How using data during COVID becomes more important than ever

For Matt Reynolds, Assessment and Data Officer for the 64,000+ students that attend Douglas County School District in Colorado, running the usual assessment numbers was obviously useless last year.

That doesn’t mean that data collection was not an essential part of district operations. Quite the contrary in fact.

In this conversation with eSchool News, Matts talks about how they are supporting student learning during this time, as well as helping educators engage students and drive instruction.…Read More

Illuminate Education and Education Advanced Announce Partnership to Integrate Products

Companies will integrate SchoolCity and TestHound assessment tools to improve teaching and learning

In an effort to provide greater visibility and support to K-12 school districts,  Illuminate Education announces the integration of its SchoolCity assessment platform with TestHound, a test enablement tool from  Education Advanced. Through this partnership, school districts will be able to more effectively coordinate assessments and manage student accommodation data.

“Our goal is always to help educators bring teachable moments to light. This includes making the assessment process easier for all our students. By partnering with Education Advanced, we hope to save educators a significant amount of time when planning assessments and coordinating student accommodations,” said Christine Willig, CEO at Illuminate Education. “Users will have additional options for customizing assessments, and the ability to dive deeper into students’ progress and accommodation needs.”…Read More

Renaissance and Nearpod, Coming Together to Empower Teachers and Accelerate Student Growth

Renaissance, a global leader in student-centered, pre-K–12 personalized practice and assessment, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Nearpod, a leader in teacher-facilitated instructional delivery, to unlock an unparalleled level of student insights.

“In the past year, seismic shifts have changed education as we know it,” said Chris Bauleke, chief executive officer at Renaissance. “With the rise of COVID-19, this shift crossed a crucial threshold and created a demand for the edtech industry to provide solutions that don’t supplement or replace the teacher, but instead, pave the way for a new way to teach and learn. The combination of Renaissance and Nearpod will empower teachers to drive the full learner experience with a deep set of real-time data, content, and tools to accelerate learning and growth for all students.”

Nearpod offers an interactive instructional platform that merges real-time formative assessment and dynamic media for live and self-paced learning experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom, giving educators the ability to adjust in real-time, while easily seeing how their students are progressing. Teachers can choose from more than 15,000 interactive lessons, videos, and activities created in partnership with leading organizations like Common Sense Education and Smithsonian to quickly enhance their existing content.…Read More

We need to rethink assessments for remote learning

Assessment is the linchpin to driving essential skill and competency development. Traditionally, assessments have often been used as an indicator of what students know, understand, and can do, after the learning has been completed.

More recently, educators have implemented formative assessments, allowing students to receive ongoing feedback about their learning during the learning process.

Often, students are given their own agency and reflect on their learning, set their own goals and next steps, and work in partnership with their teacher to identify gaps and opportunities for deeper understanding.…Read More

Tanjo AI Advances to Final Round in Pandemic Response Challenge

Tanjo AI, an award-winning machine learning (ML) company based in North Carolina, has moved to the final round in the  $500K Pandemic Response Challenge run by XPRIZE and sponsored by Cognizant.

Tanjo AI is advancing to the final round. Finalist teams were selected from semifinalists from 28 countries following an independent judging panel’s assessment of teams’ predictions of COVID-19 transmission rates and patterns.

XPRIZE is the world’s leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges. The Pandemic Response Challenge is in partnership with Cognizant (Nasdaq: CTSH), one of the world’s leading technology and professional services companies…Read More

Curriculum Associates Launches i-Ready Standards Mastery for Virginia to Provide Insight into Learning Loss

To provide just-in-time information on students’ mastery of the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) and instructional recommendations to address specific learning loss, Curriculum Associates has created i-Ready Standards Mastery for Virginia. This new reading and math assessment component for Grades 2–8 features tech-enhanced assessment items and is part of the award-winning i-Ready Assessment suite. Today, i-Ready serves more than eight million students nationwide, including more than 169,000 students in 327 schools across Virginia.

“We created i-Ready Standards Mastery for Virginia in response to educators needing a truly Virginia SOL-specific, data-driven solution to help inform instruction,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “This first-of-its-kind program for Virginia shows our ongoing commitment to supporting quality education across the state and will provide an invaluable resource for educators by providing detailed and timely insights into student understanding.”

Designed to assess the Virginia SOLs, i-Ready Standards Mastery for Virginia offers educators the option to assess student understanding of any math or reading standard via a brief, 15-minute assessment. The program provides educators with immediate insight into student understanding, progress, and need, including item analysis for each student with information on common misconceptions about the standard. It also provides instructional recommendations and resources best suited to support students based on their current understanding of specific skills.…Read More

Rhode Island Approves IXL for K-12 Blended Learning and Assessment

IXL Learning, the K-12 personalized learning platform used by 11 million students, has been approved by the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) for use under two statewide initiatives. Schools and districts in the state can now support blended learning with IXL and implement the Real-Time Diagnostic to assess students’ knowledge levels in math and reading. IXL serves approximately 67,000 students in Rhode Island, which accounts for more than 40 percent of learners in the state.

RIDE’s mission is to provide equitable educational experiences to more than 300 K-12 public schools and 140,000 students across Rhode Island. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state leaders began searching for a digital assessment that would reliably measure student growth during distance learning and identify potential knowledge gaps throughout the year. RIDE also recognized it needed a flexible, skills-based program to supplement daily instruction and fit seamlessly into any educational environment.

Pinpoint knowledge with the Real-Time Diagnostic…Read More

Instructure Acquires Certica Solutions to Make Learning Personal for Every Student

Instructure today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Certica Solutions, an industry leader in K12 assessment and analytics, and longtime partner of Canvas and MasteryConnect. Through this acquisition, Instructure will provide the comprehensive and open set of tools educators need to drive student outcomes by bringing together a learning management system, assessment management system, assessment content, and data analytics into one streamlined K12 learning experience.

“This topsy-turvy year has only underscored just how important it is to know if our students are learning, whether they are being taught in the classroom or online,” said Steve Daly, CEO of Instructure. “Welcoming Certica into the Instructure family will support educators by combining our assessment platform with smarter, standards-based assessments, assessment item banks, and powerful analytics empowering educators to make learning personal for each student.”

Certica has been a pioneer in K12 assessment creating a high-impact program of standards-aligned item bank content, predictive benchmark assessment, rigorous formative assessment, and teacher-ready analytics to provide the most immediate, accessible and actionable data for educators to use in the classroom.…Read More

10 educator suggestions to instill a love of reading in students

My husband quite often reminds me not to use my behavior as a child OR an adult as an indicator of others’… because I’m weird. From the moment I learned to read, I loved it. My favorite winter break was spent bingeing on every Baby-Sitters Club book in the series. As an adult, at any given moment, I’m listening to an audiobook and bouncing between one or two print books. Sometimes I read to learn. But most often, I read because I love it. But again… I’m weird.

Is it weird? Or did the mere fact I enjoyed access to books at home, school, and in the public library as a student give me a distinct advantage? The most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), otherwise known as The Nation’s Report Card, indicates that students scoring in the lowest percentiles in reading and math are dipping noticeably.

Related content: How school librarians are getting creative in a pandemic…Read More

Illuminate Education Partners with Turnitin to Provide Assessment Resources for Remote Learning

Illuminate Education, a leading K-12 student performance solution, is partnering with  Turnitin, a leading provider of academic integrity and assessment solutions. Together, they will equip teachers with knowledge and resources to encourage academic integrity and promote effective assessment creation and delivery in remote learning environments. In partnering, Illuminate Education and Turnitin will work to increase educators’ knowledge, use, and application of assessment resources and tools.

“As remote learning continues across the U.S., it’s important that teachers are able to successfully evaluate student growth and promote quality formative assessment creation and delivery,” said Christine Willig, CEO at Illuminate Education. “This includes teaching students the importance of academic authenticity and integrity, and we are eager to partner with Turnitin to achieve this.”

Illuminate Education offers solutions that help educators assess learning, identify needs, align targeted supports, and monitor growth for each and every student.…Read More