ABCmouse launches school-centered platform for K-2

Teacher support and implementation services maximize the educational impact of the curriculum in the classroom and at home

Age of Learning has launched ABCmouse for Schools, a scalable solution to meet the pre-K through 2nd grade needs of school districts and school groups in the U.S. and internationally.

ABCmouse for Schools builds on the company’s Early Learning Academy, a digital education resource for early learners. Available on computers, tablets, and smartphones, ABCmouse is used in more than 65,000 U.S. classrooms and in more than one third of all U.S. public libraries.

ABCmouse for Schools offers two solutions for pre-K through 2nd grade: ABCmouse Early Learning Academy, a supplemental curriculum that builds a strong foundation for academic success across subject areas required for 3rd grade readiness; and the new ABCmouse English Language Learning Academy, which can be used by teachers as a core program or as a supplemental resource to provide a developmentally appropriate English language immersion experience.…Read More

IBM supercomputer Watson to help advance preschool education

Plan to develop adaptive learning products and platform for use at home and in schools

Sesame Workshop and IBM announced a collaboration to use IBM Watson’s cognitive computing technology and Sesame’s early childhood expertise to help advance preschool education around the world.

As part of a three-year agreement, Sesame Workshop and IBM will collaborate to develop educational platforms and products that will be designed to adapt to the learning preferences and aptitude levels of individual preschoolers. Research shows that a significant extent of brain development occurs in the first five years of a child’s life1, making this window critical for learning and development.

The alliance will draw from Sesame Workshop’s deep educational content expertise garnered from over 45 years of research, and more than 1,000 studies on how young children learn best. This expertise will combine with Watson’s natural language processing, pattern recognition, and other cognitive computing technologies to create highly personalized learning experiences intended to complement the roles that parents and teachers play in early development. Watson will continuously hone and improve educational activities by studying and adapting to the aggregate experiences of anonymized groups of students.…Read More

8 ways digital media will evolve for the future

A new study evaluating the Ready To Learn initiative outlines how educational digital media will change to influence children and content producers

While digital educational media can continue to have a substantial impact on children, the size of that impact is directly proportional to a commitment to equity, according to a study examining five years of the CPB-PBS Ready to Learn Initiative, which represents $72 million in taxpayer dollars.

Interviews with 26 prominent children’s media researchers, producers, and thought leaders were conducted as part of the study.

The study reflects on the initiative’s progress over time and offers examples of how digital educational media have influenced learning.…Read More

10 building blocks of early childhood education

High-quality early childhood education programs give students an equitable start, research says

A new brief highlights 10 important elements of high-quality early childhood education programs, pulled from a body of research, which can help young students have an equitable start with a strong educational foundation.

The brief was compiled in part to help states as they redesign early childhood education programs and strive to offer those children access to high-quality learning experiences.

The Building Blocks of High-Quality Early Childhood Education Programs draws on a substantial body of research and comes from the Learning Policy Institute. It identifies 10 important elements, or building blocks, of high-quality early childhood education programs as indicated by research and professional standards.…Read More

Utah’s early literacy program works–here’s why

Latest evaluation of statewide early literacy program shows high correlation with kindergarten readiness compared to control group

A statewide kindergarten readiness initiative in Utah is helping children develop early literacy skills before they enter kindergarten, and is doing so at a higher rate than among children who are not in the program.

The state’s UPSTART program, developed by the nonprofit Waterford Institute, uses an early literacy curriculum delivered digitally in the home.

A report analyzing the program’s fifth year suggests that technology has considerable merit for delivering curriculum, teaching critical early reading skills that are known predictors of later school performance, and closing early learning gaps that disproportionately affect disadvantaged children.…Read More

District launching free pre-K literacy tool

Virginia school district is deploying Footsteps2Brilliance literacy tool for all early learners

early-literacyManassas City Public Schools (MCPS) in Virginia is launching a new approach to early learning that will increase literacy for all 4 year olds in Manassas City by using mobile technology to scale pre-K services to all its 4-year old children.

“It is the goal of Manassas City Public Schools to accelerate early learning, close the literacy achievement gap, and support our English Language Learners,” said Dr. Catherine Magouyrk, Superintendent of Manassas City Public Schools.

“This goal is taking shape through a new partnership with Footsteps2Brilliance. In the next few weeks, Footsteps2Brilliance will be available, free of charge, to all pre-K children in the City of Manassas.”…Read More

Public libraries to offer digital early literacy tools

Miss Humblebee’s Academy gives libraries an outcomes-based program to support kindergarten readiness

early-literacyIn an effort to support public libraries’ life-long learning initiatives, Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, is launching Miss Humblebee’s Academy, a new early literacy product that will assist public libraries’ youngest learners in building foundational literacy skills.

Partnering with Miss Humblebee LLC, Gale has co-developed a product tailored specifically to the public library user, which includes the assessment tools libraries need to measure their impact on early literacy development in their communities.

Studies show that participating in quality early learning can boost children’s educational attainment and earnings later in life, underscoring the importance for public libraries to provide resources that serve this young audience.…Read More

Kansas preschool programs focus on literacy support

Program aims to identify children who may need more instructional literacy intervention

kansas-literacyTo ensure young children are reaching important achievement standards and school readiness goals, the Kansas Preschool Programs (KPP) are integrating structures necessary for implementing a Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS).

The Kansas MTSS framework is based on a systematic, evidence-based approach to curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices for influencing positive educational outcomes. Working within this framework, the Kansas Inservice Training System (KITS), a program of the Kansas University Life Span Institute at Parsons, initiated training to reinforce assessment, planning, and intentional instruction by the KPP.

“Our goal is to support educators at the classroom, school and program level working together to inform instruction and make data-based decisions for improving programs as a whole and educational outcomes for individual children,” says David Lindeman, Ph.D., Kansas University, KITS Director.…Read More

4 fresh ideas for teaching digital citizenship sooner

Kids are immersed in technology from a very young age. So why do digital citizenship courses focus on middle school and above?

PLCs-communitiesEd. note: Innovation In Action is a new monthly column from the International Society of Technology in Education focused on exemplary practices in education.

digital-citizenship-youthRecently, I was reflecting on how we as parents and teachers account for all of our children when we are in public areas. Be it on a field trip, vacation, or just a trip to the toy store, we count heads to make sure they’re with us and safe. In a digital learning environment, how can educators ensure that students are being safe while they are online?

Throughout my career, I’ve taught the use of technology to elementary students. While at my former school district, I worked with colleagues to create a comprehensive Internet Safety Unit with a specific focus on digital citizenship. In my current job at Lower Moreland Township School District, I still look for opportunities to reinforce digital citizenship skills within my lessons. A key element of this program was to address an ISTE Standard for teachers to “Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility.”…Read More