Case Study: How Edison High School Is Using Rise Vision to Serve Its Students’ Diverse Needs

(March 24, 2022) –– Rise Vision has released a new case study of Edison High School, a small school in Elmira Heights, New York, with a student body of 110 students with learning differences. Thomas A. Edison High School has long been rated in the top 10% of educational technology environments in the USA and is committed to find new ways to improve emergency response effectiveness and preparation using digital signage.

Dr. Troy Spetter, Director of Educational Technology since June 2018, is responsible for orchestrating the school’s technology, training and security within the context of a greater vision for Edison and its students. Specifically, Dr. Spetter has helped Edison move away from relying on dated infrastructure and toward web-enabled services, cloud-connected collaboration systems, single sign-on implementation, and a totally new security and backup model. 

Currently, Edison uses three screens with Rise Vision. Two are fully engaged in student-oriented messaging. The third is located near the school president’s office, where visitors, including donors, may be waiting or passing by en route to a meeting with senior school staff. This screen is used to display schedules when no visitors are expected. Content can be tailored to visitors’ interests.…Read More

Louisiana Department of Education Rates Lexia Reading Core5 as Highest Tier of Efficacy

BOSTON (Feb. 10, 2022) – The personalized literacy solution Lexia® Core5® Reading (Core5) from Lexia® Learning, a Cambium Learning® Group company, has received the highest rating of Tier 1 from the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE). The Tier 1 rating means that the LDOE has designated Core5 as “exemplifying quality.” The LDOE website now lists the evidence-based, educational technology program among the most intensive intervention tools for grades three through five.

“Core5 met all the LDOE’s non-negotiable criteria and received the best possible score on all indicators of superior quality,” said Lexia Learning President, Nick Gaehde. “LDOE is committed to helping educators find interventions that are data-driven, individualized for students, and systematic. It’s wonderful to see Core5 added to such a prestigious list.”

To support local school districts’ decisions on purchasing instructional materials, the LDOE evaluates products on program design, instructional design, usability and support, and other criteria for high quality. A committee of Louisiana educators reviews the materials.…Read More

DCSS Launches First-of-Its-Kind Initiative to Bring Apple Products and Innovation to Students, Teachers and Staff

ALBANY – The Dougherty County School System is launching a new technology initiative for its students, teachers, and staff as part of a collaboration with Apple and educational non-profit Ed Farm. The initiative will allow DCSS to expand and enhance its educational technology ecosystem districtwide.

The initiative will put the district on the leading edge of technology by equipping all DCSS students, teachers and staff with Apple products, services and instructional supports. As part of this, the district will also launch DoCo Codes, a learning initiative designed to prepare students for the careers of tomorrow through the use of advanced technology.

“When it comes to innovation, the Dougherty County School System embraces it, encourages it and rewards it, and so to work alongside Apple, a world leader in technological innovation, is impactful for us and our students in a multitude of ways,” Superintendent Kenneth Dyer said. “It’s more than just technology. This collaboration embeds a full-time Apple Professional Learning Specialist in our community to build capacity among our teachers, instructional coaches and others.”…Read More

Sora “Content Bundles” Feature Empowers Educators to Easily Reserve Digital Books for Specific Students

CLEVELAND – January 18, 2022 – Educators who are looking for more efficient ways to support reading outcomes have a new solution: Content Bundles. This new feature allows educators to reserve and bundle digital books from their school’s Sora collection, offering exclusive access for select students based on specific scenarios. Using a code, the students can then unlock and read the ebooks and audiobooks in Sora, the leading student reading app available in more than 53,000 schools worldwide.

“Content Bundles is the very feature we have been looking to implement in our Sora shared collection,” said Ken Zimmerman, Supervisor of Educational Technology at Lancaster-Lebanon IU13 in Pennsylvania. ”This provides us with so many options to filter content to meet specific district, classroom and learning needs.”

Content Bundles are a flexible tool that can serve as an effective solution for many common education scenarios, both inside and outside the classroom. For instance, educators can:…Read More

How to bundle education device management

Technology has opened up endless possibilities in classrooms around the world. For one, access to education has been significantly broadened, facilitating a wide range of teaching strategies and learning styles. The pandemic accelerated the adoption rates of educational technology solutions. In some cases, demand far outstripped supply, leading to backlogs of requests for laptops, tablets, Chromebooks, and other school-issued devices. With the flood of school-issued devices, the need for education device management is fast becoming the norm rather than the exception.

Schools are always looking for ways to keep their students engaged and learning–and implementing technology can do that. Technology is changing the way we teach and learn. In today’s world, where children are already familiar with tablets and smartphones from watching videos on YouTube or playing games at home, learning through technology will likely become more exciting than daunting (and this goes for teachers too).

One of the most important aspects of using technology in schools is responsible and secure management: ensuring devices are protected from viruses, malware, and other threats that can cause significant disruption to critical school operations.…Read More

21 great tools for AR and VR in the classroom

Each year, we share our 10 most-read stories. Not surprisingly, many of this year’s Top 10 focused on student engagement and online or hybrid learning strategies related to pandemic teaching. This year’s 10th most-read story focuses on engaging AR and VR tools to use in the classroom.

Nearly everyone has experienced augmented reality and virtual reality to some degree, and while they’re fun, AR and VR can also be incredibly powerful when integrated into classroom learning.

During an engaging ISTELive 21 session, Jennifer Hall, NBCT, an educational technology specialist with Atlanta Public Schools, outlined an abundance of AR and VR apps for students and educators.…Read More

Renaissance Announces Significant Growth Investment from Blackstone

NEW YORK, SAN FRANCISCO, WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. November 9, 2021 – Renaissance® (“Renaissance” or the “Company”), a global leader in pre-K–12 educational technology, today announced its entry into a definitive agreement for private equity funds managed by Blackstone (NYSE:BX; “Blackstone”) to make a significant equity investment in the Company alongside existing investors including Francisco Partners and TPG’s The Rise Fund. Francisco Partners, a leading global investment firm that specializes in partnering with technology businesses, acquired the Company in 2018 and will remain a major shareholder. Blackstone’s investment will be made through its flagship private equity vehicle. 

Founded in 1986, Renaissance combines decades of experience in assessments with personalized instruction and analytics solutions delivering teachers and administrators the tools to plan, lessons to teach, and the resources to motivate students to learn. Renaissance is one of the most recognized and trusted brands in K-12 education serving more than 40% of US schools and more than 16 million students worldwide. The Company’s assessment-driven, integrated instructional ecosystem enables schools and districts to benchmark student progress; teach, plan, and respond to students’ needs in real-time with personalized instruction; and offer supplemental student literacy and math learning software solutions. 

The new investment from Blackstone will enable the Company to further accelerate organic growth initiatives and innovation across its product suite. Building on the platform’s growth under Francisco Partners, the investment will also enable the Company to continue executing on its targeted acquisition strategy following its recent acquisitions earlier this year of Lalilo, a research-based foundational literacy program; and Nearpod, a leader in teacher-facilitated instructional delivery. …Read More

IXL Wins 2021 CODiE Awards for Best Math and English Language Arts Solutions

SAN MATEO, Calif., July 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ —  IXL Learning, developer of personalized learning products used by more than 12 million students, announced that the IXL platform won two  SIIA CODiE Awards in the Best Advanced Mathematics and Best Foundational English Language Arts (ELA) categories.

The CODiEs honor the most innovative educational technology products around the world. IXL’s recent achievements mark its sixth CODiE win in five years: IXL secured a second consecutive Foundational ELA win and is also a three-time winner of the prestigious  Best Educational App award.

“It’s incredibly rewarding that IXL Math and English Language Arts are recognized by the CODiE Awards as the most effective ways for learners to master essential concepts,” said Paul Mishkin, CEO of IXL Learning. “These honors underscore IXL’s commitment toward addressing the evolving needs of educators and reinforce our deep sense of responsibility to inspire all students to excel.”…Read More

5 tools for student voice

As we prepare students for college, career, and life, it’s vital that we foster skills that will ensure students are successful. As educators, we’ve heard about the importance of the “21st century 4 C’s” to our students’ future success. Post-secondary schools and employers are looking for students and a workforce that can communicate effectively, work collaboratively, think critically, problem-solve, and use creativity in various settings. I believe there is a 5th C that is also important–and that is Choice. If our scholars have a choice, they have a voice.

In my experience as an Educational Technology Specialist (ETS) and many years as a middle school teacher, one thing I have learned is that if students have a choice in demonstrating their knowledge and showcasing their skills, they are often more invested in the task or end product. When I was a gifted English Language Arts teacher, I used project choice boards for all my units. Furnishing students the opportunity to choose the means and methods for practicing acquired skills, modeling newly learned concepts, and creating original content increases student engagement.

As an ETS, I collaborate with teachers and assist in developing technology-infused standards-based lessons and activities.…Read More

Al Kingsley Book “My Secret #EdTech Diary” Releases Globally on July 14

Tuesday, June 29, 2021 — ATLANTA –  Looking at educational technology through a wider lens is the subject of a new book by Al Kingsley, who has also founded education trusts, served on several school boards, and runs a global education technology company, NetSupportMy Secret #EdTech Diary gets readers to think about the past, present and future role of educational technology and how it influences and shapes our education system.

Education technology is nearly ubiquitous in schools but primarily in supportive roles. When the pandemic hit, technology became the only way for learning to continue as students and teachers learned and worked apart from each other. An explosion of questions then arose as school leaders, teachers, and parents then began questioning if the reliance on technology was a bane or benefit to learning. Mr. Kingsley explores these questions and lays a framework for school leaders to plan the technology-learning connection for the future.

“Some people think of edtech simply as individual and distinct solutions to single problems they find in the classroom such as how to have a video conference with 30 students,” says Kingsley. “But this is the sea-change moment when we want to expand that view and be strategic in selecting and integrating learning technology. Now is the time to be visionary, and plan where tech fits in, where it doesn’t, and solidify its role as a learning product, not just tech for tech’s sake.”…Read More