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Don't miss this recap of the latest technology product news, reports, and research

Tech-savvy educators know they must stay on top of the myriad changes and trends in education to learn how teaching and learning can best benefit from technology’s near-constant change.

Keep reading for a monthly recap of the latest marketplace news that will keep you up-to-date on product developments, teaching and learning initiatives, and new trends in educational technology.

College readiness

Champlain College will host five pre-college programs this summer, including Digital Forensics & Cybersecurity Academy, Champlain Game Academy, Entrepreneurship For Good, Young Writers’ Conference, and an Art & Design Portfolio-Building course. All five programs are designed to strengthen high school students’ college applications, assist with the transition to a college learning environment and position them for a career they will be excited about. Read more.

With an increasingly complex college admissions process requiring high school students to get an earlier start, CollegeVine announced the launch of a mentorship program especially for high school freshmen. The new 9th Grade program is designed to provide that first vital guidance by helping students successfully navigate high school and laying the foundation for a successful college process. Read more.

Next page: Hardware, data and analytics, and digital learning resources


Acer announced the availability of its latest convertible notebook for education customers, the Acer TravelMate Spin B1 (B118), at the 2017 BETT Show happening in London from January 25-28. The 11.6-inch convertible notebook with Windows 10 Pro is sized for easy portability, features four usage modes and a robust design made for day-to-day use in the classroom. In addition, with a long battery life, students can power through a full day of school and beyond. Read more.

Data and analytics

Impero Software, provider of network administration, classroom management and internet safety software, has launched the latest version of Impero Education Pro, version 6 (v6). Version 6 includes the cloud-based, cross-server reporting and analytics tool, Impero Insight, available as an add-on module. Powered by a business intelligence engine, Impero Insight pulls a school/district’s data (collected by Impero Education Pro on one or across multiple servers) into detailed and visually-rich graphical reports designed to aid in decision-making, support best practices, and keep students safe. Read more.

Physical and online safety

In an effort to increase the safety of its students, Putnam Valley Central School District has added a new anti-bullying and safety communications tool called Anonymous Alerts. This mobile app system allows for the quick, easy, and anonymous reporting of urgent information regarding student safety to school officials. Students, parents, and staff are encouraged to confidentially and anonymously report student safety concerns such as bullying, cyberbullying, drug or alcohol use, fights, and more. All incident reports remain anonymous unless the submitter selects the option to reveal their identity. Read more.

ClassDojo has been awarded the iKeepSafe FERPA and COPPA Certifications in recognition of their alignment with iKeepSafe’s best practice guidelines for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The certification signifies that ClassDojo has been proactively and independently assessed by iKeepSafe, an experienced privacy protection organization. Read more.

Funding and awards

The Jefferson Education Accelerator announced the selection of Branching Minds as its latest company partner. Founded by a former classroom teacher in 2012, Branching Minds draws on the latest learning science and education research to help teachers pinpoint a student’s individual academic challenges through observation-based assessment, identify and select personalized interventions, and then monitor progress. The Branching Minds platform is designed to foster collaboration among teachers, administrators, and families to improve the fidelity of implementation. Taken together, the platform streamlines the process of synthesizing data into shareable reports that can be used to initiate and manage the RTI process. Read more.

For the second year, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space and the Space Commerce Conference and Exposition have presented the Spacecom STEM Award to an organization in recognition of its efforts to inspire students toward STEM-related careers. The 2016 award recipient is the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, which will use the award to fund club member access to an after-school version of Space Station Academy, an online course offered through The Virtual High School. Read more.

Webinars and events

Edthena is partnering with the Council of Chief State School Officers and its Network for Transforming Educator Preparation to deliver a free, best practice webinar on the transformational power of video coaching as part of the professional learning process. The webinar, “How Video Coaching Supports Continuous Teacher Improvement Across the Training Continuum,” will take place on Tuesday, January 31st at 2 pm ET/11 am PT. Read more.

Digital tools and strategies

As the nation begins to witness and evaluate the new president’s first 100 days in office, iCivics, the civic education nonprofit founded by U.S Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (Ret.), released a series of free resources to help teachers engage students in meaningful discussion around the transition of power. These resources are designed to enable students to analyze events such as the State of the Union address and to support their teachers as they engage students in key questions related to communications, campaign promises, cabinet nominations, and domestic and foreign policy. Read more.

Budgeting for digital content remains a challenge in many schools. Individual schools often cannot launch a comprehensive digital initiative alone. To increase accessibility, OverDrive Education now offers shared collections, a collaborative eBook platform that enables two or more schools or districts to borrow eBooks and audiobooks via a single website, with all purchased titles available to all participating institutions’ users. Read more.

Edgenuity, a provider of online and blended learning, announced the launch of UpSmart, a supplemental solution designed to help all students in grades 6–8 demonstrate mastery of state standards in English language arts and math. Using an adaptive learning engine and technology-enhanced assessments, UpSmart provides the right level of instruction and practice on each topic for each student. Read more.

The use of eBooks and audiobooks has grown steadily in K-12 classrooms and libraries. The number of digital books borrowed on OverDrive’s K-12 digital reading platform is up 48 percent compared to 2015. K-12 students are reading more eBooks and audiobooks, and while an increasing number of schools are moving their curriculum books to digital, more than half of all eBooks read in K-12 classrooms are for pleasure reading according to a School Library Journal survey. Read more.

The South Carolina State Board of Education has approved the Chemistry and Physics editions of the Discovery Education Science Techbook for statewide use as a core instructional resource through its state adoption process. School districts across South Carolina now have the option to use State Board of Education approved instructional materials funding to purchase and integrate these digital textbooks, which are 100 percent aligned to South Carolina Academic Standards and Performance Indicators for Science, into teaching and learning. Read more.

bulb, a provider of digital portfolios for the education marketplace, will award a $500 grant to support digital learning, along with other prizes, at the Future of Education Technology Conference. The conference, which takes place in Orlando, Fla., from January 24–27, 2017, coincides with the release of several exciting new features on bulb’s multimedia portfolio platform. Read more.

Students at Buffalo Elementary School in Iowa will be the first students to study from an Oculus Rift-based science curriculum immersed in virtual reality. The curriculum, developed by VictoryVR, relies on the NextGEN national science standards to develop a series of virtual learning modules for each section. In addition to virtual field trips, science experiments with an elite national teacher, and private movies in a virtual home theater, students also take a 10-question assessment controlled by the student’s eyes within the VR environment. Read more.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s BLOSSOMS Program is expanding its portfolio of free online lessons to include a new interactive video that explores the physical science behind the 2015 AFC Championship Game football-tampering case commonly referred to as “Deflategate.” BLOSSOMS lessons are used in high school STEM classes. Read more.

Learning Upgrade, provider of engaging, differentiated literacy and math curriculum designed for English language learners, announced the launch of its iOS mobile app. Coupled with the recent release of its Android app, Learning Upgrade is now available on nearly every smartphone, tablet and other mobile device. Read more.

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