Waterford Early Learning for iPad targets K-2 personalized mobile curriculum

Thousands of activities available this summer on iPad for back-to-school use

ipad-curriculumWaterford Institute has announced another platform for Waterford Early Learning, this time on iPad.

Utilizing the Apple iPad in schools across the U.S, the Waterford Early Learning (WEL) curriculum is optimized for touch and set to release this summer in time for back to school training.

Waterford has enhanced nearly 8,000 dynamic learning activities, including hundreds of new activities, to take advantage of iPad’s mobile and touch capabilities and to provide early learners with developmentally appropriate curriculum.

Next page: How the early learning curriculum targets students’ needs

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Frequency of digital content use varies, survey shows

Majority of surveyed educators use digital content, but concerns over funding, lack of devices remain

digital-classroomNinety-seven percent of educators surveyed for an annual report said they use some form of digital content, and more than 50 percent of those respondents said they use apps, websites, and/or digital games in the classroom.

But there also remains a gap between teachers’ and administrators’ views on digitally-enhanced instruction and professional development.

The Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) Educator Confidence Report surveyed more than 1,000 teachers and school and district administrators about various issues relating to technology in the classroom.

Next page: The most commonly-used digital classroom materials

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Minority children underrepresented in special education

UCI-Penn State findings contradict prior research, public perception and federal legislation, policies

special-educationContrary to popular belief, minority children are not overrepresented in special education classrooms and are actually less likely to be diagnosed with and treated for disabilities than white children with similar academic achievements, behaviors and economic resources, according to new research co-authored by George Farkas, professor of education at UC Irvine.

Special education programs have been the target of legal challenges on the grounds of discrimination and racial bias, yet the study found that minority children are underdiagnosed across five disability conditions for which U.S. schoolchildren commonly receive special education services.

“From the beginning of kindergarten to the end of middle school, minority children are less – not more – likely than white students with similar performance and behaviors to be identified as having learning disabilities, speech or language impairments, intellectual disabilities, other health impairments, or behavioral disorders,” Farkas said.

Next page: Additional findings from the study

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EdRedi makes tablets ready for classroom use

New application ensures a safe instructional environment in which teachers control content and personalize learning for each student

tablet-toolTo help make tablets more classroom ready, Education Resources created its EdRedi application which allows classroom teachers to intuitively supervise and control their students’ name-brand devices, such as the Acer Iconia 10.1 tablet, the first EdRedi-enabled device.

Launched at the 2015 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference, the new software application is equal parts device, content and instructional management combined into a single application for 1:1 learning environments.

Teachers can access EdRedi-enabled devices from anywhere within their network and can access the EdRedi Cloud anytime from any device that can connect to the internet, including a school desktop, iPad, and smartphone.

Once in the password protected instructional environment, teachers can supervise and control their students’ EdRedi-enabled devices, deploy lessons and activities, and differentiate instruction. This solution enables the delivery of new and existing materials at the right pace and level for each student’s needs.

The EdRedi platform consists of Educational Resources’ system-level APK installed directly on name-brand student devices. Devices “made EdRedi” from Educational Resources’ proven partner manufacturers can seamlessly connect to the EdRedi Cloud Management Platform; automatically update teacher generated changes from the EdRedi Cloud; upload and deploy digital content of all forms from the EdRedi Library; and, supervise, control and view student devices enabled with the EdRedi App.

“Tablets are the perfect size device for education,” said Chris Klein, head of Community and Engagement at Educational Resources. “However, while these devices have the power to greatly enhance the teaching and learning processes, to date they have not included the management tools to make them suitable for classroom use. Our new EdRedi application helps ensure that students use the devices in an instructionally-safe environment, one in which teachers can easily supervise use and control content in order to individualize instruction.”

To learn more about Educational Resources EdRedi application, visit http://www.edresources.com/.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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Nureva initiates large-scale research into use of Troove software

Focus on understanding user experience through year-long program

nureva-trooveNureva Inc., an early-stage technology company, has announced a large-scale initiative to research the use of its Troove digital portfolio software, with participation available for up to 500 schools in the United States and Canada.

Each selected school will receive a one-year subscription to Nureva Troove digital portfolio software in exchange for their feedback and insight.

Selected schools will also receive training, a step-by-step implementation guide for Troove software along with personalized consultation for the 2015–16 school year. Applications are open through September 30, 2015, and will be evaluated as received.

Next page: How schools can participate

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Schools can win up to 30 TechJacket device cases

TechJacket case is a case solution designed to protect most 11-inch laptops and Chromebooks

device-caseTrident Case has announced an opportunity for schools to outfit a classroom with up to 30 TechJacket cases. Through the contest, which began on June 10, schools can submit an original essay for a chance to win.

The Trident TechJacket’s patent-pending design offers tablet users protection that allows for easy transport. This design includes anti-skid protective corners, access to all ports (USB and charging) while the case is on, as well as shock-absorbing lining.

Devices can be used with the case attached. The case also comes with additional straps that can adjust to different Chromebook and laptop sizes. These straps, which are attached to the reinforced corner guards, are designed to fit Chromebook and laptop brands up to 11.6” in size, such as Dell, Acer, and Samsung while having the capability to protect devices from harm.

“Having protective solutions for a school’s technology is crucial, especially in K-12 environments,” Trident Vice President of Marketing Vickie Achee said. “One classroom mishap can cost a school hundreds, even thousands, of dollars. Trident’s patent-pending cases are the ideal solution to protect laptops and Chromebooks from classroom wear-and-tear. We’re excited to offer deserving schools the chance to win up to 30 of these cases and bring positive change to directly to their classroom.”

For a chance to win, teachers, administrators, or other school personnel should submit an original essay answering the question: “What makes your school unique and how would Trident TechJackets™ for your classroom help your school?”

Entries can be submitted directly to marketing@tridentcase.com from June 10 through July 2, 2015. A panel of judges will review all submissions and award the most deserving classroom a full set of TechJacket™ cases.

The official contest rules can be found at www.tridentcase.com/TechJacketGiveAwayRules. The deadline for entering the contest is July 2, 2015.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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14 do’s and don’ts of successful tech integration

An elementary school computer specialist offers technology integration tips for administrators and teachers

technology-integrationEmbarking on a technology integration plan or beginning a technology pilot can be daunting. However, mapping out a clear path, being flexible, and communicating the stakeholders can help that plan be successful.

During an edWeb webinar on June 25, Jeff Downing, an elementary school computer specialist at Millard Elementary School in California’s Fremont Unified School District, offered technology integration tips for administrators and teachers based on his experiences in his own school.

In 2012, Downing developed basic goals for his school, including providing every classroom with a high-quality projector, finding ways to give every student access to some type of technology each day, and increasing internet access.

Next page: Downing’s tips for administrators and teachers

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Ed groups launch efforts to build ‘trusted learning environment’

learning-environmentIn today’s technology-rich landscape, school systems across the country are tasked with protecting student data and effectively communicating privacy policies and related measures to parents and communities.

To address this responsibility while harnessing the benefits of instructional technologies, CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) has launched a national endeavor alongside lead partners AASA – The School Superintendents Association, ASBO International (the Association of School Business Officials International), and ASCD (the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).

The Trusted Learning Environment (TLE) Seal initiative will allow school system leaders to communicate their privacy efforts to parents, communities and other stakeholders and assure the school system is adhering to best practices and taking steps in the right direction.

Next page: Participating school districts

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LOC releases new Student Discovery Sets for tablets

Tablet sets cover women’s suffrage, Japanese American internment, and political cartoons

loc-tabletsPages from the scrapbooks of the activists who fought for women’s suffrage. A political cartoon from the pen of Benjamin Franklin. Photos by Ansel Adams of Japanese Americans living in World War II relocation camps.

The Library of Congress is putting all of these historical documents, along with many more, in the hands of students and teachers through its three newest free, interactive ebooks for tablets.

The Library of Congress Student Discovery Sets bring together historical artifacts and one-of-a-kind documents on a wide range of topics, from history and science to literature.

Next page: How educators can access the new resources

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Insight works with education leaders on Microsoft Server security

With less than one month to an end of service deadline, Insight highlights cybersecurity concerns at ISTE

microsoft-serverThe Insight Enterprises, Inc. Public Sector team will speak to the risks of failing to address the pending end of service for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference.

On July 14, 2015, Microsoft will cease support for this operating system, and Insight is warning education leaders to not ignore critical steps to protect their sensitive data.

At ISTE 2015 (June 28-July 1 in Philadelphia), Insight will provide education decision-makers with detailed information on how to protect information stored on millions of computer servers from cyber-attacks and data loss–even if they are not prepared within the next 30 days.

Data breaches and attack incidents have increased annually, and if education leaders don’t prepare for the end of service for Microsoft Windows Server 2003, the risk of a material breach increases significantly.

A U.S. Department of Homeland Security alert said computer systems running the unsupported Microsoft Server 2003 operating system are exposed to elevated cyber security risks such as malicious attacks or electronic data loss.

Microsoft research in 2014 reported that 23.8 million instances of Windows Server 2003 were running on 11.9 million physical servers worldwide. That’s an estimated 39 percent of all installed Microsoft Server operating systems.

On July 14, 2015, Microsoft will phase out support and no longer provide critical automatic fixes, updates, or provide technical assistance for the operating system. Educational institutions have options including an upgrade to a newer, supported operating system, replacement of servers or transitioning IT operations to a cloud-based service.

Insight will be at ISTE 2015, Booth #2600, Expo Hall within the Pennsylvania Convention Center. For more information on how to address the end of service, visit Insight or call 800-INSIGHT.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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