Mitigating data breaches with live patch management

Key points:

  • The nation continues to face a severe cyber workforce shortage
  • Defending against future ransomware attacks requires cybersecurity investments
  • See related article: Fixing the K-12 cybersecurity problem
  • For more news on IT security, see eSN’s IT Leadership page

According to a recent report from the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), aggressive hacking tactics by threat actors are increasing in frequency and complexity against K-12 classrooms and higher education institutions.

With public and private schools providing a broad attack surface area for exploitation, they often find themselves repeatedly targeted by malicious hackers looking for financial gain or to steal the sensitive information of students and teachers. These cyberattacks create potentially dangerous effects on the education sector via lost instructional time and the cost to recover from the incident.…Read More

What does blended learning mean in post-pandemic classrooms?

Avantis Education, the leading provider of VR and AR content and hardware for K-12 schools, has released a new white paper: “Building Back Stronger: New Thinking and Technologies Reshaping Education” which delves into the myriad ways K-12 schools are embracing different methodologies and cutting-edge technologies to support students following a period of declining academic success.

The white paper, released under the brand ClassVR, Avantis’ award-winning all-in-one VR/AR headsets for schools, is available for download at

As stated in the white paper, “issues such as underfunding, understaffing, the digital divide and the impacts of the pandemic have set the stage for an ambitious revival.” It notes that ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funding has provided school districts with opportunities to leverage new educational approaches and technologies and that “these innovations serve as the catalysts for rejuvenation, charting a course toward the restoration of educational excellence. U.S. education is building back stronger.”…Read More

Frontline Education and Vanco Announce Strategic Partnership

Malvern, Pa. and Bloomington, Minn. (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Frontline Education, a leading provider of administration software purpose-built for educators in K-12, and Vanco, a leading solution for event planning, ticketing, fundraising and patron engagement, today announced an exclusive partnership that provides K-12 school districts with a seamless and secure way to sell tickets and manage registrations for school events, at no cost to the school districts.  

Vanco is a trusted provider of payment solutions tailored to meet the unique needs of K-12 schools and districts. With a focus on secure, efficient payment processing, Vanco enables educational organizations to streamline financial operations and improve the overall experience for families. Adding Vanco’s secure payment processing platform to Frontline’s comprehensive suite of solutions provides K-12 districts nationwide a powerful set of financial and business management capabilities.

“Our Vanco partnership brings K-12 school districts a secure payments solution for effortlessly administering events and transactions,” said Mark Friedman, Chief Marketing Officer at Frontline Education. “It’s exciting to empower schools to create memorable experiences for the communities they serve.”…Read More

Leveraging the K-12 generative AI readiness checklist: A guide for district leadership

Editor’s note: This story on how to manage academic integrity as generative AI moves into classrooms originally appeared on CoSN’s blog and is reposted here with permission.

The rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI) technology present both incredible opportunities and significant challenges for educational settings. Whether or not a school district is considering leveraging AI, the influence of this technology on educational ecosystems is undeniable. As AI increasingly becomes a part of our daily lives, district leaders have a responsibility to understand its impact in educational settings and make informed decisions accordingly. This is true whether the aim is active adoption or simply preparation for a future where AI tools become more prevalent in educational settings.

To ensure school districts are adequately prepared for the integration of generative AI into their instructional and operational systems, the Council of Great City Schools, CoSN – Consortium for School Networking, and Amazon Web Services have partnered to create the K-12 Gen AI Readiness Checklist Questionnaire. There are several ways in which district leadership can best use this checklist for assessing and enhancing their readiness for integrating generative AI technologies into both instructional and operational systems.…Read More

Data really is the secret sauce in the K-12 classroom

Key points:

Along with all of the educational technology that’s made its way into the K-12 classroom over the last 10 years, we also now have a constant stream of useful, actionable data that we can use to improve student outcomes. This is especially true with literacy, where it’s all too easy to lose track of student progress and performance as students make their way through elementary and middle school.

Knowing this, we opted to pilot the Lexia Core5 Reading adaptive blended learning literacy program a few years ago. Our initial goal was to improve the reading support we offered students based on their literacy data, specifically in the area of foundational skills. We were collecting data from a variety of assessments, but the interventions we were using just weren’t showing that students were making consistent progress as readers.…Read More

Cumberland County Schools Recognized in 2023 K-12 Hero Awards for Implementation of S.P.I.R.E. Reading Program

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ —  EPS  School Specialty, the leading provider of Pre K–12 supplemental literacy solutions, is pleased to announce that Catherine LeCleir-Salas, K–5 Instructional Specialist at Cumberland County Public Schools, was named a  finalist in the  2023 eSchool K–12 Hero Awards for her outstanding implementation of S.P.I.R.E., an EPS reading intervention program based in the Science of Reading.

“As staff and students at Cumberland County Schools look to the future, Catherine DeCleir-Salas’ dynamic legacy as a trailblazing educator will undoubtedly continue to shape their progress and ensure their success,” said Janine Walker-Caffrey, the Chief Product Officer at EPS. “LeCleir-Salas’ remarkable ability to turn challenges into opportunities, unite educators, and equip students with the tools they need makes her more than deserving of this award.”

The K–12 Hero Awards is a platform dedicated to recognizing and celebrating exceptional educators nationwide, and LeCleir-Salas’ approach is representative of the exceptional educators honored within the program. Rooted in the Orton-Gillingham methodology, S.P.I.R.E. aligns with the North Carolina Excellent Public Schools Act of 2021 and supports beginning readers, striving readers, and students with dyslexia. As the district transitioned to S.P.I.R.E., DeCleir-Salas was a constant source of support and encouragement for educators, caregivers, and students—dedicated to creating a holistic environment where every learner can thrive. As a result of DeCleir-Salas’ efforts, S.P.I.R.E. achieved tremendous success, boasting a teacher participation rate of 85 to 90 percent.…Read More

1EdTech and Common Good Learning Tools Launch Major Upgrade to Database of State Learning Standards

LAKE MARY, Fla. – 1EdTech® Consortium and Common Good Learning Tools announce a partnership to launch CASE® Network 2. CASE Network 2 is a significant upgrade to the current CASE Network that provides access to K-12 learning standards in a digital format. 

The ultimate objective of CASE (1EdTech’s Competencies and Academic Standards Exchange® specification) is to make it easier, more accurate, and less expensive for edtech suppliers to align resources and tools with state and district academic standards, therefore allowing educators to find resources that better support their needs. Before CASE, academic standards were usually officially published in PDF format, forcing institutions and edtech suppliers that needed machine-readable standards to perform time-consuming manual work or use proprietary formats. This increased costs and made it difficult to ensure fidelity (especially when standards were updated). 

Now, every issuing agency can author machine-readable CASE versions of their standards using their own CASE publishing tool, allowing each agency to retain complete control over the source of truth for their standards and make this source of truth freely and openly available. The CASE Network serves a key function in the CASE ecosystem, providing a single access point for edtech suppliers to pull standards issued by agencies anywhere in the U.S. and access revision histories of those standards.  …Read More

Teacher shortages are worrying the majority of K-12 parents

Key points:

As the school year begins, an increasing share of U.S. parents are concerned about their children’s education and experience at school. More than half of parents (56 percent) say they are concerned that teachers are burned out to the point that teacher shortages will adversely affect their child’s education, according to the 2023 Back-to-School Study from Qualtrics.

Additionally, 45 percent expect to transport their children to school more often than in previous years because of bus driver shortages. Amid a national teacher shortage, 65 percent of parents report being concerned about their school’s ability to provide qualified educators.…Read More

Carnegie Learning Awarded LEVI Grant to Double the Rate of Middle School Math Progress by 2027

Pittsburgh, PA Carnegie Learning, a pioneer in AI-driven education technology, curriculum, and professional learning solutions for K-12, has been selected by the Learning Engineering Virtual Institute (LEVI) as one of seven teams committed toward accomplishing an ambitious goal: to DOUBLE the rate of middle school math progress for low income students by 2027.

The seven teams – Carnegie Learning, Carnegie Mellon University, Eedi, Rising Academies, the University of Colorado Boulder, Khan Academy, and the University of Florida – are committed to harnessing the potential of AI and machine learning to develop innovative, affordable interventions to enhance middle school math education. Carnegie Learning has particularly deep collaborations, as a partner with three of the seven teams –  Carnegie Mellon University on the LEVI Plus grant, and the University of Colorado Boulder/Saga, who are using Carnegie Learning’s award-winning MATHia as part of their intensive tutoring.

Carnegie Learning’s solution is MATHstream, which customizes avatars using generative AI to increase students’ motivation and engagement. It’s the only adaptive, interactive video streaming program for grades 6-12 where teachers who are high-profile math influencers deliver targeted instruction in an engaging, game-based environment.…Read More