Brocade Solution Guide for Common Core

Brocade Solution Guide for Common Core 250This paper provides K-12 technology administrators with a blueprint for implementing a Brocade Network that not only prepares the School District for unforeseen potential issues with Common Core Testing, but enables the network to support future digital learning initiatives in a cost-effective manner that will scale well into the future.

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What do teachers really think of data tools?

Gates Foundation study aims to outline, assess teachers’ opinions on classroom data use and the tools to support it

data-reportTwo-thirds of teachers in a Gates Foundation study said they are not completely satisfied with the data, or tools designed to help them work with data, which they are able to access on a regular basis.

Teachers Know Best: Making Data Work for Teachers and Students examines digital instructional tools that help teachers collect and use student data and attempts to outline the challenges teachers face when working with these digital tools.

Teachers in the national survey (in which about 4,600 participated) said they believe they have a responsibility to support each and every student, and that they should adjust instruction based on each student’s strengths, needs, and interests. In fact, 86 percent seek ways to engage students based on who student are, and 78 percent said they think data can help define where students are and where they can go.

Next page: Teachers’ perceptions about data

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How these 19 districts strike better deals on tech, together

19 Appalachian districts form one powerful cooperative. Small districts: take notice.

cooperative-togetherIt’s been 40 years since a group of 10 school districts across southeastern Kentucky banded together to gain economies of scale when purchasing goods and services. Calling themselves the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC), the pioneering group probably had no idea that their early efforts would eventually parlay into an initiative that’s largely focused on helping rural Kentucky schools gain access to technology and use it successfully in the educational setting.

“Initially, KVEC was formed to help schools more easily and efficiently purchase supplies and services (i.e., driver’s education),” says Dessie Bowling, associate director for the Hazard, Ken.-based cooperative. During the last four decades, that focus has shifted and now aligns with Kentucky’s overall goal of staying on the leading edge of both classroom technology and IT infrastructure management.

“Over the last five years, our state has done a very good job of leading the rest of the country in its approach to K-12 education and the use of technology,” points out Jeff Hawkins, KVEC’s executive director. Collectively, “our use of technology has really blossomed, because we realize that that is the way to increase curricular and learning opportunities for students.”

Next page: How to govern the cooperative

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Cricket Media joins myON Publisher Program

Partnership will provide content to supplement middle and high school curriculums

reading-platformCricket Media, an education media publisher, and myON, a business unit of Capstone, announced that a wide array of content from Cricket’s portfolio of children’s books and magazines will now be available to the millions of students reading on myON.

With the additional content from Cricket, myON now offers more than 8,000 titles from nearly 70 publishers through their publisher program.

Cricket Media’s content increases myON’s collection of short-form passages increasingly sought after by educators. Cricket will provide literary and informational texts from its digital library, including content from its children’s publications, Cobblestone and Odyssey.

Earlier this year, The Parents’ Choice Foundation selected each of Cricket’s 13 magazines as 2015 Parents’ Choice Awards winners.

myON, a personalized literacy platform, provides online access to more than 5.5 million students world wide. Students can access myON at school or home on laptops, desktops, tablets, and mobile devices for an online or offline reading experience.

myON creates a collaborative reading environment where students, educators and parents work together to support student reading performance by leveraging reading supports–embedded dictionary, naturally recorded audio, highlighting, digital literacy tools and metrics. Students also have access to a safe social network where they can read, rate, review, and recommend books to classmates.

Once implemented, school districts benefit from unlimited and concurrent access to all digital books within the literacy environment, accessible on laptops, computers, and mobile devices for both on and offline reading.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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Edsby and Microsoft 365 now integrate

Single sign-on and other features added

edsby-microsoftThanks to a new partnership, Edsby, a social network-inspired LMS company, now integrates with Microsoft Office 365.

One aspect of the integration is in the area of single sign-on support. Edsby users can now authenticate via Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory and the OAuth2 protocol. This enables a convenient one-click login for Edsby users already authenticated with Office 365.

In addition, this new integration enables Edsby users to select documents from their Microsoft OneDrive file store as teachers and students collaborate within Edsby classes and groups and as students submit work digitally to teachers for assessment.

“Using Microsoft Office in the classroom provides students with the tried and tested tools they need to help be successful today and in the future,” said Marc Seaman, VP of Education with Microsoft Canada. “This is just one example of Microsoft’s commitment to helping our youth and educators do more and achieve more.”

“Many of our K-12 education customers are moving to the cloud for more and more of their operations and are using Microsoft Azure and Office 365-based platforms as a strategic part of this move,” said John Myers, President of Edsby. “We’re delighted to have Edsby closely integrated with these key Microsoft technologies and the exciting benefits this brings to the educators and students at organizations using Edsby.”

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