Kidblog provides a safe, and free, online forum for student writing

Designed by classroom educators, Kidblog is a free website that gives students their own blog. Students can publish posts and participate in academic discussions within a secure classroom blogging community, while teachers maintain complete control over student blogs and user accounts.

With Kidblog, students’ blogs are private by default—viewable only by classmates and the teacher. Teachers can choose to make posts public, while still moderating all content. Teachers also can add password-protected parent and guest accounts to the community at their discretion, while comment privacy settings allow teachers to block unsolicited comments from outside sources. Kidblog is fully COPPA-compliant and does not require any personal information from students.

“All 141 fifth graders at my school have Kidblog accounts,” says Carol Edwards, an instructional technology specialist in Round Rock, Texas. “The students are blogging about the books they are reading. They are writing for an authentic audience of their peers, and their writing skills are improving. They are learning digital citizenship and the basics of social media use in a protected environment, too.”

Edwards adds: “Teachers are happy about being able to evaluate student writing easily, without the need to lug home piles of writing journals. [But] the best thing about Kidblog is that students are motivated to write more often and to improve the quality of their writing. The students love interacting with their peers, their classroom teachers, and other adults on campus.”

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Belkin Introduces New Mobile Device Management System for K-12 Education

Store and Charge Station Keeps Tablets, Laptops and eReaders Organized, Available, and Fully Charged for Less Hassle and More Learning in the Classroom

PLAYA VISTA, CA – Belkin, a trusted leader of technology solutions for office, classroom, IT infrastructure, and mobile environments, announced today its new Store and Charge station for K-12 education environments. Store and Charge offers an elegant, accessible, and affordable mobile device management solution designed to optimize digital learning. With the ability to store and charge up 10 devices simultaneously, the station makes it easy to keep tablets, thin and light laptops, and e-readers organized, available, fully charged, and ready for classroom use.

The station can store and charge different kinds of devices at the same time, each with its own charging cable or adapter, with an open setup that does not interfere with wireless syncing. Because it is platform agnostic, Store and Charge is suitable for most mobile deployments including all generations of Chromebooks, iPads, Samsung Galaxy, Samsung Note, and up to 13-inch laptops. Its small footprint reduces valuable table top space requirements when in use, and when stored, up to three stations can be mounted on a single cart. Other distinguishing attributes include a surge-protected power supply that protects device chargers from voltage spikes, wide device slots to accommodate most tablet cases, and integrated cable management.

“While mobile devices can provide tremendous advantages in today’s increasing digital learning environment, teachers and administrators still struggle with integrating them in a seamless way,” said Jon Roepke, senior product manager, Business Division, Belkin International. “Our goal was to design a product that would optimize the use of mobile devices in the classroom setting, enabling them to deliver greater value. Store and Charge makes it easy to deploy and support tablets and laptops, which means less hassle for teachers and more learning for students.”

The Belkin Store and Charge makes it easy for teachers and students to distribute, store, and charge mobile devices in the classroom with additional features that include:

• Compatibility on standard AV carts for ease of transport from classroom to classroom or tabletop to storage location
• Easy-to-reach angles for storing and charging up to 10 tablet devices
• Built-in cable management features that minimize tangles and clutter
• Labeling space for personalization and identification
• 10 convenient surge-protected AC outlets that fit most charging adapters
• Surface mounting features that allow each unit to be securely attached to tables or carts

Availability
The Belkin Store and Charge will be generally available in June 2013.

The Store and Charge is part of a portfolio of education solutions from Belkin designed to enrich educators and students’ experience with technology in the modern classroom. For more information, please visit: http://www.belkinbusiness.com.

Tweet this: @belkinbusiness for education – #mobiledevicemanagement system for #K-12 reduces hassle to enhance learning environment in the classroom

About Belkin Business
Belkin Business, a division of Belkin International, offers technology solutions for office, classroom, IT infrastructure, and mobile environments. A proven technology leader for more than 30 years, organizations worldwide trust Belkin for its unwavering commitment to product quality, and expertise in creating solutions designed to address customer requirements in business, government and education. With a global supply chain and broad provider network, Belkin commands a purchasing power that delivers greater value and unparalleled execution advantages to customers. The company’s line of commercial products are available through Belkin’s global network of distributors and resellers. Headquartered in Playa Vista, California, the company is represented in more than 25 countries and can be found on the Web at http://www.belkin.com/us/business/enterprise.

Tags: education technology, classroom technology, K-12 technology, mobile device management

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Note to editors: Images available upon request.

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eInstruction and Illuminate Education Product Integration Simplifies Assessment and Reporting

Media Contacts: Tiffani Nichols, eInstruction, 480-443-2255 or Tiffani.Nichols@einstruction.com, or Leilani Carbonell Pedroni, Illuminate Education, Inc., 510-982-6042 or leilani@illuminateed.com.

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA (April 30, 2013) – eInstruction, a global education software and technology company, announced today the integration of Insight 360™ with Illuminate Data & Assessment Management System™ (DnA) to provide educators with a simple, easy, and seamless way to upload rosters, assessments, and results.

This new integration with Insight 360 enables educators to access dynamic student rosters, deliver teacher or district created assessments from a simple drop-down menu, and upload data to Illuminate’s web-based platform for detailed analysis. There is no longer a need to import or export class rosters or results using .xml or .csv files making instruction, assessment, and analysis a more streamlined process that saves educators valuable time.

Insight 360 is the all-in-one classroom instruction system that facilitates and simplifies instructional content planning and delivery and real-time assessment. The powerful, easy-to-use software enables educators to boost student engagement and gain immediate results on comprehension through formative and summative assessment using a variety of mobile devices such as eInstruction student response pads (clickers), smartphones, tablets, and the iPad®.

Illuminate DnA is a complete instructional management solution that provides user-friendly tools for assessment building and administration, data analysis and reporting, and curriculum development. Built from an educator’s perspective, teachers can easily create formative tests utilizing common core item types linked to lessons and content aligned to standards. Since DnA is web-based, the system supports traditional and blended learning environments giving students and parents secure access to assignments, grades, test results and instructional resources.

“The development of strong relationships with our educational partners ultimately benefits the end user. By combining our individual strengths and capabilities, we are able to bring forward superior products that are more user-friendly and meet the needs of both educators in the classroom and administrators at a district level,” said Rich Fennessy, President and CEO at eInstruction.

Educators have long recognized the value of formative and summative assessment for effective instruction and achievement. Now, student performance can be evaluated quickly and effectively in real-time and over a period of weeks or months with longitudinal reporting and analysis. Classroom instruction can then be personalized or differentiated for individual students or groups based on performance.

“DnA’s integration with Insight 360 enhances its functionality by providing schools the ability to administer assessments quickly and efficiently,” said Lane Rankin, CEO of Illuminate Education, Inc. “This is beneficial to teachers because it saves them time and resources that can be redirected back to their students.”

To learn more and see a product demo of this integration, register for a free webinar hosted by Illuminate Education and eInstruction May 15 at 10 a.m. (PDT) or 1 p.m. (PDT). To register, visit www.illuminateed.com/webinars.html.

For media inquiries, contact Tiffani Nichols, eInstruction, 480-443-2255 or Tiffani.Nichols@einstruction.com, or Leilani Carbonell Pedroni, Illuminate Education, Inc., 510-982-6042 or leilani@illuminateed.com.

ABOUT ILLUMINATE EDUCATION, INC.
Illuminate Education serves the K-12 educational market with innovative web-based products and services. An educator perspective drives all of Illuminate’s technology solutions, which are designed to maximize efficiency, incorporate user-friendly interfaces, and support practical and progressive needs at the county, district, site, classroom, parent and student levels. Illuminate’s groundbreaking products are Illuminate Student Information™, Illuminate Data and Assessment™, Illuminate Special Education™, and Activate Instruction™. Additional information can be found at www.IlluminateEducation.com or by calling 949-242-0343.

ABOUT EINSTRUCTION
eInstruction is a leading, global education technology company committed to providing interactive teaching and learning solutions that help educators and students advance learning every day. eInstruction offers innovative classroom instruction systems, student response systems, fixed interactive whiteboards, mobile interactive whiteboards, research-based software, and professional development solutions that facilitate significantly higher levels of collaboration, engagement, and student achievement across all stages of the learning process. Available in 48 languages, eInstruction is enhancing education in more than 90 countries worldwide. eInstruction has global headquarters in Scottsdale, AZ and offices in Denton, TX; Fort Wright, KY; and Paris, France.

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Insight Education Group Curriculum Platform, myCore, Earns Prestigious Cool Tool Distinction from EdTech Digest

Named sole finalist for ‘Best Common Core Planning Tool’

Encino, CA April 30, 2013—Insight Education Group’s online Common Core curriculum platform, myCore, snatched an EdTech Digest’s Cool Tool Award and was the sole finalist for “Best Common Core Planning Tool” in the highly competitive marketplace for solutions to implement the Common Core State Standards.

The EdTech Digest Cool Tool awards recognize new, emerging and established technology solutions for education; the Trendsetter awards include notable people or products shaping the space, and the EdTech Leadership awards recognize outstanding forward-thinking contributions to learning and technology.

“We’re excited to honor these finalists who have all earned it, they deserve special recognition for their efforts and are highly commended for their work in education,” said Rivero. “The 2013 awards recognize both people and solutions in and around education for outstanding contributions in transforming education through technology to enrich the lives of learners everywhere.”

Michael Moody, Insight Education Group CEO, says, “We’re very excited to be recognized by the judges at EdTech Digest and honored to receive the prestigious title of cool tool award. At a time when districts are on the hunt for valuable tools to implement the Common Core, we’re glad myCore counts as one of them.”

The myCore platform allows teachers to create instructional units and lessons using a structured approach that ups the quality and rigor of lessons. For district administrators myCore allows them to easily distribute their own curricula or those purchased from other vendors. The platform’s coaching interface allows teachers to get help with planning. And, school leaders are able to easily access teachers’ lessons and view reports showing which standards have been taught.

By summer 2013, myCore will offer a full academic year’s worth of units and lessons aligned to the Common Core for grades K-12.

The demand for Common Core support has been great in districts according to Moody who has been training teachers for over a decade in how to use standards. He comments, “We’re getting calls daily about supporting districts as they delve deeper into the Common Core, so we’re using myCore a component of a comprehensive set of consulting services to position districts for success.”

The Insight Education Group will be traveling to San Francisco next week, along with this distinction, they were chosen as a finalist for another prestigious industry honor, the SIIA CODiE awards.

About Insight Education Group:
Insight Education Group (IEG) provides professional development and consultation to educational systems. Since 2002, the company has partnered with districts and schools across the country to develop and implement instructional initiatives aimed at strengthening school leadership, increasing teacher effectiveness, and improving student academic performance. Learn more at http://www.insighteducationgroup.com/

About the EdTech Digest Awards Program:
Recognizing cool tools, trendsetters and leaders in the education and technology sector, the mission of the annual awards program is to get workable technology solutions for education widely known about and well thought of with the purpose of reshaping the education culture and creating a new and better future for students. Over the years, the best products and brightest minds have been featured helping millions of students, teachers, parents, administrators and others in and around education. The EdTech Digest Awards Recognition Program is a division of EdTech Digest, LLC.

About EdTech Digest, LLC
EdTech Digest is a leading source of cool tools, in-depth interviews and notable trends in the education and technology space. Celebrating all the latest gadgets, gizmos and new technologies moving education forward, the online magazine delves deeper into the stories of the people behind the technology to discover what drives them to conceptualize, create, develop and deploy their products and services to the masses. Featuring movers and shakers in and around education dedicated to making a difference for our future generations, read it online at www.edtechdigest.com

Press Contact:
Jacob Hanson
PR with Panache!
Jacob@prwithpanache.com

Insight Education Group Contact:
Ken Omath
800-935.7022 x122
714-920-5570 (mobile)
omath@insighteducationgroup.com

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Rullingnet Launches Blended Learning Programs for Early Childhood

LOS ANGELES & OTTAWA- April, 30 2013- Rullingnet Corporation, home of VINCI Learning, the world’s first technology powered, and play-based learning systems for early childhood, is pleased to announce the launch of their Blended Learning Programs equipped with cloud-based analytical tools at the upcoming Head Start Conference, April 30th – May 2nd 2013 in Washington, DC.

Integrating the best of both digital and traditional learning, VINCI Blended Learning Programs are fully integrated learning programs that mesh with the ECE, Common Core standards and Head Start Standards. In addition, thanks to a cloud-based learning management tool – VINCI Play & Learn System, teachers are equipped with real-time analytics about each child’s learning status. Now, differentiated coaching becomes possible.

“Imagine if kids poured their passion and time into the play that taught them math, science, and language while they barely noticed, as it’s so enjoyable.” commented Dr. Dan Yang, Creator of VINCI Learning. “Imagine if teachers knew exactly how each child was learning and could pay individual attention to everyone of them, with little effort.” Dr. Yang continued, “We want to make sure that every child has an equal chance to succeed regardless their economic background. Technology is here to energize and to empower students as they achieve their goals.”

For more about VINCI and their Blended Learning Programs, visit them online at: http://www.vincieducation.com/

About VINCI:

VINCI pioneers the creation of a new category of fun learning tools with the goal to engage, empower and educate children. By using a scaffolding teaching method designed by developmental psychologists and education experts, educators encourage children’s curiosity with play-based learning program at home or in school. CES 2013 Innovation Award recently honored VINCI Curriculum; the step-by-step digital learning program designed for preschool and kindergarten children.

Press Contact:
Sue Hanson
PR with Panache!
sue@prwithpanache.com

Rullingnet Contact:
Kamar Shah, CMO
650-704-8587
kamar.shah@rullingnet.com

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BlackBerry CEO: Tablets will be dead in five years

Forget the death of the PC: BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins thinks tablets are on their way out as users shift to doing more through their smartphones, the Washington Post reports. In comments at a Milken Institute conference, Heins said smartphones will become users’ main source of computing power in the next five years. People will simply plug whatever display, keyboard or other accessory they need to do their work into a smartphone. For many workers, a smartphone will be the only device they need, he said…

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Bringing neuroscience into school

Imagine walking into a classroom where it looks as if the children are playing ‘hide-and-seek’. But actually, this is a revolutionary way of having a reading lesson, EuroNews reports. A group of French pre-schoolers are learning how to read with their fingers. In addition to their ears and eyes, they use their sense of touch. This new method shakes up conventions, but is definitely helping children to learn better, because at this age touching is one of their most developed senses and comes naturally. French neuroscientist Edouard Gentaz is a well-known expert in young children’s brains. He says reading has to be acquired in three dimensions…

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Original iPhone nears obsolete status

Even at its 2007 launch, the original Apple iPhone was not a cutting-edge product, InformationWeek reports. Sure, it ushered in a new era of smartphone design and touch-based user interfaces, but the hardware offered mediocre specs in several key areas. At the time, wireless network operators around the world were about midway through deploying their 3G networks. In the U.S., AT&T was just getting its HSUPA network, which offered speeds up to 1.8 Mbps, in place…

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Editorial: Make the Common Core standards work before making them count

The fact that the changes are being made nationwide without anything close to adequate preparation is a failure of leadership, Weingarten says.

[Editor’s note: This is an edited version of remarks made by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, at the Association for a Better New York on April 30.]

Our obligation as a nation, and my obligation as an educator, is to help children achieve their potential, participate in our democracy, and propel our economy forward. In today’s world, that means our students must be prepared to compete—not on the basis of their test-taking skills, but on their ability to solve problems, analyze and apply knowledge, and work with others.

So, what if I told you there is a way to transform the very DNA of teaching and learning to move away from rote memorization and endless test-prep, and toward problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork—things I know many of you have been advocating for years? And what if I told you there is a way to do that not a generation from now, but for students today, who will be the employees you’ll hire tomorrow?

In these are the potential to do that.

(Next page: More of Weingarten’s speech)

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