Kanopy Enhances Kanopy Kids with Short Films from Sesame Workshop and Highlights

According to a soon-to-be released Kanopy survey of more than 730 librarians — primarily in the U.S. –50% of public libraries believe it is their responsibility to provide their local K-12 schools with streaming films that support their curriculum. Despite that, just over 14% say they are currently collaborating with local schools to help meet their needs.

To help facilitate collaboration between public libraries and the communities they serve, Kanopy is adding a dozen Spanish-language videos from Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street,and 30 films from Highlights to Kanopy Kids. This carefully curated collection now includes a growing selection of more than 1,500 educational, age appropriate videos with parental controls covering topics from STEM to history and story time.

“Parents, educators and librarians know that having access to quality content is important,” said Darryl Eschete, Director of the West Des Moines Public Library. “The educational and instructional films that Kanopy offers helps our library make sure that we meet the strategic goal of supporting education and making content appropriate to all grade levels accessible wherever our patrons are.”…Read More

Free Thanksgiving video lessons from The Character Tree

The lessons for first and second grade students teach the character trait of gratitude through short, engaging online videos and printable resources. The lessons can be used at home or in a classroom making them a great activity for in-person learning, distance learning, homeschooling, and for parents seeking supplemental activities for their children.

To access the lessons, visit: https://www.charactertree.com/#sample-episodes. The lessons include:

  • Gratitude & Oprah Winfrey – Children learn about television personality, producer and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey and how she cultivated an attitude of gratitude through her show and her charity work.
  • Gratitude & Veterans – Children learn about the history of Veteran’s Day, different jobs in the military and how to show gratitude for veterans and active duty military.

In the episodes, teacher and host Sara VanderWel, who plays “Miss Sara” in the videos, leads conversations with puppet characters “Katie,” “Jose,” “Bobby,” and “Sierra” as they discuss what gratitude is and how children can demonstrate it at home and at school. Both lessons include printable resources to support skills such as word recognition, handwriting and lesson comprehension.…Read More

Free Veteran’s Day video lesson from The Character Tree

The Character Tree is providing teachers and parents with FREE access to a Veteran’s Day video lesson about gratitude. The lesson, for first and second-grade students, includes a 7-minute video and printable resources and can be used at home or in a classroom.

In the “Gratitude & Veterans” video lesson children will learn about what gratitude is, the history of Veteran’s Day and how it’s celebrated in different countries. Teacher and host Sara VanderWel, who plays “Miss Sara” in the video, leads the conversation with puppet characters “Katie” and “Jose” as they discuss different jobs in the military and ways children can show gratitude for veterans and active duty military.

To access the lesson, visit https://www.charactertree.com/#sample-episodes.…Read More

Schell Games’ Virtual Reality Educational Tool HistoryMaker VR Now Available For Free

With a majority of schools participating in distance learning this year, Schell Games announced its virtual reality education tool HistoryMaker VR is now available for free on Steam for all to use.

HistoryMaker VR is an immersive content creation tool that helps students learn history in an entertaining and engaging way. This innovative application allows learners to display their knowledge of history, civics, and social studies, while offering educators and parents a new way to improve student engagement, increase lesson retention, and introduce an exciting alternative to textbooks and Zoom lectures. HistoryMaker VR seamlessly integrates into curriculums and includes classroom guides and recommended activities for teachers and parents to use.

Using an Oculus Rift/Rift S headset and a PC, learners and/or educators can upload a script, prep the stage with a variety of props and set pieces, and record themselves giving a speech as one of eight diverse characters in U.S. history, including Benjamin Franklin, Harriet Tubman, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and more. At the end of the recording, speeches can be exported as a video and shared with others, without the need for a VR headset. The videos can even be edited with any video editing tool, giving learners another opportunity to demonstrate their creativity and skill.…Read More

Savvas Launches New Interactive US and World History Series

Savvas Learning Company, a next-generation learning solutions provider for K-12 education, today announced the release of its new print and digital high school history series, US History Interactive ©2022 and World History Interactive ©2022, that promotes a deeper investigation of the past and connects history to the present.

With a focus on inquiry and critical thinking, the programs’ curriculum boosts student engagement with digital activities, culturally responsive content, and support for integrating social emotional learning skills. The series takes interactive learning to new heights with the inclusion of the award-winning Project Imagine series, which uses fully immersive experiences and diverse primary sources to make learning history come alive.

“History is more than the story of past events. It’s the story of people and their decisions, actions, and viewpoints, which in turn shape the story of our present and future. History becomes more relevant to students when they can experience it in a more personal way,” said Bethlam Forsa, CEO of Savvas Learning Company. “Our new US History Interactive and World History Interactive series brings a modern lens to history by helping students make connections to compelling, real-world topics, while enabling them to become critical thinkers with valuable inquiry skills for college, career, and civic responsibility.”…Read More

5 tips to build academic integrity

The importance of academic integrity can’t be underestimated, especially when it comes to blended learning. And these aren’t just words. Statistics show there was a 68 percent increase in the number of integrity violations reported in 2019-2020 compared with 2018-2019.

With the rise of digital innovation, distance learning technology has become an integral part of blended learning – an approach that integrates technology and digital media with traditional instructor-led classroom activities. It also made academic integrity a significant point of concern. Students are now expected to possess an increased degree of autonomy – probably the highest in history, which might nudge them toward cheating.

Related content: 4 best practices for remote testing…Read More

New “Testing America’s Freedom” Podcast from NWEA Examines Equity in Education

NWEA, the not-for-profit educational assessment provider, announced today the launch of its new podcast, Testing America’s Freedom. Hosted by Dr. Aaliyah Samuel, Executive Vice President, Government Affairs & Partnerships at NWEA, the episodic series explores the role of race and assessment in American public education through thought-provoking interviews with current and future leaders in education.

Testing America’s Freedom delves deep into the lesser-known history of laws and policies that have perpetuated and exacerbated racial inequities within the education system. Samuel and her guests explore topics such as school funding, the importance of diversity in the education workforce, assessment purposes and design, and their link to modern-day systemic racism, discussing the challenges and opportunities presented by these urgent issues.

“The inequities within our public education system do not exist by accident, they are the result of carefully orchestrated policies that used tools like school funding, divestment and testing to perpetuate achievement and outcome gaps for students of color,” says Samuel. “Although the past may be grim, as educational leaders, we have the opportunity to use these same tools to reimagine systems of learning and teaching so we can construct a more equitable future. My hope is that this podcast can be a catalyst for our education and policy communities to think about how we can collectively move toward change at a time when education policy is evolving so rapidly.”…Read More

Trump vs. Biden: Which candidate do educators support?

The 2020 Presidential Election is shaping up to be one of the most-watched in the nation’s history.

In the middle of a global health pandemic, Democratic presidential nominee and former vice president Joe Biden and President Donald Trump will run against each other in November.

Education has emerged as a hot-button issue in recent months as President Trump has battled with states and has urged all schools to re-open physical classrooms for students in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Critics, however, have pointed to almost-immediate COVID-19 outbreaks in many districts that have already opened physical doors. The role of educators is also center stage, as teachers demand safe instructional environments and focus on equity for students.…Read More

Dean Transportation to treat all vehicles with MicrobeCare™ antimicrobial

For over 50 years, Dean has placed the safety of its passengers above all else, having a long history of advocacy for passenger safety. As students begin returning to school this fall, Dean Transportation has worked diligently to create safety protocols for staff and passengers that aim to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. To augment regular disinfectant use, Dean has announced an industry-leading commitment to treat the more than 1,600 school buses it operates throughout the State of Michigan with MicrobeCare™. Application of MicrobeCare™ represents one of the first industry deployments of antimicrobial technology in school buses.

“As our education system returns to operation, our number one priority is the health of our passengers, our employees, and the general public. In response to COVID-19, we are enhancing our cleaning procedures and operating practices to suppress the spread of illness,” said Kellie P. Dean, President, and CEO of Dean Transportation. “Since June we have looked at various emerging technologies to increase safety and augment our regular use of a disinfectant. Our commitment to applying MicrobeCare™ on all Dean Transportation owned and operated school buses is about our student’s and staff’s health, safety, and support for our districts when they return to in-person instruction. Dean Transportation transports a high number of special education student passengers, many of whom rely on in-person education and services provided by our public education system. It is our mission to help them get back to school by increasing the health protections on our school buses.”

MicrobeCare™ is an antimicrobial with unique bonding technology that is long-lasting and effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi, algae, and yeast on surfaces. It is registered with the FDA and EPA as a safe and effective antimicrobial that will help reduce cross-contamination of dangerous microorganisms on surfaces to which it is applied. The product is often used in health care facilities and common public spaces. MicrobeCare™ has been shown to eliminate >99.99% of microorganisms on surfaces quickly. By continually combating and neutralizing microbial threats before they have an opportunity to grow and spread, the protection of MicrobeCare™ persists even in between cleanings and disinfection. The antimicrobial is applied by experienced application specialists using state-of-the-art electrostatic sprayers to ensure complete and total coverage of all surfaces.…Read More

Free classes and practice problems in over 200 subjects

Many K-12 schools have closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More closings are sure to come. In response, Varsity Tutors, founded by Washington University in St. Louis alum Chuck Cohn, has launched a new service called Virtual School Day.

Virtual School Day: Nearly 200 free, live K-12 classes available all day long intended to help parents fill their children’s day with enriched learning. Some popular classes are “Intro to Spanish for Kids”, “Coolest Women in History”, “Java Programming Basics”, and “The Story of Your Favorite Fairy Tales”.

Virtual Summer Camps: Free half-day summer camps are a week-long, with enrichment-based classes in subjects like foreign languages, chess, theater, coding, Minecraft, how to be a detective, photography, and more. These live, interactive camps will be taught by expert instructors vetted through Varsity Tutors’ platform.…Read More