Next Gen TV Prototype Shows How Educational Equity Can Be Achieved For All Students

Washington, D.C. — The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has collaborated with Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science, and international IT consultancy Fincons Group to create a first-of-its-kind prototype Next Gen TV application that helps bridge the gap in access to learning and helps with the goal of creating educational equity for all. By utilizing ATSC 3.0 technology, students without access to the internet could use such an application to participate in home learning, do homework, take quizzes and access additional learning resources — all through their Next Gen TV screens, thanks to data broadcasting.

The demonstration, taking place during an NAB Amplify session on June 24 at 2 p.m. EDT, will showcase the simplicity of the application and how datacasting works. These include having the class schedule presented in a TV guide-style with easy navigation and a traffic light color-coded system that indicates to students: work that is outstanding, ongoing and completed. When work is complete, a QR code is generated, allowing students to submit their work to their teacher with a mobile device. This innovative feature allows two-way communication between the school and the students, which is crucial for remote education to be effective.

Kathryn Procope, head of school at Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science, said, “What became incredibly apparent since the start of this pandemic is that so many children are simply not receiving equitable resources for their home learning needs. Educational equity means that every child is provided with an equal opportunity to succeed and have the necessary support to do that. We have seen across the country digital deserts, and while schools can support by providing devices, a device that cannot connect is no help at all. Rather than focusing on what households don’t have, we looked at what the majority of homes do have and how it could be utilized to provide much-needed home education, and that is a television.”…Read More

4 things we need to realize about digital equity

As COVID made quite painfully clear, student access to reliable high-speed internet and engaging digital tools is essential. But many students don’t have access to these resources at school, at home, or both, leading to larger questions about the role of digital equity and student success during–and after–the pandemic.

A new CoSN study, supported by a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, gives educators and policymakers a detailed view of students’ at-home learning experiences during the pandemic.

“Digital equity is not a new topic for CoSN. Since our founding, we have focused on addressing the digital divide and ensuring that fast connectivity, devices and equitable use happen in all classrooms. But since March 2020, the imperative of this outside-of-school challenge has become readily apparent to all. The Homework Gap was a chasm for millions of students and educators as the shift to remote learning occurred,” write Keith Krueger, CoSN’s CEO, and Steve Langford, chair of CoSN’s Board of Directors and the CIO of Oregon’s Beaverton School District, in the report’s introduction.…Read More

Illustrative Mathematics, Family Engagement Lab, and Partnership for Los Angeles Schools Collaborate to Support Family Engagement in Math

Illustrative Mathematics (IM) and Family Engagement Lab have partnered to bridge classroom curriculum and at-home learning in elementary school mathematics. Through this partnership, Family Engagement Lab will align its FASTalk (Families and Schools Talk) family engagement tool with the IM K–5 Math curriculum. Together, the two nonprofits will collaborate with Partnership for Los Angeles Schools to make the new tool available at participating pilot sites in Los Angeles Unified School District starting this month.…Read More

Hand2Mind Delivers Custom, Screen-Free Solutions to Los Angeles Unified School District to Support At-Home Learning

Hand2mind, a family-owned educational resource company, is delivering custom solutions to help solve the complex challenges faced by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), including a lack of essential learning supplies for Transitional Kindergarten (TK) to grade 6 teachers and students in areas with at-risk populations. hand2mind’s customized assortments will help provide LAUSD with the tools needed to engage students with equitable, screen-free education opportunities despite the remote learning environment.

hand2mind personalized grade-level math and literacy lessons, activities and materials for TK to grade 6 students to meet the district’s specific needs. LAUSD is the nation’s second-largest K–12 district with more than 650,000 students enrolled in over 900 schools and 249 public charter schools. With the student population predominantly Latino (73.4%)—up to 161,484 students are considered English language learners—hand2mind was able to develop and supply additional support materials for teachers and parents. Instructional videos in English and Spanish were developed to explain how to use the manipulatives featured in the kits and how best to facilitate parent engagement while their kids are learning remotely. In addition, hand2mind partnered with LAUSD to provide on-demand training opportunities for 14,000 teachers.

“Delivering resources and curriculum to students across the Los Angeles Unified School District was imperative for student success, and these hand2mind kits are the perfect tools to address students’ needs during the pandemic,” said Sari Winick, SVP of Marketing at hand2mind. “Our mission is to support teachers, inspire students, engage parents, and champion learning by doing, and that’s exactly what we’ve been able to achieve with this partnership. Most importantly, we couldn’t be happier for the students and their families.”…Read More

TEA Announce Free Access To Supplemental Math Computer Program for Texas

Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) today announced that a supplemental K-5 math computer program will be made available to school systems through TEA’s Texas Home Learning 3.0 (THL 3.0) initiative. Like other THL 3.0 offerings, these instructional materials are optional and aligned to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)—the state standards for what grade-level knowledge and skills students should possess.

“ST Math is an effective and engaging program that will help students stay on track whether they are in a classroom or learning virtually,” said Governor Abbott. “The State of Texas will continue to expand the THL 3.0 program and ensure access to dynamic learning opportunities for students across the state.”

“We’re excited that  ST Math’s adaptive online product for grades K-5 will be made available to all Texas school systems and families at no cost to them. ST Math’s unique approach provides students with equitable access to learning through challenging puzzles, non-routine problem solving, and informative feedback,” said Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath. “Each curricular offering through THL 3.0 is dynamic and innovative; these new instructional materials for math will not only be fun for kids, but will also help the lessons to really stick.”…Read More

Laredo Independent School District and IXL Partner to Support In-Person and At-Home Learning

IXL Learning, the K-12 personalized learning platform used by 11 million students, today announced a three-year agreement with Laredo Independent School District to bring its award-winning program to approximately 23,600 students and 1,100 teachers. Through this partnership, all 33 schools in the district will use IXL to supplement math, English language arts, science and social studies instruction.

Laredo ISD is located in Laredo, Texas, on the border with Mexico. The district is home to eight National Blue Ribbon Schools and serves a large bilingual and English language learner population. Laredo ISD began piloting IXL in 2019 to complement its high school English language arts instruction and to identify areas where students were struggling. When the COVID-19 crisis took hold, its leadership turned to IXL for a robust remote learning experience that would empower all its students to learn from anywhere.

One of the district’s priorities was to fill knowledge gaps that arose during school closures. School leaders were thrilled to find that students had access to an entire K-12 curriculum in one place, allowing learners to quickly catch up on previous grade-level content at any time. Laredo ISD highly valued IXL Analytics and Live Classroom, which give educators the ability to accurately monitor student growth in real-time from home. The district also appreciated IXL’s ability to work as both a synchronous and asynchronous platform, as mandated by the Texas Department of Education.…Read More

Austin Independent School District Selects IXL to Support Classroom Instruction and Distance Learning

 IXL Learning, the K-12 personalized learning platform used by 11 million students, today announced a three-year agreement with Austin Independent School District to bring its adaptive software to approximately 70,000 students. The deal provides 83 elementary schools and 17 high schools with access to IXL’s award-winning program to supplement instruction in math and English language arts.

Austin ISD is the fifth-largest school district in Texas and serves a diverse student body. The district turned to IXL because of its ability to align perfectly to Austin ISD’s textbooks and curriculum, plus IXL’s broad range of skills that individualize instruction and empower every student. Austin ISD will also take advantage of IXL’s at-home learning capabilities, which give students the flexibility to learn and educators the tools to instruct from a distance.

“By integrating IXL districtwide, Austin ISD opens the door to a new level of personalized learning during a unique moment in education,” said Paul Mishkin, CEO of IXL Learning. “We look forward to working closely with the district and its teachers to assist them in delivering the highest quality education—whether it happens at home, in a classroom setting or a combination of the two.”…Read More

Knowledgehook raises £13.5m as demand for math learning surges, amid global expansion plans

Knowledgehook, the world’s most comprehensive mathematics learning platform, has raised £13.5m Series A equity funding, led by a UK-based EdTech investment fund with participation from Mesoamerica’s Alexandria Corp., Nelson Education, Ideal Ventures, and Nicoya Ventures. This latest round of financing follows Knowledgehook’s 2016 seed round that included John Abele’s North Point Ventures.

Knowledgehook’s proprietary technology, used by over 100,000 schools around the world, harnesses the power of data to track where each student is on their math journey. Their programs connect a child’s at-home learning with in-school education, providing real-time insights on learning gaps. This empowers teachers to develop a child’s understanding of the math concepts related to their challenges, enabling them to adjust instruction and monitor progress.

“Knowledgehook was inspired by my own struggle with math as a child. Having the right, personalized guidance makes all the difference and every student deserves to have a teacher who has access to the best pedagogical tools, and parents who have insights into their learning challenges. Our platform is not a game, it will pull together a 360 view on a child’s learning journey enabling people around them to improve their experience and outcomes” explains Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Knowledgehook, Travis Ratnam.…Read More

Discovery Museum Announces New STEM Learning Resources for Teachers and Families

Discovery Museum announced today the launch of Virtual Traveling Science Workshops (VTSW) and other teaching resources for schools, and Parent-Assisted STEAM Experiences (PASE), a set of in-museum and at-home learning resources and supports for families. Developed to address the educational constraints of the COVID crisis on schools and families, these resources will support student learning this school year and beyond.

Virtual Traveling Science Workshops – The Museum has launched Virtual Traveling Science Workshops (VTSW), a redevelopment of its popular in-school STEM workshops, with COVID-19 protocols and safety standards in place. VTSW are available for eight STEM topics including Magnets, Sound, Force & Motion, Weather & Climate, and more.  The workshops are for Kindergarten through 8th grade, for students either in the classroom or at home.

Virtual Traveling Science Workshops are taught by Museum educators, streamed live to encourage student interaction. Individual student materials are safely packaged and delivered to the school in advance of the workshop to allow for timely distribution to students, whether they will be in the classroom or at home. These workshops are available for booking now.…Read More