SchoolStatus Names New Chief Revenue Officer and Expands Sales Team to Build on its Continued Growth

RIDGELAND, Miss., August 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ —  SchoolStatus, a leading provider of an education communications platform designed to improve student outcomes through data and parent engagement, today announced that it has strengthened its leadership and sales teams with the appointment of Phil Charland as the Company’s first chief revenue officer (CRO), and the expansion of its U.S. sales team. In this newly-created role, Charland will be responsible for global sales, marketing, and customer success for SchoolStatus. 

Charland is an accomplished educational technology executive with over 15 years of experience building and leading high-performing global sales, customer success, and revenue enablement and operations teams. Most recently, he led Ascend Learning’s Safety and Security global sales teams as Vice President of Sales, with a focus across K12, higher education, and professional learning markets. Prior to Ascend Learning, Charland led national and global sales teams for numerous leading education companies including Edmentum, Ellevation Education, Renaissance Learning, and Eduventures, LLC. Charland started his career in education as a K12 teacher and athletic director at The American School In Switzerland, where he taught for three years. He holds a B.A. from Harvard University 

“This is a very exciting time for SchoolStatus as we scale to address rapidly increasing demand for unified K12 analytics, communications, and workflow platforms,” said Russ Davis, founder and CEO of SchoolStatus. “We believe Phil’s extensive experience in sales and marketing strategy and his track record of driving business growth for education technology companies make him an ideal candidate to help us continue to accelerate our growth trajectory.” …Read More

PowerSchool to Launch Connected Intelligence, First Fully Managed Data-as-a-Service Platform for K-12 Schools

FOLSOM, Calif — PowerSchool (NYSE: PWSC), the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education in North America, today announced it has launched Connected Intelligence by PowerSchool®. Partnering with  Snowflake via the  Powered by Snowflake program, Connected Intelligence by PowerSchool is the first fully managed K-12 Education focused Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) platform. It provides school districts and education agencies with a unified, global, fully managed, and secure platform. With Connected Intelligence by PowerSchool, school districts retain sole ownership of the data and have the ability to collaborate with internal stakeholders and external partners efficiently and securely.

By unifying all data under one comprehensive platform, segregated by school district, with built-in, stringent data security and governance controls, educators and school district or state-wide leaders will be able to take advantage of many benefits, including the following:

  • Increase equitable opportunities for all students. Connecting data from early childhood to adulthood can help improve a wide variety of initiatives aimed at supporting student outcomes and can even be leveraged within post-secondary support and workforce development.
  • Spend fewer resources managing data access and storage. Instead, educators can spend their time actually using data thanks to machine learning and analytics that create alerts if a student is exhibiting warning signs (e.g., an increased chance of not graduating on time).
  • Store education data securely and in one place. Access to all data in one place empowers educators and stakeholders with key insights to improve student outcomes.
  • Expand access to all data, including historic, current, future and any third-party data sources. This includes labor and workforce development data and secure inter-agency data sharing and collaboration, such as with juvenile justice, foster care, and other social services agencies, which aims to position all students for life-long success and their communities for positive social and economic futures.

“Connected Intelligence by PowerSchool gives state departments of education and school systems the ability to transform the economic and social outlook of their communities by bringing all their data together and giving them unprecedented ease of access, unparalleled performance, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing their data is safely secured,” said Shivani Stumpf, Group Vice President, New Solutions of PowerSchool. “This innovative, all-inclusive data ecosystem that we’ve developed, and built on Snowflake’s Data Cloud, aims to help education leaders make the most effective and efficient use of data with greater agility, and to inform their investments so that they can focus on what matters most — improving student outcomes and preparing all learners for success.”…Read More

7 things K-12 IT teams can do now to manage OT risks

The education sector continues to get slammed by cyberattacks. Microsoft’s Global Threat Activity Map by Industry shows that, as of June 16, education institutions had been victims of 5.9 million malware attacks within the last 30 days.

The rapid shift to distance learning accelerated an already growing trend. Relentless cyber activity, ransomware, and more sophisticated attacks expose education IT professionals to increased pressure to maintain operational continuity. Education IT leaders and chief information security officers must continually worry about protecting key information systems and data.

At the same time, we’ve also seen an increase in attacks on operational technology (OT) components of companies’ IT infrastructure. In the spring of 2021, the National Security Agency released a cybersecurity advisory that, while focused on the Defense Industrial Base, is applicable to many organizations. While there have been many such attacks, the 2021 Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack launched by the DarkSide hacking group and recent confirmed attacks on Ukraine’s energy facilities by the Russian Sandworm group stand out as extreme examples.…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

3 ways telepresence robots are impacting learning

Edtech is having a renaissance, driven by necessity. Ten years ago it was not commonplace to see a Technology Director on staff at an elementary school, let alone a Technology Integration Specialist. Times are changing. The global pandemic has created an immediate need for better edtech solutions in our schools due to increased awareness around ensuring the health and wellness of students and staff. 

Technology teams in schools are working with edtech companies to bring cutting-edge technology into the classroom, providing real-time solutions to long-term problems. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during 2013–2015, 3.9 percent of boys and 4.3 percent of girls missed more than 10 school days in 12 months because of illness or injury. Traditional tutoring only brings these students 4-5 hours of home instruction, whereas telepresence can provide these same children with 30-40 hours of classroom instruction. Advancements in edtech are helping kids stay connected at school, even during these uncertain times.

Modernizing the Classroom…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

3 ways to address teacher burnout

A teacher’s job is to educate the young people who will shape our future world. What profession could be more important?

Yet a recent survey by Merrimack College shows that 44 percent of teachers indicate they are very likely or fairly likely to leave the profession within the next two years. Another 2022 survey by the National Education Association found that 90 percent of teachers think teacher burnout is a very serious or somewhat serious issue.

Teachers have faced many challenges before, but the last three years have presented a steady stream of challenges, from a global pandemic to heart-wrenching events happening around our world and close to home. In order to proactively prevent further teacher burnout and demonstrate that we value our nation’s teachers, this is the time to ensure we are surrounding teachers with support at all levels–from within the classroom to our greater communities.…Read More

Royelles Launches Industry’s First Inclusive Mobile Gaming Metaverse Dedicated To Educating And Empowering Young Girls

WASHINGON D.C., June 14, 2022Royelles, a global educational gaming (Ed Gaming) platform empowering girls and non-binary individuals through inclusive play, today announced it’s official launch. Royelles is on a mission to disrupt the $180B+ mobile gaming industry through transformational storytelling and inclusive role modeling, in an effort to dismantle the global identity crisis disproportionately impacting girls. 

A female-founded platform for girls, Royelles aims to bridge the gap between girls’ potential and their dreams, and ignite their curiosity and confidence towards solving the world’s biggest problems in STEAM. Royelles’ gamified mobile play platform meets the demands of 21st century 6-12 years olds, and their adult influencers. Powered by AR, AI, and voice technologies, the newly launched, learning-based mobile app is anchored in fierce female avatar personas and real-life super(s)heros with inspiring professions across science, technology, engineering, the arts and math.

“We believe that everyone deserves to be bold, fearless, and undaunted architects of their destinies,” said Múkami Kinoti Kimotho CEO & Founder of Royelles. “Our mission is rooted in opening the window of possibilities to every girl, so that they know that they are fully equipped to realize their greatest potential. And, that their difference is their superpower.” …Read More

How one district is channeling the Power of One for student success

The Columbus City Schools recently released a new Strategic Plan that details how we are going to achieve our mission over the next five years.  This plan is a new North Star for our district, guiding us as we work every day to ensure that all our students are highly educated, prepared for leadership and service, and empowered for success in a global community.

Our plan is called “The Power of One: Students Leading the Way.” It defines exactly how we are going to create our future – where every one of our CCS employees and every one of our partners and community stakeholders has a role to play in contributing to better student outcomes.

It is a plan to come together as one district to ensure every one of our students achieves their full potential. It is a plan that puts student achievement at the forefront, leading the way for our district’s future.…Read More