Tech & - Awards of Excellence - July/August 2020

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By Carl Hooker Even as schools begin to open, many are still scrambling to develop learning models and plans for how instruction will continue in this “new normal.” Carl Hooker interviewed more than 30 different school leaders from around the world in the last month to compile this list of some of those most popular models, including pros and cons for each.


Tech & Learning is pleased to present the winners of its 39th annual Awards of Excellence Contest. This select group represents products that are unique in the K-12 market, help schools solve specific problems, and drive innovation during a challenging time for education.


Group Publisher Christine Weiser CONTENT Managing Editor Ray Bendici

Preparing for back to school has always been a hectic time for our readers, but this summer has been especially chaotic. Getting devices into the hands of every student has meant launching unprecedented district-wide 1:1 programs in mere weeks. Training educators to prepare for more robust online teaching has forced districts to push out hundreds of tutorials and PD sessions. Equipping classrooms for hybrid teaching environments so both in-person students and virtual students receive equal access has involved quickly reconfiguring classrooms with new video and audio equipment. Addressing the social and emotional well-being of students has become even more challenging in distance learning environments. As Carl Hooker outlines in his article, “New Learning Models for Fall 2020” (page 8), there are numerous teaching approaches from which to choose, with no one model fitting the needs (or preferences) of all teachers, parents, and students. “State and national leadership have done their best to respond to these questions,” Hooker writes, “but many responses have only muddied the waters, with the general message being that ‘Kids need to be in schools.’” Hooker’s article offers a helpful guide to these different models, including his opinions about the pros and cons of each. Despite the frenzied pace of preparing for next year, many educators and administrators also recognize that this can be a time to innovate. “Never waste a crisis,” said Richard Carranza, Chancellor of NYCDOE, during a recent Tech & Learning webinar. “Let’s take advantage of the opportunity to re-imagine opportunities for those students we serve.” To support your efforts, we’ve also included the winners of our annual “Awards of Excellence” in this issue (page 14). Our judges evaluated nominated products by looking for solutions that are unique in the K-12 market, help schools solve specific problems, and drive innovation during a challenging time for education. Congratulations to each of these winning products! I continue to be in awe of the heroic efforts of our education community. Thank you for all you do for your school communities. Have a story to share? Email me at We’d love to hear from you! Take care.

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FOR FALL 2020 Schools will be adopting new learning models when students return in Fall By Carl Hooker Last spring, the pandemic upended much of what we consider traditional teaching and learning. Educators, students, and parents were forced to triage learning via a variety of online strategies that stretched from handing out digital worksheets to holding class online at the same time every day. Even as schools begin to open, many are still scrambling to develop learning models and plans for how instruction will continue in this “new normal.” Many factors weigh into the creation and execution of these models:


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• What type of access to devices and the internet do families in the community have? • What is the mental and social-emotional state of students, families, and educators? • How should schools weigh health concerns should the virus hit their campus? • What does the physical classroom look like with social distancing recommendations? • What are the expectations around high-stakes testing in this environment?



NEW LEARNING MODELS interviewing more than 30 different school leaders from around the world in the last month, seem to be most common.

In-Person School

The most traditional version of learning involves having students back in the school building in some form or fashion. Schools that are attempting this are implementing a variety of social distancing recommendations: face masks, reduced class sizes, and limited movement during passing periods. Students would remain in cohorts or small teams throughout the day, and should one group be infected, that cohort and anyone associated with it (teachers) would be sent home for a period of time. Generally, the case for in-person school comes from those with younger children, especially in the primary grades, as those students are in key social developmental stages of their life that can’t be mimicked as easily in an online environment. That said, as many as 65% of colleges have recently announced that buildings will be open to in-person learning in Fall. Pros/Cons of the In-Person School: This model most closely resembles what school looks like now with some minor changes. Therefore, it wouldn’t require much staff training aside from new social distancing protocols. Having students in schools provides


State and national leadership have done their best to respond to these questions, but many responses have only muddied the waters, with the general message being that “kids need to be in schools.” The American Academy for Pediatrics (AAP) recently added to that pressure by releasing a statement that the AAP “strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.” As schools grapple with social distancing requirements that vary from region to region and teachers take crash courses in online teaching, you can see why educational leaders are in full-on crisis mode. As we pushed through the heat of the summer, we saw examples that returning to school in the “traditional” sense just doesn’t seem feasible. In Texas, there has been a steady increase of positive COVID-19 tests in child care programs, and some schools, such as this one in Florida, have had to shut down after just one week of being open. With all of this in the back of our minds, educational leaders are trying to come up with different models that both help parents at home and provide enriching learning experiences to students online. Generally, the models for returning to school fall into three main categories: In-Person, Virtual, or a Hybrid version of the two. Within each of these categories are various models in which schools are attempting to achieve some version of student learning. The following models are not the only examples that exist, but in


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NEW LEARNING MODELS a greater sense of community and belonging as well as an opportunity to develop social skills (albeit at a distance). For parents, this model offers the custodial benefit of having someone physically watch over their kids as they go to work. The cons include the amount of space needed to make this happen since having 10 to 12 students in a class requires at least twice as many rooms to accommodate everyone. Transportation will also be a challenge as school buses have to operate at reduced capacity. Also, with the lack of movement, students will likely be sitting even more than they would previously. If a cohort is infected and a group is sent home, how long will they be away and how will learning be supplemented for those that miss physical seat time? Also, how will sick leave be handled when a teacher is sent home for 14 days? One possible solution to the space issue is having secondary students learn online while utilizing their buildings for elementary student in-person learning. Ideal Demographic for In-Person School: Rural districts seem to be ideal candidates for the in-person model because there are two strong reasons for students to be in school: A lack of internet connectivity within the community and a low number of COVID-19 cases due to being spread out and away from hot spots.

Virtual School

Synchronous Online Model Some schools have tried to keep classes as similar as possible to inperson learning during the sudden shift to online learning. In this model, class schedules mimic traditional schedules, sometimes adjusting to more of an alternating block approach (A day - 4 classes, B day - 4 classes) to spread the amount of direct instruction and screen time. Students “attend� classes by logging into a video conference tool at regularly planned times with breaks in between subjects to avoid screen fatigue. Pros/Cons of the Synchronous Online Model: One advantage of this model, beside physical health and safety, is the semblance of an accustomed routine. This model also reduces pressure on parents for teaching and learning support since the teacher takes on that responsibility via video chats. Tracking attendance is easily done simply by seeing which students are online during each session. Having synchronous whole-class meetings online also helps maintain a sense of community and allows for just-in-time support and feedback. Major disadvantages to this type of learning are the extra amount of


Rather than even attempting to have students enter and re-enter a building, and untangling the complications of transportation, after care,

and enrichment programs, some districts are choosing to go fully virtual and have all classes online to start the school year. Some districts such as Atlanta Public Schools, LA USD, and Fort Bend ISD (outside of Houston) have already announced this in order to prepare their students, parents, and staff. Three main models can be found in this category, each of which have merits.


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NEW LEARNING MODELS screen time and the reliance on increased bandwidth. If a household has multiple students and parents working remotely, basic internet or 4G likely may not be enough to maintain multiple video conferencing streams. Teachers will also need high bandwidth in their homes to provide highquality video instruction. This model is also very rigid in terms of schedule. If a student doesn’t learn well at certain times of the day or they aren’t able to log-on, are they counted absent? Recording synchronous sessions to send to students is one way to make sure they don’t miss key instruction should they be experiencing connectivity issues at home. Asynchronous Online Model In this model, schools send home weekly work via shared documents, an LMS (Learning Management System), a website, or email. The teacher(s) create these resources in the form of self-guided projects or apps to help address the state standards for each grade level and/or subject area. Students submit work based upon deadlines and have flexibility to adjust their schedule to their own learning preferences (i.e. working at night, morning, etc).


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eHybrid Model: This model features a mix of both synchronous and asynchronous learning. Teachers schedule times throughout the school day and week





Pros/Cons of the Asynchronous Online Model: Advantages to asynchronous online learning include flexible time and schedules based on each students’ learning style. This model builds in more time for reflection and doesn’t require intense internet bandwidth or lengthy periods of screen time. Students in this model also have a greater sense of ownership as they can set their own pace when it comes to completing weekly projects and tasks. Disadvantages to this model is the lack of organization or schedule. Parents who are already under various stresses around work and quarantine now have added pressure to make sure their students are completing assignments in a timely fashion. Having experienced this model first-hand in the spring, I can tell you if you have multiple students in your home, it can consume hours of your day tracking down resources, logins, directions,

and expectations from multiple teachers. You also lose any sense of classroom community when all learning is done individually, and tracking attendance in a traditional sense is impossible. One possible workaround for the attendance issue that I’ve seen is a school using a tool such as NetRef ’s Classroom Management feature to monitor “time on task” as a way to track student engagement and set thresholds based on age and time spent during the online learning “school day.”




NEW LEARNING MODELS to check in with students via whole group instruction and virtual office hours, and also send the week’s overview of projects to be completed asynchronously. Pros/Cons of the eHybrid Model: This model takes the best parts of synchronous (having a schedule and routine) learning while allowing for the flexibility of asynchronous. One advantage is the limited amount of seat/screen time while still staying connected throughout the day and week. For those who can’t make the synchronous video portions of class, those can be recorded and distributed to students for asynchronous learning. When done correctly, students have some level of ownership over their work while still having multiple opportunities for teacher feedback, either via video chat or email, or through an LMS. Some cons are similar to those in the other online models: internet bandwidth and connectivity concerns during the synchronous parts of the day (although less of a concern if they are spread out throughout the week), and the pressure on parents to keep students on task during the asynchronous parts. Attendance tracking also can become an issue in this environment as some students might not be able to meet during the scheduled times. The use of virtual office hours to work with small groups and individuals is an important component of this model for its success.

Ideal Demographic for Virtual School: Urban or highly populated suburban school districts generally are ideal candidates for a fully virtual experience. Being in more populated areas, internet access isn’t as great a problem as rural areas. Plus, COVID-19 outbreaks have been centered around densely populated areas, making inperson schooling much more of a challenge.

Hybrid School

Rather than choosing between online or in-person, some districts are attempting to spread in-person classes and supplement learning with virtual classes, creating a “hybrid” of the two. Having virtual classes built into learning means that regardless of any new virus outbreak, instruction can continue to take place outside of the school building. Students report to a campus, even part-time, allowing for that sense of community and the bonuses of just-in-time feedback. This also allows for better small-group collaboration in which students can begin a project together in-person and then continue online. Districts such as those in Madison, Washoe County, and Santa Ana Unified School District have already announced plans around a hybrid model, as have many others across the country. Before we get into the pros and cons of Hybrid schooling, I’ve listed some creative ways that schools are adjusting in-person and virtual schedules.

Boxlight-EOS Educator Essentials for Remote and Hybrid Learning Pave the Way for Implementation Success Build a robust training program using G Suite OR Microsoft 365 features and tools to facilitate instruction in any learning environment – blended, flipped, or remote. • • • • •

On-Demand, Self-paced Course Customizable Teaching Materials and Student Activities Five hours of Facilitator-led Sessions Virtual Custom Training Sessions Individual 30-minute Virtual Coaching Sessions

“Boxlight-EOS has fulfilled a critical role and has been instrumental in helping us prepare our teachers to use G Suite for delivering instruction, interacting with students, and providing support to families.” - April Mayo, Instructional Technology Director, Clayton County Public Schools, GA


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NEW LEARNING MODELS • 1:1 Blended Learning Model. School districts with 1:1 devices have been doing a version of blended learning (in which learning is both analog and digital) for years. However, the majority of this learning still takes place within the school building. A blended hybrid model would have some students in class while others are watching from home synchronously. As all students have the same device, instructions can be consistent and troubleshooting technology doesn’t become as big a factor. This model gives parents the option of sending their students to school or keeping them home knowing that in either scenario, they will be on pace with their peers. • Staggered Hybrid Model. In this model, the school day is split in half in order to reduce the number of students in the building. For example, students in group A attend school in the morning and then, following a midday sanitizing break, students in group B attend. While students are participating during the in-person portion of the school day, they are given asynchronous assignments to be completed virtually later. • Gapped Hybrid Model. The issue with the staggered model is allowing for enough time to sanitize the building in between groups. This model splits the week into a “2 on, 3 off, with a gap” scenario. Students in group A attend school in-person on Monday and Tuesday, school is closed for deep sanitizing on Wednesday, and then students from group B have their two days of inperson learning on Thursday and Friday. When not in the building, students complete asynchronous projects and use in-class time to review or preview the work they’ll be doing at home. • Alternating Hybrid Model. Rather than splitting the school day or even week in half, some schools are opting to alternate either days or weeks that students are in schools. In these models, group A attends school every other day in-person, alternating with group B. In some of the more extreme scenarios, schools are splitting their students into three groups and then alternating weeks. In this alternating hybrid model, students from group A attend school for one week and then have 2 weeks of virtual learning while students from groups B and C have their in-person weeks.

The cons of these models include figuring the logistics of scheduling everything from transportation to meals, to planning the school day. Teachers will be stretched into essentially teaching twice as much throughout the week as they prepare lessons for in-person as well as for virtual learning. One strategy being discussed in schools is leveraging those teachers who are at-risk and putting them in charge of the virtual component. This would help with the stress of managing both environments simultaneously. The other major con is parents who may not have the flexibility to be at home on alternating days or weeks while the students participate in virtual learning. Parents in these situations (as well as fully virtual) have already taken to their local online community groups to plan “micro-pods” of students who can gather at the home of a stay-athome parent during the virtual hours.


Pros/Cons of Hybrid School: These models, as well as many others that schools are considering under the “hybrid” umbrella, take significant planning and coordination. One of the major benefits of these models is that students get the best of both worlds: The sense of community that comes with in-school learning while families and working parents get breaks throughout their week. Schools are able to fill in the gaps of virtual learning with in-person sessions, and vice versa. Also, should an outbreak occur, these models could switch to full virtual school a little easier than those schools choosing to go completely in-person.


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Ideal demographic for Hybrid School: Districts in smaller towns or suburban areas that are not densely populated seem to be the sweet spot for this model. Internet connectivity at home cannot be a major issue for this to work, and low local infection rates also have to be present to make the in-person part of the school day manageable.


Ultimately, there is no “one-size-fits-all” model for the education challenges that schools and communities in this country face. Connectivity, access to devices, family situations, demographics, and COVID-19 outbreaks all play critical parts in the decisions school leaders are making. One bit of advice to school leaders out there: You don’t have to do this all by yourself. When you create a plan, share that plan with staff in your schools and invite them to “poke holes” in it. This will improve transparency and communication, and give staff a sense of ownership in whatever the final plan is. The truth is, you’ll never come up with a plan that is supported by 100% of your community, but by inviting your team into the process, you can enhance your chances in having success, regardless of whatever model you choose. Best of luck.

Carl Hooker has been a part of a strong educational shift with technology integration since becoming an educator. As Director of Innovation & Digital Learning at Eanes ISD, he has helped spearhead the LEAP program, which put one-to-one iPads in the hands of all K-12 students in his 8,000-student district. He is also the founder of “iPadpalooza”­—a three-day “learning festival” held in Austin annually. He’s also the 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 our schools. Read more at Hooked on Innovation.



Tech & Learning is pleased to announce the winners of its 39th annual Awards of Excellence Contest. This select group represents products that are unique in the K-12 market, help schools solve specific problems, and drive innovation during a challenging time for education. Winners were selected by a panel of industry experts who applied their years of experience and expertise to their selections. Congratulations to all!


ACER REPAIR CERTIFICATION ELEARNING PROGRAM The Acer Repair Certification eLearning Program is available to education accounts in the United States and Canada that give high school students the opportunity to learn more about technology and build skills. Students learn to perform basic hardware repairs on Acer devices deployed in their school and develop foundational skills for employment or secondary education goals. Our judges say, “Giving students these skills, as well as teaching them STEM concepts, is very valuable.”

ACCELERATE LEARNING STEMSCOPES MATH STEMscopes Math is the first core mathematics program from Accelerate Learning and the newest addition to its suite of STEMscopes solutions. The math curriculum for grades 3-5 is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and combines digital and print components with hands-on


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kits. The curriculum features inquiry-based math investigations, virtual manipulatives, and interactive games that engage students as they build understanding. Our judges say, “This tool has all the features teachers need to move math learning forward—and good graphics as well.”

AMIRA LEARNING Amira Learning™, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), provides 1:1 reading practice and is both an oral reading fluency assessment and a dyslexia screener. Demonstrated effective with all students, including English language learners, Amira saves teachers time by automating scoring and reporting. Our judges say, “This system is particularly good for struggling readers and students with dyslexia.”

ACCELERATE LEARNING STEMSCOPES™ NGSS 3D STEMscopes NGSS 3D is a phenomena-based, three-dimensional STEM curriculum that addresses the disciplinary core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and science and engineering practices that form each standard of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). It includes customizable, storyline-driven bundles that link the three dimensions across lesson modules. Interactive simulations, videos, text, images, and hands-on activities help students learn through a variety of modalities. “This tool provides teachers with everything they need to empower students with the necessary skills to succeed in future STEM careers,” our judges say.


ARISTO E-COMPANION FOR HKDSE BIOLOGY: CONNECTING CONCEPTS Aristo e-Companion for HKDSE BIOLOGY: Connecting Concepts’ (the e-Companion) is a comprehensive package of blended learning resources


available in both web and app platforms, designed to equip students grades 4-6 with biological knowledge and critical skills. Since the release in 2019, the e-Companion has been named a Dubai GESS Education Awards Finalist and U.S. EdTech Cool Tool Awards Finalist. The judges particularly liked the integration of STEM and the use of Augmented Reality (AR), and note, “As a good supplement should, the Aristo e-Companion provides for multiple learning styles and differentiation for learning each topic.”

to achieve better education outcomes, reduce costs, and track student technology engagement, both at home and at school. The T&L judges say, “CatchOn can be a very valuable tool for many districts, especially very large ones that have a plethora of solutions that they need to track.”

set power-saving modes, and send announcements to every panel on the school or district network. Command allows teachers to stream video content from internal feeds or external sources, eliminating the need for additional decoder hardware. The T&L judges say, “Command keeps everyone informed and provides access to relevant information.”


BRITANNICA BRITANNICA LAUNCHPACKS: SCIENCE, BRITANNICA LAUNCHPACKS: SOCIAL STUDIES, BRITANNICA SCHOOL Science leverages more than 1,800 digital content sets for science. Activities and question sets spur students to think like scientists by making predictions, exploring academic vocabulary, collecting evidence from a wide variety of sources, analyzing research and data, drawing conclusions, and writing evidencebased arguments. Britannica LaunchPacks: Social Studies provides more than 2,000 curated bundles of Britannica informational text and multimedia assets focused on K-12 social studies. Educators can differentiate instruction through multilevel articles, content groupings, and tools such as read-aloud functionality, double-click dictionaries, and article translations. Aligned to state essential knowledge and skill standards, Britannica School offers thousands of curated articles, images, videos, audio clips, primary sources, maps, research tools, recommended websites, and three databases to meet every reading level. T&L judges call the bundle of three programs “powerful” and “highly recommended.”

CATCHON CatchOn is a data analytics tool that provides district leaders a window into the efficacy of their technology investments, initiatives, integrations, and professional development. The tool allows districts


ClassLink Launchpad provides students, teachers, and staff with a customizable portal through which they can easily access more than 6,000 digital resources, using just one password and username. Our judges say, “The range and variety of apps are great. They quickly create custom apps as needed and their support is outstanding.”


CURRICULUM ASSOCIATES I-READY The i-Ready online program combines assessments and insights with engaging instruction in reading and mathematics to help teachers differentiate teaching according to students’ individual needs. The i-Ready Diagnostic provides educators with criterion-referenced and normative data showing how much growth is needed to reach grade-level expectations. Our judges say, “Districts are looking for data solutions for one-stop shopping and iReady is a quality product.”

Clear Touch Collage™ allows students to connect from their iPads, Chromebooks, or other devices and cast their screens to the classroom’s Clear Touch® interactive panel. The software also allows teachers to view all connected devices at once and choose which to cast to the screen, up to six at a time. The software comes bundled with each Clear Touch® panel. “This product will have value in schools with reliable networks and consistent devices,” say our judges.


CLEAR TOUCH COMMAND™ Clear Touch Command™ comes integrated into every Clear Touch® panel, giving IT departments the ability to troubleshoot remotely, monitor device usage,

Discovery Education Experience is a flexible K-12 learning platform that provides high-quality content, ready-to-use digital lessons, unique collaboration tools, and professional learning resources. Experience integrates with schools’ existing infrastructure and learning management system, whether it be Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, Clever, Schoology, or Canvas. Teachers can add and distribute the resources available in Experience with the tools that they’re

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already using. “The breadth and depth of their resources is excellent, as well as their integrations with rostering and other LMS systems,” say our judges.

DISCOVERY EDUCATION TEACHING WITH TESTIMONY, AN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM FROM USC SHOAH FOUNDATION AND DISCOVERY EDUCATION Teaching with Testimony is a no-cost, standardsaligned digital educational program for grades 6-12 that draws upon USC Shoah Foundation’s testimony from survivors and witnesses of genocides. It helps students find their voices to act for a better future. Resources include: Testimonial video library, classroom activities, collaboration with Discovery Channel’s WHY WE HATE docuseries, and the “Stronger Than Hate” artwork challenge. “This tool dives into relevant learning, giving students an authentic look into history,” our judges say.

DISCOVERY EDUCATION TGR EDU: EXPLORE TGR EDU: Explore provides resources designed to enhance critical STEM skills and helps grade 6-12 students to get into and pay for the college of their choosing. Available at no cost, TGR EDU: Explore comprises training videos, digital explorations, and professional development resources that can be downloaded online and integrated immediately into classroom practice. Our judges say, “This tool/ website connects students directly with real-world opportunities and professionals so they can internalize that their college and career dreams are attainable.”

toward standards mastery. A built-in Teacher Toolkit gives educators access to lesson plans, videos, and other instructional resources. Our judges note, “This product provides teachers with real time feedback on formative assessments before, during, and after lessons so that students can get their feedback in real time as well.”

mastery and educators can customize courses to meet instructional needs. “The extensive offerings in Courseware allow for school districts to individualize learning for students,” our judges say.


EDMENTUM EXACT PATH Edmentum Exact Path offers diagnostic-driven, direct instruction in K-12 reading, language arts, and math. After initial assessment, students receive a scale score and normed percentile rank to benchmark learning and chart growth. Then students receive a unique learning path of high-quality digital curriculum. Exact Path uses mobile-optimized assessments, lessons, and activities that can be accessed from any Internet-enabled device. Our judges say, “Its integration with MAP and STAR provides districts and classroom teachers with a complete look at student success so that they can make informed decisions about programming and interventions.”


EDMENTUM COURSEWARE Edmentum Courseware offers a customizable digital curriculum to support 6th-12th grade students on their path toward graduation. With access to more than 400 courses for first-time original credit and credit or unit recovery, students receive rigorous standardsaligned curriculum across core subjects, CTE, electives, world languages, and advanced courses. Interactive, media-rich courses adjust content based on student


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edSpring is a secure, tool-agnostic platform that centralizes student data such as attendance, assessments, grades, interventions, behavior, and progress monitoring. Educators working the RTI cycle use edSpring to set early warning indicators, identify at-risk learners, implement interventions, monitor progress, and adjust interventions. Administrators rely on edSpring data and reports to reflect evidence of MTSS implementation fidelity and intervention efficacy across tiers for every classroom, grade level, and building. Our judges find it a “pretty amazing tool” and like “how easy it is for teachers and administrators to retrieve the data and reports that are most important to them in real-time.”

EDMENTUM STUDY ISLAND Edmentum’s Study Island is a comprehensive, customizable K-12 standards-based practice and assessment tool that helps educators engage with students and monitor and assess their progress


Incite® Assessment is an assessment and reporting solution providing support for the entire assessment process, from item creation and test administration through results analysis. The flexible solution supports formative, summative, and interim assessments while generating real-time actionable data for educators. The T&L judges like the easy-touse dashboard and say, “This is a solid data analysis and organizational tool.”



GALE GALE IN CONTEXT: ELEMENTARY Gale In Context: Elementary is a kid-friendly database that provides young learners with a place to explore their interests using I Wonder questions, quick facts, and visual topic pages. The product is built using familiar Gale In Context design elements, making it easy for students to grow with Gale and develop their research skills as they progress to databases as such Gale In Context: Middle School and Gale In Context: High School. Our judges say, “This product supports inquiry-based learning at an early age that provides students with research skills necessary as they move onto middle school, high school, and beyond.”

The HOL Cloud allows educators to bring a physical laboratory experience to remote learners. Instructors choose from a library of virtual or physical experiments. With built-in features such as a student dashboard, gradebook analytics, automatic grading, immediate assessment feedback, live data tables, and experiment videos, the ADA- and WCAG 2.0-compliant platform aims to reduce the educator’s time spent on non-teaching activities so they can better facilitate an online classroom. Tech & Learning judges find the platform “amazing” and like the use of “real-time and virtual manipulatives to teach science and complete labs.”


GRADECAM GradeCam simplifies the assessment process, without requiring new equipment, proprietary forms, or training. Educators can customize assignments to accommodate handwritten answers, extended responses, rubrics, number grids, multiple choice, true/ false, and more. Customized forms can be accessed online, printed on plain paper, or used in combination for hybrid learning environments. Student work can be scanned and scored using a mobile, desktop or document camera to generate data. Our judges like the speed of the grading as well as the variety of data points tracked. “This can make assessment feedback faster and more actionable,” they note.


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Writable for HMH Into Literature combines close reading and analytical writing through a platform that cultivates a cycle of authentic feedback and revision. Fiction and nonfiction mentor texts are displayed alongside point-of-use writing and revision tools, allowing students to produce great writing. Responsive software provides on-demand feedback and organizes review workflows. Our judges say, “Writable scaffolds and motivates students in a better writing process with a powerful feedback engine including anonymous peer review.”


ILLUMINATE EDUCATION FASTBRIDGE FastBridge is a research-based universal screening and progress monitoring system for academics (reading and math) and social-emotional behavior (SEB). The system includes intervention recommendations and built-in coaching. Features include a single system for academic and behavioral screening, evidence-based tools, data reports from progress monitoring, adaptive testing, and universal screening tools. Our judges say, “FastBridge’s comprehensive reports available to teachers, administrators and parents will be critical when assessing and supporting students as they transition back to school in the fall.”

IXL LEARNING IXL is a pre-K-12 personalized learning platform providing a comprehensive curriculum of more than 8,000 skills covering five subjects, aligned to all state standards. IXL’s adaptive assessment tool, the Real-Time Diagnostic, evaluates students across every concept in IXL’s K-12 curriculum. IXL’s personalized guidance uses student data from the curriculum and diagnostic to give every learner a personalized action plan for growth, while IXL Analytics provides real-time insight into student progress. Our judges say, “The ability to adjust content based on the learner’s answers while delivering actionable data back to the instructor is very valuable.”




Developed in collaboration with UNICEF USA, Trauma-Informed Practices for K12 Schools is an interactive simulation that helps educators to build skills, confidence, and empathy to support students whose behavior might be related to trauma or distress. By practicing role-play conversations with virtual students, educators learn how to spot warning signs of trauma, lead real-life conversations with students, improve their classroom experience, and explore making a referral to a mental health professional. Our judges say, “This is a fantastic tool for teachers and counselors and social workers to utilize when working with students who have experienced trauma.”

MobyMax offers a complete K-8 curriculum for 27 subjects, including math, reading, phonics, language, vocabulary, spelling, writing, science, social studies, and state test prep. MobyMax‘s digital courseware solution can be used on any device with an internet connection. “With functions that identify missing skills, both general and special education teachers can assess students and provide real time feedback to students,” our judges say.


LEARNING.COM EASYTECH EasyTech is a self-paced, online digital literacy curriculum for grades K-12 that provides interactive lessons, application exercises, activities, discussions, and quizzes to help students master technology and computational thinking skills for college and career. EasyTech incorporates technology into core content, integrates with most learning management systems, and is intuitive for students and for educators alike. EasyTech is aligned to the International Society of Technology Educator (ISTE) NET-S 2016 standards. “Districts are looking for robust online learning such as EasyTech that uses algorithms to increase student rigor,” our judges say.


MobyMax provides a complete solution for ELL/ ESOL students, from letter recognition to phonemic awareness to critical English language skills. MobyMax moves each child forward at their pace offering both foundational skills unique to them and also the same content as their peers. Our judges say, “The curriculum, periodic and real time assessment is invaluable for teachers in inclusive classroom settings to provide support and interventions.”

LEARN WITHOUT LIMITS MOBYMAX READING MobyMax finds and fixes learning gaps in language arts in two ways. First, it offers the power of personalized learning in all K-8 subjects.

Additionally, its comprehensive curriculum encompasses 16 ELA subjects, including language, vocabulary, grammar, spelling, and seven phonics and reading modules. Using this inventive approach, students consistently gain more than one full grade level after 20 hours using MobyMax. Our judges say, “This product engages all students by differentiating for students with profound learning disabilities or struggling readers to challenging accelerated students.”

LEARN WITHOUT LIMITS MOBYMAX FOR ADAPTIVE LEARNING MobyMax’s suite of integrated and automated classroom tools saves teachers time with comprehensive assessments, grading, and markup tools for writing, diagnostics, IEP reporting, messaging, and real-time progress monitoring. MobyMax’s Pinpoint Assessments allow teachers to drill down to discrete skills to get an instant snapshot of where students are. An interactive curriculum personalizes learning, allowing educators to combine face-to-face education with online learning. Our judges say, “Using real time assessments, this product adapts lessons to target where students need support on skills and content knowledge.”

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using precise language. Teachers use highleverage routines to guide learners to understand and make connections between concepts and procedures, and spark discussion, perseverance, and understanding of mathematics. Our judges applaud the inquiry-based learning method, customizable lessons and assessments, and add, “Its easy integration with SIS and LMS already in use saves teachers time.”

LEARN WITHOUT LIMITS MOBYMAX FOR ASSESSMENT SOLUTIONS MobyMax’s new Quick Checker assessment package streamlines teaching by pinpointing missing skills with quick formative assessments, deep summative assessments, and diagnostic placement tests. MobyMax Quick Checker allows teachers to quickly check for understanding and minimizes the time it takes to create and grade tests and quizzes. MobyMax has made the complete Quick Checker program free to all teachers worldwide. Our judges say, “With its quick question, test, fluency, benchmarker, placement and skill options, teachers can easily determine understanding without having to create exit tickets.”

LEARN WITHOUT LIMITS MOBYMAX FOR SCIENCE MobyMax’s K-8 Cognitive Skills Science curriculum is based on Touch Curriculum™ technology, which uses more than 20,000 interactive manipulatives to engage students. Touch Curriculum™ allows dragging and dropping, repositioning, building, writing, creating, and more. MobyMax accelerates differentiated learning with systematic review of key concepts and science vocabulary. Formative assessment quizzes and comprehensive end-of-section tests provide detailed progress monitoring for teachers. Our judges say, “MobyMax for science provides interactive manipulatives to provide students and teachers with immersive science experiences that go deeper than traditional science activities.”


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Lexia® Core5® Reading provides a systematic and structured approach to six critical areas of reading. The research-proven program creates personalized learning paths for students of all abilities in grades pre-K-5 through an adaptive placement and scaffolded activities that align to rigorous standards. The T&L judges say, “The ability to access this program from any device allows students to work with and independent of teachers and parents in the remote learning environment.”


LEARN WITHOUT LIMITS MOBYMAX FOR MATH MobyMax’s math curriculum includes math, numbers, and fact fluency, and is accessible from any device with internet connection. The MobyMax Numbers module employs interactive manipulatives to deepen student understanding of numbers and base ten using block numbers, number lines, ten frames, and more. Numbers begin simply and progresses gradually, teaching students to add and subtract large numbers without using a pencil. Our judges say, “With its interactive lessons and the ability for students to go back to prior questions and activities, the program ensures that students will be successful.


LEARNZILLION LEARNZILLION ILLUSTRATIVE MATHEMATICS (IM) 6-8 MATH AND ALGEBRA, GEOMETRY, ALGEBRA 2 LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics (IM) 6–8 Math and Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2 is a problem-based core mathematics curriculum that sparks discussion and enjoyment of mathematics. Using the curriculum, students learn by solving problems in mathematical and real-world contexts, and construct arguments


The Discover Your Happy program, a collaborative effort between Discovery Education and LG Electronics USA, provides educators, parents, and students the no-cost resources to build resilience by practicing the Six Sustainable Happiness Skills: mindfulness, human connection, positive outlook, purpose, generosity, and gratitude. The program includes standards-aligned materials, lessons, and interactives for grades 7-12, at-home tools for parents to continue lessons, and on-demand virtual field trips. “This amazing program and the skills it teaches is something needed now, during the world pandemic—more than ever,” our judges comment.


LIGHTSPEED SYSTEMS ANALYTICS POWERED BY RELAY Analytics Powered by Relay pulls together all of the usage information for devices, applications, and online resources into a single, actionable dashboard. Analytics lets users evaluate how licenses are used, track spending on licenses, and keep data and devices protected from rogue apps.



Itematica is a comprehensive K-12 assessment solution that gives educators access to 65,000+ rigorous, standards-based items aligned to state learning objectives. Features include the ability to modify questions; create printable test booklets and pre-slugged answer documents; and sync teachers and students via Clever, ClassLink, or directly from an SIS. Our judges comment: “The range of content areas and analytics go a long way to ensure student success.”

NUITEQ Snowflake is desktop and online educational software that brings interactivity to school and remote learning environments. NUITEQ Snowflake enables teachers and students to tell interactive stories that align with the curriculum, provides a safe community for online and small group collaboration, and allows simultaneous personalized instruction. Teachers have access to video-linked lessons that provide hands-on activities aligned to standards. Our judges think teachers and schools will find longterm value with this platform.



MANGO LANGUAGES MANGO CLASSROOM Mango Classroom provides students with realworld content, authentic native-speaker audio, and linguist-backed learning tools to comfortably and confidently practice and apply language skills in the classroom and beyond. Included are features for family involvement and support, assessments and grading, and lesson plan materials. Free mobile apps that include offline learning and auto play, allow students to practice wherever and whenever, in over 70 world languages and more than 20 ELL courses. Our judges say, “Mango offers great resources yet doesn’t replace the teachers; it’s a great addition to the curriculum.”


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MyStemKits is a K-12 3D printable curriculum with more than 300 lessons and 30 3D modeling design challenges. The platform integrates with over 75 different 3D printers, allowing students to learn math, science, and design thinking skills utilizing 3D printing technology in a fun and exciting way. The lessons and kits are all standards-driven curriculum (NGSS, state) and are turn key so teachers can use 3D printers in the classroom easily and effectively. Our judges like the kits very much and note, “This will work great as long as the teachers plan accordingly and the machines are well maintained.”


PowerSchool helps schools and districts manage instruction, learning, grading, attendance, assessment, analytics, state reporting, special education, student registration, talent, finance, and HR. Solutions include Unified Administration to streamline district office work, Unified Talent to find high quality teachers and staff, Unified Classroom to coordinate personalized learning tools, Student Information Systems and Enrollment to manage data, Unified Communities to connect with fellow users, and Unified Home to improve parent engagement. Our judges say, “By combining the many systems used in school districts into one unified technology, PowerSchool ensures that educators, administrators, and support staff have a clear picture of every student.”


articles at a wide range of levels, Accelerated Reader gives students extensive choice in what they read— and keeps them engaged in independent reading practice as they work toward personalized goals. “With its personalized goal and analytics, students take control of their learning and have voice and choice in what they read,” T&L judges comment.



Schoology helps teachers and districts create engaging content, design lessons, and assess student understanding. Schoology connects learning management with embedded formative assessments so school districts can improve student performance, support collaboration throughout their community, and personalize learning. More than 20 million students, parents, faculty, and administrators from nearly 1,800 K-12 organizations use Schoology to improve student outcomes in education. Our judges say, “Schoology is a very good product.”

Reading Plus is a research-based, adaptive literacy solution for grades 3-12 that improves comprehension, vocabulary, motivation, and reading efficiency. Reading Plus provides differentiated literacy instruction for diverse learners, including English language learners, special ed, and RTI/ MTSS Tiers 1, 2, and 3, as well as advanced readers. Our judges say, “Its approach to personalized learning, social-emotional learning, and versatility for all learners supported by analytics and teacher PD makes this a solid product for late elementary through high school reading comprehension.”


Click the link above to watch a video from Prezi’s “teacher heroes” on how they use video for online learning.

PREZI VIDEO Prezi Video’s video creation tool allows teachers to maintain the same level of face-to-face human connection from in-person classes to online classrooms. Teachers can easily add graphics and text to the primary video screen alongside their face, whether recorded or in a live video conference. It works for asynchronous video, flipped classroom delivery, and online classrooms. Teachers can show visual assets while maintaining eye contact, visual cues, and gestures to keep learners engaged. Our judges say, “With its many designer and reusable templates that engage students, Prezi Video has stepped up its game with the new ‘teacher presence’ feature.”


myON is a digital reading platform that provides students with 24/7 access to thousands of fiction and nonfiction books and news articles—in English, Spanish, and additional languages. A multimedia reading experience with colorful illustrations, professionally recorded audio, and annotation tools make each text engaging and unique. Built-in close reading tools, customizable literacy projects, and a large collection of nonfiction titles support lesson plans centered on reading and writing skills. Our judges say, “This product is versatile and promotes reading while supporting the struggling reader.”

RENAISSANCE LEARNING ACCELERATED READER Accelerated Reader is an independent reading practice program that helps K-12 students to become confident, lifelong readers. Supporting more than 200,000 fiction and nonfiction books and

RENAISSANCE LEARNING FRECKLE Freckle’s differentiation platform allows teachers to provide every student with instruction and practice at the level that’s best for them. With instructional resources and practice activities for all four core subject areas—math, social studies, science, and English language arts—Freckle helps educators provide students with rich learning experiences that aim to accelerate growth. Tech & Learning judges like the Freckle interface for both students and teachers and the “accurate data and feedback that helps direct instruction.”

RENAISSANCE LEARNING STAR ASSESSMENTS Star Assessments are a suite of valid assessments for reading, math, and early literacy, in both English and Spanish. A Star Assessment takes 20 minutes and provides feedback and results for schools and districts. Star Assessments help schools and districts predict their students’ performance on state tests, provide a benchmark on student progress, and help guide classroom instruction. Our judges say, “The variety of analytics provides critical data that can be used to drive instruction.

SAVVAS LEARNING COMPANY PROJECT IMAGINE: WORLD HISTORY Project Imagine is a digital companion program for world history classrooms, containing six module topics. Each topic starts with an optional topic project, introduction video, and background reading. Students study content through 360° virtual reality, role-play, interactive map, decision tree, opinion poll, and museum mission. Primary sources such as videos, articles, interviews and

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provides visibility to monitor student progress. Our judges say, “The system also provides robust feedback for teachers through an easy to use reporting portal.”

more are the building blocks of the immersives. Each module concludes with a civic discussion and document-based writing activity. “The Project Imagine: World History interactive learning curriculum places the student into historical times and delivers an experience like no other,” our judges say.


SAVVAS LEARNING COMPANY SAVVAS REALIZE Savvas Realize™ is a K-12 digital platform that is home to more than 850 instructional programs across all subject areas and grade levels, accessible with a single sign-on, either in the classroom or a remote setting. Teachers can access everything in one location: content to customize, edit and rearrange; tools to manage students and groups; and data to drive instruction. Teachers can provide students with immediate, constructive feedback. “It caters to students of all learning styles and abilities and provides the assistance they need to be successful,” our judges say.

Turnitin Originality combines text similarity checking with new features that help institutions address trends such as contract cheating, mosaic plagiarism, or other modifications designed to circumvent plagiarism checkers. Turnitin Originality determines whether the work is similar to other known text, whether it has indications that it was not authored by the student, and provides tools, reports and insights that instructors, academic integrity officers, and students can use to understand and practice integrity. Our judges call it “valuable and necessary for classrooms to reduce student plagiarism.”


ACER CHROMEBOOK C871 Powered by a range of Intel processors to help schools meet student and budget needs, the new Acer Chromebook C871 line adheres to MIL-STD 810G and features extras that will help protect it in accident-prone environments. The 12-inch display with 3:2 aspect-ratio provides more room for vertical viewing, so students can see more content at a single glance. The T&L judges praised the larger screen size and added durability features.

AVER M15W DOCUMENT CAMERA The new AVer M15W wireless camera features WiFi, HDMI, and USB connectivity, 23x digital zoom, 4K output, wide shooting range, a mechanical arm, and 13 megapixels to capture fine details. The M15W includes an on-board battery and WiFi connectivity to allow complete freedom to move and share around the classroom. Our judges say, “The AverMedia M15W and M70W are solid document cameras that offer great optics and many features for great presentations.”

VERNIER VIDEO ANALYSIS™ SCHOLASTIC W.O.R.D. Scholastic W.O.R.D. (Words Open Reading Doors) is a program for grades K-5 that builds students’ knowledge of core vocabulary and the world around them. Students progress through a game-based program that uses themes with engaging texts and activities. Each theme begins with a placement activity to ensure students are introduced to words at their appropriate text level across fiction and nonfiction passages. W.O.R.D.’s reporting dashboard


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The Vernier Video Analysis app brings video analysis to students in a streamlined way. Students use mobile devices in the lab or in the field to insert video with recorded motion, mark points to track the object in motion, and set the scale of the video. The app generates accurate and visually-rich graphs that reflect the recorded motion. The app is compatible with macOS®, iPadOS™, iOS, Windows® 10, Chrome OS™, and Android™platforms. Our judges say, “The analysis tools included with the app are great for documenting science as it happens.”


AVER M70W DOCUMENT CAMERA The AVer M70W wireless multifunctional camera provides a powerful platform to capture and share


information. Designed for the modern classroom and lecture hall, it features 4K output for the sharpest picture, wide shooting range, and rich 13 megapixels to capture fine details. Our judges particularly like the peer-to-peer connectivity and the M70W’s motorized, remote control feature.

AVER MAGIC PRESENTER (CB-310) The AVer CB-310 Magic Presenter is a stand-alone Android™ module that connects teacher and student devices with traditional classroom equipment to create immersive learning experiences. Older equipment can easily be integrated with the CB-310 to maximize existing technology investment. The simple integration via multiple output ports turns TVs, interactive white boards, monitors, projectors, and document cameras into modern learning devices. “This box will take any old monitor panel or projector and breathe new life into it by adding interactivity and multifunction presentation tools,” our judges note.


camera inputs for dramatically better-quality images, or connect a computer for PowerPoint slides and more. Our judges say, “This is a comprehensive, fairly priced solution for making professional quality videos and live streams.”

the user with maximum acoustic power, flexibility of use, and freedom of movement. Ideal for trainers, coaches and fitness instructors, indoor and outdoor gatherings, and for audiences dispersed by social distancing. “The new Amplivox Mega Hailer PA system is an extremely powerful and versatile voice amplification system,” our judges say.



The AVer TR530 Professional Auto Tracking and Live Streaming camera is a PTZ camera with 30x optical zoom and a secondary 120° FOV panoramic camera providing users full HD 1080p video resolution without the need of an experienced camera operator. The TR530 supports IP streaming and ease of integration to other AV tools to deliver powerful distance learning streams. “We particularly like that it works with Zoom in today’s pandemic world,” our judges say.


BenQ’s RP02 Series interactive flat panels (IFP) include features such as cloud whiteboard, advanced air-quality sensors, a germ-resistant screen, and EyeCare solutions, allowing students to learn and be engaged while staying healthy. RP02 is the ultimate interactive display to connect the entire class for a smooth, fun teaching and learning experience. Our judges especially like the health and safety, connectivity, and manageability features.

BLACKMAGICDESIGN ATEM MINI PRO ATEM Mini Pro ($595) live production switcher is fast to set up and easy to use, making it simple for educators to create professional multicamera live streams for YouTube and innovative presentations using Skype or Zoom. Simply connect ATEM Mini Pro and live switch between four high-quality video

Gel’s touchless sensor delivers sanitizer without contact. It also capitalizes on the few moments a user is standing still by communicating important messages. Gel lets schools use those moments to share vital information with students and teachers alike. Gel also features an LED indicator that shows when the level is down to 20%, as well as remote notification to alert when it’s time to refill the sanitizer. Our judges agree, “This is a must-have for schools in the fall.”

CRESTRON AIRMEDIA® Crestron AirMedia® Media Presentation Systems provide secure wired and wireless presentations in touch-free spaces, student lounges, and atriums, and integrate with popular calendar platforms to maximize use. AirMedia technology allows for wireless presentation of content from a personal computer, laptop, or mobile device via a WiFi network, and enables presentation of full HD video at frame rates up to 30 fps. Our judges say, “Crestron makes some of the best AV equipment on the market.”

AmpliVox Fitness and Aquatic Sound Packages project strong, clear voice and music. They combine the AmpliVox Mega Hailer PA system with a headset microphone and other options to provide


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CRESTRON DM NVX® Crestron DM NVX® technology transports ultra high definition 4K60 4:4:4 video over standard Gigabit Ethernet with no perceptible latency or loss of quality. Using standard network switches and CAT5e UTP wiring, the Crestron DM NVX system delivers a high performance, virtual matrix routing solution that is scalable for any campus wide 4K content distribution application. “This is a great product for high useage or gaming needs,” our judges note.

DFROBOT MAQUEEN PLUS AI KIT micro:Maqueen launched by DFRobot is a series of educational robot products for primary and secondary school programming. Maqueen Plus has been optimized for compatibility with HuskyLens AI Vision Sensor and provides more flexible AI robot teaching programs, more functions and expansion ports, better power management, and larger power supply capacity and chassis. The kit can be used for classroom teaching, afterschool exercises, and robotic competitions. Our judges call it, “An amazing learning tool and product overall—a must for any STEM or STEAM curriculum.”

The HUE HD camera is a costeffective alternative to a standard classroom document camera and is perfect for stop-motion animation. Easy to use and portable, this camera is popular with teachers throughout the world. The built-in microphone allows you to record your presentation or a student speaking about a topic. The camera can also be used to magnify very small items such as insects, circuit boards, and more. Our judges say, “This is an affordable document camera featuring a two-year warranty.”

HUE HD PRO DOCUMENT CAMERA The HUE HD Pro is a colorful classroom camera that can be used immediately with standard classroom applications that recognize a USB camera. The camera can be plugged into a USB port in a computer or laptop, and then be connected to a projector so that images can be viewed on a whiteboard or touchscreens. The camera can record sound and video and take snapshots, and has a built-in microphone and LED lights. Our judges say, “This model adds the needed features that more advanced users will need for home instruction and content creation.”

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SCANNING PENS INC READER PEN The ReaderPen provides struggling readers access to print materials while facilitating independent learning skills. Users can scan text, view the words via the text window, and hear them read aloud or via earbuds. The ReaderPen can scan French, English (includes multiple accents), and Spanish (includes two accents) in a clear and natural voice. Adaptable features include adjustable screen brightness, text enlargement, right/left-handed modes, and volume control. Our judges say, “The Reader Pen is particularly useful for students with dyslexia, and levels the playing field for students of all reading capabilities.”


PROMETHEAN ACTIVPANEL ELEMENTS SERIES - AV CATEGORY ActivPanel is an interactive display that enables educators to deliver collaborative lessons


using Promethean’s software, ClassFlow® and ActivInspire®, and thousands of available apps. Teachers can create profiles by accessing their files, apps, and browser data–all of which are protected when they sign out. Integrating with cloud storage accounts such as Google Drive™ and Microsoft® OneDrive allow teachers to easily access and save content during lessons and at home. Our judges say, “Device agnostic, this product allows teachers to push out lessons, resources, and assessments, whether in the classroom or remotely.”


Touchless Trade-in™ is a drive-through device drop-off program that enables students, parents, and administrators to maintain social distancing while also enabling schools to refresh technology device fleets. The goal in creating this program is to alleviate the fears that school administrators have in taking back devices that haven’t been sanitized. This program eliminates the need for administrators to collect, inventory, and package


devices, reducing the risk of exposure for all. Our judges say, “This touchless system gives both parents and administrators peace of mind in going through the recycling process.”

THINKWRITE TECHNOLOGIES ULTRA ERGO HEADPHONES Informed by professional classroom experience, the Ultra Ergo TW100 provides sustained comfort, superior sound, and durability. Ergonomically angled earcups and an optimized audio curve help protect ears from the stress of compression and strain of damaging frequencies over longer listening periods. With 30mm drivers delivering exceptional sound quality, the TW100 is the ideal on-ear headphone for school testing and everyday usage. Our judges say, “The ergonomic design allows for noise cancelling and comfort over almost anyone’s ears.”

accepts inputs from multiple users, while the built-in Windows PC is compatible with a wide array of software and peripherals. Wireless networking and the included highdefinition webcam enable collaboration between local and remote users. Our judges especially like the webcam collaboration feature and the 20 simultaneous touch ability.

VIEWSONIC ELITE XG270 GAMING MONITOR TRIPP LITE 9X2 MULTI-FORMAT PRESENTATION MATRIX SWITCH Tripp Lite’s 9x2 Multi-Format Presentation Matrix Switch is a versatile AV product that connects up to nine AV sources with two displays and provides the capability to control what content is shown on each display. Educators can switch between source devices using the front-panel buttons, the included IR remote, or an RS-232 serial controller. They can preview content from all sources and view video in mirror, matrix, or picture-in-picture modes. Our judges say, “The ability to control it with the remote control or an RS232 connection is a plus.”

TRIPP LITE MOBILE INTERACTIVE DISPLAY Tripp Lite’s Mobile Interactive Display is an all-in-one collaboration, presentation, and communication platform integrating a 65-inch 4K touchscreen, built-in multiuser PC, heavy-duty mobile stand, and rechargeable battery system. Touchscreen technology


The ViewSonic® ELITE XG270 gaming monitor delivers ultra-fast 1ms (GtG) response time and 240Hz refresh rate, enabling smooth screen transitions while offering high-quality color reproduction and wide viewing angles. With a native 1080p resolution and 99% RGB color coverage, the XG270 supports GSYNC technology for a seamless gaming experience by reducing artifacts and tearing. Our judges say, “The Viewsonic Elite gaming monitor is powerfully fast at 240Hz for rendering live motion video for esports.”

ENTERPRISE ACCELERATE LEARNING NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR STEM EDUCATION (NISE) MICRO CERTIFICATES NISE Micro Certificates and online courses are a professional development opportunity designed to meet educators’ needs for “just in time,” highly

targeted professional development. Each threehour course can be completed anytime, anywhere. Teachers who complete two courses in a specific area of practice earn a Micro Certificate. Teachers who complete all of the Micro Certificates in “STEM Essentials” or “Teaching Online Essentials” earn the certificate for the series. “The low price point for these certificate courses are valuable and timely given our current situation,” T&L judges say.

APEX LEARNING LEARNING CONTINUITY PROGRAM The Apex Learning - Learning Continuity Program enabled districts to continue to keep students in grades 6 -12 learning throughout the pandemic with access to standards-aligned courses and tutorials. Administrators and teachers had access to curriculum, as well as performance and achievement data to document student use and progress. This new program was created to help districts maintain continuity of learning throughout any classroom disruption such as hurricanes, floods, illness, and global pandemics. Our judges say, “Good online learning resource.”

BENQ INSTASHOW S BenQ’s InstaShow S WDC20 wireless presentation system is built for network-free, software-free classroom collaboration. The InstaShow S button can connect to nearly any device using an HDMI port and securely mirror up to four screens or sources simultaneously at 4K resolution and with up to 32

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X-VPN, BitTorrent and TunnelBear, resulting in improved security and ensuring schools remain CIPA and FERPA compliant. “The Content Keeper module App Defender is unique in that it not only provides content filtering, but also protects students from the use of apps that could be harmful for both the student and the network the student is on,” T&L judges say.

users able to connect. InstaShow S also features touch back, which allows users to control and annotate their presentations from Windows computers directly from an IFP. Our judges like the small form factor, security, and versatility, and note that the device is very portable and seems very easy to set up.

CLASSLINK ClassLink is a single sign-on platform that addresses the significant challenges districts face when it comes to accessing and using digital content, and then measuring engagement with that content. ClassLink supports the school system in both classroom and remote learning settings by saving time with single sign-on access, helping district leaders make informed decisions using analytics, saving technology staff time through rostering tools, and more. Our judges say, “ClassLink is an excellent product that solves so many issues with data integrations and rostering.”

CRESTRON XIO CLOUD™ Crestron XiO Cloud™ is a cloud-based platform for remotely provisioning, monitoring, and managing Crestron devices across an enterprise or an entire client base. Built on the Microsoft® Azure® software platform and utilizing Microsoft’s industry‑leading Azure IoT Hub technology, it enables educational institutions to simultaneously configure and deploy an unlimited number of Crestron products, thereby reducing installation time by up to 90%. Our judges say, “This is a great solution for any district that has a very large deployment of Crestron products.”

ContentKeeper App Defender is a new technology that identifies and blocks suspicious applications and protocols students use to circumvent school web filters. App Defender identifies and controls more than 80 suspicious apps such as UltraSurf, Psiphon,


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The Distance Teaching Essentials (DTE) Program is a way for schools and districts to quickly train teachers in either G Suite or Microsoft 365 to transition to distance teaching. DTE offers school leaders a plug-and-play professional development program that includes an online, self-paced fundamentals course, complemented by live virtual training sessions to develop skills beyond the essentials. Our judges say, “This system is very timely and should be used nationwide during these summer months as schools prepare for the 2020-21 school year.”





The Edgenuity curriculum runs in a comprehensive LMS, using state-of-the-art technology to engage students and empower educators. The user-friendly LMS makes it easy to manage programs and courses, monitor student and group progress, and customize courses to meet student, class, school, and district needs. The Edgenuity LMS frees up time for educators to do what they do best—help students. Our judges note, “The new student online learning experience allows students to see their progress in a visually appealing, accessible dashboard, and to personalize and take control of their own learning.”


FileWave’s Multi-OS Management Suite is built to assist IT teams throughout the entire device lifecycle process of imaging/provisioning, deployment, management, and maintenance. FileWave’s allin-one, scalable software, cloud and on-premise supported, ensures IT teams have a comprehensive solution that supports both client (desktop/laptop) and mobile devices across all macOS, Windows, iPadOS/iOS, Android and ChromeOS. Our judges say, “This is a good system to organize the device fleet and streamline digital management.”

FLVS ONLINE LEARNING COMMUNITY Created by Florida Virtual School® (FLVS®), the FLVS Online Learning Community serves as a free, one-stop resource hub to support all K-12 educators, administrators, schools, and families, especially parents who want to teach their kids, teachers who are new to teaching online or




The Importance of Web Filter Circumvention Protection Students may be using school networks or computers to surf the Dark Web and you might not know it. They are using the Dark Web to buy drugs, guns and hire hackers, among other illicit behavior and students are doing this by bypassing school web filters which is a direct violation of district Internet Usage Policies. Circumventing school web filters using suspicious applications such as BitTorrent, Psiphon or UltraSurf open the door to all kinds of unproductive and illegal activity, putting students — and others — at risk. ContentKeeper App Defender is a revolutionary new technology that extends the effectiveness of ContentKeeper's industry-leading Web Filtering and Security Platform. It identifies and blocks suspicious apps used to circumvent school web filters, resulting in improved security and ensuring schools remain CIPA and FERPA compliant.

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to the next. Student Dashboard streamlines all notifications from Google Classroom, G Suite, and Hāpara Workspace into a student-friendly experience. Our judges say, “We like the fact that this is a one-stop page for students to see their work.”

looking to share their online best practices, and administrators transitioning to online learning in their school district. Our judges say, “This newly created community has many resources in webinar, article, and video formats, most of which are easily accessed.”


GoGuardian Beacon is software that helps support suicide and self-harm prevention for K-12 schools. It identifies students’ online behaviors that could indicate various phases of suicide or self-harm, notifying school staff to quickly provide assistance with the appropriate information. Beacon now offers the option of 24/7 human review and escalation for additional mental well-being support for schools. Our judges say, “GoGuardian Beacon takes the job of identifying student mental health issues to a new level.”


Workspace acts as a homebase for all those apps, learning content, and experiences teachers want to provide to learners, whether at home or school. Teachers can embed almost any app or link to any content into a Workspace so everything is organized in one place for students. Teachers can personalize and differentiate lessons and activities. Workspace comes with thousands of free curriculum-aligned lessons, activities, explorations, and units of study, easily copied and edited to meet every learner’s needs. The T&L judges praise the concept and comment, “Sharing and collaboration is key.”


Hāpara Student Dashboard provides learners with a central, mobile-friendly location to access assignments, resources, announcements, grades, and more from Google Classroom, G Suite, and Hāpara. Students participating in designing Student Dashboard shared that they struggle with classroom assignment feeds that are different from one teacher


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The HMH blended approach to coaching supports teachers through in-person and online coaching to provide a sustained, personalized, flexible, and collaborative professional learning experience, with access to the HMH Coaching Studio platform. Offered in a variety of formats including in-person, online, and blended, and featuring the videopowered HMH Coaching Studio platform, coaching provides teachers with the support they need to


positively impact students every day. Our judges say, “This is a good solution for districts.”


Impero’s Student Safety Tools combine Impero Education Pro and Impero EdAware software, which together help schools to detect and manage student safety concerns in both the physical and digital world. Device monitoring tools help teachers identify what students are accessing online in realtime, while its keyword libraries and reporting of student safety concerns provide a holistic view of each student’s wellbeing. Our judges particularly like that the system can monitor all platform systems including Windows, Chrome, Mac, and iOS, and that there is a hierarchy of system-use levels.


Relay by Lightspeed Systems lets users filter, manage, monitor, protect, and analyze across operating systems, on and off network, for a truly comprehensive platform. With schools having to rapidly deploy a 1:1 initiative, cloud-based Relay can ensure that those devices are accounted for, being used for educational purposes, and are filtered as effectively, if not more than if they were on campus in a classroom. “This system really has a handle on not only cloud-based content filtering, but also device management and analytics in real time,” the T&L judges say.


MANAGEDMETHODS G SUITE & MICROSOFT 365 SECURITY ManagedMethods is a Google G Suite and Microsoft 365 cybersecurity, student safety, and compliance platform for K-12 school districts. ManagedMethods monitors school district G Suite and Microsoft 365 cloud applications, including Gmail and Outlook, 24/7/365, and offers districts full visibility and control of the sensitive data being stored. The T&L judges say, “This is one of the few products that can ensure cyber safety, data privacy, and students’ physical and mental well-being when online, in one reliable seamless product.”

PIXTON EDU Pixton EDU is a web app that lets teachers and students create stories, demonstrate learning, and enhance writing assignments through digital comics. Users can explore topics in math, science, social studies, history, English, art, or any other subject. Choose images from popular content, books and movies such as The Hunger Games or The Outsiders, plus other topics such as the solar system, black history, or the environment, all Common Core-aligned. Our judges say, “PixtonEDU is a unique approach to creative writing and vocabulary through the use of comical storyboarding.”



NetSupport DNA provides educators, technicians, and counselors with a dedicated solution to manage student devices and school-wide IT assets, while also protecting vulnerable students. In addition, IT staff can centrally manage and support IT assets and endpoints across a school or district-wide network. Student eSafety features help counselors identify and protect students via internet metering, keyword/ phrase monitoring, and webcam controls, and report a concern, risk index, plus more. Our judges say, “This is a comprehensive and versatile tool to keep students safe and on-task.”

Securly’s At-Risk is an algorithm that powers its 24hour service for student safety. At-Risk has a view of each student’s online activity by analyzing web searches, websites visited, email, social posts, videos watched, anonymous tips received by the district, cloud documents and drive, and more. At-Risk can then determine which students are struggling and immediately notify the Securly 24x7 analyst, who in turn contacts the school district. Our judges say, “The At-Risk solution actually builds a student wellness score by gathering data points—a huge advancement for servicing the SEL aspect of our students.”


SINGLEWIRE SOFTWARE INFORMACAST FUSION 12.16.1 InformaCast Fusion is a mass notification system that allows K-12 schools and districts to reach all of their mobile and on-premises devices with emergency messages from a single interface. The system leverages text, audio, and visual alerts that can be delivered to IP speakers, IP phones, desktop computers, digital signage, mobile devices, and more to ensure that no one misses a message during a crisis event. Our judges say, “The InformaCast product has really improved through the years and is incredibly necessary in today’s increased need for school security.”

TEQ OTIS FOR EDUCATORS OTIS for educators offers dynamic, relevant, and convenient professional development around educational technology, STEM, social-emotional learning, literacy, ENL/ELL, and more. Team members are state-certified teachers and Googlecertified educators, each with their own expertise including English, math, science, social studies, STEM, ESL/ELL, special education, computer science, and more. “With remote learning, this valuable PD platform should be in every school,” say the T&L judges.

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How Data Analytics Can Inform Planning With so many unknowns, time is more critical than ever for administrative teams to make decisions that are informed by as many facts as possible. There are numerous questions, such as “where, who, and what,” that need to be answered in order to plan for what lies ahead. Effective data analytics tools can help schools answer a number of these critical questions by enabling you to assess the effectiveness of instructional planning, whether related to online, face-to-face, or blended models. Using Geovisual Analytics to Identify Student Needs The need to understand questions that begin with “where” has become essential to effectively servicing all students. Inequities have been exacerbated by the switch to eLearning during the pandemic, which required students to log in from home. The ability to visualize students geographically to determine hybrid models, split schedules, and/or students who will remain remote for the school year is vital to capturing the needs of each and every student in the process. Understanding where students are located geographically and what their needs are will remain an important considerations for leaders going forward throughout the year as learning modes may evolve. Administrators are utilizing geovisual analytics to address questions regarding: Digital Divide challenges: • Where are there true access issues and where are there affordability issues? • Where are the students located who are struggling with no access or didn’t log in recently? What is the home language and how do we provide support? • Where do we need to provide hotspots or other options to enable connectivity? • What support can local providers supply and where is that support needed most?

Scenario Planning for evolving learning modes: • How will we ensure equitable balance in all buildings as we reduce class sizes to accommodate split or alternating day schedules? • How will each building be zoned for the various models? Mark Finstrom, CTO from Highline Public Schools in Washington, used GuideK12 to track where devices were placed, what the device was, and if the device had connectivity. Looking at additional characteristics, such as socio-economic status and single vs. multi-family dwellings, enabled him to determine where to deploy hot spots and how many were required to provide proper access.

Demonstration Data Example

(Image credit: GuideK12)

Using Data to Plan for a Variety of Evolving Scenarios This past spring, many districts were in emergency mode, so accommodations and exceptions were made regarding grading standards. Students on IEPs or with special needs may have not been able to receive all of their traditional support or services when schools were suddenly moved into distance-learning mode. As school has begun, there are many more questions that will still need to be answered using analytics, including: • Are students grade-level ready or did the extended break create a gap for some? • Which students are completing the assignments? • Are there certain subjects that the students are struggling with more online? • Where are the areas of disproportionality within the district and what is being done to address the achievement gap? • Are students on-track in terms of readiness for their college and career plans? As the learning modes may evolve throughout this year, districts are creating multiple “what if”

Chromebook and hotspot management map (Image credit: GuideK12)

setting, which might affect student progress. “After school ended, we had our school improvement meeting and shared 5Lab examples. Our high school administrative team immediately saw the benefits of how helpful this will be during eLearning instances, not only if we do have an extended ‘stay away’ period, but even if we’re in the school building. It gives them examples to look at to see how active kids are with their learning,” commented Lynn Schemel, Director of Data Systems and Assessment at Westfield Washington Schools.

Academic readiness dashboard (Image credit: GuideK12)

scenarios to ensure that they are prepared. Kristin Tollison from Wayzata Public Schools is using GuideK12 to accomplish this, as her district explores all of the possible learning mode scenarios to ensure that even a split-schedule classroom is consistent with the building’s overall demographics and not skewed by the selection process.

Preparing for the New Normal Many factors are at play in this “new normal.” Having the ability to explore the variables, both at the grade and building level as well as at the student and teacher level, will ensure administrators can provide students with what they need to continue to learn and answer important “where” questions with tools such as GuideK12. The ability to track and assess online learning, as well as traditional classroom learning, for determining student progression requires proper metrics. Analytic tools like 5Lab, which answer these critical questions will provide a more focused, relevant way of ensuring every child continues to learn despite the obstacles brought on by the pandemic.

Finding and Funding the Right Tools CARES Act funds and local state funds could provide a mechanism for districts to purchase tools to answer the important questions tied to access and eLearning. One such tool is 5Lab™ from Forecast5, an analytics tool that provides school districts and building leaders with critical dashboards to monitor student performance, whether in a traditional, remote, or blended learning environment. Many tools provide districts with log-in information on students entering an eLearning platform. However, it’s critically important that Wayzata Public Schools back-to-school map scenario (Image credit: GuideK12) leaders are able to assess and understand what is actually happening while students are logged in. What is the actual level of student activity? How engaged are they? What is Find out more at, their degree of comprehension? The answers to these check out their special site of COVID-19 resources here: questions, when tied to student characteristics, are key, to ensuring students aren’t falling behind. They can also or contact for more help identify if an instructor is struggling with the online information.


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