Texas’ Corpus Christi Independent School District Expands Partnership with Discovery Education by Selecting New, TEKS-Aligned Mystery Science to Support Deeper Student Engagement in Science

CHARLOTTE, NC —Texas’ Corpus Christi Independent School District (CCISD) today announced it has expanded its partnership with Discovery Education, which has supported student learning across the school system since 2017. In the latest phase of this collaboration, a new edition of the award-winning Mystery Science service built especially for Texas educators is helping CCISD teachers in K-5 classrooms districtwide engage students more deeply in science instruction. Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports instruction wherever it takes place. 

Committed to developing hearts and minds, CCISD serves nearly 33,000 students at 56 campuses within 68 square miles. The district’s mission is to graduate lifelong learners who are prepared to continue their education, enter the world of work, and be productive citizens. Since 1909, when the district was created, CCISD has served the community by focusing on excellence in preK-12 public education. 

To engage the district’s K-5 students more deeply in science instruction, CCISD sought a solution that would make it easier than ever to integrate highly engaging digital resources into science instruction. Specifically, district leaders and teachers sought a digital resource aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards, supportive of hands-on learning, and accessible to the district’s English Language Learners. Following a careful review of potential solutions, the CCISD team selected the new, TEKS-aligned Mystery Science for classroom use.   …Read More

K-12 cybersecurity vendors: Is the threat already in your house?

K-12 vendors are key components in all aspects of K-12 education. From operational needs such as attendance and payroll to learning applications for reading, science, and mathematics, vendors ensure school districts operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.

But K-12 vendors are also one of the greatest single sources of cybersecurity vulnerability for schools and districts. The U.S. Government Accountability Office asserted that “cyberattacks carried out directly against edtech vendors […] tend to have an especially severe impact on K-12 because they affect a large swath of students across multiple school districts at the same time.”

In fact, K12 SIX’s annual report asserted that 55 percent of reported school data breaches in 2021 were connected to incidents originating from district vendors.…Read More

CoderZ Launches New Code Farm Coding and Robotics Course for Grades Four Through Six

DERRY, N.H. – When young students learn coding, they hone skills – such as computational thinking and collaboration – that enhance their success in school and future careers. CoderZ, an award-winning, cloud-based robotics and STEM platform, is helping educators introduce computer science in elementary and early middle school with its new Code Farm coding and robotics course for grades four through six.

Created for teachers and students with no prior experience in coding or robotics, Code Farm provides 45-60 hours of self-paced, gamified activities with real-time feedback and step-by-step instructions. The course offers a broad view of computer science education through a variety of lenses: engineering design, algorithms and coding, ethics and the social impact of technology, and more. The course is aligned with relevant standards frameworks, such as CSTA and NGSS, and includes extension opportunities for middle school classrooms.

Learners use the programming language Blockly to steer virtual robots through tasks such as collecting fruit, avoiding obstacles, and even planting a garden of their own design.…Read More

3 ways to bring teacher PD into the 21st century

When I started teaching in the early 90s, I was an eager and very green third grade teacher ready to change the world, one class at a time. My colleagues and I worked hard to build a learning community that met the needs of our students, no matter their circumstances or the resources at our disposal (or lack thereof).  

Since then, I have served in various roles in public education and the private sector and have witnessed innovations in curriculum, instructional design, classroom design, and more. But amid all this change, one area has remained relatively static in public education. When it comes to training and developing teachers, we have been letting opportunity to leverage technology pass us by. Instead of a place to break new ground and match the demands of the modern classroom, professional development programs remain a pain point for teachers.

More than half of teachers have expressed wanting to leave the profession, with many citing a lack of quality development and support as a contributing factor. Teacher PD feels obligatory, generic, time-consuming, and for many, out of reach.…Read More

ParentSquare Named Excellence in Equity Award Winner

Santa Barbara, CA — ParentSquare, provider of the premier leading unified school-home communications platform for K-12 education, announced their selection as a winner in the inaugural Excellence in Equity Awards program presented by the American Consortium for Equity in Education. The award was presented in the Special Contributions to Equity category.

This competitive awards program honoring schools, educators, and industry received more than 160 total nominations from across the U.S., plus a number of submissions from abroad. Last week, 64 finalists were announced in the 16 industry categories, with 30 winners selected. There were also 21 winners selected in 10 categories dedicated to educators and schools.

ParentSquare is the only fully unified product that engages every family with school communications and communications-based services—all the way from the district office to the classroom teacher, and all in one place. Schools know who’s not being reached and have the reports and tools to improve contactability and communications equity while maintaining privacy and security.…Read More

5 learner-centered education models to inspire reform

School models are, for the most part, outdated–and very overdue for replacement. When students reach high school, research shows that close to 66 percent of students are disengaged. But even students who do successfully navigate their schooling emerge with only a specific (and often narrow) skillset that may or may not match their strengths or interests.

Conventional schooling often leaves students disillusioned, questioning their intelligence and value as it is framed by a system that needs an overhaul.

Learner-centered education can play a critical role in reshaping education systems, offering a more holistic approach to meeting learners’ needs and helping students find fulfillment in their academic accomplishments.…Read More

Riverside Insights Wins Excellence in Equity Award for Accessibility Features

ITASCA, Ill. – Riverside Insights®, a leading developer of research-based assessments and analytics, today announced that it won Best Accessibility Solution in the inaugural Excellence in Equity Awards program presented by the American Consortium for Equity in Education. The Riverside Insights’ solutions were selected because they are designed to serve learners of all ability levels – from those with physical or cognitive difficulties to gifted students seeking to challenge themselves . All of the Riverside Insights products are designed to maximize accessibility for all learners, including assessments with the options of large print, audio directions and braille, as well as creating versions to accommodate English learners.

“Equity is foundational to our mission of elevating the potential of all learners,” said Dr. Sarah Holman, a former special education administrator and bilingual evaluator who now serves as a marketing director for Riverside Insights. “We live out our commitment through our people, our processes, our products and our professional development to ensure each learner has the chance to lean into their strengths.” 

“This category is particularly meaningful to us. Across our portfolio, accessibility, translation, adaptation, as well as local, regional and national norming, are core tenants of our product development roadmap as we seek to ensure that teachers, learners, families and communities are not left behind,” said Anna Houseman, former elementary school teacher and assessment director, who now serves as a product director for Riverside Insights. …Read More

5 ways to prep students for online learning success

Students who attend online school today range from homeschoolers, to those seeking an alternative to in-person public schools, to learners who want to mix virtual schooling with in-person learning. Also, some districts have decided to keep an online option open for students who choose that method.

And while numerous parents and students have chosen to make online learning part of their education, the transition can be challenging. As someone who’s been involved with online schools for more than eight years, here are five common areas of concern and tips for how teachers and parents can navigate these challenges successfully.

Organization and Scheduling are Vital…Read More