South Carolina Department of Education Selects DreamBox Learning® to Support COVID-19 Academic Recovery

DreamBox Learning®, the K-8 digital math company that pioneered Intelligent Adaptive Learning™ technology, announced today that the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) has selected DreamBox Learning Math to support teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate student learning loss. The SCDE will offer DreamBox Learning Math through June 2022 to 21 districts reaching more than 32,000 students in the most underserved communities in the state.

“We conducted an extensive evaluation of math solutions that could help our districts as we transition from emergency instruction towards ‘academic recovery,’ and DreamBox stood out as the only solution that is both proven to increase student achievement and able to provide actionable learning insights for our teachers,” said Dr. David Mathis, Deputy Superintendent at the SCDE. “DreamBox provides a prescriptive approach to help educators determine where students are in their learning, where they need to be, and a clear path to close that gap.”

Effective for in-person, hybrid, or remote learning and available in both English and Spanish, DreamBox uniquely personalizes the learning experience for each student through an engaging and motivating environment that adapts in real-time within and between math lessons based on how students are solving problems. DreamBox also offers educators interactive professional development courses to learn best practices for using DreamBox to teach online or in the classroom in ways that meet students exactly where they are.…Read More

Oklahoma’s State Textbook Committee Unanimously Approves Discovery Education Science Techbook

Following a comprehensive evaluation, the  Oklahoma State Textbook Committee has unanimously approved the Elementary and Middle School editions of  Discovery Education’s  Science Techbook for statewide use as core instructional resources.  Oklahoma’s adoption of the Science Techbook empowers the state’s school systems to purchase and integrate this innovative digital resource, and corresponding print resources, into teaching and learning.  Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms.

Delivered through the dynamic, flexible  Discovery Education Experience K-12 platform, Science Techbook drives engagement with exclusive phenomena and interactive content. Virtual and hands-on investigations, STEM activities and a variety of instructional supports enhance the delivery of impactful, blended instruction, in person or at a distance.

Available with the Science Techbook are coordinated digital and print teacher guides offering unit, concept, and lesson overviews, standards connections, and differentiation activities to inform instructional planning and guide three-dimensional learning. Teacher editions also provide flexible pacing options, embedded teacher notes, and Pathways for Learning to address diverse learners. Print student editions and interactive worktexts are available for every grade level and integrate seamlessly with the digital and hands-on assets of this comprehensive program.…Read More

LaunchCode Pilot Program Trains St. Louis Teachers in Job-Focused Coding Curriculum

This week, workforce development nonprofit LaunchCode , announced their new LCHS Pilot Program has successfully deployed in 6 different St. Louis area schools. The program encompasses the creation, deployment and evaluation of a new computer science curriculum for Missouri high school juniors and seniors based on the new curriculum/training standards set forth through Missouri House Bill 3 (HB3).

LCHS Pilot Program is backed by a gift of over $200,000 from Bayer Fund, a philanthropic arm of Bayer, with additional support from AT&T.

As of now, 6 teachers from 6 St. Louis area high schools – Vashon, Gateway STEM, Confluence Academy, KIPP, Affton and Rosati-Kain – are participating in the pilot. Over the summer, the teachers participated in training conducted by LaunchCode’s staff in the curriculum, which includes tech skills that mirror what is needed by area companies. At the start of the school year, those teachers began delivering LaunchCode’s curriculum in their 11th and 12th grade classrooms.…Read More

Virginia Discovery Education Science Experience Wins Approval

Following a comprehensive evaluation, Virginia’s State Board of Education has approved Virginia Discovery Education Science Experience for statewide use as a core instructional resource through its state adoption process.  The State Board of Education’s adoption of Virginia Discovery Education Science Experience empowers the state’s school systems to purchase and integrate this innovative digital curriculum into teaching and learning.  Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms.

Virginia Discovery Education Science Experience is aligned to Virginia’s 2018 Standards of Learning. In addition, Virginia Discovery Education Science Experience provides educators detailed lesson plans, embedded formative assessments, hands-on activities, digital simulations, and robust teacher supports that immerse students in instruction by sparking their natural curiosity about the world around them.  Virginia Discovery Education Science Experience is comprised of the following award-winning Discovery Education services that are updated regularly at no cost:

Discovery Education Science Techbook.  Science Techbook empowers K-12 educators to transform science instruction through a seamless print and digital curriculum that includes video, audio, text, interactives, hands-on activities, and virtual labs that help educators differentiate instruction and provide a rich and engaging learning experience for students. Additional student features include Spanish/English text-to-speech, leveled reading tools, note-taking and highlighting capabilities.  Science Techbook also includes valuable STEM resources including STEM Project Starters that encourage students to connect math, technology, and engineering to their understanding of science concepts to produce creative solutions to real world problems. Also, the STEM In Action resources help students connect their work to STEM careers, which promotes a clearer understanding of how skills used in school can be applied to jobs “in the real world.”…Read More

5 resources to help students with information literacy

Information literacy skills top many lists of must-have abilities, especially in the age of fake news. Not all results in a Google search are legitimate–but how many of today’s students know this?

Children have access to devices at younger ages, which underscores the importance of teaching them how to look at news with a critical eye and to evaluate the information’s origin. Because today’s students are growing up in an age where information is easily accessed, they need to know how to apply critical evaluation skills when met with information purporting to be truthful.

A 2017 Stanford University study determined that students from middle school through college were not able to distinguish between reliable news sources and sponsored content or advertising.…Read More

New Common Sense tool shows how secure your ed-tech apps are

New educator resource is intended to find accurate, up-to-date evaluations of privacy and security practices of ed-tech applications

Common Sense Education, in collaboration with over 70 schools and districts nationwide, launched its K-12 Ed-Tech Privacy Evaluation Platform to support educators in their effort to make informed decisions about the educational software being used on campuses throughout the country.

With schools and districts struggling to manage the challenge of evaluating the privacy and security practices of thousands of educational technology products on the market, Common Sense convened stakeholders to develop a platform that provides accurate and up-to-date evaluations of the security practices of the most commonly used ed-tech apps. The robust set of resources is available at https://privacy.graphite.org.

“Evaluating the privacy and security practices of educational software is a daunting task for most schools and districts, but it doesn’t have to be,” said James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense. “By working together with educators, Common Sense has developed a comprehensive, centralized, and free resource to help an education community that is spread out across the country learn from each other and make more informed decisions about protecting student privacy.”…Read More

The 7 questions every new teacher should be able to answer

Teaching for the 21st century looks a lot different. Here’s what admins — and teachers — need to know for job interviews and beyond

Not long ago, the leadership team of a school district I was working with asked me: “If you were going to hire a new teacher, what would you ask in the interview?” They were concerned that hiring teachers with the right skills now can save a district a lot of money in staff development later. Moreover, they wanted to hire teachers who would be open minded about changes to come. The problem is to balance the reality of today’s pressure for test scores and required teacher evaluation with the changes that can be anticipated during the next two decades.

As I wrote in my last column, the traditional skill we valued in teachers when paper was the dominant media—the ability to transfer knowledge of a subject—is becoming less important. Increasingly, a teacher’s knowledge can be found online and in various learning styles. As the internet drives down the value of a teacher’s knowledge, their ability to personalize learning with resources from around the world will increase. We will have more data generated about our students as we build out our online communities. We will need teachers who understand how to make meaning of this data to personalize learning for every student from a vast digital library of learning resources. Also of increasing value is their ability to teach students to be self-disciplined about how “to learn to learn.” Rather than losing overall value, teachers will be more important than ever.

The big change is not adding technology to the current design of the classroom, but changing the culture of teaching and learning and fundamentally changing the job descriptions of teachers and learners.…Read More

Classroom observations may hurt teachers more than they help, study says

Classroom observations — one of the most widely-used forms of teacher evaluation — might be setting teachers up to fail

Teachers might be at a disadvantage during classroom observation of their instructional practice, which is one of the most widely-used tools for high-stakes job performance evaluations. And whether or not students have a history of high classroom achievement could be the reason why.

Research from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) indicates that evaluations based on observing teachers in the classroom often fail to meaningfully assess teacher performance.

The study, published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, adds to the ongoing policy debate over when and how teachers should be evaluated.…Read More

Utah’s early literacy program works–here’s why

Latest evaluation of statewide early literacy program shows high correlation with kindergarten readiness compared to control group

A statewide kindergarten readiness initiative in Utah is helping children develop early literacy skills before they enter kindergarten, and is doing so at a higher rate than among children who are not in the program.

The state’s UPSTART program, developed by the nonprofit Waterford Institute, uses an early literacy curriculum delivered digitally in the home.

A report analyzing the program’s fifth year suggests that technology has considerable merit for delivering curriculum, teaching critical early reading skills that are known predictors of later school performance, and closing early learning gaps that disproportionately affect disadvantaged children.…Read More

Report: States improve teacher policies

NCTQ’s annual report finds state policies to support teacher effectiveness are no longer the exception in the U.S.

teacher-policyTeacher policies across the U.S. averaged a C- grade, according to the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), which on Dec. 8 released its ninth annual State Teacher Policy Yearbook.

The annual policy yearbook analyzes every state law, rule and regulation that shapes the teaching profession, from teacher preparation, licensing and evaluation to compensation, professional development and dismissal policy.

Across the 50 states and the District of Columbia, states average a C- for their teacher policies in 2015, up from an overall grade of D in 2009. The average state grade has held steady since NCTQ’s last comprehensive report card in 2013, despite the bar being raised on several key topics, including aligning teacher licensing policies with the expectations of college- and career-readiness standards adopted by many states.…Read More