With the help of Google Maps, the district determined that, at 7:30 a.m., it takes less than 10 minutes to drive between the two district schools that are farthest apart. As a change in policy, district leaders considered letting students remain in the same school regardless of where they moved within the community. This is how the community school zone concept was born. Administrators chose the name carefully. “It was very important to maintain the sense of community—in the city and also in the schools,” Purdy says. With the aid of GuideK12 software, the district mapped out attendance areas and established three community school zones. Once they created a system for grade banding, “things just started falling into place,” Purdy says. Two schools that were already serving young learners became the Pre-K–K schools; two larger school buildings were appropriate
Community School Zones Community School Zones
Zone 1 School Zone 1 Grade Span
School Lessie Moore Lessie Moore Pineville Elem Pineville Elem Pineville Jr. High Pineville Jr. High
Zone 2 School Zone 2 Grade Span
rd Grade Span Pre-K -3 th – 6th rd Pre-K -3 4 th – 6th 4th 7 – 8th th – 8th 7
School Huddle HuddleBayou North North Bayou Rugg Rugg Patrick Julius Julius Patrick AMMS AMMS
to accommodate grades 1–3; and two schools with multiple stories seemed perfect for older elementary students. “Effectively,” Purdy says, “we created a K–12 school in each zone across several campuses.” Under new rules, if a student begins in one community school zone and moves to another, the district provides transportation back to the zone where the student began. Technology in their transportation office enabled them to work out the complicated logistics of bus routes. District leaders presented the plan to the school board and held community Q&A sessions
THE DISTRICT IS SEEING A MARKED REDUCTION IN STUDENT MOBILITY AND AN INCREASED SENSE OF COMMUNITY AND COLLABORATION AMONG STUDENTS AND STAFF. 38
| A P R IL 2 019
School Zone 3 Grade Span Grade Span School Grade Span Pre-K –K Acadian Pre-K –K st st AcadianPark 1Pre-K – 3rd– K Martin 1Pre-K – 3rd– K st rd st rd MartinRedwine Park 41th – 35th Alma 41th – &35th th th th –5 AlmaHall Redwine 64th Grade & 5th 64th Grade WO th th th th th WOF.Hall 76 Grade –8 A. Smith 76 –Grade 8th th th th 7 –8 A. F. Smith 7 – 8th Hadnot Hayes RTA Hadnot Hayes RTA
at the high schools prior to implementation. Each school had its own table at these sessions, Purdy says, so parents could find everyone they needed to talk to in one place. “Then it hit Facebook,” Purdy says. The negative chain reaction blew up as parents posted complaints such as, “Now my fifth grader can’t walk his little sister to kindergarten anymore.” Purdy credits the project’s success to the district’s immediate and humble responses to these issues. Instead of being defensive, they responded positively and proposed solutions. “We hadn’t thought of some of these things,” he says. They changed the bus routes so siblings could be together, revised the school uniform policy so each school’s colors match those of the high school they’re feeding into, and addressed other issues as they arose. “It ended well,” he says. Tara Smith is a freelance writer and editor and a frequent contributor to Tech & Learning Magazine.
EXECUTIVE BRIEFING The latest edtech news curated by Tech & Learning Leader editor Annie Galvin Teich.
New Report Recommends School Districts Consider Hiring Chief Privacy Officers The Center for Democracy and Technology issued a new report outlining the role of chief privacy officers in organizations and why education leaders need them. The chief privacy officer (CPO) is responsible for the organization’s privacy policies and practices. Privacy duties are often distributed across education organizations with the result that there’s little support for protecting student data, data is retained past its usefulness, and there are lax controls on third-party management and use of student data. Everyone plays a role in protecting student privacy, but a CPO can improve privacy protections by centralizing the strategy, policies, roles, and responsibilities for protecting data that ultimately result in establishing trust, preventing data incidents, and ensuring that information is not used to harm students. The report focuses on practices that can support a chief privacy officer and the role that a CPO can play in protecting student privacy across an organization. Once hired, the CPO should serve as a resource to staff, collaborate with the chief information security officer, cultivate privacy advocates, and respond to current events.
After their second semester, students are also required to work 40 hours per week in a paid, 10week evaluated field experience. Students who complete the program earn a degree in electric utility technology. They can then find jobs, with good pay and benefits, as line workers or substation electricians with two different power companies. Graduates start at about $60,000 annually, plus overtime.
Skills Gap Creates Opportunities for High-School Students In Kingwood, West Virginia, a skills gap is creating opportunities for high-school students to get free training and goodpaying jobs soon after graduation. Many communities across the country are taking on the responsibility for creating and supporting similar workforce development programs to meet labor demands in their own backyards. U.S. News reports on a program in Preston County (WV) Schools that allows CTE students to study electrical technology for two to four years. After four years, they can graduate as journeymen electricians. The big demand for electricians right now is in the oil and gas industry. Industrial and commercial electricians are also needed. Teachers encourage graduates to look at apprenticeships offered by unions and employers like FirstEnergy’s Power Systems Institute (PSI) at local community colleges that combine classroom learning with hands-on training. Tuition, books, and lab fees are paid through PSI.
K–12 Teachers Use Virtual and Augmented Reality Platforms to Teach Coding According to a recent article in EdTech Focus on K–12, one of the impediments to using virtual reality in classrooms is the lack of available content. However, students who learn coding can create their own virtual worlds. Preliminary scientific evidence has found that using augmented reality platforms can give students an advantage when it comes to learning code. While it used to be that developers created virtual education applications to engage students in the classroom, new augmented reality platforms put the power of the developer directly in students’ hands. For teaching and learning, programs such as CoSpacesEdu, a
The Promise of Partnerships: Engaging Industry to Improve Career Readiness A new whitepaper from the nonprofit America Achieves Educator Networks outlines how schools can help prepare students for a world in which digital technologies are altering how products and services are created, marketed, and distributed. With some experts saying that 85% of the jobs that today’s students will be doing in 2030 haven’t been invented yet, the expectations for high schools and colleges are changing significantly. Schools need help from stakeholders who have a better understanding of how well-paid, upwardly mobile careers are changing, the related skills and knowledge expected of new hires, and how best to develop and assess these skills. Schools need meaningful opportunities to connect with and learn from employers and other experts from business and industry. A recent Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) Task Force report underscores this point. Schools need to “enlist the employer community as a lead partner” in staying abreast of labor market shifts, adapting curricula to meet industry skill needs, and offering students authentic work-based learning experiences. The whitepaper provides guidance on how to provide the following for students: • A way for students to develop the necessary competencies for these careers. • Connections with adults outside school who can help with career advice and opportunities before and after graduation. • “Real world” experiences that provide relevance and motivate students to pursue newfound interests.
| A PR IL 2 01 9
WHAT’SNEW TECH & LEARNING ROUNDS UP A SUMMARY OF NEW TOOLS FOR SCHOOLS
The SLIM Lectern is Spectrum’s (www. spectrumfurniture.com/en/) thinnest, sleekest, lectern that can convert any classroom into a lecture hall. Its two shelves can store and hold laptops, iPads, and other learning materials for seamless transitions from topic to topic. In addition, the SLIM Lectern features AV cutouts and rack units so that technology can simply be integrated. The SLIM Lectern’s light weight, mobile body, features casters that provide flexibility in every classroom environment.
Texas Instruments (www. ti.com) introduced the new TI-Nspire CX II line of graphing calculators, featuring a 2.5 times faster processor, an updated modern look and interactive math and coding features that will help bring STEM subjects to life for students. Building on the popular TI-Nspire CX line of graphing calculators, the new TI-Nspire CX II and TI-Nspire CX II CAS give students more opportunities to visualize important, abstract concepts in science, math, and computer programming courses.
ViewSonic Corp (www.viewsonic.com/us/) announced a partnership with Hiperwall Inc. (www.hiperwall.com) and their OEM Program for a video wall software and collaboration platform. This move ensures maximum synergy and product roadmap alignment between ViewSonic video wall displays and media players, and Hiperwall’s software portfolio of unified visualization and collaboration solutions. Hiperwall has simplified the implementation and enhanced the capabilities of a flexible wall software solution, enabling ViewSonic sales executives to deliver advanced collaborative solutions to its business clients.
FOR MORE OF THE LATEST PRODUCT RELEASES, VISIT US ONLINE AT TECHLEARNING.COM.
| A P R IL 2 019
software & online EDUCATIONAL DATA SYSTEMS PLANWARE ONPASS
(eddata.com/services/school-districtplanning-services/onpass-pro/) Planware, a division of Educational Data Systems, announced the launch of ONPASS Pro, the next generation of its flagship software product for gathering, storing, analyzing, and presenting demographic and geospatial data. ONPASS Pro, a software extension of Esri’s ArcGIS Pro platform, uses geographic information systems (GIS) technology to empower school district administrators to view district data geospatially; examine the current demographics of their districts; and simulate the effects of boundary, school capacity, and enrollment changes.
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT AND AMIRA LEARNING PARTNERSHIP
(www.hmhco.com) & (www.amiralearning.com) Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) and Amira Learning announced an exclusive partnership serving U.S. schools designed to empower educators and accelerate reading mastery for K-3 learners. HMH will offer Amira’s state of the art speech recognition and advanced artificial intelligence software with a focus on streamlining oral fluency assessment for educators and tutoring for learners. With exacting accuracy, Amira enables one-onone oral fluency assessment for multiple students at one time.
HUGHESNET & 4-H “BUILDING BRIDGES” AND “PARACHUTE AWAY” STEM ACTIVITIES
(www.hughesnet.com) & (4-H.org/STEMLab) HughesNet and National 4-H Council announced two new projects for their
STEM Lab., a free online resource that provides hands-on STEM activities for kids ages 4-16. Designed to get kids interested in engineering and STEM, “Building Bridges” and “Parachute Away” come with straightforward instructions; explanations of foundational STEM concepts; discussion questions and supply lists (usually basic household items).” STEM Lab also features various other educational activities designed to help youth gain skills in STEM.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL & USA BASEBALL FUN AT BAT PROGRAM
(www.mlb.com) & (www.usabaseball.com) Major League Baseball and USA Baseball announced that “Fun At Bat” will be available to all elementary students in Puerto Rico. The program will be administered by the Puerto Rico Department of Education to serve nearly 90,000 young students. Fun At Bat is an introductory bat-and-ball program that promotes fun and active lifestyles for children and includes a literacy component focusing on character development and teaching traits such as leadership, teamwork and fair play.
PBLWORKS PBL PROJECT IDEA CARDS
(my.pblworks.org/projects) PBLWorks introduced a free online library of over 60 downloadable Project Idea Cards to support teachers in implementing high
quality Project Based Learning (PBL). The Project Idea Cards are downloadable, standards-based project ideas addressing a range of grade levels and subjects, including math, science, history, and English. Each project card lists a driving question, project description, anticipated outcomes, and reflection questions to help teachers bring the project to life in their own contexts.
PBS & KQED MEDIA LITERACY CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
(www.pbs.org) & (kqed.org/certification) PBS and KQED have announced new media literacy micro-credentials, as part of their media literacy certification program. PreK-12 educators who are interested in recognition for their media literacy skills can earn certification by completing 8 free microcredentials. Educators looking to sharpen their media literacy skills before submitting their work for the micro-credentials are also invited to take free professional development courses on KQED Teach and PBS TeacherLine.
(www.poweruptoys.com) The POWERUP 4.0 is a propulsion motor that adapts to most paper airplane designs and transforms it into a flying machine. POWERUP RACERS Motorized Origami Vehicles feature a small, versatile propulsion motor to transform a paper creation into a motorized car, boat, or airplane.
FOR MORE OF THE LATEST PRODUCT RELEASES, VISIT US ONLINE AT TECHLEARNING.COM. WWW.TECHLEARNING.COM
| A PR IL 2 01 9
software & online
Check out the following resources from our partner sites:
(www.Pitsco.com/coding-and-roboticspartners) Pitsco Education, in partnership with several companies, launched an entire line of coding and robotics solutions for K-12. Pitsco now provides hands-on learning materials from KUBO Robotics, the Fable Robot from Shape Robotics, STEM MIX kit(s) from Microduino, a Starter
WEBINARS How to Launch an Instructional Technology Strategy Sponsored by: OverDrive Education
Strategies for Building Proficient K-12 Writers Sponsored by: Voyager Sopris
Content, patience and a plan: How to launch an instructional technology strategy Sponsored by: OverDrive Education
Sponsored by: BrightBytes
Kit Classroom Pack, Science Kit Physics Lab, CTC Go! Core Module, CTC 101 Kit, and Engineering Kit from Arduino Education, and UKIT building systems from UBTECH Education.
8 Ways Teachers Can Incorporate Technology into the Classroom
SECURLY ACQUIRES TECHPILOT
Strategies for Delivering Required ESSA Reporting and Supporting Student Success
(www.securly.com) Securly, the student safety company, announced the acquisition of TechPilot Labs, which serves hundreds of school districts with mobile device management and classroom technology management products. With the acquisition of TechPilot Labs, Securly provides a suite of products to manage and improve the digital student experience, including administering the network and deployment of all devices, determining what’s on devices, and making
Sponsored by: Voyager Sopris Check techlearning.com for updates
COMPANY PAGE AVIXA/Infocomm 43 CoSN 37 Front Row
Hitachi/Maxell 44 Scholastic 2 Tech & Learning Leader
Tech & Learning Subscription
A winning combination!
sure they’re used for learning, providing visibility into usage and engagement, and identifying and alerting of unsafe behavior.
THE VIRTUAL HIGH SCHOOL & FAME NEW ART COURSES
(vhslearning.org) & (www.myfame.org) Beginning this month, The Virtual High School (VHS Inc.), is offering high school students access to one of two free, online art courses through a partnership with FAME, an online educational platform built to teach art and design. The courses offered include Introduction to Digital Arts and Digital Design and Technology Foundations. Digital Arts focuses on introductory drawing principles, coloring, and more, and Digital Design teaches the basics of life drawing, storyboarding, and digital audio.
TURNITIN & EDSBY K-12 LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM INTEGRATION
(www.edsby.com/integration/turnitin/) Turnitin is now available to educators whose school districts have adopted the Edsby platform. Teachers whose jurisdictions have adopted Edsby, a comprehensive learning management and analytics system, can now assess assignments submitted electronically into Edsby using Turnitin Feedback Studio without leaving the Edsby environment. Results from Turnitin can automatically appear in Edsby gradebooks, can be shared with students and parents at teachers’ discretion and can help teachers determine grades at reporting time.
FOR MORE OF THE LATEST PRODUCT RELEASES, VISIT US ONLINE AT TECHLEARNING.COM.
| AP RI L 2 01 9