WHAT’S NEW: NEW TOOLS FOR SCHOOLS - Tech Learning

WHAT’S NEW: NEW TOOLS FOR SCHOOLS

To help teachers and students transition to the new Iowa state standards for science, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, and Central DeWitt Community School Districts have become the first in the state to implement the STEMscopes Iowa comprehensive online science curriculum from Accelerate Learning.
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Software & Online

ACCELERATE LEARNING STEMSCOPES K-12
(acceleratelearning.com)

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To help teachers and students transition to the new Iowa state standards for science, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, and Central DeWitt Community School Districts have become the first in the state to implement the STEMscopes Iowa comprehensive online science curriculum from Accelerate Learning. STEMscopes provides digital resources, supplemental print materials, and hands-on exploration kits that build student engagement and excitement for learning. Additionally, strong vertical alignment allows teachers to develop student expectations across grade levels with parallel lesson design.

AEROHIVE FASTPATH
(www.aerohive.com)

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Aerohive Networks announced the industry’s first cloud-managed stacking technology for Aerohive and Broadcom FASTPATH-based switches. Opting to leave the rigid, delay-prone SNMP management approach behind, Aerohive’s Cloud Management for Switching instead utilizes a cloud-based HiveAg ent communicator and embedded HiveAgent software that, when integrated by a manufacturer in its Broadcom FASTPATH-based switches, can enable near-real-time configuration, in-depth visibility, faster reporting, SSH-troubleshooting access, and highly secure management traffic communication via the Aerohive Cloud.

AEROHIVE HIVEMANAGER NG UPDATES
(www.aerohive.com)

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Aerohive’s new HiveManager NG release radically simplifies the ability for IT personnel to implement policy exceptions at scale. Aerohive has also introduced Hierarchical HiveManager (HHM) to create organizations within a single HiveManager NG instance that allow grouping of devices and policies and role-based access control that limits access to only that organization. Administrators of the HiveManager NG instance can pool licenses across multiple organizations to offer the most flexible management and entitlement capabilities available.

AMAZON TENMARKS WRITING
(www.tenmarks.com/writing)

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Amazon announced TenMarks Writing, an exciting new online curriculum designed for teachers to help their students become better writers. TenMarks Writing brings to life storytelling and expository writing for students using scaffolding, an instructional technique in which students learn step-by-step how the writing process builds. Additionally, TenMarks Writing also incorporates natural language processing technology to provide students with automatic, personalized feedback and help teachers efficiently deliver differentiated comments as students work through their compositions.

ASSIST LLC AND APEX LEARNING
(www.ASSISTeducation.com) & (www.apexlearning.com)

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ASSIST LLC announced the full integration of Apex Learning content into ASSIST 4.0, the company’s Integrated Education Management System for K-12 schools. Apex Learning’s digital content is award-winning and includes core subjects, as well as foreign languages and electives. Schools can access and assign Apex Learning’s middle and high school courses directly on ASSIST. Furthermore, students can also access the courses seamlessly through ASSIST.

BENCHMARK
(www.benchmarkeducation.com)

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Benchmark Education Company (BEC) introduced Benchmark Writer’s Universe, a self-paced digital writing collaborative workshop. Students answer writing prompts addressing opinion about a text, opinion about a topic, personal narrative, fiction, and informative/explanatory science and social studies texts. Teachers can create a writing prompt and instantly assign the project to their students. Learning time is extended, as students can log in to the online program outside of school. Available in both English and Spanish.

CATCHON AND GOOGLE
(getcatchon.com) & (edu.google.com/partners)

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CatchOn has joined Google for Education’s Partner Program. CatchOn delivers real-time data on all app, software and website activity to help examine the success of technology initiatives. The platform also addresses the abundance of education apps, helping districts and schools invest wisely, inform training, improve usage and spot trends.The partnership streamlines CatchOn’s implementation with Chromebooks, meaning district administrators can more easily understand which apps and services students and teachers are using on their devices.

CLASSFLOW ACTIVITY FEED
(www.classflow.com)

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ClassFlow has launched a new activity feed on its website. Teachers can now share lessons, activities, and assignments that they have previously delivered or shared through ClassFlow to the class activity feed via their browser. Teachers can also post photos and announcements to the class activity feed, as well as send private messages to parents either from their browser or now directly from the upgraded ClassFlow Moments app.

CLASSHUB CONFIGURATIONS FEATURE
(www.classhub.com)

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ClassHub now enables hyper-focused mobile device management (MDM) not offered by other MDM solutions. The new Configurations feature allows school IT administrators to quickly set up restrictions, permissions, bookmarks, custom app-notification settings, printers, Wi-Fi settings and more for student devices in individual classes or entire schools. ClassHub also allows administrators to choose when a Configuration is active. A Configuration can be active while school is open, during specific hours or days, or all the time.

CLASSWORKS
(curriculumadvantage.com)

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Classworks released several upgrades to its best-in-class online intervention solution. Teachers can search Classworks’ aligned instruction and custom assessment items by state standards and easily add them to student learning paths and assessments. Classworks instructional units have been restructured to ensure a tighter alignment to skills and state standards. In addition, teachers have access to over 150 redesigned activities, with 50 new activities being seamlessly added each month.

CAPSTONE PEBBLEGO NEXT: SOCIAL STUDIES
(www.capstonepub.com/library)

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Capstone announces the launch of its newest database module, PebbleGo Next: Social Studies. PebbleGo Next: Social Studies features 150 articles aligned with national curriculum standards for social studies. The module’s robust content explores: Culture, Economics, Fields of Study, Geography, Technology and Society, and the United States. The module includes an activity to explore in each subcategory, as well as a video and critical thinking prompts for each article.

ITSLEARNING USER INTERFACE AND ONBOARDING UPDATES
(itslearning.com)

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Itslearning is updating its user interface and onboarding processes to make it more accessible to K-12 students and teachers. Teachers will be better able to manage their content and resources regardless of whether the material is stored within or outside of the LMS. New features provide “to-do” guidance for students to help support them in their learning. Teachers also have onscreen guidance as they first navigate through the different sections of the LMS.

IXL LEARNING IXL DIAGNOSTIC
(www.ixl.com/diagnostic/)

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IXL Learning announced the release of an adaptive diagnostic on IXL, the K–12 personalized learning program used by 1 in 9 U.S. students. The IXL Diagnostic achieves four breakthroughs in assessment: it offers information that is always up to date, requires no class time to be set aside for testing, provides clear next steps and makes the experience a delight for students.

KAHOOT!
(www.kahoot.com)

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Kahoot! launched Kahoot! Studio, a new unit that will offer a library of ready-to-play, curriculum-aligned, and high-quality original Kahoot! game collections. The games will be offered primarily to K-12 teachers and students. Original kahoot games will also be created for the general public. The first collection to be released is the Kahoot! Math collection, which will include popular topics such as Algebra, Fractions, and Geometry. Collections for other subjects will be released in the future.

KAJEET
(kajeet.com)

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Kajeet announced the expansion of its partnerships to connect students on all four major U.S. 4G LTE wireless networks. Doubling the networks school districts can connect students – from two to four wireless carriers – Kajeet can now serve more students across the nation than any other wireless provider in time for the new school year. Wherever there is coverage on these wireless networks, students can connect to the Internet with Kajeet Education Broadband.

KIDS DISCOVER SINGLE SIGN-ON CAPABILITIES
(www.kidsdiscover.com)

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Kids Discover announced that its products are now compatible with single sign-on through both Google Classroom and Clever. Students will now only require one password to access Kids Discover content—the same password they use for the rest of their classroom programs. Kids Discover’s choice to integrate their curriculum with Google Classroom was influenced by the fact that more than 30 million students, faculty, and staff use their free school collaboration suite, Google Apps for Education.

LEARNING UPGRADE MATH LESSONS
(www.learningupgrade.com)

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Learning Upgrade has added 360 new math lessons to the Learning Upgrade App. Each standards-aligned Math Upgrade lesson is aimed to serve ELL students in grades K-5. The lessons integrate exciting songs, video, and games that engage students. Each lesson provides practice problems accompanied by immediate intervention and remediation with multimedia supports. Students can repeat lessons until they master them, earning gold certificates upon proficiency. Each full course takes students 20–25 hours to complete.

LEXIA LEARNING IPAD APP
(www.lexialearning.com)

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In order to increase the flexibility and efficiency with which districts and schools can administer adaptive reading assessment, Lexia Learning has made the Lexia RAPID Assessment literacy program available on iPad with the RAPID app. The K-12 computer-adaptive screener and diagnostic tool is available on the App Store. RAPID measures the academic language skills that play a role in overall reading comprehension, particularly as students transition from learning to read to reading to learn.

MOVE THIS WORLD
(www.movethisworld.com)

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Move This World equips educators and students with tools to strengthen their social and emotional wellbeing in order to create healthy school climates where effective teaching and learning occur. Through evidence-based videos and digital tools, Move This World ritualizes a daily practice of identifying, managing and expressing emotions. With 24/7 access to instructional videos, classroom visuals, a resource library and more, Move This World increases accessibility to social and emotional learning.

NEARPOD INTERACTIVE LESSON PLANS
(nearpod.com) & (www.flocabulary.com)

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Nearpod announces its partnership with Flocabulary which uses hip-hop songs and videos to increase student engagement and achievement. Together, the companies co-developed and are launching a series of classroom-ready lessons that pack Flocabulary’s signature tunes alongside Nearpod’s existing suite of interactive, fun and educational tools that span everything from virtual reality field trips to critical thinking questions.

PEARSON’S TELL
(www.pearsontell.com)

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Test of English Language Learning, or TELL, by Pearson is a unique, tablet-based assessment that gives students, teachers, and district administrators the support they need to meet the new regulations of ESSA. TELL aligns with World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) English Language Development (ELD) Standards, as well as state standards. TELL helps school districts to screen and place students quickly and accurately by identifying students’ English language proficiency level and informing program placement decisions.

PRINTLAB 3D PRINTING STARTING BUNDLE
(weareprintlab.com)

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PrintLab International announced the launch of a complete & affordable 3D printing starter bundle for schools. PrintLab has developed a unique and comprehensive bundle of products and resources for schools looking to introduce 3D printing in the classroom. The release coincides with the launch of the next generation of EinStart series desktop 3D printer. They are fully-enclosed for safety, benefit from automatic bed levelling, wireless network connection and a colour touch screen interface.

QUIZLET DIAGRAMS
(quizlet.com)

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Quizlet has announced the launch of Diagrams, an interactive study experience ideal for subjects where analyzing graphs, images, and maps are vital to understanding. To build a new study set, users can upload an image and then enter in corresponding terms and definitions. Students and teachers can also browse a directory of popular diagrams or search the thousands already created by others on Quizlet to find relevant diagrams and get inspired to build their own.

SCHOLARCHIP ABE FULL INTEGRATION
(www.scholarchip.com)

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ScholarChip has fully integrated ABE (Alternative Behavior Educator) into its suite of services. ABE offers practitioners evidence-based behavioral interventions that get results by teaching better behavior through interactive games and videos. ScholarChip-ABE eliminates administrative tasks by automating referrals and interventions that are based on repeated tardiness or truancy. It monitors progress throughout a student’s career while giving administrators and teachers data-driven reports that quickly flag at-risk students, help chronicle progress, and support quantifiable decision-making tasks.

SCHOOLDUDE EDUCATION OPERATIONS HEALTH INDEX
(dudesolutions.com)

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SchoolDude’s bi-annual Education Operations Health Index utilizes nearly two decades of education operations statistics from SchoolDude client data as they complete and track daily work. Aggregate data includes work orders, IT tickets, event management, energy usage and more, collected from progressive and innovative operations, facilities and IT managers. Data analysis was combined with online survey results from 200 respondents in education operations from a variety of regions, job titles and school sizes.

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WEST AND EDUCATION FUNDING PARTNERS
(www.schoolmessenger.com) & (www.edufundingpartners.com)

West and Education Funding Partners (EFP) announced a partnership that will give West’s SchoolMessenger Presence website customers a turnkey funding solution through EFP adNet. This fall, EFP adNet will integrate with the SchoolMessenger Presence website platform and give its customers the ability to “turnon” adNet and begin running ads from a carefully vetted list of education-friendly brands. Districts and schools determine the placement of the brands’ digital ads on their website pages to drive revenue.

Back Office Business

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POINT ISABEL (TX) ISD SELECTS ITSLEARNING LMS TO FOCUS ON PERSONALIZED LEARNING
After piloting several learning management systems, district leaders in Point Isabel chose itslearning for their pre-kindergarten through 5th grade students to help personalize student learning. “It’s easy for students to navigate, it gives teachers the opportunity for real-time interaction with their students, and it offers parents the chance to log in from home and assist their students,” says superintendent Dr. Lisa Garcia. With the system’s new cloud integration, districts using G Suite by Google or Microsoft’s Office 365 will find it easier to synchronize their preferred cloud service with their itslearning accounts and all of their favorite cloud apps without ever leaving itslearning. New assessment updates include a streamlined grading workflow and a new capacity for annotating student submissions online.

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MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (MDE) ANNOUNCES STEADY GAINS IN STATEWIDE EARLY LITERACY ASSESSMENT WITH RENAISSANCE
The MDE announced that the majority of its pre-K and kindergarten students have made significant gains during the past academic year. This is the third year in a row that the state’s young students have made academic gains, with the average statewide score exceeding that of the previous two school years. Nearly 37,000 Mississippi kindergartners took the Star Early Literacy assessment from Renaissancein the fall and spring of the 2016–2017 school year. Statewide, 65 percent of kindergartners scored above the end-of-year target score of 681. The target score signifies “transitional” readers, or students who are beginning to read unfamiliar words and easy-reader material and are on their way to becoming independent readers.

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VERNIER SOFTWARE & TECHNOLOGY TO HOST 31 FREE DATA-COLLECTION WORKSHOPS THIS FALL
This fall, Vernier will host 31 free, hands-on workshops around the country to help science educators integrate data-collection technology into their curriculum. Each four-hour workshop will be led by a training specialist who will work alongside classroom educators as they explore classroom-ready labs that incorporate data-collection technology from Vernier. During the workshops, educators will learn skills and strategies for integrating data-collection technology into their physics, chemistry, biology, and environmental or earth science lessons to help meet the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). After receiving an overview of the technology, educators will have opportunities to explore popular experiments across a wide variety of grade levels and scientific disciplines. Vernier technology-based solutions enhance STEM education, increase learning, build students’ critical thinking skills, and support the science and engineering practices detailed in the NGSS.

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PUTNAM CITY (OK) SCHOOLS DESIGNS CUSTOM CHARGING STATION SOLUTION WITH LOCKNCHARGE
To help refresh their digital learning initiatives, leaders at Putnam City Schools collaborated with LocknCharge to design and release the Putnam 16 Charging Station. The district is installing 500 charging stations for the upcoming school year. “Our district is in the process of creating our own digital curriculum, so students will increasingly use mobile devices as their textbooks. We didn’t find any stations that fit our needs for this initiative, so we approached LocknCharge about creating a custom solution,” says Charri Stratton, director of instructional technology at Putnam City Schools. The new charging station stores and secures 16 iPads. The pre-wired stations come with external charging status displays and built-in mechanical combination locks. Four hundred stations are destined for middle schools, and 100 more will be distributed to various classrooms that have 1:1 programs.

Hardware

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Acer (www.acer.com) debuts a new performance-minded Chromebook for education and business customers, the Acer Chromebook 11 C771, which is the industry’s first Chromebook to use 6th Generation Intel processors. It delivers faster performance with up to 13 hours of battery life in a portable and durable chassis that is MIL-STD 810G compliant. The Chromebook 11 C771 will provide additional capabilities thanks to planned support for Android apps via the Google Play Store in coming months.

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The Marvel Group (marvelfocusdesk.com) introduced its new Focus Activity Table. It allows children to stand or sit comfortably, with a silent lift system that kids can adjust without assistance. It offers a large work surface multiple students can share. Available in 48” or 60” widths, it complies with ADA accessibility standards as well as height adjustability for all students. The Feathertouch pneumatic cylinder lift system easily sets the work surface between 28” and 42” in height.

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Independence Science (independencescience.com) launched the Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 to help blind and low-vision students independently complete data-collection investigations during STEM labs. Students can use the Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 to collect data from more than 70 Vernier sensors. In addition to speaking the data-collection results, as well as displaying the results on the screen, the device can vocalize to students more than 20 characteristics of each element on the Periodic Table of Elements.

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Epson America (epson.com) announced two new portable document cameras – the Epson DC-07 (left) and the Epson DC-13 – high-definition document cameras offering both affordability and superior feature sets. Designed to captivate and engage K-12 students, the new document cameras boast superior image quality with 1080p resolution and advanced zoom capabilities to accurately capture full HD images when displaying textbook pages, student work, 3D experiments, and more.

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littleBits (littlebits.cc) announced the launch of its Droid Inventor Kit, which enables kids to create their own Droid. Kids can create and power up their own mechanical companion using littleBits electronic Bits—along with the free Droid Inventor app—to send their creation on 16+ special Star Wars missions. As they level up their Droid Inventor skills, kids can also learn how to create their own custom R2 Units and experiences, combining play with real hands-on learning.

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HP (www.hp.com/go/education/stream11pro) announced the HP Stream 11 Pro G4 Education Edition notebook. New on the rugged, cloud-centric notebook is an improved, rugged chassis that uses co-molded rubber and a unique impact dispersion pattern on the internal chassis to provide protection near the hinges. The new HP notebook can adapt to numerous activities, stay reliably connected to WiFi, stand up to rough handling, and provide battery power to last beyond the school day on a single charge.

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Texas Instruments (www.ti.com) announced the TI-Innovator TM Rover, the company’s first robotics solution for middle and high school students that makes learning STEM subjects a moving experience. Rover connects to the TI-Innovator Hub and either a TI-84 Plus CE or TI-Nspire CX graphing calculator that many students already have. Students without any exposure to coding or robotics can get started by writing a basic program to make Rover do things like draw, dance or even crash.

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