New research paints an alarming picture of crises facing rural students

Key points:

Many rural communities are still facing multiple crises in educational loss, economic outcomes, unemployment, and mental health in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Why Rural Matters 2023 report.

The report examines the needs and inequities affecting 9.5 million students attending public schools in rural areas – more than one in five students nationally. The report critically examines how educational supports and resources for rural student well-being are distributed.…Read More

Schools and districts that ignore TikTok’s lessons are bound to fail

Key points:

If you talk to 200 teachers around the country today and ask them to describe their challenges in the classroom, you’re likely to get 201 different responses. And that makes sense–as systemic as some issues facing our education system are, every school, class, and student is unique. Yet through all that, there is perhaps one constant, one shared experience that is as universal as the No. 2 pencil. TikTok. Yes, TikTok has become the new American pastime of millions and public enemy number one of many teachers, parents, and some lawmakers across the country.

Students today are more distracted and disengaged than ever, all while they’re spending an average of 95 minutes every single day on TikTok alone. Meanwhile, 80 percent of teachers across the nation are reporting critically low student engagement, signifying a lack of connection with the material, the methodology, or both. But TikTok, and social media more broadly, continues to capture curiosity and attention, and it’s not all just dance videos–Indiana science teacher @ChemteacherPhil commands an audience of more than 3 million followers on the app. Is there a lesson in that?…Read More

Excite, expand, equitize: Using data to support reading

Key points:

Five years ago, we were already well into discussions about investing in a digital reading application. Our overall objective was to expand access to literacy and use real-world data in curating and individualizing collections to better serve the needs of the district’s highly diverse student population. A priority was to give students seamless connection to the digital collections of the Lexington Public Library that serves our local area. As was the case for most districts in the country, the pandemic precipitated an even greater push to provide digital content.

The platform we selected—OverDrive Education’s Sora reading app—aligns with our public library system for easy access to its wealth of digital materials. The solution also allowed us to ease into the use of digital content at our own pace and within funding availability.…Read More

What does blended learning mean in post-pandemic classrooms?

Avantis Education, the leading provider of VR and AR content and hardware for K-12 schools, has released a new white paper: “Building Back Stronger: New Thinking and Technologies Reshaping Education” which delves into the myriad ways K-12 schools are embracing different methodologies and cutting-edge technologies to support students following a period of declining academic success.

The white paper, released under the brand ClassVR, Avantis’ award-winning all-in-one VR/AR headsets for schools, is available for download at

As stated in the white paper, “issues such as underfunding, understaffing, the digital divide and the impacts of the pandemic have set the stage for an ambitious revival.” It notes that ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funding has provided school districts with opportunities to leverage new educational approaches and technologies and that “these innovations serve as the catalysts for rejuvenation, charting a course toward the restoration of educational excellence. U.S. education is building back stronger.”…Read More

The academic implications of AI in student writing

Key points:

  • Education must pivot to include AI literacy in its curricula
  • The question is not whether to use AI tools, but how to use them responsibly
  • See related article: 7 principles for AI in education
  • For more news on AI in education, visit eSN’s Digital Learning page

In the rapidly evolving landscape of education, the advent of AI and ChatGPT has ushered in a new era of academic assistance. As a doctoral student and research writer myself, I have witnessed and experienced the profound impact of these technologies on academic writing. The intersection of AI assistance in student writing is not just about the convenience it brings, but also about the fundamental shift it represents in how we perceive and approach academic integrity and skill development.

A recent survey by found that nearly one-third of university students have employed AI for coursework, with a significant portion using tools like ChatGPT for over half of their assignments. As Dr. Jörg von Garrel and Professor Jana Mayer reported, a nationwide survey conducted in Germany revealed that almost two-thirds of students use AI tools like ChatGPT in their studies. This widespread usage across disciplines like engineering and natural sciences highlights the versatility of AI in various academic contexts. These statistics alone underscore the pervasiveness of AI in academic environments. However, this trend extends beyond mere usage statistics; it raises deeper questions about the future of writing skills and academic integrity.…Read More

5 things to know about AI in classrooms

Key points:

By now, we hear the term “artificial intelligence” more than a few times a day. But despite the stereotypical sci-fi depictions of AI, it has a legitimate place in today’s classrooms.

Innovative educators and students are finding new ways to integrate AI into teaching and learning every day. Teachers can spend more one-on-one time with students when they use AI to quickly complete tedious tasks. Students, on the other hand, learn how to critically evaluate information and learn about biases when they analyze information coming from generative AI sources.…Read More

ParentPowered PBC Appoints new Chairman of the Board: Luis Duarte, Partner at Imaginable Futures, as Company Ushers in the Next Phase of Growth

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – ParentPowered PBC, an education technology company that provides Ready4K research-based digital family engagement programs, today announced the appointment of Luis Duarte as the Company’s Chairman of the Board. A Director on ParentPowered’s Board since 2020, Duarte’s appointment to Chairman recognizes his entrepreneurial and impact investing experience, significant Company contributions, and commitment to the continued growth of ParentPowered.

“I feel very privileged to take on this role at such an exciting time for the Company. ParentPowered is uniquely addressing the needs of PK-12 school districts and supporting parents and caregivers at a time when deeper family engagement is having an indelible impact on improving educational outcomes. ParentPowered is innovating the family engagement experience in thoughtful, evidence-based ways which will benefit all ParentPowered stakeholders for years to come,” said Duarte.

Duarte, who grew up in Chihuahua, Mexico, has guided his life’s work towards social impact. He is a serial entrepreneur, has been a long-time impact investor, and is currently a partner at Imaginable Futures, a philanthropic investment firm. Prior, Duarte served as the Chief Philanthropy Officer of ZOMALAB and as Investments Director at Gary Community Ventures (GCV), where he led the areas of innovation and impact investing. Together, Duarte’s current and past experiences will play a crucial role in elevating ParentPowered’s voice in education.…Read More

Poptential™ by Certell Revolutionizes Social Studies Education with Integration of American Principles and Launch of Engauge™ Teacher Dashboard

INDIANAPOLIS — Certell, the creator behind the Poptential™ family of free social studies course packages, announced a significant update to its digital curriculum and platform designed to help students better understand the principles that have shaped American history while giving teachers tools to better manage their classroom and improve learning.

Poptential course packages have been updated to incorporate “American Principles” designed to foster a greater understanding of American civic life and sharpen critical thinking skills among students. Additionally, Certell introduced a powerful new dashboard for teachers called Engauge™, which helps instructors understand student engagement with Poptential e-books in real time.

The integration of American Principles into Poptential social studies courses is a significant milestone. These principles are fundamental ideas that have shaped U.S. history, culture, and identity, serving as the bedrock of American civic life. The goal is to ensure that students not only grasp these principles but also understand why they were deemed essential by the nation’s founders.…Read More

3 ways educators leverage gamification strategies

Key points:

Students don’t have to be video game fanatics to appreciate a gamified classroom lesson. When teachers turn a lesson or tough-to-teach concept into a motivational gamed or use a fun competition to teach new concepts, students become immersed in their learning and are often more engaged–meaning they’re more likely to retain information.

Still, there’s an art to gamifying a lesson and ensuring that students are actually learning instead of just playing a game for points. …Read More

Acceleration Academies Appoints Kelli Campbell as New Chief Executive Officer

Chicago, IL – Acceleration Academies, the nation’s leading provider of tech-enabled flexible education, announced today that Kelli Campbell will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer to accelerate growth and broaden impact to school districts and students.

Campbell spent 17 years at Discovery Education, the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12 school districts, and most recently served as President of the company. As a career EdTech executive, she brings a demonstrated history of success leading the sales and marketing, product development and operations functions for pioneering educational technology organizations. 

“After thorough succession planning and a comprehensive search process, the board is pleased to have found the best individual to take Acceleration Academies into its next stage of growth and expansion,” said Steve King, co-founder of Daniels & King Ventures, the main funding source for Acceleration Academies. “Kelli has a track record of strong leadership in the EdTech industry, established relationships with K-12 school districts, and success in private equity value creation. We are confident that Kelli is the right leader to accelerate the company’s growth opportunities.”…Read More