4 tools to help students build post-COVID research skills

As an educator with 21 years of experience in teaching and learning, I have had the opportunity to work with students of differing abilities and learning backgrounds. During a typical school year, meeting the varied needs of my students makes for an extremely rewarding, but challenging job. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the needs of students tenfold, maximizing both the rewards and challenges of my role as an educator. 

As the world begins to shift in the evolving post-pandemic environment, it’s clear that much has changed. In my opinion, K-12 education has seen tremendous changes whose impacts we will be assessing and addressing for years to come. 

However, as educators begin to consider how to evolve education to meet the needs of our students today and in the future, we have before us the enormous task of shoring up students’ academic skills that may have eroded during the “emergency teaching” era. …Read More

Welcome to the “largest on-air classroom” in Louisiana

Learning doesn’t just happen inside the classroom, and Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) is working to ensure family engagement plays a vital role in students’ education.

LPB is Louisiana’s largest classroom over the air, on every device, in schools, and in the community. LPB’s Educational Services Department is committed to providing extensive information, lesson plans, materials, and digital resources to support formal K-12 education statewide.

LPB’s top priority focuses on family engagement in order to extend learning and help build critical skills in students.…Read More

Here’s how IT leaders can keep district networks safe

IT teams understand how important cybersecurity measures are, but many struggle to pinpoint where to begin when their resources are limited.

And when COVID closed in-person classrooms, it also gave a boost to cybercriminals looking to infiltrate school district networks. Data security breaches–including ransomware attacks, phishing, and unauthorized disclosures–show no sign of slowing, and K-12 IT leaders need to be ready.

Threats to K-12 education networks will never be eliminated, but there are strategies to successfully defend sensitive school district information. Want to learn more? Join a conversation with fellow edtech leaders and experts as they share best practices on both the technical aspects–software and services–and the human aspects–professional development and community education–of keeping your networks safe and sound.…Read More

Leading Education Organizations Applaud Spending Increase for Social and Emotional Learning in FY2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act

March 17, 2022 — The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and Committee for Children strongly applaud the passage of the FY2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act which provides increased funding for a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Initiative to support SEL and “whole child” approaches to education.

This critical funding for SEL is part of a $2 billion increase over the fiscal year 2021 enacted level for students’ learning and development in K-12 education, including students with disabilities. Related to SEL, the bill provides:

  • $82 million for evidence-based, field-initiated innovations that address student social, emotional, and cognitive needs (increase of $15 million) within the Education Innovation and Research program;
  • $85 million for the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) program with a priority for teacher professional development and pathways into teaching that provide a strong foundation in implementing SEL and “whole child” strategies (increase of $5 million);
  • $111 million within School Safety National Activities for Mental Health Services Professional Demonstration Grants and School-Based Mental Health Services Grants, to help LEAs directly increase the number of mental health and child development experts in schools (increase of $95 million); and
  • $75 million for Full-Service Community schools to provide comprehensive services and expand evidence-based models that meet the holistic needs of children, families, and communities (increase of $45 million).

“Policymakers join in the growing support from educators, parents, students, and employers in advancing students’ overall well-being and success – academically, socially, and emotionally,” said Dr. Aaliyah A. Samuel, President and CEO of CASEL. “We believe these resources will support and expand safe, supportive, and inclusive learning environments for our nation’s learners.”…Read More

Top strategies to keep your district networks secure

COVID closed in-person classrooms and also gave a boost to cyberthreats to school district networks. As data security breaches–including ransomware attacks, phishing, and unauthorized disclosures–show no sign of slowing, K-12 IT leaders need to be ready.

IT teams understand how important cybersecurity measures are, but many struggle to pinpoint where to begin when their resources are limited.

Threats to K-12 education networks will never be eliminated, but there are strategies to successfully defend sensitive school district information. Want to learn more? Join a conversation with fellow edtech leaders and experts as they share best practices on both the technical aspects–software and services–and the human aspects–professional development and community education–of keeping your district networks safe and sound.…Read More

Pikmykid and Central Access Announce Partnership to Advance School Safety and Efficiency

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 18, 2022 –  Pikmykid, the premier school safety and dismissal platform, today announces its partnership with  Central Access, the leading provider of K-12 education technology tools for the state of Mississippi.

Through this partnership, Pikmykid and Central Access will bring the best Student Information System (SIS) and dismissal technology to the educators and parents of Mississippi, starting with a fully integrated solution with Application Programming Interface (API) integrations. As the two companies continue to grow together, customers can expect to see deeper, more extensive integrations and capabilities.

“Central Access and Pikmykid have shared several customers over the years, and we’re excited to bring an even better experience to those users,” said Saravana Pat Bhava, CEO and Co-Founder of Pikmykid. “This partnership was one of the easiest decisions we’ve made going into 2022, and we’re truly honored to be the exclusive provider of safety and dismissal technology for Central Access clients.”…Read More

PowerSchool to Acquire Kinvolved, Expanding K-12 Platform to Provide Critical Messaging and Communication Solution

FOLSOM, Calif. PowerSchool (NYSE: PWSC), the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kinvolved, a leading provider of K-12 communications, attendance, and engagement solutions supporting over 250,000 students and used within three of the top four school districts in the U.S. Adding Kinvolved’s leading communication engine to PowerSchool’s  Unified Home solution will enable schools and districts to strengthen and simplify overall communications and notifications between school and home to increase engagement and help reduce absenteeism.

“Collaboration between teachers, parents, and students is one of the most important aspects of an effective education, and we know it’s a top priority for our customers to have efficient, centralized notifications and communications integrated with PowerSchool” Tweet this

“Collaboration between teachers, parents, and students is one of the most important aspects of an effective education, and we know it’s a top priority for our customers to have efficient, centralized notifications and communications integrated with PowerSchool,” said Hardeep Gulati, CEO of PowerSchool. “We look forward to welcoming Kinvolved to our PowerSchool team, and together making a bigger impact on improving student engagement and outcomes.”…Read More

The Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program Selects ParentSquare as a Vendor Partner for School-Home Communications

Santa Barbara, CA — Dec. 15, 2021— ParentSquare, the award-winning unified school-home communications platform for K-12 education, has been named a vendor partner by the Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP).

The ILTPP is a statewide cooperative created by Illinois’ Learning Technology Center (LTC), Regional Offices of Education (ROE), and Intermediate Service Centers (ISC) in 1998. Its goal is to provide a voluntary purchasing program that combines the purchasing power of Illinois school districts and other eligible educational entities to offer competitive pricing on technology products and services.

Approved vendors undergo a rigorous evaluation before obtaining ILTPP’s approval for partnership. The program researches the reliability of each vendor by contacting three educational facilities that have purchased their products within the last year. In addition, an advisory committee consisting of LTC, ROE, and ISC directors and Illinois State Board of Education officials assesses the vendors’ pricing and products.…Read More

How to ensure your district networks are safe and secure

COVID closed in-person classrooms and also gave a boost to cyberthreats to school district networks. As data security breaches–including ransomware attacks, phishing, and unauthorized disclosures–show no sign of slowing, K-12 IT leaders need to be ready.

IT teams understand how important cybersecurity measures are, but many struggle to pinpoint where to begin when their resources are limited.

Threats to K-12 education networks will never be eliminated, but there are strategies to successfully defend sensitive school district information. Want to learn more? Join a conversation with fellow edtech leaders and experts as they share best practices on both the technical aspects–software and services–and the human aspects–professional development and community education–of keeping your district networks safe and sound.…Read More

Kajeet Education Solutions Now Available to UScellular Customers

MCLEAN, Va. October 1, 2021–Kajeet®, a leading provider of wireless connectivity, software and hardware solutions that deliver safe and controlled internet access, today announced it has expanded its relationship with UScellular, making it the first carrier enabled to sell Kajeet’s solutions directly. Together, the two organizations are making it easier for K-12 education customers to monitor, secure and control internet connectivity and connected devices using UScellular’s fast, reliable network.

“Teaming with Kajeet builds on our commitment to deliver connectivity services to our education customers and offer additional capabilities that empower them to take greater control of their data” Tweet this

Through this new agreement, K-12 administrators can now purchase Kajeet Sentinel® and Kajeet SmartSpot® directly from UScellular, with all data and service fees consolidated into a single statement.…Read More