On the ground at ISTE Live22: Learning needs joy and civility

This week’s special edition of Innovations in Education, hosted by Kevin Hogan, comes live from one of the nation’s largest edtech conferences. At least 15,000 educators and edtech enthusiasts are gathered in New Orleans for ISTELive 22.

ISTE CEO Richard Culatta notes that we’ve “beaten the joy out of learning” in recent years. Now is the time to inspire educators and learners. Along with inspiration comes the idea of injecting civility, kindness, and understanding into education.

“It’s OK to disagree…you need to disagree; it’s how you learn, but we have to do it in a way that’s kind and civil, and you have to model that for kids,” Culatta said.…Read More

4 tools to help students build post-COVID research skills

As an educator with 21 years of experience in teaching and learning, I have had the opportunity to work with students of differing abilities and learning backgrounds. During a typical school year, meeting the varied needs of my students makes for an extremely rewarding, but challenging job. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the needs of students tenfold, maximizing both the rewards and challenges of my role as an educator. 

As the world begins to shift in the evolving post-pandemic environment, it’s clear that much has changed. In my opinion, K-12 education has seen tremendous changes whose impacts we will be assessing and addressing for years to come. 

However, as educators begin to consider how to evolve education to meet the needs of our students today and in the future, we have before us the enormous task of shoring up students’ academic skills that may have eroded during the “emergency teaching” era. …Read More

New Jersey’s Middle Township Public Schools Initiates New Partnership with Discovery Education to Enhance Middle School Science Instruction

SILVER SPRING, MD (June 12, 2022)—New Jersey’s Middle Township Public Schools (MTPS) announced it has initiated a new partnership with Discovery Education that will enhance science instruction for middle school students districtwide. Through this collaboration, educators in grades 6-8 will be empowered to enhance their science lessons with an engaging new suite of dynamic digital services, hands-on resources, and professional learning opportunities supporting these resources’ integration into instruction. Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports instruction wherever it takes place. 

Located in Southern New Jersey, MTPS provides excellence in education while celebrating the strength of its diversity. The curriculum and opportunities offered to district students are designed to help them see beyond the boundaries of traditional education, and faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to engage in meaningful discussions and activities that enable them to translate academic lessons into real world solutions. 

To help facilitate these types of learning experiences in the district’s middle school science classrooms, MTPS administrators sought a suite of engaging digital and print resources that promote connections between classroom learning and the outside world and are aligned to applicable science education standards. Following a rigorous review of several possible resources by a collaborative team of MTPS science teachers led by middle school Principal Jeff Ortman, the district selected the following services from Discovery Education: …Read More

BoomWriter and Walch Education joins forces to provide world-class EdTech solutions

Milton-based EdTech developer and publisher,  BoomWriter Media Inc., (BoomWriter) has merged with education powerhouse  Walch Education. This puts the combined company on the map as the leading provider of applications supporting the core fundamentals of education. 

BW Walch, as the umbrella company will be known, brings a partnership that offers complete solutions for schools and teachers to create engaging in-class experiences and to provide better learning outcomes for students across all age groups. 

“This is a perfect merger of capabilities,” says Al Noyes, CEO of Walch, “Walch brings a platform that has been used for over 50 years and now we are adding the engagement applications for reading and writing in the classroom.” 

“With so many start-ups in the EdTech industry there will be inevitable consolidation and lots of elimination of fledgling companies,” adds Chris Twyman, founder of BoomWriter. “Bringing Walch and BoomWriter together gets us ahead of the curve and together we provide a greater portfolio of engaging educational solutions.” 

BW Walch has over 1m registered users of its technology solutions combined. In March 2022 alone it saw over 6m reading logs and more than 72,000 books written, using its unique collaborative writing tools. In 2020/2021 the two companies launched two major technology solutions: GoRead and the Curriculum Engine. GoRead won the top prize at the BETT Awards and the math flagship, Curriculum Engine, won a Tech Edvocate award. The Curriculum Engine and BW Walch’s math content is being used in hundreds of classrooms with tens of thousands of students achieving outstanding results.

Prior to the merger, BoomWriter acquired UK-based businesses  Squirrel Learning (Squirrel) and  Axe Edge to help grow operations and service solutions that empower teachers to bring classroom learning into the 21st century. The relationship between BoomWriter and Squirrel has been long established, with BoomWriter previously investing in the company’s platform. 

These acquisitions were made possible through both organic revenue growth as well as a significant investment from Alexander Elorriaga, a venture partner at  Scale Capital and chairman of SimpleTV. Mr Elorriaga also joins BoomWriter as a strategic advisor. With his extensive experience in the TV industry combined with a proven track record of leading large-scales operations Mr. Elorriaga adds edutainment expertise to the BoomWriter team. 

“BoomWriter is producing magic in the classroom”, said Mr. Elorriaga. “The blurring of the entertainment and education world is the holy grail for increasing engagement in the classroom. BoomWriter does this without sacrificing the delivery of a rounded educational experience.”

ABOUT BOOMWRITER MEDIA, INC.:
BoomWriter Media, inc., (BoomWriter) is a digital education company headquartered in both Wolverhampton, UK, and Milton, US, which engages children and educators through collaborative content creation and storytelling. 

Founded in 2012 by Chris Twyman and Ian Garland, the innovative, web-based publishing platform brings together passionate educators, technology experts, corporate sponsors, enthusiastic parents, and students to promote and develop creativity, writing, reading, critical thinking, and other essential 21st century literacy skills. 

Aimed at students in grades 2-8 to make them better writers and learners. BoomWriter partners with authors and celebrities to provide the first chapter that sparks kids’ imaginations and inspires story collaboration with classmates. Teachers and students from more than 37,000 elementary, middle, and high schools in more than 105 countries are already using the platform.
BoomWriter brings together creative writing and gamification to provide children a unique approach to writing stories as well as getting published. The company provides a competitive writing platform that can be integrated into a variety of curriculum.

ABOUT WALCH EDUCATION:
Walch Education is a leading developer and publisher of online teaching and learning solutions and tailored curricula. Adapted to fit the needs of each state and district partner, Walch’s proven solutions give teachers what they need to extend and enhance student learning. The company’s Curriculum Engine leads the way in a new category of “Curriculum-as-a-Service” offerings, helping teachers teach more effectively so that students can succeed. Curriculum Engine is a uniquely turnkey solution, enabling school districts to rapidly tailor high quality resources and answering the need for purpose-built accelerated learning support.

…Read More

Why “offline” digital learning is critical to impact children worldwide

As thousands of educators, entrepreneurs, and investors gathered at the recent ASU+GSV Summit, a growing number recognized both the need and opportunity for educational innovation in developing countries, particularly for the over 250 million children who lack access to schools.

But many of the solutions proffered still focus on internet-based solutions. Glaringly missing from the landscape are adaptive, digital learning solutions that are offline.

While we work to increase universal access to the internet, the edtech ecosystem cannot ignore the hundreds of millions of children currently without connectivity but who are eager to learn.…Read More

5 ISTELive 22 sessions that caught our eye

It’s that time of year again–ISTELive 22 is just around the corner, and this year, the nation’s largest edtech show takes place in New Orleans.

Focusing on empowering educators and elevating equity, ISTELive features in-person content live and streamed from the conference, along with online content from remote presenters.

Sessions include focuses on blended learning, curating classroom resources, using augmented reality, project-based learning, building student media literacy, time-saving tech tricks from librarians, using digital tools with students who have special needs, digital problem-solving, and more.…Read More

Iowa’s Southwest Valley Community School District Broadens Partnership with Discovery Education Supporting Science Instruction in Elementary School Classrooms

SILVER SPRING, MD (Tuesday, June 7, 2022)—Iowa’s Southwest Valley Community School District (SVCSD) today announced it is broadening its partnership with Discovery Education to support science education in elementary school classrooms districtwide. In the newest stage of this multi-year partnership, elementary school teachers across SVCSD will receive access to a new suite of dynamic digital services, hands-on resources, and professional learning opportunities supporting the creation of engaging science lessons. Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports instruction wherever it takes place. 

Located in Iowa’s rural Adams and Montgomery Counties, SVCSD consists of an early learning center, two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school. Dedicated to creating enthusiastic learning environments promoting responsible and empathetic contributors to society, SVCSD’s teachers and administrators sought a unique combination of print and digital resources that would support the district’s goals and power science instruction in their Corning Elementary and Sylvia Enarson Elementary Schools. Following a careful review of available resources, the district selected the following services from Discovery Education: 

The Discovery Education platform.
Connecting educators to a vast collection of high-quality, standards-aligned content, ready-to-use digital lessons, intuitive quiz and activity creation tools, and professional learning resources, Discovery Education provides educators an enhanced learning platform which facilitates engaging, daily instruction in any learning environment.    …Read More

Discovery Education and Social Impact Partners Support In-Home Learning All Summer Long

Silver Spring, MD (Thursday, June 2, 2022) — To keep students engaged in learning all summer long, Discovery Education and its Social Impact Partners are offering students and caregivers an array of no-cost dynamic digital resources they can use at home. This selection of content inspires families to learn together by exploring the world around them. Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art K-12 digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place.  

The following selection of no-cost digital resources created with social impact partners connect families to engaging learning experiences: 

  • Inspire the next generation of solution seekers with STEM and math-specific family activities from the STEM Careers Coalition. Family members can join in as students get hands-on with ready-to-use activities promoting self-guided learning and career success. 
  • With resources from Amazing Me – an initiative with the Dove Self-Esteem Project – parents and caretakers can play an active role in social-emotional learning, health, and confidence-building for students at critical developmental ages. 
  • Encourage community collaboration with the 6th annual Cha-Ching™ Money Smart Kids Contest created with Jackson Charitable Foundation. The contest enables communities to vote for their elementary school to win $10,000 to support financial literacy education in their school. The contest is open through June 17, 2022. Plus, parents can help students build financial literacy skills for life by watching together a series of fun, engaging videos that teach students to earn, save, spend, and donate. 
  • 3M’s Science at Home video series is a collection of simple, watch-and-do science experiments that feature 3M scientists and special guests using common household items to reinforce core scientific principles and make STEM learning as accessible as possible. Through these at home activities, STEM solution seekers can immerse themselves in science through creative and fun projects that range from engineering with marshmallows, to chemistry with baking soda. 

“Caregiver participation in student learning has profound, positive impacts on academic and lifelong success. We are proud to collaborate with our Social Impact Partners to present this collection of family-focused content. We hope these engaging resources will inspire families to explore important topics like STEM, SEL, financial literacy, and civics all summer long,” said Beth Meyer, Vice President of Social Impact at Discovery Education.  …Read More

Minneapolis’ Aim Academy of Science and Technology Selects Discovery Education to Support Science and Social Studies

SILVER SPRING, MD (Thursday, May 26, 2022)—The Aim Academy of Science and Technology in Minneapolis, MN, today announced it has selected  Discovery Education — the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place— to support science and social studies instruction in all grades. In collaboration with Discovery Education, Aim Academy of Science and Technology will integrate a suite of award-winning, flexible, digital resources into teaching and learning, creating real-world learning experiences that connect students to the world around them while preparing them for future success.

Located in South Minneapolis, the Aim Academy of Science and Technology provides students in grades 6-10 a successful path to college and STEM careers through culturally responsive mentorship, integrated STEM education, and curricular connections with technology-based businesses and industries. Seeking to update their curriculum with digital resources able to support the creation of engaging learning opportunities that empower students to discover, create and apply knowledge to real needs, Aim Academy of Science and Technology staff undertook a careful review of available solutions. Following this review, the Academy selected the following Discovery Education solutions:

The Discovery Education platform.
Connecting educators to a vast collection of high-quality, standards-aligned content, ready-to-use digital lessons, intuitive quiz and activity creation tools, and professional learning resources, Discovery Education provides educators  an enhanced learning platform that facilitates engaging, daily instruction in any learning environment.

Discovery Education’s team continues adding, contextualizing, and organizing exciting new content and timely and relevant resources to the platform each month in response to current events and the ever-evolving needs of educators. These resources, sourced from trusted partners, are aligned to state and national standards, and help educators bring the outside world into teaching and learning every day.

The K-12 learning platform is designed to work within the school systems’ existing infrastructure and workflows and provides safe, secure, simple access methods for educators and students. Through expanded, lasting partnerships with Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, Schoology, Canvas, Brightspace, and Clever, integrating Discovery Education’s K-12 learning platform into existing IT architecture is easier than ever.…Read More