Pearson Creates New Direct-to-Consumer Division

Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, today announces the creation of a new direct-to-consumer division as it looks to further strengthen its focus on building a direct relationship with learners around the world.

The new division will be co-led by two senior executives: Ishantha Lokuge joined Pearson from Shutterfly last year and now steps up to the role of Chief Global Product Officer and Co-President, Direct-to-Consumer.

Lynne Frank, most recently President of International Marketing and Worldwide Planning and Operations at Warner Bros. Pictures, joins Pearson as Chief Marketing Officer and Co-President – Direct-to-Consumer. Together, Ishantha and Lynne will lead the new division focused on direct-to-consumer products and channels, and will report to Andy Bird, Chief Executive.…Read More

The changing role of literacy today, part 2

We know we must teach children to read proficiently, yet the age-old challenge of getting a child to read on grade level still persists. Fortunately, science and technology are providing a roadmap.

Science tells us that when we are born, we house all of the tools to learn to speak. On the other hand, we must learn the skill of reading. There is no corresponding “reading center” to the language center in our brains. Instead, every child must go through the meticulous task of learning to read; through the amazing adaptive abilities of the brain we can acquire a skill that was invented only a few thousand years ago.

According to Professor Maryanne Wolf, John DiBiaggio professor of citizenship and public service, director of the Center for Reading and Language Research, and professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University, “It took our species roughly 2,000 years to make the cognitive breakthroughs necessary to learn to read with an alphabet … our children have to reach those same insights about print in roughly 2,000 days.” Those 2,000 days are roughly from birth to about first grade—in other words, at a fairly fast pace.…Read More

Pearson unveils Beta-4

Pearson has unveiled the Beta-4, the latest revision of a nonverbal measure of cognitive abilities in adults, originally developed by the U.S. Army during World War I. With today’s Beta-4, clinical psychologists can obtain a quick assessment of adults’ nonverbal intellectual abilities.

Beta-4 is easy to administer and score and is useful for reliably screening large numbers of people for whom administering comprehensive test batteries would be time-consuming and costly. The test has a variety of occupational and educational applications and is great for use with diverse adult populations within a wide range of language skills and levels of cognitive ability. Appropriate uses include prison systems assessing the intellectual ability of inmates, companies evaluating the employment readiness of potential new hires, and vocational schools determining placement of students. Available in both English and Spanish, Beta-4 is also appropriate for use with English as a Second Language individuals, as no reading or verbal response is required.

Updates in Beta-4 include new norms and test items; updated, contemporary artwork; extended age range; low floors for individuals with average and lower cognitive abilities; high ceiling with more challenging items; and simplified and streamlined instructions to make it easier for individualized administration or proctoring in group settings. Supported by research with clinical group studies, the Beta-4 includes five subtests: coding, picture completion, clerical checking, picture absurdities and matrix reasoning.…Read More

Pearson Realize course content now works with any LMS

Interoperability certification gives teachers, students freedom to assign and use any Pearson content regardless of LMS

Pearson announced a new iteration of its main content delivery system for K-12 schools that will allow them to experience learning, assessment and data applications seamlessly, saving thousands of hours and dollars in the process. Traditionally, teachers, students and administrators have to deal with multiple logins and repetitive data entry. Pearson Realize is now fully compatible with IMS Global’s Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI™) standards, making almost all of the company’s K-12 content and data easy to use, access and analyze, regardless of the school’s learning management system (LMS).

IMS Global is a non-profit organization that sets standards for digital educational content. Leading IMS members like Pearson are committed to creating content and applications that “play nice” with one another so that accessing content from multiple sources and publishers is a unified, continuous experience.

“When we say we put digital content at teachers’ and students’ fingertips, that should be the reality. Now fully compatible with all learning management systems, the digital content delivered through Pearson Realize should make learning and assessing student performance easier, and that’s why we’re committed to interoperability,” said Marc Nelson, vice president of product management at Pearson. “We’re proud to support IMS and the future of digital education, where educators can easily select the digital products that meet their students’ needs without having to worry about whether or not they work together.”…Read More

Certiport announces CERTIFIED 2016 Educator Conference

Professional development conference helps educators bring the full promise and potential of technology certification to the classroom

Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, a test delivery solution provider for the global workforce and academic markets, announced the CERTIFIED 2016 Educator Conference, a conference dedicated to helping educators bring the full promise and potential of technology certification to the classroom.

Educators are invited to attend CERTIFIED from June 28-30, 2016 in Orlando, Florida at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista. Registration is open now at www.certiport.com/certified.

CERTIFIED 2016 is ideal for secondary education teachers, college faculty, and administrators who are working to empower their students by bringing certification opportunities into their school and classroom.…Read More

The good, the bad, and the ugly of today’s online testing

How three different districts fared as they conducted PARCC testing for the first time

testing-parccWhen teachers, students, and administrators at Sheridan School District No. 2 met earlier this month to kick off The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing, they had felt pretty sure of themselves. After all, the Denver-based district of 1,600 students and five schools had worked hard to prep itself for the computer-based K–12 assessments in English language arts and math. “We spent a lot of time and money on preparation,” says Superintendent Michael Clough.

But it all fell apart pretty quickly.

Within just a few hours of the first test being administered, it became clear that the district wasn’t as ready as it thought it was. “The first day of testing can be described as nothing short of a disaster,” says Clough. “Now that the first round of testing is complete, we’ll have to start unpacking things and figure out exactly what went wrong.”…Read More

Pearson launches ed-tech incubator for startups

Publishing giant Pearson has launched an incubator program for ed-tech startups, following in the footsteps of other educational companies like Kaplan, Mashable reports.

Pearson Catalyst, the new program, will match educational startups with Pearson brands and resources. The company’s vast amount of content will be available to help participants further develop their products to target and personalize online learning.

Sharing industry insight and connecting with new companies will allow Pearson to promote learning and take advantage of new ideas, says Diana Stepner, head of future technologies.…Read More

ASCD, Pearson debut new online professional development tool

Principal Compass is a cloud-based program that helps increase leadership effectiveness for K-12 principals and their teams.

The educational leadership organization ASCD (formerly known as the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) has teamed up with Pearson to launch a new online school leadership program, called Principal Compass.

Created in collaboration with education researcher Robert Marzano and his Marzano Research Laboratory, Principal Compass is a cloud-based program that helps increase leadership effectiveness for K-12 principals and their teams, ASCD said. The organization announced the new tool during its 67th annual conference in Philadelphia March 25.

Using technology developed at Johns Hopkins University, Principal Compass reportedly is the only integrated and scalable online professional development tool aligned with Marzano’s framework for principal growth and development. The evidence-based rubric focuses on five domains of competency, ASCD said:…Read More

New software facilitates assessment and data management

Gradecam’s software uses an ordinary document or web camera to automate data entry into any electronic gradebook.

During recent ed-tech conferences, a number of companies introduced software intended to make assessment and data management easier for schools.

For instance, CTB/McGraw-Hill has introduced a program called TerraNova Common Core, a national achievement test that represents a field-tested, valid, and authentic measure of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the company says. It is available in reading, English language arts, and mathematics for grades 3-8. TerraNova Common Core offers a full range of item formats in one test, including multiple choice, constructed response, extended-constructed response, and integrated performance tasks. Through this “one test” approach, educators can compare student results on national and Common Core standards across grades and ability levels.

GradeCam demonstrated its software that helps automate the testing process, allowing teachers to get instant feedback from pencil-and-paper tests. The software uses an ordinary document or web camera to automate data entry into any electronic gradebook. Students fill in answers for multiple-choice tests using a pen or pencil, then swipe their test under a document or web camera—or the teacher can do this after collecting the tests.…Read More

Pearson buys Schoolnet for $230 million

The deal marks the latest in a long line of ed-tech acquisitions for Pearson as it continues its focus on digital learning.

Pearson PLC, publisher of the Financial Times and Penguin books and a major player in the ed-tech market, has agreed to buy the educational technology company Schoolnet for $230 million in cash.

London-based Pearson on April 26 said it expects the acquisition to be broadly neutral to earnings per share in 2011 and to enhance its earnings per share and return on invested capital in 2012.

New York-based Schoolnet, which aligns assessment, curriculum, and other services to help personalize instruction and improve teacher effectiveness, reportedly serves more than 5 million U.S. students from pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade.…Read More