Discovery Education and Social Impact Partners Support Families with New No-Cost Resources to Ignite Student Interest in STEM

Silver Spring, Md. (Thursday, September 16, 2021) — To accelerate student learning and ignite student curiosity in STEM, Discovery Education presents parents and guardians an array of no-cost dynamic digital resources. This selection of content, created in partnership with leading corporate and community partners, inspires families to learn together by exploring the world around them. Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art K-12 digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place.

The following selection of new no-cost digital resources added to existing programs connect families to the wide world of STEM learning by bringing STEM learning home:

Science at Home with 3M…Read More

OverDrive Education Donates Juvenile & Young Adult Titles to Schools Worldwide

CLEVELAND – September 1, 2021 – To help schools meet growing demand for digital content without increasing budget, OverDrive Education donated over 280 juvenile and young adult titles to more than 50,000 schools around the world. This updated Sora Starter Collection bundle includes high-interest ebook, audiobook and Read-Along titles that are always available to students through September 1, 2023. Sora is the leading student reading app for schools worldwide.

This free collection allows over 50,000 schools and millions of students with the Sora app to encourage community engagement with young readers through book clubs, classroom discussions and more. The Sora Starter titles expand schools’ individual digital collections, removing barriers and providing access to more resources for literacy 24/7 anytime, anywhere. Notable titles include The Great Gatsby, Iggy Peck, Architect, Separate Is Never Equal and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Ebooks, audiobooks and Read-Alongs in this collection come from Sourcebooks, Jump!, Bellwether, Triangle, Lerner, Kaleidoscope, Rosen, Abrams and Duke Classics. More information about the titles can be found here (title availability may vary by region).

“The collections of Simultaneous Use ebooks and audiobooks have been wonderful during the pandemic – the titles are often among our most circulated,” said Denise Hull, Technician, Learning Resources at Aurora Public Schools in Colorado. “I want to offer my sincere gratitude to the Sora team and to the publishers for making this happen. We’re excited for our students to enjoy the new titles added into this refreshed Sora Starter Collection.”…Read More

Carolina Biological Supply Company’s New Young Innovators Program Inspires Students with K-12 Students’ Inventions

BURLINGTON, NC, Aug. 2, 2021 – Leading school science supplier Carolina Biological launched the Young Innovators program to highlight student inventions and inspire students and teachers to see that all students can succeed in STEM. As educators and students return to class this fall, these high-interest profiles are free resources perfect for engaging students in learning science, while promoting equity and inclusion. One of the first Innovators of the Month to be featured is six-year old Robert Samuel White III (Sam). Sam White, whose amazing new take on a traditional ABC song encourages other students to think about the jobs they could have as they learn the letters of the alphabet. A video of Sam singing his co-written song, “ You Can Be ABCs,” with his dad went viral on social media last fall. What started as a simple idea to make learning fun for Sam turned into a sensational video and soon to be book that parents and teachers can use with their students who are learning to read. Sam, entering second grade, has also recorded a new video for Carolina, featuring STEM careers to educate young students about jobs in science. A diverse selection of young student innovators will be featured so that all students will see someone that they can relate to. From their classrooms or at home, teachers can engage students in learning science. The new site www.CarolinaYoungInnovators.com launched with 12 Young Innovator profiles and will recognize their accomplishments by honoring a Young Innovator of the Month every month. Carolina is searching for more Young Innovators to highlight, so teachers are encouraged to nominate their students on its online recommendation page.

Individual profile pages and free downloadable literacy cards for each Young Innovator are available now in a choice of grade-appropriate K-12 reading levels in English and Spanish. Teachers can access and share these digital resources with students anywhere they have Internet access. Suggestions are provided for how teachers can use these stories with their classrooms. Carolina is celebrating the launch with a Facebook contest through August. Four winners will receive a Young Innovators poster and T-shirt, plus a signed copy of Sam’s book.

The inspiring students featured in Carolina’s Young Innovators program will surprise and captivate students’ attention. They demonstrate the amazing achievements that happen when students take action to answer a question or solve a problem in science, technology, engineering, and math. By recognizing and celebrating these Young Innovators’ accomplishments both big and small, Carolina strives to open the door to possibilities, to inspire all students and nurture their visions. Carolina promotes diversity and inclusion to encourage every student to take their place in STEM.…Read More

How teletherapy enables access to special education services

Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, some parents of children enrolled in public schools have made, or are considering making, moves to alternative modes of education. Private schools, parochial schools, and homeschooling have all reported higher interest over the past year, and while enrollment data is not yet solid enough to officially call it a trend, it appears that some shifts away from public schools will occur in the next year.

Much of this stems from the disruption of the pandemic and the flexibility that private schools had to bring students back to the classroom. A recent poll by Education Next found that the parents of children enrolled in a private school were more likely to be “very satisfied” with their educational experience this year than parents of children in public or charter schools. In March 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 11.1 percent of households with school-age children reported homeschooling, double the prior year’s figure.

Serving students with disabilities…Read More

How to take personalized learning to scale

iNACOL defines personalized learning as “tailoring learning for each student’s strength, needs, and interests—including enabling student’s voice and choice in what, how, when and where they learn—to provide flexibility and supports to ensure mastery of the highest standards possible.” Dr. Monica Burns, curriculum and educational technology consultant and founder of ClassTechTips.com, in a recent edWebinar, echoed this iNACOL concept. Before designing learning experiences that are personal to individual students, it is critical for classroom teachers and school leaders to identify student engagement, student interest, student choice, student voice, cross-curricular connections, and differentiated resources.

When it comes to student engagement, Burns said, “We want to make sure that we are capturing student attention by having students’ eyes where we want them to be or their hands where we want them to explore.” At the same time, it is essential to recognize that engagement looks different for every student in a classroom. By listening to what students are excited about and identifying their needs, teachers can provide a flexible learning environment that supports, energizes, and engages all individual learners.

Student choice and voice happens when students have opportunities to share what makes their interests unique and are active participants in conversations around success criteria and curriculum-based norms. How students demonstrate what they’ve learned and celebrate their learning journey is as important to the personalized learning process as engagement, interest, voice, and choice.…Read More

What AI can and can’t do in education

When some people hear the term “artificial intelligence,” they think of robots like the ones in the Steven Spielberg movie AI. In education today, AI is something less glamorous.

As a tool among others in the software developer’s toolbox, it is used under the hood in many services and applications that teachers and students use every day in schools and families rely on at home. For example, it enables natural-language processing (search engines, speech recognition, spell checking), social media (interest profiling, sentiment analysis, add targeting), and computer vision (object detection, face recognition, augmented reality).

Despite its many uses, AI has raised some concerns among parents and teachers. According to the report “AI and the Future of Learning” from the Center for Integrative Research in Computing and Learning Sciences, three of those worries are students’ privacy, the potential for bias, and the possibility of teachers losing their jobs to AI.…Read More

A national esports effort aims to ‘change the trajectory’ for students

As a student, video gamer and flight instructor Hudson Davis was often bored in school. He found that many classes provided only a surface-level understanding of key topics—and he was doing a lot of self-directed learning outside of class to explore topics he was passionate about.

“School should do a better job of allowing students to dig into those subjects that interest them,” Davis said. “Many kids just don’t get the opportunity to do that.”

Davis’s experience isn’t unusual. Even before the pandemic, many students felt disengaged from school. The shift to remote learning through platforms such as Zoom and Google Meets has only intensified the problem, creating what Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, called an “unparalleled crisis for today’s teens.”…Read More

5 ways to nurture a cybersecurity interest in a healthy way

It’s something no teacher or administrator wants to think about, but what if one of your students is showing an interest in computer hacking? Teachers–sometimes more than parents–can tap into kids’ interests and skill sets. And with technology now a large part of how students are learning, it is just a matter of time until any educator runs into a student with an unexpected knowledge of how tech works or how to manipulate it.

How do you know if these students simply have a healthy curiosity or are interested in something darker? And how do you help an advanced student understand that they can use their skills for good by choosing a career as a cybersecurity professional rather than an underground hacker? Here’s how to handle such a nuanced situation.

1. Identify interest and skill…Read More

SAM Labs Launches Successful Teacher Accelerator Program

The program includes group workshops with like-minded educators, one-on-one training with our Senior Education Consultants, training on how to implement SAM Labs, and resources to teach STEAM and coding in the classroom across various skill levels. The STAR Program is designed to expand our community of support and knowledge, while continuing our practice of investing greatly in our customers and their success. Through efforts like this, we aim to use our solutions to power outstanding STEM, STEAM and learn to code education. Future ‘STARs’ will join our growing community, have customized solutions based on their specific use-cases and learn from the foremost SAM Labs experts in the world.

SAM Labs is unified by our values, such as ‘fight to delight’ on behalf of customers. We have always taken a deep interest in our customers, sharing and implementing educators’ insights across our team. From how we design our curriculum and software to providing the right resources for educators, SAM Labs wants to be the standard bearer for educator centricity.

The STAR Program is the next step on our journey working with educators to reduce their workload, increase their confidence and strengthen learner engagement. Through this initiative, we’ll enrich our understanding of STEM, STEAM & coding initiatives in classrooms across the United States. The in-depth knowledge and implementation of the STAR Program will lead to a new level of granular insight into the impact of these initiatives. After all, we are a company whose success means and relies on the success of both educators and learners – which is why we do what we do. As a result of this initiative and others to follow; SAM Labs will further entrench educators at the center of our mission: To equip educators with the tools, know-how, and mindset to reach learners’ potential for computational thinking. Put into words by our founder and CEO, Joachim Horn; “We hope to learn from educators about best practices that we can then share with the rest of our educator community, increasing the number of students who acquire 21st-century skills through Coding and STEAM.”…Read More

Kids Discover Partners with Rhino Records to Release Free Units Celebrating Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and Curtis Mayfield for Black History Month

Kids Discover, a leading provider of high-interest nonfiction for social studies and science, has partnered with Rhino Records, the catalog division of Warner Music Group, to celebrate Black History Month by releasing three free units honoring classic Atlantic Records artists Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin as well as Curtom Records’ Curtis Mayfield. Each of these units, featuring music, original album art, and more, will be freely available on the Kids Discover website for the entire month of February.

Designed to shine a light on the lives and impact of these music industry legends, the free units engage students in grades 3–8 through music and raise awareness of Black contributions to the arts and society. Educators can choose from three different Lexile levels for use in grades 3–4, 5–6, or 7–8. To make the materials available to as many students as possible, the free units do not require a registered account or login.

“In the past, we’ve always made a number of units in our library free to celebrate Black History Month,” said Ted Levine, the President and CEO of Kids Discover. “Given what has transpired in our country over the past few years, we took time to reflect on what else we could do to share the stories and impact of Black history and culture. In July, we released a five-part pledge, two tenets of which were to increase the number of stories we tell about Black figures in American history and to collaborate with organizations that share this vision. We’re excited to partner with Rhino to offer engaging, multimedia content that will educate and inspire students while highlighting the impact these three figures have had on our history and culture.”…Read More