Using tech to drive innovation in early care and education

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Fasten your seatbelts. The past few years in the early care and education (ECE) space have been a figurative roller coaster ride of ups and downs when it comes to the availability and distribution of public funds.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating, negative impact on the ECE supply and availability of care, as well as the exodus of large portions of the ECE workforce. In response to this national crisis, Congress provided a total of over $52 billion dollars in additional funding to stabilize the ECE field and ensure that eligible families were still able to access care. States have used these funds to not only stabilize the supply of care and the ECE workforce, but also to explore new solutions to support efforts to rebuild, expand, and improve the quality of ECE across the country.…Read More

How video coaching helps us support teacher growth and retention

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At the Van Winkle Early Childhood Center within Jackson Public School District in Mississippi, we enroll students for one year to prepare them for kindergarten. Family engagement is critical to a student’s success throughout their academic career, so we also help prepare families to support their children every step of the way.

We believe that successful mentoring and instructional coaching sustains teachers, especially new ones, throughout the year and improves their ability to build strong relationships with students and families. To ensure that our mentoring and coaching is intentional, focused, and fits into everyone’s tight schedules, we recently began using video. Here’s how it works.…Read More

Bringing robots to early education classrooms in rural Nevada

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As part of our educational outreach to the community, PBS Reno createdCuriosity Classroom for preschool through 4th-graders. The program, which is free to schools and districts, uses on-air, online, and print resources to help parents, caregivers, and childhood educators prepare children for success.

As we were researching trends in STEAM education to update our program, we noticed that robots were at the forefront, but most of the opportunities only existed for middle and high school students. Here’s how we’re bringing robots to younger students in rural communities.…Read More

How we created a computer science curriculum in 5 steps

Even with a strict budget, limited teacher expertise in computer science, and the chaos of a pandemic, the Metropolitan School District of Pike Township (MSDPT) launched a comprehensive and engaging K-5 computer science curriculum for every student.

As an instructional specialist at MSDPT during the launch, I now understand how much collaboration, clever resource management, and hard work are required to run a successful K-5 computer science program. 

As computer science has been launched into the national spotlight, schools across the country are finding ways to integrate STEM themes into early education. Although we faced challenges at MSDPT, we were able to find solutions that fit our budget and empowered our existing faculty to teach this specialized subject with confidence.…Read More

With family engagement, universal pre-K will be a success in 2022

The next few years could be a turning point for those of us involved in early education, and even for education in general. As part of the American Families Plan, President Biden is aiming to set aside $200 billion to make universal pre-K a reality for the first time in this country’s history. It’s a large investment with a laudable goal, and it will no doubt help millions of children and their families if it passes.

For all the good it will undoubtedly do, however, it will ultimately fail in its goal to prepare all children for kindergarten if we don’t also focus on engaging families in their children’s academic lives.

Family engagement will be crucial to successful early education…Read More

Kansas Provides Statewide Access of LETRS Professional Learning in Literacy for Educators Responsible for Prekindergarten through Grade Three

BOSTON (Dec. 1, 2021) –– The Kansas State Board of Education is providing  statewide access to LETRS® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) professional learning for educators in prekindergarten through third grade to individuals entering the early education field. Offered by Lexia® Learning, a Cambium Learning® Group company, the LETRS professional learning experience provides the research, depth of knowledge, and abilities for teaching literacy skills to a wide range of students in grades PreK-5.

The Kansas State Board of Education will support the literacy-focused professional learning program over the next three years. “The state’s goal is to address literacy learning gaps that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lexia Learning President, Nick Gaehde. “We will be helping Kansas educators accelerate early literacy learning so students who suffered from the disruption to their learning can quickly recover.”

LETRS is a comprehensive professional learning solution that deepens educator knowledge and expertise in the Science of Reading. The program provides practical support with tools that are available 24/7—online and print. LETRS also offers in-person consulting services and ongoing support throughout the school year with strategies specific to instruction. Educators can choose from the following foundational literacy professional learning programs:…Read More

Early Education Grant Provides STEAM Learning for Jewish Day Schools

The David Lear Sulman Fund provides over 50% off research-based KIBO robot kits

(Waltham, MA) June 10, 2021 – KinderLab Robotics today announced a partnership with the David Lear Sulman Computing, Science, and Engineering Fund, which is offering the Limudei Code-Esh Curriculum (LCE) for Jewish day schools and Jewish supplemental schools. LCE is an integrated curriculum for students in grades K-3 (adaptable for preK-Grade 5) that was created to engage them with Judaic studies as they begin their journey into coding and robotics. With this program, Jewish schools can implement the free LCE curriculum while receiving a 10% discount on KIBO Robot Kits from KinderLab, and an additional 50% off the remaining price of the KIBO robots with the generous grant from the David Lear Sulman Fund.

This initiative includes curriculum and two STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) educational technology platforms, KIBO and ScratchJr. Students use these tools as they explore themes in the Jewish holiday cycle while expressing their ideas and understanding through building, coding, and art activities.…Read More

Edtech startup HEI Schools raises €2 million in series A funding to bring Finland´s renowned early education model worldwide

The new financing allows the company to accelerate the growth of the digital offering of curriculum programs and teacher training to reach millions across the globe

Helsinki, Finland, April 2020
Award-winning, research-based early education concept, HEI Schools, has announced that it has completed a 2 million Euro Series A round of financing. The financing was co-led by Practica Capital and Tesi, Finnish Industry Investment. 

HEI Schools, which was founded 2015 together with the University of Helsinki, one of the world´s top universities in educational sciences, is a pioneer in providing a unique Finnish brand of research-based early education globally. The company is offering a premium learning center concept, an easy-to-use digital curriculum platform and pedagogical tools for educational operators and teachers outside of Finland to use.…Read More

HEARBUILDER Online Foundational Literacy Program Builds Basic Skills in Young Students

With the onset of the COVID virus, millions of PreK to Grade 5 students across the U.S. may have fallen critically behind in the basic skills they need to become good readers and be successful in school. Now more than ever, parents, educators and specialists are focused on helping their young students make up for lost learning time. The HearBuilder online, research-based, foundational literacy program provides an excellent way for students to build their early education and literacy skills.

HearBuilder is the only online researched-based foundational literacy program in the country that addresses the four essential pre-literacy skills:

  • Following Directions with Basic Concepts
  • Sequencing
  • Auditory/Listening Memory and Comprehension
  • Phonological/Sound Awareness

It is ideal for helping young learners trying to stay current and get ahead in these basic skills because it:…Read More

Fab labs to launch in early childhood programs

Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM will develop early childhood fab labs in Head Start programs

Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES), a developer of digital fabrication laboratories (fab labs) and STEM curriculum and school design, has been named a partner in the Federal government’s new Early Education STEM initiative.

TIES is among a group of leaders who participated in April’s Early Learning Symposium hosted by The White House, in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services and Invest in US. The event highlighted the importance of promoting active STEM learning for our youngest children and to celebrate a broad range of public- and private-sector leaders committed to promoting STEM learning across the country.

In March 2016, The Bay Area Discovery Museum, in partnership with TIES and FableVision, launched the world’s first Fab Lab for young learners (ages 3 to 10) to help them navigate the design process from concept to production, and turn their ideas into reality.…Read More

Top ways to choose and use tech in early education

Proper early childhood education technology use is critical

early-educationMaking sure that young children benefit from technology isn’t quite as simple as handing a child a mobile device with age-appropriate apps. But using a series of questions and requirements can help ensure that technology in early childhood education environments makes a big impact.

Research has already established some key steps to better early childhood technology use, and ensuring that technology resources and software meet certain requirements can enhance young students’ experiences and learning.

Technology tools are just like paper, blocks, or crayons–they’re materials from which teachers can select to facilitate learning and play.…Read More

Budget for 2014 is a mixed bag for schools

Early education sees more money, and sequestration cuts are rolled back—but many programs are still funded below 2012 budget levels

Title I grants for disadvantaged students will receive $14.4 billion, and IDEA will get $11.5 billion.

Congress has passed a federal budget for the 2014 fiscal year that includes more money for early childhood education, a priority of President Obama.

The budget also restores most of the funding cut from education programs such as Title I and special education under sequestration last year. But the funding for these large formula-grant programs still falls short of 2012 levels.…Read More