7 predictions about back-to-school during COVID

As schools across the nation open their classrooms for a return to full in-person learning, educators, parents, and stakeholders are wondering what the fall will bring. Concerns about COVID surges and a return to remote or hybrid learning aren’t far from educators’ minds.

When schools across the country started shutting down in-person instruction in March of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 virus, much of the nation’s focus turned to COVID’s immediate and long-term impact on students.

Educators, parents, stakeholders, and policymakers wonder how much learning loss occurred, how schools can mitigate the impact on students, and–perhaps most pressing of all–what back-to-school will look like in the fall.…Read More

CoderZ & Amazon Cyber Robotics Back-to-School Challenge

This fall, CoderZ and Amazon Future Engineer are bringing real-world industry to classrooms with the Amazon Cyber Robotics Back-to-School Challenge. In this free, three-hour virtual learning experience, students learn the basics of computer science while uncovering how Amazon uses computer science and robotics daily to deliver customer goods.

Schools that support students from underserved communities who finish the challenge not only have the chance to win prizes, but also to keep learning on CoderZ’s cloud-based platform with its virtual robots and game-like “missions.” For teachers who want to continue with CoderZ, Amazon will also sponsor free access to the yearlong curriculum for 100,000 students from underserved communities within the United States for a full semester during 2020 – 2021.

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Adobe Offers Free K-12 At-Home Access

As an unprecedented back-to-school season rolls out across the United States, Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced expanded support and resources for students, educators and the broader education community.

Adobe is offering Creative Cloud application access at no additional charge to all students and teachers from August 24, 2020 through January 31, 2021 for current U.S. K-12 volume license customers. New U.S. K-12 Creative Cloud customers can also take advantage of these cost-savings by purchasing a volume license for their school or district, giving access (including at-home) to all students and teachers at no additional charge. More information on this offer can be found here.

Education around the world has been synonymous with the classroom, but our new reality of distance and online learning has fundamentally changed the way institutions operate, how educators teach and how students learn, and ultimately, how student success is measured and achieved.…Read More

Savvas Delivers Innovative Back-to-School Solutions to Help Teachers, Students and Families Succeed with Distance Learning

After listening to educators, parents and caregivers from across the country, Savvas Learning Company today introduced a range of platform enhancements and new K-12 educational products aimed at making distance learning more impactful. They include features specifically designed to help teachers seamlessly shift between in-person and remote learning, easily identify both learning gaps and the critical content from the previous grade to close them, as well as increase student engagement with immersive activities and simplified access to their digital content.

“We’ve heard loud and clear what educators and families need to make distance learning more effective this school year. With every moment of instructional time being even more precious when students return, teachers are looking for support to help smoothly pivot between remote and classroom teaching and address unfinished learning. Meanwhile, parents and caregivers want help getting their students up and running on their digital programs,” said Bethlam Forsa, CEO of Savvas Learning Company. “At Savvas, we have made it our mission to give educators and families the solutions they need so that their students can get the most out of their learning, no matter where it takes place this year.”

Long known for building learning solutions from the ground up to be used successfully in a blended classroom and online learning environment, Savvas, formerly Pearson K12 Learning, set out to further enhance its content and advanced technologies for more optimized remote teaching. This includes lesson plans, instructional tools, and readiness assessments specifically geared for distance learning. Savvas also created training videos and other resources to support teachers and parents in maximizing their use of its award-winning learning management system, Savvas Realize™.…Read More

Follett Online Book Fairs a Convenient Option to Keep Kids Reading

Whether the 2020-21 school year is starting in the classroom or remotely,  Follett is ensuring elementary and middle school students won’t be missing out on one of their favorite back-to-school traditions: the book fair. With  Follett Book eFairs, events can be held 100 percent virtually with schools choosing the dates that work best for them, students are empowered to select the books they wish to read, and families are afforded the opportunity to conveniently purchase books online.

The ease with which Follett’s online fairs are carried out are extremely attractive to school and book fair coordinators. The approximate setup time is 10 minutes, while there is no need for forms, handling cash or finding space in the school.

“I chose a Follett Book eFair because it seemed so easy,” said Shawn Crist, media assistant at James E. Plew Elementary School in Niceville, Fla. “It was almost too good to be true. I didn’t have to worry about rearranging our Media Center or finding volunteers.”…Read More

America’s Favorite Rapping Teacher, Mr. Dwayne Reed, Joins Forces with Achieve3000

Achieve3000 is bringing teacher-led instruction to online classrooms in time for this year’s back-to-school season through a new partnership with Chicago’s rapping sensation Mr. Dwayne Reed, CEO of TeachMrReed. As educators and parents around the U.S. are raising increased concerns about the learning loss experienced due to the coronavirus pandemic, the partnership aims to reach students most in need of catching-up and getting back on track. Lessons will focus on teaching foundational literacy via Mr. Reed’s signature instructional style that engages students through music, a proven-effective method for enhanced literacy instruction (Kassel, 1997).

“The majority of online learning solutions are designed to provide opportunities to read or listen only. We wanted to do better than that. It’s more important than ever that we use every resource we can to keep kids excited about learning and provide the instructional resources teachers need to meet the increasing demands of their position,” said Mr. Kevin Baird, Achieve3000’s Chief Academic Officer.

Mr. Reed will facilitate complete, pre-recorded lessons that guide students through Achieve3000 Literacy’s original differentiated fiction stories. Each lesson will begin with students reading stories aloud along with Mr. Reed. Teachers can later access recordings of the students’ read-aloud sessions in order to evaluate pronunciation and provide personalized feedback for each student. Mr. Reed will then lead students through a series of word play games developed in partnership with Dr. Kay Stahl, Clinical Professor of Literacy for New York University. Finally, students will enjoy original instructional songs, including rap and other genres, performed by Mr. Reed before beginning their independent reading practice.…Read More

Time to get real with equity

For Todd Dugan, superintendent of Bunker Hill CUSD #8, a small, remote district in southern Illinois, issues surrounding back-to-school COVID-19 style are not abstract but all too real.

Some of the district’s biggest priorities include:

  • Rural struggles–and successes–as COVID hit
  • Address learning loss that comes with inequity
  • As school resumes, freedom of choice

In this conversation with eSchool News, Todd tries to keep the glass half full as he looks to take advantage of these incredible disruptions to education.…Read More

6 free resources for teachers–just in time for back-to-school

Although the school year starts at different times across the country, one thing is guaranteed: free resources for teachers are at the top of the must-have list.

Free resources for teachers are important no matter the monetary value of the resource. A federal survey released earlier this year and based on data from the 2015-2016 school year shows that 94 percent of public school teachers report spending their own money on classroom supplies.

Related content: Make “Welcome Back to School” videos work for you…Read More

Recipe for back-to-school success

Are you interested in expanding your comfort zone, building relationships with your students, and boosting the culture of your classroom in the new school year? Read on!

While attending EdCampFlipgrid, StuVoiceCon18, and FlipgridLive in the marvelous city of Minneapolis this summer, I raptly listened to dozens of amazing educational leaders and pioneers delivering thought-provoking statements, providing new perspectives, and offering game-changing takeaway tools and strategies for immediate implementation.

Whether in the intimate session circles of EdCampFlipgrid, in the StuVoiceCon18 audience at the University of Minnesota- McNamara Alumni Center, or in the energy-filled room of Flipgrid Live at Aria Event Center, the central theme being celebrated was the reach and power of student voice.…Read More