Running the numbers: New data on the state-of-play in education

In this week’s Innovations in Education, hosted by Kevin Hogan:

  • Educator retention hinges on these 3 things
  • E-rate spending reveals schools’ tech evolution
  • New report: Equity, Cybersecurity Top List of State Education Technology Priorities

Read more:

All about the IT department: Proven strategies for success…Read More

New Report: Equity, Cybersecurity Top List of State Education Technology Priorities

As students return to another school-year impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report sheds light on how state education agencies and policy-makers are adapting to an increasingly digital, post-pandemic world.

The 2022 State EdTech Trends Report, released by the State Educational Technology Directors Association in collaboration with Whiteboard Advisors, draws on the results of SETDA’s flagship annual State EdTech Trends Survey of edtech directors, state superintendents, chiefs of staff, and other senior state officials from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Activity (DoDEA), and the Northern Mariana Islands.

The report supplements the survey findings with interviews of leaders in a number of states to spotlight their efforts to support digital learning. “Our job at the state is to advocate for what districts need and to promote our mentality that we are all in this together to help our students achieve,” stated Rob Dietrich, Senior Director of Teaching and Learning at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.…Read More

AtomicMind launches the AtomicMind Foundation Scholar Program to assist students from families experiencing financial hardship

NEW YORK — AtomicMind, an education technology company that offers families a boutique coaching experience in the increasingly competitive college admissions landscape, today announced the establishment of the AtomicMind Foundation Scholar Program to help make the company’s services available to those students who would otherwise be unable to afford them. In its inaugural year, AtomicMind is committing up to $500,000 worth of services to support up to 50 qualified students, with plans to expand in future years. 

The AtomicMind Foundation Scholar Program will provide comprehensive support throughout a student’s college admissions journey, starting as early as the freshman year of high school. Students will receive tailored counseling to build strong candidacies for elite colleges, as well as assistance with every facet of the admissions process during the college application season.

AtomicMind also aims to help these students more easily obtain financial aid. Given the amount of need-based aid often falls short, under-resourced students need to be able to close the funding gap with merit-based aid. To qualify, these students must demonstrate strength of character and a track record of academic and extracurricular accomplishment. Success rates are significantly higher when students have access to long-term, quality support. …Read More

AtomicMind Launches College Admissions Technology Platform for a Personalized and Comprehensive College Application Experience

NEW YORKAtomicMind, an education technology company that offers families a boutique coaching experience in the increasingly competitive college admissions landscape, today announced the launch of a unique technology platform. The new offering provides a comprehensive and personalized college application experience by combining hands-on expert guidance from dedicated advisors with robust virtual task management, communication and feedback tools.

The platform was designed by MIT and Harvard graduates using best practices identified over the course of their 40+ years of combined experience helping students get into top colleges. It gives college applicants the benefits of enhanced feedback and collaboration with a team of experts including strategists, writing coaches and former admissions staff members from elite colleges such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, MIT and Stanford. The AtomicMind platform addresses every aspect of the admissions process, from crafting compelling essays to mastering interviews to refining activity and college lists. The technology includes tools for keeping track of important deadlines and documents, while offering applicants key insights into what each college admissions committee is looking for. With the platform, a greater number of students will have access to the best resources regardless of where they live.

“The new AtomicMind platform offers families access to the tools and experts needed to navigate the increasingly high standards of the elite college admissions process,” said Leelila Strogov, the founder and CEO of AtomicMind. “The platform aims to maximize college acceptance rates by helping students more effectively build college lists, create tailored applications and stay organized. It also provides parents with an opportunity to monitor the progress of their student’s college applications. This spares busy applicants the extra stress of having to provide updates to their parents or the feeling that they are being interrogated.”…Read More

Star Assessments Now Connect to Nearpod to Accelerate Student Growth

Bloomington, MN (August 17, 2022)Renaissance, a global leader in pre-K–12 education technology, is pleased to introduce a powerful new connection between its industry-leading Star Assessments and Nearpod platforms to accelerate learning in the 2022–2023 school year. This is just one of the many exciting new product features that schools and districts can access for Back to School. Renaissance has also curated fun, engaging, and helpful resources for its products to help ensure a strong start for both educators and students as they are together again in the new school year.

To better connect assessment, instruction, and practice, Star Assessments users now have one-click access to Nearpod’s lesson library and learning resources within the Star platform. This streamlines the lesson-planning process and helps educators to more easily differentiate instruction for individual students, small groups, and entire classes in both literacy and mathematics. Educators who are using Nearpod Math have access to additional content and tools within Star to support students’ math achievement.

In addition, Renaissance is thrilled to introduce two foundational literacy assessments for the new year:…Read More

Gamification tools that increase student engagement

Who out there doesn’t enjoy some form of game? Whether it be watching or playing a sport, a card game, a board game, or video games, most people would say they at least enjoy one.

Games are part of many people’s lives–so why not use them to benefit students when teaching?

From a 5th grade teacher lens, it is evident that students are more likely to engage in an educational activity when it is “gamified,” and even more so when it is gamified with technology. …Read More

Promethean Works With Merlyn Mind To Increase Classroom Productivity and Support Innovative Teaching

SEATTLE /PRNewswire/ —  Promethean®, a leading global education technology company, today announced it has entered into a US-based exclusive distribution agreement with  Merlyn Mind, Inc. With the new agreement, Promethean will distribute Symphony Classroom, the artificial intelligence (AI) solution that brings the Merlyn digital assistant to teachers powered by voice-activated AI. With the alliance, customers will be able to purchase Symphony Classroom directly through Promethean’s network of resellers.  

Symphony Classroom delivers the Merlyn digital assistant custom-built for the unique needs of education — enabling teachers to use voice commands or a remote to control their laptops, interactive displays, internet browsers, apps, and more. Powered by Symphony Classroom’s EdgeAI® technology that provides lightning-fast responsiveness, Merlyn frees teachers to move around the classroom so they can interact with students, simplifies everyday classroom tasks, and improves overall efficiency and productivity.

“Promethean’s  ActivPanel is the interactive display of choice for millions of teachers who rely on technology to drive student engagement and spark their imagination,” said Vin Riera, chief executive officer at Promethean. “By adding Symphony Classroom to our portfolio, we will make it easier for educators to teach untethered, supporting a student-centered environment that increases participation.”…Read More

Texthelp Names Industry Veteran Gus Schmedlen as Chief Revenue Officer

WOBURN, Mass. /PRNewswire/ — Texthelp, a global leader in literacy and assistive technology, announced it has appointed Gus Schmedlen, Ed.D., as its Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). In this new role, Dr. Schmedlen will help Texthelp meet its goal of advancing the literacy of 1 billion people by 2030.

Dr. Schmedlen brings over two decades of experience in the education technology sector to Texthelp. Before joining the company, he served as President & CRO at Merlyn Mind, a venture-backed AI technology company focused on the global education market. Gus also served as VP and Head of Worldwide Education at HP, a multinational technology company. There he oversaw a period of rapid expansion that led to the creation of a multi-billion-dollar global education technology business. During his time at HP, he also led international efforts to improve access to quality education for marginalized students.

“Gus has an impressive background in education technology. He is deeply passionate and committed to improving outcomes for everyone — in education right through into the workplace,” said Martin McKay, CEO and founder of Texthelp. “As Texthelp’s new Chief Revenue Officer, Gus’ background and expertise will allow us to expand our sales capabilities further than ever before. He comes to us with extensive experience in scaling revenues and accelerating growth for global organizations. His role will play a substantial part in our mission. We want to help create inclusive classrooms and inclusive workplaces around the world. We are very excited to have Gus as a part of the Texthelp team and I look forward to working with him.”…Read More

Promethean Announces the All-New ActivPanel with ActivSync, Delivering a Transformational and Intuitive User Experience

SEATTLE, WA and NEW ORLEANS, LA–June 27, 2022– Promethean, a leading global education technology company, has announced the all-new ActivPanel with ActivSync that delivers the most robust, seamless, and secure user experience yet. With the new interactive panel, Promethean meets the needs of teachers and IT administrators with intuitive, cutting-edge technology that enables a seamless classroom experience. With its easy, secure sign-in options, streamlined connection to content, flexible lesson delivery software, and personalized user experience, ActivPanel 9 offers the tools needed to transform how teachers use technology.

After listening to more than 1,300 customers across the globe, Promethean designed the interactive panel to facilitate navigating a changing environment. The only interactive panel with ActivSync, Promethean’s patented technology, eliminates digital barriers between devices and enables increased connectivity, customizable settings, and enhanced mobility so that teachers can move around the classroom freely. Furthermore, Promethean redesigned the user experience, providing a solution for instructional models, such as hybrid, synchronous, and asynchronous learning that integrate hardware and software in all scenarios.  

“With our commitment to providing educators the ability to transform learning and collaboration, ActivPanel 9 is our most innovative release to date,” said Lance Solomon, chief product officer at Promethean. “We addressed the challenges teachers, IT administrators, and district officials face by creating an interactive panel that is more secure, easier to use, and works better with other technology in their classrooms.”…Read More

Gale’s Political Extremism and Radicalism Series Wins 2022 SIIA CODiE Award

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – June 16, 2022 Gale, part of Cengage Group, is thrilled to announce that its Political Extremism and Radicalism series has been named the best Library Reference or Educational Database of 2022 as part of the annual SIIA CODiE Awards. The CODiE Awards recognize the companies producing the most innovative education technology products across the country and around the world. This marks the second consecutive year that a Gale Primary Sources archive has won a CODiE award in the best Library Reference or Educational Database category.

“We are honored to have Political Extremism and Radicalism recognized as a CODiE award winner,” said Terry Robinson, senior vice president of Gale global academic. “Our mission is to empower the discovery of knowledge and insights and this recognition is further confirmation of the innovation and value Gale Primary Sources brings to enriching the research experience for students and faculty.”

Political Extremism and Radicalism is an award-winning archive series available on the Gale Primary Sources platform that provides insight on unorthodox groups and movements from both the right and left of the political spectrum through providing digital access to rare, hard-to-find primary sources supporting the study of activism, cultural studies, political science, policy studies, gender studies, sexuality, race, religion, civil rights and many other related areas of research. Scholars and researchers can analyze the rhetoric, ideology and evolution of fringe, right and left-wing groups to better understand their impact on today’s mainstream politics as well as broader society.…Read More