Pivot Interactives Announces New Iris™ Technology to Increase Students’ Active Phenomena-Based Learning

(May12, 2022) — Pivot Interactives introduces a new set of tools, Iris™, which make learning critical science concepts—such as heat transfer, Beer’s Law, light emission, population density, temperature (infrared and blackbody), pH, and wavelength—accessible to students regardless of classroom equipment or teaching experience. With this new patent-pending collection of color and light measuring tools, students can now take quantitative measurements of color & light for themselves directly from information encoded in a video within a web browser.

“Making measurements using light is a fundamental practice of science. From optical measurements made by microbiologists to the light gathered by powerful telescopes, light, and color-based measurements are at the heart of science at every scale,” says Peter Bohacek, CEO and Founder of Pivot Interactives. “But light- and color-based measurements are normally out of reach in the classroom, limited to expensive and complex equipment. Pivot Interactives brings the power of light- and color-based measurements to students’ fingertips. As the leader in using interactive videos for science education, we are thrilled to be the first to make the power of light- and color-based measurements available to classrooms everywhere.”

Iris technology addresses three critical issues that science classrooms face:…Read More

Can web filtering really harm the kids?

Web filtering is undoubtedly an essential when it comes to school cybersecurity. However, when the service is not set up correctly or a number of blocked categories is way too high, it starts to annoy both staff, and kids. Let’s see how to use web filtering to stay safe out there on the internet and make full use out of it.

Starting with the basics, it makes sense to remind ourselves what CIPA is. The Children’s Internet Protection Act, signed into law in 2000, is a document that regulates the exposure of inappropriate content to children. To be precise, the content that shall be filtered or blocked is divided into 3 groups: obscenity, child pornography & content harmful to minors. To receive funding, an educational institution must follow the guidelines of the act. The easiest way to comply with it is to purchase a web filtering solution. Needless to say, K-12 schools must be CIPA compliant to use E-Rate discounts, but those schools and libraries that do not receive the fundings do not have this obligation.

Web filtering solutions work on a DNS level, blocking all unwanted websites: both malicious ones with viruses lurking around, and all kinds of explicit content. In a nutshell, the DNS system matches IP addresses and the names of the websites working as a phonebook of the Internet. DNS filtering, however, also categorizes the website to see if it belongs to any restricted groups. This part is usually customizable: you choose which type of sites you want gone (or vice versa – you create an Allow list, which contains only the resources you want your students, staff & guests to see, and everything else is blocked), and leave it be.…Read More

ParentSquare Appoints Derick Sutton as Chief Financial Officer

Santa Barbara, CA — Dec. 6, 2021— ParentSquare Inc., provider of the premier unified school-to-home engagement platform for K-12, announced that Derick Sutton is joining the company as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In his new role, Sutton will lead the company’s accounting, finance, and human resources functions.

Sutton has extensive experience as a financial leader at high-growth technology companies. Before joining ParentSquare, he served as CFO for software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies such as Simplee (now part of Flywire Corporation) and SCI Solutions as well as the training solutions provider NAVEX Global (formerly Employment Law Training).

Sutton also held several executive roles at the financial software and SaaS company Intuit. As CFO of Intuit’s international division, he helped re-establish its small business accounting software market leadership. Additionally, Sutton served as the vice president of finance and investor relations for the biotechnology firm Codexis, contributing to that firm’s IPO.…Read More

AEPA Awards National Security Solution Bid to Deledao

On December 1st, 2020, the Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies (AEPA) awarded Deledao a national bid in their Security Solutions category. This allows the 29 member states to offer Deledao through a nationally bid contract designed to meet state bid law requirements.

“We’re excited to partner with AEPA to expand our reach to school districts across the United States,” says Shuang Ji, CEO at Deledao. “This partnership aligns with our company goal of providing education solutions that are easy and effective. Member ESAs can now focus on solving the web security needs of their districts instead of wading through complicated purchasing processes.”

“Student mental health crises are increasing at an alarming rate, with internet access and social media exacerbating this issue. The internet is always there, it doesn’t rest,” says Kevin Benson, the Security Solutions Committee Chair at AEPA.…Read More

Southern Poverty Law Center COVID-19 resources

Southern Poverty Law Center has compiled resources for educators continuing to support students and families through the COVID-19 pandemic.

SPLC developed these resources to support student well-being and learning during school closures, and they will keep this page updated as they publish new pieces.

A Trauma-Informed Approach to Teaching Through Coronavirus
Experts from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network share their recommendations for educators supporting students during the COVID-19 crisis.…Read More

Looking for a way to lower suspensions and reduce bullying?

Suspension has been a commonly used disciplinary method in schools for decades. Unfortunately, it also has no positive impact on students. What’s worse, these same children often develop a dislike for law enforcement that lasts into adulthood. This is a dangerous cycle that we have to stop to help students stay in school, develop positive relationships with adults in positions of authority, and achieve greater success. At my school, we found a solution. Read on and you will discover where the idea came from and how to replicate it in your school.

DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) programs involving law enforcement presence in schools were common two decades ago. At almost the same time these programs slowly faded out of schools, we encountered some of the most prevalent rise in violence in schools. Confronted with this reality, smaller communities and suburban schools took a page from the large, urban school playbook and began hiring school resource officers (SSOs). Their primary purpose is security, but they can do so much more.

Typically, SROs (we call them SSOs, for school security officers) are retired law enforcement. With 25 years of law-enforcement experience behind them, they bring a breadth of knowledge and skill not previously accessible to school communities. I decided to make the best of these resources and the results are impressive. Here is how we did this, in simple strategic steps that can be replicated anywhere SSOs are employed.…Read More

DeVos confirmation hearing elicits intense reactions

Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary, emerged from her confirmation hearings with Republicans praising her commitment to school choice and with Democrats voicing concerns over what they see as a lack of experience to ensure equity for students of all backgrounds and abilities.

During the hearings, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) did not back down as he repeatedly asked DeVos to address yes-or-no questions about a variety of education issues, including the Individuals with Disabilities Act–a key federal law that allocates federal funding to schools to ensure the needs of students with disabilities are met.

Kaine and DeVos sparred over the matter of whether all schools–public, public charter or private–should be required to meet IDEA requirements if they receive federal funding.…Read More

Report: States improve teacher policies

NCTQ’s annual report finds state policies to support teacher effectiveness are no longer the exception in the U.S.

teacher-policyTeacher policies across the U.S. averaged a C- grade, according to the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), which on Dec. 8 released its ninth annual State Teacher Policy Yearbook.

The annual policy yearbook analyzes every state law, rule and regulation that shapes the teaching profession, from teacher preparation, licensing and evaluation to compensation, professional development and dismissal policy.

Across the 50 states and the District of Columbia, states average a C- for their teacher policies in 2015, up from an overall grade of D in 2009. The average state grade has held steady since NCTQ’s last comprehensive report card in 2013, despite the bar being raised on several key topics, including aligning teacher licensing policies with the expectations of college- and career-readiness standards adopted by many states.…Read More

Are states making the right decisions with charter schools?

Report reveals states’ new aggressive charter schools laws, but can these laws actually impact charter performance?

charter-schools-statesWhether or not you’re for or against charter schools, the charter movement is spreading like a wildfire in many states across the country. Now, one report details which states are updating policy measures that could significantly impact charter school growth and funding for traditional public schools, leading many to wonder: Will more aggressive state charter laws lead to better performance?

The report, “Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Charter School Laws,” produced by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, evaluates charter school laws in every state based on 20 “Essential Components of a Strong Public Charter School Law.”

Components include no caps on the growth of public charter schools, a variety of public charter schools allowed, multiple authorizers available, accountability required, adequate funding, transparent decision-making processes, performance-based contracts required, and many more.…Read More