technology STEM

In the marketplace: Minecraft Education Edition, apps for ELLs, digital citizenship, and more

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.

Check below for the latest marketplace news to keep you up-to-date on product developments, teaching and learning initiatives, and new trends in education.

Learning Upgrade, an ed-tech company providing digital, differentiated literacy curriculum designed for English language learners (ELLs), launched a mobile app to increase accessibility and expand offerings to a wide range of English learners. The app enables students to access Learning Upgrade’s high-interest musical lessons on their own using any device, including phones and tablets. With the app, Learning Upgrade aims to improve students’ time on task by no longer limiting them to sitting in front of a computer. ELLs of all ages are now able to work through lessons anytime and anywhere. Read more.

Ohio’s Brunswick City Schools launched a new seven-year partnership with Discovery Education. Brunswick City educators in grades K-12 will accelerate the creation of authentic digital classrooms by integrating Discovery Education’s Science Techbook into instruction, while middle school educators will begin integrating Discovery Education’s Social Studies Techbook into teaching and learning. Read more.

Helping students achieve state education standards can be a challenging process, but it is even more so when a state mandates the use of new high-stakes tests. Such is the case in Ohio where several school districts are turning to the Performance Matters Platform to help boost student achievement on the new assessments implemented just last year. The Performance Matters Platform is an integrated portfolio of Student Growth Solutions and Educator Growth Solutions, all supported with robust data analytics. Read more.

IBM, in partnership with Apple, positioned its Watson analytics platform for the K-12 education market with the launch of the Watson Element for Educators app. The app, designed exclusively for iPad’s, collates information covering students likes & dislikes, learning activities, interests and academic achievements to provide a holistic view of a student’s school career. Read more.

The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) announced a major expansion of its College Readiness Program in western Pennsylvania schools with an investment of $26 million from ExxonMobil, made on behalf of its XTO Energy Inc. subsidiary. The three-year program empowers school communities to improve participation and success in rigorous coursework to better prepare students for college and the STEM-intensive careers of the 21st century. NMSI will partner with approximately 40 schools across the region over the next several years to enhance teacher effectiveness and student performance in the core subjects of math, science and English. Read more.

Edsby, a SaaS platform that gives K-12 school districts, regions and national governments better student, teacher and parent engagement, improved educational outcomes and new insight into educational effectiveness, is now running on Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s hyperscale, enterprise-grade cloud platform, as part of a global relationship between the two companies. Read more.

Common Sense Kids Action announced the launch of an aggressive campaign today to pass digital citizenship legislation in state capitols throughout the country. With kids living in a rapidly changing digital world and in need of the guidance and support to make smart online choices, Common Sense has formed a coalition of like-minded organizations that will advocate for legislation that expands access to digital citizenship instruction in classrooms nationwide. Read more.

The full version of Minecraft: Education Edition is now available for purchase in 11 languages and 50 countries around the world. Minecraft: Education Edition was built over the last year with the help of more than 50,000 students and educators who participated in an early access program and provided valuable feedback to help fine-tune the experience across a diverse set of learning environments. Read more.

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