Minneapolis’ Aim Academy of Science and Technology Selects Discovery Education to Support Science and Social Studies

SILVER SPRING, MD (Thursday, May 26, 2022)—The Aim Academy of Science and Technology in Minneapolis, MN, today announced it has selected  Discovery Education — the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place— to support science and social studies instruction in all grades. In collaboration with Discovery Education, Aim Academy of Science and Technology will integrate a suite of award-winning, flexible, digital resources into teaching and learning, creating real-world learning experiences that connect students to the world around them while preparing them for future success.

Located in South Minneapolis, the Aim Academy of Science and Technology provides students in grades 6-10 a successful path to college and STEM careers through culturally responsive mentorship, integrated STEM education, and curricular connections with technology-based businesses and industries. Seeking to update their curriculum with digital resources able to support the creation of engaging learning opportunities that empower students to discover, create and apply knowledge to real needs, Aim Academy of Science and Technology staff undertook a careful review of available solutions. Following this review, the Academy selected the following Discovery Education solutions:

The Discovery Education platform.
Connecting educators to a vast collection of high-quality, standards-aligned content, ready-to-use digital lessons, intuitive quiz and activity creation tools, and professional learning resources, Discovery Education provides educators  an enhanced learning platform that facilitates engaging, daily instruction in any learning environment.

Discovery Education’s team continues adding, contextualizing, and organizing exciting new content and timely and relevant resources to the platform each month in response to current events and the ever-evolving needs of educators. These resources, sourced from trusted partners, are aligned to state and national standards, and help educators bring the outside world into teaching and learning every day.

The K-12 learning platform is designed to work within the school systems’ existing infrastructure and workflows and provides safe, secure, simple access methods for educators and students. Through expanded, lasting partnerships with Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, Schoology, Canvas, Brightspace, and Clever, integrating Discovery Education’s K-12 learning platform into existing IT architecture is easier than ever.…Read More

What are your reasons to celebrate this school year?

We can all agree that the challenges we’ve seen in the last two years are unprecedented. However, when we consider all that’s happened and all that we’ve learned, there is also much to celebrate.

We can celebrate because students are back in school. We can celebrate the fact that libraries and librarians are in the spotlight. We can celebrate the fact superintendents no longer have to moonlight as meteorologists to call a snow day because we can deliver instruction virtually. 

We can’t forget specific challenges and controversies, though—we’ve argued about masks, vaccines, and books. Teachers are leaving the profession. Librarians are facing criminal consequences over their collections. District leaders are attempting to navigate an increasingly political landscape where it’s becoming nearly impossible to please everyone. …Read More

How our reading platform changed our instruction

Nearly all students can learn how to read, yet only 35 percent of them are reading proficiently. This widening gap seems insurmountable, but the bottom line is that teachers are the most essential factor in student reading success.

However, here’s the problem as I see it: only about half of all teaching institutions effectively prepare teachers for literacy instruction. And while it’s easy to assume that the schooling, master’s degrees, and pre-service training adequately prepare us to walk into the classroom and teach students how to read, the reality is that this training isn’t enough.

To truly master reading instruction, teachers need more. Fortunately, our cooperative’s previous director recognized this and started using LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) Suite. The program teaches the skills needed to master the fundamentals of reading instruction, including phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, writing and language.  …Read More

How to build relationships with instructional coaches

Teaching at any level can often be a solitary occupation. Even with a classroom full of students, teachers often work in isolation from peers. Teachers rarely receive instruction on how to work with co-teachers or teacher assistants in their pre-service teacher education programs. Therefore, it is often difficult or awkward for teachers to ask for help or effectively collaborate with others. Instructors often don’t know how to accept help from the instructional coaches, even when they would like to.

Educational practice is shifting from isolating practice to collaborative efforts, and creating healthy and productive team dynamics is often a challenge. Instructional coaches can positively impact these relationships, but the trust must be in place for it to occur. Even in systems where working with a coach is expected, building those initial relationships can be challenging.

Instructional coaches, instructional designers, and even assigned co-teachers often struggle to establish working relationships with individual classroom teachers. Librarians regularly complain that they spend more time clearing jams from printers instead of assisting students with reference questions. However, clearing that paper jam can help the student see the librarian as a resource. In the same way, the instructional designer might start to build a relationship by helping an instructor properly format hanging indents for a research paper. One instructional coach started building a positive relationship by making copies for classroom teacher. Just like the proverbial salesman who had to get a foot in the door, sometimes the first step is a small one.…Read More

CenterPoint’s Illustrative Mathematics Certified and EL Education Aligned Assessments Now Integrated with Kiddom’s High-Quality Digital Curriculum to Support Learning and Instruction

WASHINGTON, May 3, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —  CenterPoint Education Solutions, a nonprofit provider of assessment solutions, curriculum services, and professional learning designed to help schools and districts build aligned education systems, today announced that their Illustrative Math (IM) certified and EL Education aligned interim assessments will be available for the 2022-2023 school year on  Kiddom, the first all-in-one education platform for high-quality digital curriculum. The partnership will provide educators and students with instant access to high-quality assessments aligned to the curriculum already being used in their classrooms.

“CenterPoint welcomes this opportunity to expand student and teacher access to our one-of-a-kind assessments,” said LJ Sylvester, Vice President of Growth at CenterPoint. “Aligned assessments allow educators to gauge both student understandings and misunderstandings — paramount information to guide instructional planning. Kiddom supports aligned instructional models by connecting curriculum, instruction, and assessment onto one platform, which fits nicely with CenterPoint’s larger mission of building aligned education systems.”   

Interim assessments are administered throughout a school year and are key to supporting learning. They empower educators to measure student learning, identify where students are on their path to grade level expectations and provide data to drive instructional strategy. With Kiddom now hosting CenterPoint’s IM certified and EL Education interim assessments, students and educators are provided with expanded access to high-quality curriculum-aligned assessments that align with Kiddom’s digitized curriculum. Via Kiddom’s platform, CenterPoint’s assessments will make use of the existing assessment functionality in Kiddom, including technology-enhanced question types to heighten student engagement and real-time standards-aligned data reporting for teachers to inform instructional strategy. Additional benefits include:…Read More

New Resources Supporting the Integration of Minecraft: Education Edition into Classroom Instruction Now Available from Discovery Education

SILVER SPRING, MD (Tuesday, May 3, 2022) Discovery Education today announced the availability of a host of new resources designed to support the integration of Minecraft: Education Edition (M:EE) into classroom instruction. Accessible through Discovery Education’s award-winning K-12 platform, these resources complement M:EE’s ability to inspire student exploration, experimentation, and expression. Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place.

The Minecraft: Education Edition Channel, now available within the Discovery Education platform, provides educators useful lesson plans as well as ready-to-use activities that support students as they explore Minecraft Worlds and uncover important subject area content and skills. Furthermore, students can demonstrate creativity and showcase evidence of learning through an editable showcase board built within Discovery Education’s content creation tool, Studio. With Discovery Education’s dynamic set of learning supports, educators have a new set of resources supporting the integration of M:EE into Discovery Education’s math, SEL, STEM, and science lessons.

Connecting educators to a vast collection of high-quality, standards-aligned content, ready-to-use digital lessons, intuitive quiz and activity creation tools, and professional learning resources, Discovery Education’s K-12 platform facilitates engaging, daily instruction in any learning environment. …Read More

How to improve literacy through the science of reading

The Fall 2021 PALS Report found that reading skills in young learners are at a 20-year low. Over the past three years, reports have shown there had been little growth in reading and in some cases, states were backsliding. The majority of students who are exiting our school system do not have the reading skills they need to be successful at a job that requires reading skills.

I have analyzed how literacy education has evolved, exploring why we are where we are today and how we can improve. Educators can improve their K-3 students’ reading achievements by focusing instruction on structures of the English language. By applying findings from the science of reading, educators can positively affect students’ confidence in their academic careers and beyond. Here’s how to get started.

Assessing Your Curriculum for Elements of Structured Literacy

The science of reading is massive, and there’s much to learn from it. Structured Literacy is the practical approach that helps educators implement that science.…Read More

3 critical elements of a K-12 cybersecurity strategy

Technology has significantly changed the classroom experience over the last decade, with the ubiquity of the IoT, mobile apps, and teleconferencing ushering in a new era of instruction and learning. What’s more, this sea of change shows no sign of abating—case in point, late last year Roblox announced plans to reach 100 million students in the metaverse by the end of the decade. As K-12 institutions invest in emerging technologies and platforms, it’s critical that they not overlook cybersecurity concerns.

There are numerous cybersecurity challenges emerging in the connected education age, but following are some of the most pressing:

Increasingly Sophisticated Phishing Campaigns…Read More

A 4-step approach to leveraging technology in instruction

The adoption and assortment of technology in K-12 classrooms has soared over the past decade, posing challenges for schools tasked with deciding which technologies to introduce into their classrooms. Too often, these conversations around leveraging technology in instruction revolve around the what and how of physical tools — what to acquire and how to use it. However, we need to first start with the why of technology to truly address learning outcomes for all students.

Technology needs to be evaluated and chosen for its ability to engage students in meaningful and productive ways within a culture of accelerated learning. Students who are proficient with digital literacy skills and practices will have the advantage of being flexible and adaptive critical thinkers who can engage with new technology in meaningful and productive ways in every content area.

4 Steps to Integrating Technology with Purpose…Read More

Dollar General Literacy Foundation Makes Nearly $5 Million Investment in Literacy Solutions Following New Research Report

Goodlettsville, Tennessee – March 31, 2022 – The Dollar General Literacy Foundation (DGLF) announced a commitment of approximately $5 million in grants to five national organizations working to address the critical literacy needs identified in its new State of American Literacy Report released today. The grant recipients, including Save the Children, The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, DonorsChoose, Discovery Education and the Children’s Defense Fund, are focused on advancing literacy instruction and access, developing learning tools and technology and providing professional development for instructors.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has set back many in their education and literacy learning efforts and threatens to deepen the literacy crisis,” said Denine Torr, executive director of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and vice president of corporate social responsibility at Dollar General. “We know the devastating impacts of low literacy on an individual’s quality of life – limiting opportunities for advancement in the workforce, access to higher education, engagement in civic activity, and even effects on health. Through our research we are better able to understand the needs of the field and empower teachers, students and communities to harness the power of literacy and education at this critical juncture.”

State of American Literacy Report Findings…Read More