Houghton Mifflin Harcourt seeks to reassure schools amid bankruptcy filing

HMH insists its restructuring plan will strengthen the company financially.

Education publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) is seeking to reassure schools that it’s business as usual after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy May 28 to wipe out $3.1 billion in debt.

HMH, which publishes software and textbooks used by some 57 million students throughout all 50 U.S. states and 120 countries, said it has reached an agreement with more than 70 percent of its lenders and bondholders on the terms of a financial restructuring plan to convert the company’s outstanding debt into equity. More than 20 HMH affiliates, including Broderbund LLC and Classroom Connect Inc., also entered bankruptcy.

HMH said its plan would eliminate the company’s debt and reduce current annual cash interest costs by approximately $250 million, providing the company with “greater liquidity and financial flexibility as it pursues growth opportunities.”

By filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, instead of Chapter 7, which usually implies a company’s immediate exit, it appears that HMH intends to stay in business. While the company is in the bankruptcy process, it can’t be sued by creditors.

HMH insists its restructuring plan will strengthen the company financially.

“This is good news for our company,” said Linda Zecher, president and CEO of HMH, in a video that can be found here. “Our company has enough positive cash flow to continue normal operations. There will be no disruptions.”

On a question-and-answer webpage about the restructuring, HMH assures its stakeholders that the company has “no plans for layoffs or closings as a result of this process” and that it doesn’t “expect any changes in our business relationships with our authors, artists, or customers, other than the opportunity to grow our relationship further. Your contacts at HMH will remain the same, and we will continue to deliver on our commitments as usual.”

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, HMH had roughly $1.29 billion in sales last year, and the company says it plans to borrow as much as $500 million through Citigroup Inc. to complete the bankruptcy process.

Moody’s Investors Service earlier this month cut HMH’s corporate credit grade to the second-lowest rating, reserved for borrowers that “offer very poor financial security.” In March, Moody’s said the company’s capital structure was “unsustainable without a significant rebound in earnings.”

At a time when many publishers are struggling to make the transition from a mostly print-based to a digital market, HMH spokeswoman Bianca Olson said the shift from print to digital played no role in the company’s financial situation. Instead, she attributed HMH’s debt to “multiple acquisitions, coupled with a slower-than-expected economic recovery.”

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$1K for innovative STEM or literacy curriculum

A school or organization has the opportunity to receive a $1,000 grant to create new and innovative ways to use the tenets of “From Failure to Promise: An Uncommon Path to Professoriate,” in their curriculum to motivate, energize, and catapult K-12 students/youth to reach their full promise in literacy, math, science, or technology.

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Up to $500 for drama programs

Because Pioneer Drama Service believes so strongly in the power of theatre to make a difference in a student’s life, the organization is awarding a total of $5,000 of grants in the form of Pioneer Drama Service Credit. Qualifying middle and high schools may apply for a grant consisting of a credit in the amount of $100 To $500. This grant is intended to strengthen or create a sustainable drama experience for students in a school and must be used to stage at least one theatrical production during the 2012-13 school year.

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Math equipment, software for educators

The Mission of Math Machines is to improve the quality of mathematical education, enhance the transfer of mathematical thinking into other classes, and increase students’ ability to apply rigorous mathematics outside the classroom. The primary tool for carrying out this mission is “Math Machines”—simple devices which give an immediate, physical, dynamic expression to “abstract” mathematical equations.

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Virginia Commonwealth University to Enhance Learning with New Technology

Higher Education Institution Selects Turning Technologies
as Campus-Wide Clicker Provider

Youngstown, OH – May 29, 2012 – Turning Technologies, the global leader in the assessment delivery and data collection industry, adds Virginia Commonwealth University to its list of institutions to standardize support around the company’s student response solutions. After the review of vendor presentations, Virginia Commonwealth University has selected ResponseCard® NXT as the centrally supported clicker device.

Virginia Commonwealth University is a large four-year public institution that enrolls more than 32,000 students. In order to provide campus-wide autonomy, the institution has standardized on a reliable and flexible technology that can be supported and represented universally. Clickers are used in a variety of courses at Virginia Commonwealth University, and more than 5,000 students are expected to adopt new ResponseCard NXT clickers in fall 2012.

The institution’s eight member evaluation committee based their decision on a clicker needs and requirements priority list. Turning Technologies’ overall solution was identified to best address the full range of uses among faculty members. Key deciding factors included compact receiver size, thorough training and product support, well developed pedagogical resources and a genuine concern for quality customer service.

Jeff Nugent, Co-Director in the Center for Teaching Excellence said, “Turning Technologies provided us with a flexible technology solution that could support the widest range of instructional options for our faculty. We were also excited about the vision Turning has for the future of response technologies, including a solid mobile option and an eye toward enhanced learning analytics that could be used to better understand how students are learning.”

Turning Technologies’ ResponseCard NXT provides cell phone style text entry for short answer and essay questions. Combined with TurningPoint® polling software, instructors can poll within PowerPoint®, over any application, and administer self-paced testing for individual summative assessment.
“Turning Technologies is pleased to provide higher education institutions with intuitive tools that support research-based instructional strategies proven to increase student outcomes,” said Dr. Tina Rooks, Turning Technologies’ Vice President & Chief Instruction Officer. “With critical performance indicators such as retention and graduation rates becoming top institutional priorities, the value of immediate assessment available with our technology becomes increasingly vital to the educational process with a positive impact on student retention.”
Turning Technologies readily elicits customer feedback, and takes it into consideration during the development process, creating assessment delivery and data collection solutions specifically designed with users in mind. The company remains the industry leader in higher education with more than 2,300 U.S. colleges and universities using Turning Technologies’ clicker solutions. Additional growth is expected in 2012, predominately during the fall semester with ongoing pilots and standardizations.

About Turning Technologies:
Turning Technologies creates leading assessment delivery and data collection solutions for learning environments. Founded in 2002, the company began with the development of response technology that was affordable, user-friendly and better documented so that users could easily grasp its benefits. Today, more than four million ResponseCard clickers have been delivered to K-12 schools, universities and businesses worldwide. Turning has expanded its portfolio of products to include data collection systems that securely transfer digital data for various assessment, testing and certification programs. Based in Youngstown, OH, information on Turning Technologies’ solutions can be found at www.TurningTechnologies.com.

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Naiku, Inc. Releases Quick QuestionTM

Naiku, Inc. Releases Quick QuestionTM

New ‘Virtual Clicker’ feature provides On-the-Fly Quizzing using web enabled devices

MINNEAPOLIS, May 29, 2012 – Naiku announced today the release of Quick Question, a new feature within the Naiku assessment platform. Quick Question provides the ability for teachers to instantly ask ‘on-the-fly’ questions to their students, without the need to prepare an item or assessment in advance. Built on an open platform, students can respond to Quick Questions – as they do with all Naiku questions – through virtually any web enabled device, including tablets and smartphones.

Similar to student response systems (‘clickers’), student answers are collected and can be displayed on a classroom projector to facilitate discussion. Additionally, group responses can be sent directly to student devices to enable group discussion when a projector is not present. Quick Question types include:
-Yes/No
-True/False
-Multiple Choice
-Short Answer

The release of Quick Question provides for the first complete balanced assessment platform within the classroom. With Naiku, teachers can not only ask a Quick Question, but also assess student knowledge through automatically scored and standard aligned quizzes and tests that they create, share, or import to inform and differentiate instruction. Built-in flexibility with item type and content – with embedded graphics, multimedia, and hyperlinks to external content – and collaboration allow Naiku to be used in any subject area to measure student progress. Now, with the release of Quick Question, teachers can use Naiku for even impromptu formative assessment, allowing them to identify what their students know so that they can inform instruction at any time.

“With the growing adoption of 1:1 and BYOD initiatives in schools, Quick Question addresses a customer need for impromptu formative assessment,” said Greg Wright, EVP, Sales and Marketing for Naiku. “Teachers get the familiar functionality of a student response system without the need for proprietary hardware. Even better, as a fully integrated part of Naiku, teachers can seamlessly provide created, shared, or imported standards aligned assessments to measure, monitor, and track student performance within the classroom and across the district.”

About Naiku
Naiku is devoted to improving K-12 learning by providing balanced assessment solutions on an open platform. Naiku provides teachers and administrators the ability to readily measure, monitor, assess, and inform feedback on student progress using any web enabled device through a SaaS engine. The Naiku platform allows educators to create, share, import and deliver rich standards aligned quizzes and tests in any subject area, using graphics, multimedia clips and hyperlinks to query students with multiple item types.With automated scoring and built-in analysis tools, teachers can inform and differentiate instruction within the classroom, and data can be shared across the school and district to enhance best practices.

Quick Question is a trademark of Naiku, Inc.

Press Contact:
Greg Wright
952.465.1821
www.naiku.net
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Skyward launches free online calculator to estimate savings generated by school management software

STEVENS POINT, WI. – May 30, 2012 – Skyward, Inc., a leading provider of K-12 administrative software, recently developed a free online calculator to help districts estimate savings generated through implementation of its school management software. According to Skyward, a district with 4,600 students (including 1,250 high school students) and 500 staff members has the potential to save more than $68,000 per year by employing its software solutions. The Money Tree calculator is now available at http://www.skyward.com/moneytree.

“In this time of tight budgets and leaner support staff, districts need tools to help fill in the gaps,” explains Cliff King, CEO of Skyward. “At the same time, districts must be able to justify the cost of implementing these tools within their schools. The Money Tree tool provides estimates that can be helpful in costs versus benefits discussions for districts considering school administrative software.”

By entering a few parameters in the online tool, including total number of students, number of high school students and staff size, the district can view a projection of potential savings generated by implementing Skyward.

Money Tree calculator projects savings in 10 categories
The tool is dubbed the “Money Tree” because it calculates savings by district size in 10 categories and displays the results in a tree graphic. Categories include per student savings for things like online report cards and online registration, and per employee savings for paperless paychecks and online time off reporting. Each branch represents savings in one of the categories and a grand total savings is shown at the top of the page.

To develop the calculator, Skyward product specialists interviewed customers from across the country, gathering information about the savings these districts had experienced since implementing Skyward. Because the company wanted to provide a conservative baseline for savings in the calculator, it used figures that represent half of the average reported savings.

Savings exceed calculator estimate at Pennsylvania district
The Spring-Ford Area School District in Royersford, Pa. has been moving toward a more paperless school management system for several years with the help of Skyward’s Student Management and School Business
suites. This has improved the district’s efficiency, resulting in impressive cost savings. The Skyward Money Tree calculator savings estimate for the District is $27,000 annually. And according to Sarah “Sally” Sacks, they’re actually saving quite a bit more.

“Our overall annual savings is probably between $35,000 and $50,000, including the cost of physical documents we were sending out before, compared to what we send out now,” says Sacks, software specialist at Spring-Ford. “Skyward has enabled us to move forward with our paperless efforts, but there is still a lot of opportunity to become even more electronic in our processes.”

Sacks adds that most of their school management tasks − from student report cards and lunch program low balance notifications for parents to human resources and staff paychecks − have been moved online. Spring-Ford is continuing to move forward with some of the other options on the Money Tree. Their next step is to implement online registration for students, which will provide the district additional savings.

Texas school district improves efficiency, cuts costs with software system
Dripping Springs Independent School District in Texas also has been able to realize significant cost savings and increased efficiency using Skyward’s School Management System.

“We started using Skyward’s electronic attendance system in 2002 and then added electronic grades,” says Kathy Leopold, technology director at Dripping Springs I.S.D. “We’ve made some great strides in efficiency, cost reduction and paper savings over the last few years.”

According to Skyward’s Money Tree calculator, Dripping Springs is saving at least $43,170 per year by using its School Management system. And the estimate the Money Tree calculator provides is a very conservative projection as most districts report higher savings than the tool calculates.

“Our Skyward sales representative and I have talked about the dollar amount Skyward estimates we save,” Leopold says. “But that estimate is really way under what we are actually saving when you take into consideration both resources and time. The amount of hours we’ve saved translates to much more.”

About Skyward
Skyward is a leading provider of K-12 school administrative software that surpasses districts’ needs in state reporting, improves operational capabilities, and opens communication between schools and families. Today, you can find Skyward’s School Management System™ in more than 1,500 school districts worldwide, ranging from districts with as few as 50 students to state configurations supporting more than 800,000 students. Founded in 1980, Skyward serves school districts with its integrated student, finance and human resources suite of products and is proudly made and supported in the U.S.A. http://www.skyward.com

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ClassLink LaunchPad iPad & iPhone Apps Available Now on iTunes

Clifton, NJ – May 30, 2012 – The leader in web and cloud-based educational solutions, ClassLink announced today the release of its free ClassLink LaunchPad™ app for iPads and iPhones. Available exclusively in the Apple Store, the ClassLink LaunchPad app will provide teachers and students with convenient access to all their applications, files and school resources directly from an iPad or iPhone home screen. With the touch of a finger, the award winning ClassLink LaunchPad™ solution will transform these devices into powerful educational tools by providing direct access to school network files and shares.

“Since inception, iPad’s and iPhones have revolutionized the world of computing devices. Therefore, it’s no surprise that this must-have technology would seem an ideal solution for learning and instruction in 21st Century classrooms. Schools and districts have struggled connecting iPads and iPhones to school networks and accessing existing software. With ClassLink LaunchPad for iPad and iPhone, these devices are now able to access all school network files and utilize software. ClassLink LaunchPad provides a way to teach iOS devices how to play nice in school, it’s about time!’” said Berj Akian, ClassLink CEO.

James Ponce, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools for McAllen ISD is a leader in utilizing cutting-edge instructional technology to improve learning. He confirmed, “Mobile devices are quickly becoming an important facet of our 21st century learning environment. In order to increase the number of college and career ready students, it is paramount that education embrace the opportunity to couple mobile learning with a highly skilled highly engaging teacher.”

The LaunchPad App for both the iPad and iPhone can be downloaded at http://www.apple.com/education/apps/.

About Apple
Apple, Inc. is a multinational corporation that designs and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company’s best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Its software includes the Mac OS X operating system; the iTunes media browser; the iLife suite of multimedia and creativity software; the iWork suite of productivity software; Aperture, a professional photography package; Final Cut Studio, a suite of professional audio and film-industry software products; Logic Studio, a suite of music production tools; the Safari web browser; and iOS, a mobile operating system.

About LaunchPad™
A personalized cloud-based virtualized desktop that provides administrators, teachers and students with personalized access to all of their files and applications from any device at any time. Simple to set up and manage, LaunchPad’s™ multiple views include a surprisingly simple virtual desktop and an empowering instructional desktop. With more and different devices showing up in the classrooms today, users expecting 24/7 access and schools needing to lower costs, LaunchPad™ can quickly provide the desired new approach. LaunchPad is great solution for schools and districts looking to implement a successful Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or 1to1 instruction model.

About ClassLink
ClassLink is a leading provider of web-based and cloud-based education products and services that connect teachers and students with their classroom, their curriculum and each other in richer, more powerful ways. Founded in 1998, ClassLink’s mission is to empower educators to improve learning through innovative systems and services.
ClassLink OnTrack ™Empower your curriculum team with an online curriculum designer and lesson planner that brings together differentiated instruction and alignment to the Common Core standards.
ClassLink ClassMate® The only student administration and curriculum management system designed for unique schooling environments.
ClassLink, LaunchPad, OnTrack and ClassMate are trademarks of ClassLink. Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, iPhone and iPad are trademarks of Apple.

ClassLink — the future of instructional technology
For more information, visit www.ClassLink.com
Call 888-963-7550 or email info@ClassLink.com

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SIEMENS FOUNDATION AND DISCOVERY EDUCATION RECOGNIZE THE NEXT GENERATION OF ‘AGENTS OF CHANGE’ AS NATIONAL WINNERS OF THE 2012 SIEMENS WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD CHALLENGE

— Teams from Across the Country Awarded More Than $300,000 in Scholarships, Educational Trips, and More in the National Environmental Challenge for K-12 Students —

ISELIN, N.J., May 30, 2012—The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and the College Board announced today the grand prize winners of the fourth annual Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, the nation’s premier national sustainability challenge designed to encourage K-12 students to become true agents of change by tackling environmental issues in their own communities and across the globe.

For the Challenge, elementary, middle and high school students were tasked with identifying an environmental issue in their schools, communities or world and creating a replicable green solution under the guidance of a teacher or mentor using web-based curriculum tools powered by Discovery Education. More than 27,000 students participated in this year’s competition.

The winners were chosen from a select group of 72 finalists and whittled down by a rigorous judging process. A panel of environmental advocates, science teachers and professors selected this year’s winners based on each project’s ability to creatively present a viable solution and engage their communities.

“The Siemens Foundation and its partners are proud to honor the winning students and their mentors for their effort to tackle some of the world’s biggest environmental and energy challenges,” said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, President of the Siemens Foundation. “Each year we are just amazed at how dedicated the next generation is to solving some of our most pressing sustainability issues.”

In addition to several other prizes, the high school grand prize winning team will receive $50,000 in scholarship money to divide among team members and a chance to present their project at a prestigious venue. Each student on the middle school grand prize winning team will receive $10,000 in savings bonds and a Discovery adventure trip to Alaska. Elementary school winners receive a Discovery Education assembly focusing on sustainability and grant for their schools.

High School Winners

Grand Prize Winners: Team Pinelands Eco Scienteers – Pinelands Regional High School – Little Egg Harbor, N.J.
• Team Pinelands Eco Scienteers discovered that using wood from nearby forests is the only option for cooking meals in many parts of the world, which results in deforestation. The team was chosen for its project, which focused on developing a viable alternative through which wood is replaced by biomass waste products such as peanut shells, pine needles, banana peels, sugar cane waste and corn stalks. The project tested methods of preparing biomass materials for briquetting and the design of low cost easy to ship mini-presses.

Second Place Winners: Team Chargers – Providence Day School – Charlotte, N.C.
• Team Chargers developed a method of harnessing energy through electromagnetic inductance in an effort to become less dependent on non-reusable energy. By inserting spring-loaded “cells” made of copper coils and magnets into a standard anti-fatigue mat, team members were able to store energy that could power simple, life-saving devices, such as a steripen. This power has the ability to affect not only members of team Chargers’ own community, but communities around the world, where clean drinking water and heating sources may not be as readily available.

Third Place Winners: Team George Mason Recycling – Governor’s School @ Innovation Park – Manassas, Va.
• Team George Mason Recycling was chosen for its investigation on the current level of recycling plastics at George Mason University’s Prince William Campus. The team measured the effectiveness of different placements of recycling and trash bins and instituted a system of punishments and rewards for recycling. The team saw increased recycling awareness on campus and hopes to improve recycling rates even more.

Middle School Winners

Grand Prize Winners: Team Americans Idle – All Saints Regional Catholic School – Manahawkin, N.J.
• Team Americans Idle was chosen for its project addressing the problem of voluntary car idling. In addition to changing the drop-off and pick-up process at their school, Team Americans Idle members instituted outreach efforts and designed innovative technology devices that remind drivers when they are idling for more than three minutes. These efforts have been the catalyst for legislative initiatives in New Jersey.

Second Place Winners: Team Compost Happens – South East Junior High School – Iowa City, Iowa
• Team Compost Happens was chosen for its project on environmental problems associated with the compaction of food waste in landfills and how to change attitudes and behaviors within its community with a food waste diversion program. Schools, neighborhoods, grocery stores and restaurants participated in the project. Data showed that significant volumes of food waste were diverted from landfills as a result of the project. The students also worked with legislators to craft a bill that addresses food waste.

Third Place Winners: Team Black Gold Miners – Raymond J. Grey Junior High School – Acton, Mass.
• Team Black Gold Miners was chosen for its project on helping to reduce trash in its community through composting. The project involved raising awareness about composting among town residents and proposing school-wide and town-wide composting plans. The team’s research included conducting a town-wide survey about composting, consulting with officials from the Massachusetts DEP, as well as taking field trips to area farms and universities that run successful large-scale composting programs. To increase public awareness, the team created a website containing facts and a “how-to” guide about composting in addition to presenting research and action plans to the Acton Board of Selectman and school officials.

Elementary School Winners Grades 3-5

Grand Prize Winners: Team Give A Hoot! – Mount Madonna School – Watsonville, Calif.
• Team Give A Hoot! was chosen for its project on environmental threats to the Western Burrowing Owl. Students conducted habitat restoration, environmental clean-up and created educational binders and signs. They conducted scientific experiments to discover how native plants benefit this owl and how it reciprocates. Based on their findings, students wrote, directed and produced an educational film that has and will be shown in many venues. The film dramatically illustrates what could happen if people don’t protect this owl. Donations will be invested with local conservation groups working to protect the owl’s habitat and in Kiva.org, a micro-loan organization that brokers small loans to help subsistence people purchase tools, supplies and equipment.

Second Place Winners: Team Gilmour Gforce – Gilmour Academy – Gates Mills, Ohio
• Team Gilmour Gforce was chosen for its project to reduce its community’s use of fossil fuels and help prevent global warming. The students collected data on their school’s energy use and used that information to decide which initiatives to start. Students created posters, brochures, graphs, videos and PowerPoint presentations to help educate their community on how they can save energy. They have become energy conservation experts and activists as a result of their initiatives.

Third Place Winners: Team What a Waste! – Buena Vista Elementary School – Walnut Creek, Calif.
• Team What a Waste! was chosen for its project on the excessive the amounts of waste created at their school during lunchtime. The team members quantified the problem and then created a plan to decrease food waste at their school.

Elementary School Winners Grades K-2

Grand Prize Winners: Team Second Grade Science Club – Concord Hill School – Chevy Chase, Md.
• The Second Grade Science Club was chosen for its project on reducing water run-off from its school campus. The team worked to decrease any pollutants in run-off and clean water waste. Through careful observation of the school’s site and school buildings, the team noted that new trashcans with lids were needed, that there were major leaks in the school’s gutters and that many of the school’s water fixtures were leaking. As a result of the students’ work, the problems have been fixed. The team also planned the installation of a rain barrel and a rain garden to clean water run-off before it enters the local culvert. Finally, the students taught the student body what they had learned in an interactive, demonstration-rich assembly.

Second Place Winners: Team Earthlovers – Parley’s Park Elementary School – Park City, Utah
• Team Earthlovers was chosen for its project starting a cafeteria recycling program in its school. The team wanted to reduce the amount of garbage going from the cafeteria to the landfill, educate students and faculty about cafeteria recycling and provide a model for a sustainable cafeteria recycling program. The data recorded by Team Earthlovers shows that the weight of garbage going to the landfill each week was almost cut in half because of recycling. Students, faculty and parents are more aware and involved in reducing, reusing and recycling as a result of the team’s project.

Third Place Winners: Team Energy Patrol – Lincoln Avenue Elementary – Lakeland, Fla.
• Team Energy Patrol was chosen for its project on identifying sources of energy waste and developing solutions to conserve energy school-wide. Using a variety of sources, as well as data collected during school patrol, team members identified air conditioners and computers as the main energy wasters. Students formed an energy patrol to help teachers and classes change behaviors by setting air conditioners on no lower than 72 degrees and making sure that all computers are asleep or off when not in use. After three months of patrolling, they noticed significant changes in behavior and their energy bill.

For additional details about prizes, visit:

• High School: http://www.wecanchange.com/high-school/about-challenge/prizes/
• Middle School: http://www.wecanchange.com/middle-school/about-challenge/prizes/
• Elementary School: http://www.wecanchange.com/elementary-school/about-challenge/prizes/

For more information on the Challenge, the winners and their projects, visit www.wecanchange.com.

About Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge
The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge (www.wecanchange.com) is a premier national sustainability challenge that empowers students in grades K-12 to develop and share environmental solutions that can help change the world. The Challenge is a collaborative effort of the Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education, the College Board and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) to educate, empower and engage elementary, middle and high school students and teachers to become “Agents of Change” in improving their schools, communities and world. To date, more than 62,000 students have participated, creatively engaging their communities to find solutions to a local environmental issue or global energy challenge. All participants research their issue using scientific investigation and create a replicable green solution using web-based curriculum tools powered by Discovery Education. For more information, visit www.wecanchange.com.

About the Siemens Foundation
The Siemens Foundation provides more than $7 million annually in support of educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the United States. Its signature programs include the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement, and The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, which encourages K-12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues. In February 2010 the Siemens Foundation launched its newest initiative, The Siemens STEM Academy, a national STEM education program for teachers designed to support educators in their efforts to foster student achievement in these fields. By supporting outstanding students today, and recognizing the teachers and schools that inspire their excellence, the Foundation helps nurture tomorrow’s scientists and engineers. The Foundation’s mission is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens’ U.S. companies and its parent company, Siemens AG. For further information, visit www.siemens-foundation.org.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education transforms classrooms, empowers teachers and captivates students by providing high quality, dynamic, digital content for grades K-12 and community colleges. Powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital media, professional development, assessment tools and a passionate educator network to support districts in accelerating student achievement. Discovery Education services like Discovery Education streaming, Discovery Education Techbook and Discovery Education Higher Ed, are in more than half of all US schools and 35 countries around the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

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Tales2Go Finalist for a Cynopsis Kids !magination Award

Kids’ Mobile Audiobook Service finalist for Best Educational App

Washington D.C. May, 31, 2012- Tales2Go, the leading provider of streaming audio books for kids, is pleased to announce it has been selected as a finalist by Cynopsis Media for their 2012 Kids !magination Award for Best Educational App, along with apps from National Geographic, PBS, Ruckus Media, ClickN KIDS and Scholastic Media. A 21st century twist on a proven reading resource, Tales2Go seamlessly delivers thousands of name-brand audio books and stories from leading publishers & storytellers to mobile devices in classrooms and beyond.

The June 7th awards event created by Cynopsis Media to honor innovators in kids entertainment and education will be host to the nominees in a broad range of categories. Tales2Go CEO William Weil comments, “We’re excited to be chosen as a finalist for Best Educational App, placing us amongst leaders in the field and recognizing Tales2Go as an innovative mobile literacy tool.“ Weil continues, “Research shows that combining a listening component to reading instruction increases student achievement.” Audio books have been used in classrooms for decades because oral language precedes written language, i.e. listening is an important pathway to reading ability. Specifically, listening exposes students to vocabulary, increases fluency and comprehension abilities, and fosters critical listening skills. And oh yeah, kids love listening to stories that spark their imaginations.

Current research stresses the importance of kids being able to read at or above grade level by the 3rd grade, yet the data shows that only 34% of U.S. students do so. Beyond 4th grade, students are expected to be proficient in reading in order to learn across a myriad of subjects. Tales2Go augments the educational process, supporting students in their journey to becoming life-long readers and storytellers. With an ever-growing number of mobile devices in today’s classrooms, Tales2Go is a timely enterprise solution that leverages a school’s investment in mobile technology and engages students at all reading levels in the process (PreK through 6th Grade).

With titles ranging from classics like Little Women to modern-day favorites like The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Tales2Go is breathing new life into the audio book marketplace, giving educators and parents instant and unlimited access to thousands of name-brand titles, all for one low annual price.

To learn more about the Cynopsis Kids !magination awards, nominees and the June 7th event, visit http://www.cynopsis.com/events/kids-awards/ for details.

Tales2Go offers a free, 30-day trial as well as monthly and annual subscription plans, including bulk sales for schools. For more information, visit http://www.tales2go.com

Press contact:
Sue Hanson
PR with Panache
sue@susanhanson.com
763-657-0987

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