Konica Minolta Joins ZeroNow Alliance to Foster Safer Schools

Ramsey, NJ (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. ( Konica Minolta) announced it has joined the ZeroNow Alliance for safer schools.

ZeroNow is a member-based nonprofit that facilitates collaboration between industry, association and education partners to foster new solutions to keep school campuses safe and secure. The organization was founded by technology partners Additional, Axis Communications, Johnson Controls and Omnilert, along with campus safety nonprofit partners the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), NASPA (the Association of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education), Campus Safety Magazine and VTV Family Outreach Foundation.

“The last decade has shown the world just how essential school security has become,” said Stephanie Keer, National Practice Manager, Government/Education, Konica Minolta. “The next decade will bring historical changes, and Konica Minolta is anticipating and preparing to meet the challenges ahead by creating school security solutions that can and will save lives.”…Read More

3 ways the E-rate program helps level up learning

The federal E-rate program continues to provide expanded access to technology, including edtech tools, digital learning resources, and high-speed internet access, to schools, according to an annual report that takes stock of the program’s progress.

The findings come from E-rate compliance services firm Funds For Learning‘s 12th annual E-rate Trends Report. The report is designed to understand how the program can best serve schools and libraries. Stakeholder input is compiled and delivered directly to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to inform program administration.

Key findings from the 2022 report include:…Read More

Private wireless is the key to K-20 digital transformation

Educational institutions across the United States are investing in digital technologies that, aside from transforming the learning experience, promise to improve campus operations, security and communications, and open the door to new e-services for students and staff. To realize the promise of digital transformation, schools at all levels (K-20) need solutions that can extend secure and reliable broadband connectivity campus wide.

Schools and higher educational institutions typically rely on Wi-Fi and Ethernet for connectivity. So, it’s no surprise that that many are upgrading or extending their Wi-Fi networks to prepare for digitalization. But Wi-Fi has limitations in important areas such as multi-user capacity, coverage, reliability, security, and mobility. It’s also prone to disruptions caused by interference and obstacles. These limitations could keep institutions from reaping the full benefits of broadband and digitalization.

Fortunately, there’s a better alternative. Private wireless networks (4.9G/LTE and 5G) enable institutions to use standardized cellular technologies and new spectrum options – including unlicensed spectrum in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band – to meet the stringent demands of digital applications. By complementing their existing Ethernet and Wi-Fi infrastructure with dedicated cellular connectivity, institutions can provide broadband connectivity for everyone and everything, and support a new generation of campus services.…Read More

Growing Number of Texas School Districts Partner with ParentSquare to Unify School-Home Communications

SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. SEPT. 22, 2022 ParentSquare, continuing its momentum in partnering with Texas schools, announces over a dozen additional independent school districts (ISD) have adopted the platform to streamline communications and empower administrators and teachers to engage every student’s family. To further support Texas districts, ParentSquare is now a platinum corporate partner in the Texas Fast Growth School Coalition.

Recent ISDs to adopt the ParentSquare school-home engagement platform for K-12 include:

  • Barbers Hill ISD
  • Brenham ISD
  • Del Valle ISD
  • Huffman ISD
  • Hutto ISD
  • Midway ISD
  • New Braunfels ISD
  • Northwest ISD
  • Odem-Edroy ISD
  • Pampa ISD
  • Roma ISD
  • Stafford MSD
  • Stratford ISD
  • Transformation Waco in Waco ISD
  • United ISD
  • Waxahachie ISD

These districts join a long list of over 60 districts in the state that have already been utilizing the benefits of ParentSquare. Through these partnerships, over a quarter million Texas families are being positively impacted by the platform features in some of the fastest growing areas in the country.…Read More

High-speed internet is a basic necessity–not a luxury–when it comes to learning

Americans overwhelmingly believe that high-speed internet access is a basic necessity, according to a new survey from Kajeet. Additionally, this need for connectivity is not new, as nearly 75 percent of respondents believed high-speed internet was important even before the pandemic began more than two years ago. The survey also finds that 64 percent of U.S. adults are worried about their ability to pay for a high-speed internet connection at home, drawing attention to the opportunity gap and homework gap many students face.

The digital divide–the gap between people who have access to modern information and communications technology and those who do not – is a major issue. Access to the internet has become a necessity in almost all aspects of life today, including education, healthcare, remote work, etc. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), however, an estimated 14.5 million Americans lack home broadband access. For these 14.5 million people, not having access to the internet is a disadvantage.

High-Speed Internet is a Necessity, Not a Luxury…Read More

The Education Service Centers of Indiana Select ParentSquare as a Purchasing Program Partner for School-Home Communications Technology

Santa Barbara, CA — Aug. 17, 2022— ParentSquare, the award-winning unified school-home communications platform for K-12 education, has been named a vendor partner by the Educational Service Centers of Indiana (ESC of I).

ESC of I is a collaborative of nine Indiana Education Service Centers (ESCs). Each ESC serves the schools in its designated geographical region through a variety of programs and services. Together as ESC of I, they implement statewide initiatives, such as a cooperative purchasing program, to benefit Indiana’s nearly 50,000 educators and 720,000 students.

“ESC of I develops partnerships with a wide variety of organizations to support the needs of our member districts,” Central Indiana Education Service Center Director of Partnerships Dr. Christy Hilton stated. “Those organizations are vetted by our partnerships team members for quality, service, and return on investment. Our team found ParentSquare’s reputation for powerful functionality and exceptional service to be well deserved.”…Read More

SchoolStatus Names New Chief Revenue Officer and Expands Sales Team to Build on its Continued Growth

RIDGELAND, Miss., August 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ —  SchoolStatus, a leading provider of an education communications platform designed to improve student outcomes through data and parent engagement, today announced that it has strengthened its leadership and sales teams with the appointment of Phil Charland as the Company’s first chief revenue officer (CRO), and the expansion of its U.S. sales team. In this newly-created role, Charland will be responsible for global sales, marketing, and customer success for SchoolStatus. 

Charland is an accomplished educational technology executive with over 15 years of experience building and leading high-performing global sales, customer success, and revenue enablement and operations teams. Most recently, he led Ascend Learning’s Safety and Security global sales teams as Vice President of Sales, with a focus across K12, higher education, and professional learning markets. Prior to Ascend Learning, Charland led national and global sales teams for numerous leading education companies including Edmentum, Ellevation Education, Renaissance Learning, and Eduventures, LLC. Charland started his career in education as a K12 teacher and athletic director at The American School In Switzerland, where he taught for three years. He holds a B.A. from Harvard University 

“This is a very exciting time for SchoolStatus as we scale to address rapidly increasing demand for unified K12 analytics, communications, and workflow platforms,” said Russ Davis, founder and CEO of SchoolStatus. “We believe Phil’s extensive experience in sales and marketing strategy and his track record of driving business growth for education technology companies make him an ideal candidate to help us continue to accelerate our growth trajectory.” …Read More

ParentSquare Partners with MyVRSpot to Enhance Video Messaging to K-12 School-Home Engagement Platform

SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. Aug. 10, 2022—In a 2022 national survey about the future of school-home communications, school and district leaders said they would like to add more videos to improve communication with families. To meet this need, ParentSquare has partnered with MyVRSpot, a video and digital media management service, to extend its video messaging capabilities to the ParentSquare school-home engagement platform for K-12.

With this new partnership, K-12 educators from the district office to the classroom teacher can seamlessly record and share video messages using ParentSquare and MyVRSpot to engage families with their communications. Teachers can also easily create and share lessons using the built-in recorder tools in MyVRSpot and then add the videos to the posts they create in ParentSquare – giving teachers and students the tools they need to teach and be future-ready citizens.

“Video provides a powerful tool to help districts and schools deepen their relationships with students’ families,” ParentSquare Chief Strategy Officer Dr. Chad A. Stevens said. “The partnership between ParentSquare and MyVRSpot is a direct response to feedback from our customers who expressed a desire to add video to their future communications plans. This new integration provides flexibility for schools to create and share video messages with families and shows ParentSquare’s ongoing commitment of creating the most robust parent relationship platform through customer-centric partnerships.”…Read More

Why we use a multilingual districtwide platform for personalized communications

With more than 15,000 students across 25 different schools in central Washington state, one of our biggest goals coming into this past school year was to develop a feature-rich communications system that was the same for teachers, schools, and the district. We looked at the options on the market, talked to other districts about what they are using, and then put in a new school-home communications platform in place for the 2021-22 school year.

One of our concerns when adopting a new platform was whether it could handle multilingual communications for the district, where our students speak eight different languages–mainly English and Spanish, so that was our previous sole focus.

If you take Spanish and English out of the mix, we’ve never communicated using the six other languages before, unless it was an Individual Education Plan or something else that had to be translated. We’ve never communicated our normal messaging out in ALL languages that impact our families.…Read More

ASU course encourages high schoolers to get their heads in the cloud

It’s an early morning wake up call for Trinity Smith, lead teaching fellow and student studying business data analytics at Arizona State University (ASU). During the Spring 2022 semester, Smith started most mornings with 30 high school students who were enrolled in CIS 194 Cloud Foundations, a course delivered by ASU.

The online course was co-developed by ASU’s University Technology Office and W.P. Carey School of Business, along with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the National Education Equity Lab. The class offers an opportunity for high school students — targeting those who attend Title I or disadvantaged schools — to earn high school and college credit, as well as an industry certificate, in cloud computing.

Students nationwide participate in the ASU course  …Read More