E-rate spending reveals schools’ tech evolution

Schooling has changed in many ways in the last two years, but while remote learning, mask policies and increased federal spending in education have gotten lots of attention, another trend has gone nearly unnoticed.

But thanks to the availability of detailed E-rate data, this sea change is now being recognized. E-rate is the federal government program that provides discounts of up to 90 percent for schools and libraries to bring high-speed internet into their building(s) and create internal networks for online access. For years, E-rate applicants have leveraged E-rate to bring fast internet service into their organizations, cobbling together funds and seeking out providers. But today, a new trend is emerging—more funds are being requested to improve internal networks, allowing the flood of devices now used in schools and libraries to effectively get online.

E-rate funding requested in Category One, which includes data transmission services and internet access, has declined for five straight years, largely a function of increasing marketplace competition and decreasing per-megabit prices.  But funding requests for Category Two services have soared in the same time period. Category Two funds can be spent on wireless access points, network switches, data cabling and other resources essential for on-campus connections.…Read More

New Research from Curriculum Associates: Student Achievement Shows Concerns and Bright Spots in Recovery—More Students Are Behind in Phonics but Some Schools Are Exceeding Expectations

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass. — While more students are falling behind in foundational reading skills, some schools buck the trend with positive practice in the pandemic’s wake, according to new research released by Curriculum Associates today. 

The first report, The State of Student Learning in  2022, analyzes reading and mathematics data gathered from nearly two million Grades 1–8 students during the 2021–2022 school year via the edtech company’s i-Ready Assessment tool. In a second report, Keys to Unlocking Success, Curriculum Associates identified 301 schools across the country at which students are exceeding learning expectations and conducted research to understand how school leaders are ushering their students and schools toward recovery.  

“We’re beginning the third full academic year since the pandemic began, and many school communities are still grappling with the impact of the massive 2020 disruptions,” said Dr. Kristen Huff, vice president of assessment and research at Curriculum Associates. “The question is no longer if or howthe pandemic affected student learning, it is if and how it can recover. It is critical to grow our understanding of what measurable shifts have occurred in student learning as we have more distance from 2020 and more investment in recovery efforts.” …Read More

Incident IQ Releases Integration With ClassLink Single Sign-on

ATLANTA (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Incident IQ, the workflow management platform built for school districts, released an integration with ClassLink—a global education provider of access and analytics products that create more time for learning and help schools better understand digital engagement.

As school districts continue to rely on more technology in today’s classrooms, Incident IQ offers advanced integrations that provide data-rich help requests to K-12 IT teams, while being easy to use for end-users. ClassLink’s single sign-on platform gives teachers and students access to classroom resources with a single login. Using this integration, tech support is only a click away, providing users with immediate access to support workflows. 

“Keeping classroom time dedicated to teaching and learning is essential for Incident IQ and ClassLink,” said Matthew Krivanek, Vice President of Marketing. “Incident IQ and ClassLink work together to eliminate the unnecessary back-and-forth that can come with classroom technology support. This integration allows teachers and students instant access to the Incident IQ platform and relevant support workflows using their ClassLink credentials, returning more time to teaching and learning, instead of troubleshooting tech issues. We are dedicated to providing a supportive, streamlined support environment for K-12 districts through our continued partnership with ClassLink.”…Read More

IXL Learning Acquires Emmersion, Developer of AI-Powered Language Assessments

SAN MATEO, Calif. and LEHI, Utah  — IXL Learning, developer of personalized learning products used by millions of people worldwide, announced it has acquired Emmersion, the Utah-based leader in certifying language ability through artificial intelligence. Emmersion’s platform has conducted millions of automated assessments for corporate and educational institutions, including The World Bank, Randstad, Columbia University, Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania, providing valuable data insights into language proficiency scores. 

The acquisition of Emmersion deepens IXL Learning’s line of language and literacy products, which include the world-renowned Rosetta Stone, IXL English Language Arts, Vocabulary.com, SpanishDict, inglés.com and Fluencia. Emmersion’s cofounders, Brigham Tomco and Dr. Jacob Burdis, will remain with the company. 

Accurately establish language skills with AI…Read More

8 questions for educators as they use assessments to support student learning

For assessments to be used effectively in schools, it’s important for districts and schools to consider what assessments are intended for and how the data gained from the assessments will be applied to support student learning. Building and maintaining a balanced assessment system is essential for schools, but the process can be complicated. 

Asking these eight questions can help school district leaders who want to make sure they’re using and administering formative, interim, and summative assessments at the right times and in effective ways. Considering these key questions can help districts build assessment systems that better support student learning and improved outcomes.

1. What is the purpose of this assessment?…Read More

For Back to School, Savvas Supports Educators and Students With Innovative Solutions to Maximize Personalized Learning

PARAMUS, NEW JERSEY — As students return to the classroom for the new school year, Savvas Learning Company is helping educators move learning forward with engaging, easy-to-use K-12 solutions that offer data-informed instruction and adaptive technology to take personalized learning to the next level.

“A one-size-fits-all instructional approach doesn’t work in a classroom where every student brings their own unique learning style. More than ever, personalized learning is critical in getting students engaged and motivated to learn and supporting academic growth,” said Bethlam Forsa, CEO of Savvas Learning Company. “Teachers know best how to personalize learning for their students. This is why Savvas delivers learning solutions that are powered by adaptive technology, enabling educators to easily tailor instruction to address each student’s learning needs, interests, and abilities.”

Whether delivered via visually engaging textbooks or powered by the most advanced digital technology on the award-winning Savvas Realize LMS, Savvas Learning Company’s rigorous, standards-aligned resources focus on putting the student at the center of learning. It does this by leveraging adaptive learning practices and interactive technology to provide dynamic, real-world learning experiences that foster greater student engagement.…Read More

Research to Identify Effective Math Tutoring Designs for Underrepresented Students Begins in U.S. School Districts

Wappingers Falls, N.Y. — Research shows that high-impact tutoring can produce learning gains for a variety of students, but which tutoring designs are most effective from a cost and academic perspective? Three school districts across the country will begin data-driven experiments to answer that question and more as part of a research project led by Littera Education. The project, which is funded by a Gates Foundation grant, will use the Littera Tutoring Management System (TMS) in conjunction with assessment and curriculum from Renaissance.

Littera, which was founded expressly to address inequities in public education, launched the research project with the aim of improving the implementation of math tutoring programs that support students who are Black, Latino, or experiencing poverty. 

“The pandemic not only left students months behind in math, but it widened achievement gaps for historically disadvantaged students,” said Justin Serrano, CEO and co-founder of Littera. “Federal emergency relief funding has been a tremendous help in supporting learning recovery through high-impact tutoring, but what happens when that funding ends? This grant project will provide insights into key factors that impact student achievement so districts can design sustainable tutoring programs that are outcomes-driven and cost-effective.”…Read More

3 critical considerations for the future of school cybersecurity training

A universal truth over the last two years within the education sector has been this: Students need to continue learning, whether in school, at home, or somewhere in between. For many school systems and institutions, this meant sending students home with whatever device they could get their hands on–even ones that had been earmarked for disposal. Technology had to be put into the hands of students, one way or another. For many, this came at the cost of proper security precautions. Schools and institutions were at higher risk of security attacks, with more sensitive online data than ever before.

In the two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, most schools have returned to a fully in-person learning environment. However, for many, the damaging effects linger–in 2021 alone, 67 separate ransomware attacks impacted 954 schools and colleges, putting at risk the personal data of more than 950,000 students, according to a study by security firm Comparitech.

As we head into a new school year, it is time to ask ourselves: How can we better prepare and protect our students to be a line of defense against malicious attacks? And furthermore, who is tasked with properly training them?…Read More

Thrive Alliance Group Unveils New Professional Development Series, Helping Educators Support Students’ Mental Health

PARSIPPANY, N.J. (PRWEB) — Today, only 8 percent of districts meet the recommended student-to-psychologist ratio and 14 percent of districts meet the student-to-counselor ratio according to  federal dataThrive Alliance Group, a nationally-recognized expert in fostering K–12 mental wellness, announces their new  Mental Wellness Professional Development Course Series, helping educators create a school climate and culture that supports students’ mental health and contributes to greater academic outcomes.

“Both veteran and new teachers need skills to support students’ growing mental health needs,” said Jon Brandt, CEO of Thrive Alliance Group. “School staffing is a long-term challenge and districts don’t have the luxury of time when it comes to addressing mental health. Professional development should be implemented now to provide educators with actionable guidance that supports students’ well-being and reduces teacher burnout.”

Nationwide, students are struggling with their mental health and wellness. According to a  recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention survey of high school students, more than 2 in 5 teens have reported persistently feeling sad or hopeless. In addition, the American Psychological Association earlier this year noted a shortage in school psychologists. While the U.S. Department of Education requires schools and districts to provide effective mental health support, few educators and staff members have the training or tools in place to support each student’s non-academic needs.…Read More