SCIENTIFIC LEARNING CORP. SELECTED AS FINALIST FOR EDNET IMPACT AWARD

SCIENTIFIC LEARNING CORP. SELECTED AS FINALIST FOR

EDNET IMPACT AWARD

 

2009 marks the second consecutive year the Oakland, Calif. company has been

lauded for its important contributions to the education industry

 

 

Oakland, Calif. — August 27, 2009 — For the second year in a row, Scientific Learning Corp. (NASDAQ:SCIL) has been named one of three finalists for the EdNET Impact Award. The award, to be presented Sept. 14 at the 2009 EdNET Conference in Chicago, recognizes the organization that has made the most significant impact on education through quality educational support and instructional resources.  

 

Scientific Learning was selected as a finalist by a panel of leading education industry experts. The Impact Award is part of the prestigious EdNET Industry Awards program that recognizes organizations that have made important contributions through their products and programs to the education industry in the past year.

 

Scientific Learning is the creator of the Fast ForWord® family of products which accelerates learning by improving the processing efficiency of the brain. Based on more than 30 years of neuroscience and cognitive research, the Fast ForWord software provides struggling readers with computer-delivered exercises that build the cognitive skills required to read and learn effectively.  Scientific Learning also offers the Reading Assistant™ software which combines advanced speech recognition technology with scientifically-based interventions to help students strengthen their reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

 

“Scientific Learning is honored to be a finalist for this prestigious award for the last two years,” said Andy Myers, president and CEO of Scientific Learning. “It recognizes the impact our company has made on education by applying research and technology to improve student learning. By helping to strengthen brain processing and literacy skills, our products have helped diverse students — including at-risk students, students performing below their potential, English learners, and special education students — achieve significant gains and become proficient, lifelong readers.”

 

EdNET founder and president, Dr. Nelson B. Heller, said, “The EdNET awards judging team, coordinated by partner and sponsor, Educational Systemics®, identified nine organizations who personify the thought leadership of our industry. Their products and services are influencing the future of our nation by providing students and teachers with new and exciting learning opportunities and tools.”

 

About the EdNET Industry Awards

The EdNET Industry Awards program was created in 1992 to champion the efforts of progressive organizations helping to revitalize the nation’s educational system. The program has been honoring leaders for 17 years at the EdNET Conference, which is produced by MDR, the leading provider of marketing information and services for the U.S. education market. Now in its 21st year, the EdNET Conference is the education market’s premier annual networking conference. The EdNET 2009 Conference will be in Chicago, Sept. 13-15. For more information, visit www.EdNETconference.com or phone 800-333-8802, ext. 4693.

 

About Scientific Learning Corp.

Scientific Learning creates educational software that accelerates learning by improving the processing efficiency of the brain. Based on more than 30 years of neuroscience and cognitive research, the Fast ForWord® family of products provides struggling readers with computer-delivered exercises that build the cognitive skills required to read and learn effectively. Scientific Learning Reading Assistant™ combines advanced speech recognition technology with scientifically-based courseware to help students strengthen fluency, vocabulary and comprehension to become proficient, life-long readers. The efficacy of the products has been established by more than 550 research studies and publications. For more information, visit www.scientificlearning.com or call toll-free 888-358-0212.

 

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Pearson Responds to Secretary of Education’s Call for ‘Continuity of Learning’ in Event of H1N1 Outbreak

Pearson Responds to Secretary of Education’s Call for ‘Continuity of Learning’ in Event of H1N1 Outbreak

Multi-tiered Response to Help Avoid Disruption of Student Education During Absences

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Washington, DC., August 24, 2009 — As announced by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today, the education and technology company Pearson has developed a “Continuity of Learning” plan to continue students’ education if school attendance is disrupted due to the H1N1 virus or other crisis events.
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Secretary Duncan acknowledged representatives from Pearson, Apple, Microsoft, Curriki, Scholastic and the International Association of K12 Online Learning attending the press conference, all cited as partners in the Department of Education’s Continuity for Learning initiative.

Secretary Duncan said, “We know that some students may be affected by H1N1. And our top priority is making sure that they have a way to get well, stay well and to keep learning. With these recommendations, we’re providing a menu of strategies for educators to help ensure that the learning process will continue.”

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius attended the press conference and noted, “Everyone’s goal should be to keep children healthy and in school. But if they get sick — and some will — we have to make sure that they don’t fall behind.” District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty and District of Columbia Chancellor of Public Schools Michelle Rhee also attended the conference.

Following Secretary Duncan’s remarks, Pearson’s president for School Solutions Scott Drossos explained the company’s services that will support the Department of Education’s H1N1 initiative, “Pearson, with widespread use of its research-based educational content, systems and services, and technology in U.S. schools, is committing exceptional resources to maintain continuity of learning in the event of an outbreak of H1N1 or a natural catastrophe that compromises access to schools and onsite learning.” He added, “Our established relationships with school leaders and teachers nationwide, coupled with our standards-based curriculum programs, comprehensive systems integration infrastructure, digital solutions and technology capabilities, plus our team of experts together provide Pearson a unique ability to help students, teachers and parents should a crisis occur.”

Drossos noted that the plan outline that Pearson has provided to the Department of Education to maintain continuity of learning is multi-tiered, with emergency responses aligned to the severity of the outbreak, as well as an assessment of schools’ foundational use of Pearson core curricula, supplemental activities, and special needs support.

As an overlay, the plan gives consideration to the time needed for deployment of exceptional resources for existing customers, for those that are not current Pearson customers, as well as for a scenario that is clearly catastrophic necessitating the immediate closure of entire districts. Proposed solutions address schools that have high technology use, minimum technology capability, or no existing technology infrastructure.

Additional components of the plan include the following:

  • Pearson’s communication resources will mobilize through web site access for educators, parents, and students and link to the Department of Education’s crisis management site.
  • FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) will be posted on the site and education leaders will have access to a communication toolkit that will offer templates for outreach notices to the community and adaptable statements for the local media.
  • Pearson’s National Network of Call Centers will provide professional development support, as well as serve as a communication link should individuals not be able to access the web site.

Drossos said, “All of us at Pearson consider our responsibility to schools, teachers, students and parents a public trust. Should there be a pandemic situation, we will work collaboratively with all of our partners across the U.S., and mobilize our Pearson resources to make sure we do all we can to avoid significant disruption of education for our children.”

Pearson’s response plan will bring together its teams of experts in Curriculum Development, Instruction, Technology, Assessment and Data Systems, and Professional Development nationwide. Drossos said, “These are accomplished problem solvers, schooled in best practices, who stand ready to think with integrity beyond traditional constraints to craft a solution strategy for immediate deployment.”

Through its Pearson Foundation, Pearson has a history of assisting in providing large-scale disaster help to schools and communities, most notably in recent years through its ongoing response to Hurricane Katrina victims, to other hurricane disasters affecting the Southeast and Gulf Coast and to victims of the Iowa floods. Globally, Pearson has provided support to victims of the devastating hurricanes in Myanmar, the earthquakes in Northern China, Pakistan and India, as well as the South Asian tsunami.

About Pearson

Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education and education technology and services, provides innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. Pearson’s other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information about Pearson School, go to www.pearsonschool.com.

Contact

Kate Miller
Pearson
800-745-8489

 

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Students Build 21st Century Writing and Reading Skills With New Update of Pearson’s Award-Winning Online Writing Tool

Students Build 21st Century Writing and Reading Skills With New Update of Pearson’s Award-Winning Online Writing Tool

WriteToLearn 5.3 Features Increased Support for Summary Writing, New Capabilities for Teachers

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Boulder, CO, August 26, 2009 — Today’s students text, blog, “tweet,” and sometimes they even write with pencil and paper. To ensure that all students build the literacy skills required for success in today’s information-based world, Pearson , the education and technology company, today launched the newest version of its award-winning Web-based writing and reading comprehension tool, WriteToLearn™.

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With WriteToLearn , students develop essay writing and summarization skills, and their improvement is measured by Pearson’s state-of-the-art Knowledge Analysis Technologies™ (KAT) engine. The KAT Engine is a unique automated assessment technology that evaluates the meaning of text, not just grammatical correctness or spelling.

“In today’s world, literacy has become a more critical skill than ever before, and all students must develop strong writing and reading comprehension skills to be successful in school, work and the world,” said Lynn Streeter, president of the Knowledge Technologies group of Pearson. “The new capabilities in WriteToLearn 5.3 offer learners of all abilities greater support for developing these literacy skills and give teachers more flexibility in how they use our powerful online tool to support instruction.”

In addition to choosing from more than 100 essay topics that come with WriteToLearn, teachers can now create their own topics to assign to their students. And, beyond the broad assortment of essay writing activities in WriteToLearn, teachers can select from nearly 600 reading passages across subject areas for summary writing activities.

WriteToLearn 5.3 also provides students with increased support when writing summaries. Many of the summarization activities now include “hints” to help students identify the important ideas in a reading. Hints are text-specific questions that help scaffold student learning. When a student is struggling with a particular section, a hint is available to help the student focus on the main idea of that section. Using this feature over time helps students to think critically about the main ideas in the texts they read. Teachers can control this feature, turning it on or off, as they feel appropriate.

At Troutman Middle School, which serves 400 students in North Carolina’s Piedmont region, students of all academic abilities are taking their writing skills to new heights with the help of WriteToLearn. Debbie Craven is a special education teacher at the school, and Perry Justice co-teaches an inclusion class with her. “Some of our students couldn’t focus to put together simple sentences, and writing was very difficult and frustrating for them,” said Craven. “Since we introduced them to WriteToLearn, we have seen a dramatic change. They think nothing of sitting down to write for an hour. Kids who used to struggle with one or two paragraphs are composing entire essays.”

In the past, Craven and Justice would introduce an essay topic, spend time explaining and encouraging their students and allow for two weeks of writing with paper and pencil. This year, they took their students to the computer lab once a week to use WriteToLearn, and they were off and running at log-in. “The papers they wrote were just fabulous – it blew my mind,” said Justice. “They finished them in a day and a half instead of two weeks, and they were working on them at home, too.”

Craven pilot-tested WriteToLearn’s new teacher-created essay topics capability with her students. “To prepare my students for writing persuasive essays on the state assessment, I entered a teacher-authored topic. It was extremely easy, took just five minutes to learn, and WriteToLearn led me through the process,” she said. “It was great to have the option of creating unique writing assignments.”

All schools and districts with current WriteToLearn accounts will receive the updates free of charge. More information about WriteToLearn is available at www.WriteToLearn.net.

About Pearson

Pearson (NYSE: PSO), the global leader in education and education technology, reaches and engages today’s digital natives with effective and personalized learning, as well as dedicated professional development for their teachers. This commitment is demonstrated in the company’s investment in innovative print and digital education materials for preK through professional learning, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher development, career certification programs and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. The company’s respected brands include Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Benjamin Cummings, the Stanford Achievement Test series, the Wechsler family of assessments, SuccessNet, MyLabs, PowerSchool, SuccessMaker and many others. Pearson’s comprehensive offerings help inform targeted instruction and intervention so that success is within reach of every student at every level of education. Pearson’s commitment to education for all is supported by the global charitable giving initiatives of the Pearson Foundation. Pearson’s other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, go to www.pearson.com.

Contact

Adam Gaber
Pearson
800-745-8489

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Everything Teachers and Parents Need to Know About Swine Flu




RESTON, VA – Parents, teachers, and school officials are anxiously awaiting the expected return this fall of the H1N1 virus, known as Swine Flu. Declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, the virus may prove a significant problem to schools and families across the country.

 

To help both teachers and parents prepare for swine flu, TeachersFirst.com has created a unique online resource at http://www.teachersfirst.com/content/spectopics/swineflu.cfm. The site contains links to extensive information on the nature, prevention, and management of the disease. Teacher-oriented information includes recommendations for appropriate grade level and suggestions for use in the classroom; some resources are also designed specifically for home use.

 

Nonprofit TeachersFirst (www.TeachersFirst.com), now in its twelfth year, is one of the web’s leading sites for teachers. Thousands of teachers from more than 50 countries visit the site regularly; they use resources that have been reviewed and approved by master teachers, and are organized by grade and subject. The service also plays an active role in helping teachers understand technology and use it productively.

 

The Source for Learning (SFL—www.SourceForLearning.org) is TeachersFirst’s parent organization. Steven J. Gorski, SFL’s CEO and President, said, “The swine flu resource page gives accurate, timely, and age-appropriate information so students, teachers, and parents know what they can do to stay healthy and limit the spread of the virus. It’s an example of one way we help teachers and students—and it shows how we combine technology and class activities to provide a learning experience.”

 

An example of the professional context and teaching ideas provided by TeachersFirst editors is this suggestion for ways students can learn from one of the sites listed: “Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create podcasts (maybe mock news reporting) about the H1N1. Assign each group a different area to explore (what is Swine Flu, how to stop the spread, and others).”

 

The Source for Learning is also the creator of www.PreschoolFirst.com, www.TeachersAndFamilies.com, and the upcoming www.GrowUpLearning.com, slated to launch later in 2009.

 

 

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ePals, Inc. Named Finalist for EdNET 2009 Pioneer Award

 

HERNDON, VA. (Aug. 27, 2009) – Market Data Retrieval (MDR), the leading provider of marketing information and services for the U.S. education market, has named ePals, Inc., as a finalist for the EdNET 2009 Pioneer Award.  The Pioneer Award recognizes organizations for their contribution to the growth of the education industry by creating a new niche or offering in the market.

 

ePals, Inc., is the provider of the ePals Global Community, the largest online community of K-12 learners.  Enabling more than half a million educators and millions of students across 200 countries and territories to safely connect, exchange ideas and work together, the community boasts a variety of social networking tools and high-quality content that encourage students to communicate and collaborate with their peers around the world.

 

EdNET Founder and President, Dr. Nelson B. Heller, said, "The EdNET awards judging team identified organizations who personify the thought leadership of our industry.  Their products and services are influencing the future of our nation by providing students and teachers with new and exciting learning opportunities and tools."

 

"We are very pleased that MDR has selected ePals as a finalist for the EdNET Pioneer Award," said Edmund Fish, President and CEO of ePals, Inc.  "To be recognized as a trailblazer in the education industry is a significant honor.  This nomination further energizes our commitment to enable collaborative, authentic learning experiences for students around the world."

 

Finalists for the EdNET 2009 Industry Awards were selected by a panel of leading education industry experts.  Award winners will be announced on Sept. 14, 2009, during the EdNET Conference in Chicago.

 

The EdNET awards program has been honoring leaders for 17 years at the annual EdNET Educational Networking Conference, now in its 21st year and sponsored by MDR.  "More than ever the education business community is challenged with providing innovative solutions to address the needs and challenges of today’s students," said Fady Khairallah, President of MDR.  "This year’s EdNET Industry Awards finalists have raised the bar, demonstrating the visionary capabilities of our industry.  We’re honored to have the opportunity to reward their work at the EdNET Conference."

 

For more information about the awards program, visit www.EdNETconference.com.  For more information about ePals, Inc., and the ePals Global Community, visit www.epalscorp.com.

 

About EdNET and the EdNET Industry Awards

The EdNET Conference, which is produced by MDR and is now in its 21st year, is the education market’s premier annual networking conference.  It brings together education executives, school administrators, and policymakers to network and build strategic business partnerships.  The EdNET Industry Awards program was created in 1992 to champion the efforts of progressive organizations helping to revitalize the nation’s educational system.  The EdNET 2010 Conference will be in Boston, September 26-28.  For more information about the EdNET Conference and Industry Awards program, visit www.EdNETconference.com or phone 800.333.8802, Ext. 4693.

 

About ePals, Inc.

Founded in 1996 and merged with In2Books® in 2006, ePals offers K-12 students and teachers around the world a safe environment for building and exchanging knowledge based on protected connectivity tools, evidence-based curricula and authentic, collaborative learning experiences.  The ePals Global Community™ (www.epals.com) is the largest online community of K-12 learners, enabling more than half a million educators and millions of students across 200 countries and territories to safely connect, exchange ideas, and work together.  The company’s mission is to support lifelong learning through collaborative experiences that empower and inspire.  ePals is especially committed to enabling academically rigorous educational opportunities in economically disadvantaged environments worldwide through the ePals Foundation – provider of In2Books, the company’s flagship literacy e-mentoring program.

 

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School official accused of sending fake eMails

A Connecticut school administrator who police say tried to taint the reputation of a colleague by sending inflammatory eMail messages in his name faces criminal charges, reports the Hartford Courant. Roslyn Sternberg, director of management information services for the New Britain schools, was arrested Aug. 5 on a warrant charging her with two counts of criminal impersonation. She was released on a promise to appear at Superior Court on Sept. 29. According to the warrant, Sternberg opened a Google eMail account in the name of Thomas Menditto, New Britain’s coordinator of science, technology, and applied education, on June 9. Posing as Menditto, the warrant says, she complained to two board of education members that another administrator’s department was getting a disproportionate amount of overtime. The message also claimed that the supervisor did not treat teachers fairly. In a second fake eMail message sent the next day to Superintendent Doris J. Kurtz, Sternberg allegedly suggested that the same administrator was having sex with the school system’s benefits clerk and questioned the clerk’s salary. The eMails apparently "intended to harm the reputations and status of at least two school district administrative staff members," Lt. James P. Wardwell wrote in the warrant…

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Program touts success with Advanced Placement exams

A program to put more Kentucky high school students in Advanced Placement classes says its efforts helped students in 12 target schools dramatically increase achievement on national AP exams last school year, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader. Students at the 12 Kentucky schools–all of which participate in the AdvanceKy effort to boost AP class participation–earned 768 passing scores on AP national exams in math, science, and English, representing a 76.6 percent increase over the previous year. That increase easily topped the state’s overall passing score increase of 17.5 percent, and it far exceeded the national increase of 5.7 percent. AdvanceKy is a joint effort by the Kentucky Science and Technology Corp. and the state education department, in partnership with the National Math and Science Initiative. Executive Director Joanne Lang said AdvanceKy helped the schools use a variety of approaches to boost tests results, including opening AP classes to more students, counseling students, providing supplies and equipment, providing intensive training for AP teachers, and offering cash incentives…

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Curriki Selected by Department of Education to Support H1N1 Continuity of Learning Plan






WASHINGTON DC (August 25th, 2009) – Curriki, the largest online community for creating and sharing open source K-12 curricula, was asked by the Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) to provide a continuity of learning plan for states, school districts, and individuals as part of a nationwide readiness initiative for a possible resurgence of the H1N1 virus.

Curriki’s continuity of learning plan includes access to a free and open repository of teaching and learning resources built on an open platform that can be customized for individual states or school districts.  Like an iTunes playlist, users of Curriki can create collections of free and open educational resources, along with repositories of other supplemental content. If a teacher prefers one lesson to another, he or she can easily swap content in or out to meet the individual needs of the students.  States or school districts can take advantage of customized landing pages designed to provide specific information, news, resources, and links to their education stakeholders.  Additionally, Curriki’s group function allow members of a district, school, or community to stay connected and privately share resources, communicate and post news and collaborate on projects from any location.

More details on the Continuity of Learning plan can be viewed at: http://www.curriki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Demo/ContinuityofLearning. 

A sample state or district landing page can be viewed at: http://www.curriki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Demo/SampleStateLandingPage.

“Curriki has always been committed to sharing our platform and large collection of high quality curriculum at no cost,” said Dr. Barbara “Bobbi” Kurshan, Executive Director of Curriki.  By working with the Department of Education, we can further provide a solution for states, districts, schools, teachers, and the parents of students who will find themselves unable to attend school in the unfortunate event of a flu epidemic.”

Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, at a recent back-to-school event recently mentioned the importance of resources, including Curriki, in providing guidance and expertise to educators on how learning can continue in the event of student absences due to seasonal and novel H1N1 flu.

“We can all work to keep ourselves healthy now by practicing prevention, close monitoring and using common sense,” Secretary Duncan said. ”We know that some students may be affected by H1N1. And our top priority is making sure that they have a way to get well, stay well and to keep learning. With these recommendations, we’re providing a menu of strategies for educators to help ensure that the learning process will continue.”

Curriki has more than 80,000 registered members and more than 400 groups with access to more than 30,000 free, open source learning assets.  Curriki logs more than 175,000 unique visitors per month from teachers representing more than 200 countries/territories around the world. Curriki’s impact is measured by the global usage of its instructional resources, which are currently being used to teach more than an estimated 4.7 million students around the world.

For more information, visit http://www.curriki.org

 

About Curriki

Curriki is a not-for-profit organization committed to eliminating the education divide.  Through an open source platform, Curriki delivers free and peer reviewed K-12 curricula as well as collaboration tools to teachers, students and parents around the world. By increasing teacher engagement in curriculum development, Curriki positively impacts teacher effectiveness and student performance. Curriki’s community of educators includes more than 80,000 members and shares more than 30,000 learning assets.  To learn more, please visit www.curriki.org or phone 202-626.8529. 

 

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Harris School Solutions announces Electronic Teacher Attendance Certification capability.

Scottsdale, AZ, August 26, 2009 – Harris School Solutions (HSS) is pleased to announce the availability of an electronic teacher attendance certification capability within their SME SIS solution. California teachers are required to verify, print, and sign their attendance records for certified ADA tracking. HSS’ SME Student Information Solution is the first, and only, full K-12 solution to be certified within the state of California to support this process electronically. This new feature offers an unmatched opportunity for California School Districts to eliminate the need to print, sign/certify and store paper attendance records. Currently 264 Schools (22,726 Users) are utilizing the SME Attendance module’s electronic teacher attendance certification to verify attendance for 323,667 Students in LAUSD.

SME’s attendance accounting system captures digital teacher signatures once each teacher logs into SME and applies their digital certification for the attendance record they are reviewing. SME will track the dates of data entry, modifications, and the employee id of the person logging/modifying/certifying the attendance information. This certification can be reviewed by teachers, administrators and auditors and can be validated before electronic delivery to the California Department of Education.

Harris School Solutions’ SME district customers will no longer have to invest in the paper, time and energy that currently accompanies the manual attendance certification process. This enhancement is available for any California SME customer.

Harris School Solutions is a leading provider of enterprise solutions for school districts in the areas of K-12 Student Administration (SIS); Adult/ROP School Management, Food Services Management, Finance Systems and expands their offerings through partnerships in the areas of VOIP, Real Time Data Archiving.

For further information please contact Harris School Solutions at www.harris-schoolsolutions.com or via e-mail: K12Solutions@harriscomputer.com

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