2024 National Education Technology Plan targets the digital divide

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The latest iteration of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Educational Technology Plan (NETP) takes aim at several obstacles limiting edtech’s ability to transform teaching and learning.

While past NETPs have largely served as surveys of the state of the field, the 2024 NETP frames three key divides limiting the transformational potential of educational technology to support teaching and learning, including: …Read More

Vivi Expands into a Whole-School Communication Tool, Launches New Features

Today, Vivi, the only wireless screen mirroring and digital signage solution purpose-built for education, announced it has expanded into a communication tool that can connect an entire school. Vivi, which currently helps over 2,000 schools, introduces new Announcements features that extend Vivi’s reach beyond classroom walls. 

“Schools are communities, but too often students and teachers feel disconnected from school leadership and each other. Existing public address systems can be disruptive and in-person assemblies are not always feasible. Text and video announcements give schools effective and scalable tools for communicating with students and staff throughout the school day,” said Natalie Mactier, Chief Executive Officer, Vivi. 

With Vivi Video Announcements, a school leader can deliver morning announcements, ad-hoc messaging in response to incoming news, or any other messaging made more powerful with video. Vivi Text Announcements enable a school’s administrative team to send concise, non-disruptive yet noticeable messages, directly to classrooms, common areas, or groups of displays to relay any message to students and staff, without interrupting the flow of instruction.  …Read More

5 educators on what 2024 will bring to education

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Does “new year, new you” apply to K-12 education in 2024? Things are certainly changing in classrooms, schools, and districts, as edtech tools, digital learning resources, and instructional strategies evolve to meet the needs of every learner.

From cybersecurity and STEM learning to AI and professional development, every aspect of education is set to see new advances in 2024.…Read More

Discovery Education Offers Educators New Resources Supporting Black History Month Observances 

Charlotte, NC. — Discovery Education today unveiled a new collection of engaging, high-quality digital learning resources supporting Black History Month observances. Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform nurtures student curiosity and supports learning wherever it takes place.  

The following resources are now available for users of the award-winning Discovery Education Experience K-12 learning platform: 

  • Civil Rights Ready-to-Use Resources: Through the DE Original Series, Need to Know, students travel through time to investigate the Civil Rights Movement. Each episode is paired with Ready-to-Use Lessons and PDF activities that align with the topics covered and features additional historical context and primary source resources.  
  • Happy Black History Month video: In this new video from Sesame Workshop for students in grades PK-2, Elmo, Gabrielle, Tamir, and Abby come together to celebrate the contributions of Black and African American communities. 

All these resources and more are available on the Celebrating Black History channel within Discovery Education Experience. Connecting educators to a vast collection of high-quality, standard-aligned content, ready-to-use digital lessons, intuitive quiz and activity creation tools, and professional learning resources, Discovery Education’s K-12 platform facilitates the creation of engaging instructional experiences for all students.  …Read More

Smithsonian and Carolina Biological Announce New Version of Elementary Science Curriculum to Raise Bar in 3D Learning

BURLINGTON, NC — Carolina Biological, the leading school science supplier and the Smithsonian Science Education Center announced Smithsonian Science for the Classroom™, Phenomenon and Problem-Driven Edition, for grades K to 5. The print, digital and hands-on program raises the bar in student-driven 3D learning and 3D assessment. All modules in the updated core science curriculum are rolling out for the 2024-25 school year. The program still takes students on a journeyof hands-on experiences, observation, and collaboration, but added many more new opportunities for students to drive their own learning and: build reading, writing, and speaking skills; make sense of phenomena and real-world problems; drive learning with their own ideas and experiences. The new program features a robust and integrated assessment system, including a new assessment map. Accessibility for students is emphasized. Students cultivate scientific skills and knowledge through student-centric investigations as they figure out compelling phenomena and solve real-world problems. Teacher support is included. The new 2nd Edition was extensively field tested by educators and will be available for purchase through Carolina for the 2024-25 school year. Teachers can contact Carolina now to implement in classrooms next fall.

Smithsonian Science for the Classroom, 2nd Edition, is a high-quality comprehensive science program with life science, earth and space science, physical science and engineering modules developed to meet the *Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This elementary curriculum engages, inspires, and connects students firsthand to the world around them through a total of 24 student-driven modules. It helps teachers keep classes fresh and interesting to young students and integrate science, technology, math and engineering throughengaging and hands-on lessons. Smithsonian Science for the Classroom includes print and digital components, as well as hands-on materials.

Student Agency…Read More

The modern CIO’s role is changing–here’s how to keep up

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Eighty-eight percent of CIOs say their role is becoming more digital and is increasingly focused on innovation, which begs the question: How is education, a notoriously slow industry, going to keep pace with digital transformation?

During a session at FETC 2024, Marlon Shears, CIO of IDEA Public Schools, offered a realistic view of what CIOs across all sectors are prioritizing and how digital transformation is driving changes and investments in education.…Read More

Student engagement requires more than edtech tools

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Student engagement is critical to academic achievement, but it can often be a struggle to engage students in meaningful and relevant ways. During a session at FETC 2024, Tom Murray, Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, dove into just what, exactly, makes for the effective use of edtech in supporting student engagement.

“Just because it’s digital doesn’t mean it’s any good,” Murray said. “We could be 100 percent digital and also at 100 percent low-level learning.”…Read More

The looming threat that could worsen the digital divide

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In an era where technology plays a pivotal role in education, the expiration of the E-rate program’s Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) funding poses a significant threat to underserved schools and libraries. This funding, which was crucial in bridging the digital divide, now stands at a crossroads, potentially leaving many educational institutions grappling with outdated technology and hindering access to the digital resources necessary for effective learning.

While the stakes are high and a potential crisis may be looming, there are several solutions to mitigate the impact on underserved areas as we transition to a post-ECF era.…Read More

Tennessee’s Hardeman County Schools Begin New Year with New Digital Resources Supporting College and Career Readiness 

Charlotte, NC —Tennessee’s Hardeman County Schools (HCS) today announced a new phase in its partnership with global edtech leader Discovery Education that is bringing new digital resources to students districtwide. Thanks to this new collaboration, teachers and students across HCS will have access to a suite of award-winning digital products that prepare students for college and careers and nurture their inherent curiosity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and all other subjects. 

Located in Southwest Tennessee, HCS’s approximately 250 educators serve nearly 3,300 students daily, providing a high-quality education in a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment that builds foundations for lifelong learning. These foundations include academics, social emotional skills, technological competencies, and career awareness. 

To support this mission, HCS sought a suite of flexible, standards-aligned digital learning resources that were easy to integrate into instruction and had a proven record of engaging students in STEM education and stoking curiosity in all other subjects. Following a careful review of available resources, HCS selected the following products for use in district classrooms: …Read More

MackinVIA Wins The Distinctive Platinum Award Its 8th Consecutive Modern Library AwardFrom LibraryWorks

Burnsville, MN – Mackin, a leading provider of print and digital fiction and nonfiction books for PK-12, is pleased to announce it is a multiyear honoree and winner of its eighth Platinum Award in LibraryWorks’ tenth annual Modern Library Awards (MLAs). The MLAs were created to recognize the top products and services in the library industry.

Products and services were submitted in the fall of 2023 using a simple application, and then were posted on a private site with an enhanced description and attendant materials. These products were batched into small groups and sent to the LibraryWorks database of more than 80,000 librarians in public, K-12, academic, and special libraries. Only customers with experience with these products/services in their facilities were permitted to judge the entries resulting in a truly unbiased score.

Each judge scored the product from 1-10 on a series of questions regarding functionality, value, customer service, etc. MackinVIA received a remarkable score of 9.598, resulting in their eighth Platinum Award from this prestigious organization. “Since its inception over a decade ago, MackinVIA has made great progress becoming the preferred digital content management system in schools around the world, and has continued its technological growth to remain one of the world’s top choices. As a company, Mackin has always been known for their ingenuity and superior customer service. It’s no surprise that these motivating forces helped MackinVIA to be recognized and validated again,” remarked Troy Mikell, Director of Marketing and Communications at Mackin.…Read More

Enhancing Communication and Safety at American Heritage Charter School with Rise Vision

Rise Vision, the #1 digital signage software is excited to announce the release of its newest case study featuring American Heritage Charter School. American Heritage Charter School near Idaho Falls, uses Rise Vision to enhance safety and streamline communication channels within its three buildings.

Josh Siqueiros, the Director of Technology at American Heritage Charter School, was a business IT administrator transplant into the world of education. Josh brought a fresh perspective and a determination to overcome communication challenges he noticed within the school. His background in the business sector equipped him with the skills to navigate the hurdles of implementing new technologies in the educational domain.

Upon joining American Heritage Charter School, Josh Siquerios identified two major challenges he wanted to tackle: Effective communication and to increase safety.…Read More

The IT solutions you need to succeed this year

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There is no shortage of devices on a school campus between students, faculty, and educators. Not only are there school-mandated devices, but the rise of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) linked to the school’s network has the potential to cause major strain on a school’s IT system, both from campus and at home.

In today’s digital age, one student alone might be using two or three different devices for their schoolwork – that’s more surfaces for security threats to creep in than ever before. Not only is personal device use on the rise, but since 2020, there has been a 19 percent average increase in the overall use of learning technologies.…Read More