Cicero School District 99 Adopts Lexia LETRS Professional Learning Programs

BOSTON (June 29, 2022) – Cicero School District 99 in Illinois has adopted Lexia LETRS® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) professional learning programs for its teachers and administrators. Offered by Lexia® Learning, a Cambium Learning® Group company, LETRS provides educators with the deep knowledge required to be literacy and language experts in the science of reading.

Developed by Dr. Louisa Moats and leaders in the field of literacy, the LETRS Suite provides practical support with tools that are available 24/7—online and in print. It also offers professional learning sessions led by national LETRS experts. These sessions provide classroom application examples of the learning and refine and extend participants’ understanding of the content.

Cicero SD 99 began rolling out LETRS in the second part of 2021. The district implemented two professional learning programs:…Read More

AI’s pivotal role in authentic PD

Many people envision artificial intelligence’s (AI) role in education with a sci-fi twist, but in reality, AI is already embedded in promising new tools that address student learning, real-time feedback, and continuous professional development (PD).

AI-powered learning tools can offer students immediate feedback and a customized learning experience. And when used in PD, time-strapped educators can better reflect on their instructional practices and target areas for improvement.

Edthena, a provider of video-powered PD tools, is harnessing AI in its new AI Coach platform. The solution helps schools and districts give teachers access to supportive coaching to improve teaching effectiveness. AI Coach uses artificial intelligence to guide teachers through coaching cycles aligned to common growth areas.…Read More

New AI Coach by Edthena Expands Access to Coaching for All Teachers

SAN FRANCISCO (February 10, 2022) – Edthena is revolutionizing teacher professional learning with the AI Coach™ platform. This first-of-its-kind solution helps schools and districts provide all teachers with supportive coaching in order to improve teaching effectiveness. The AI Coach platform uses artificial intelligence to guide teachers through coaching cycles aligned to common growth areas.

While working inside the AI Coach platform, teachers have a conversation with Edie, their virtual coach. Edie asks teachers about their professional goals, and then teachers analyze and reflect on videos of their classroom instruction by adding time-stamped comments.

Edie takes a guide-on-the-side approach to help teachers summarize the evidence found during video analysis and develop action plans to increase impact with their students. As part of their conversation with Edie, teachers develop a short-term goal, identify a strategy for change, and commit to a timeline for implementation. This evidence-based process enables teachers to receive many of the benefits of instructional coaching even if an in-person coach is not available.…Read More

3 tips for maximizing the impact of professional learning

It’s one thing to attend a professional learning or instructional coaching session—but taking what you’ve learned and putting it into action is another. Most often, it’s the experiences built upon collaboration, reflection, and active change that make the biggest difference.

My time as a classroom educator helped me realize a passion for helping fellow teachers learn and grow. It inspired a mission to transform professional learning into something that’s focused on teacher collaboration, learning and follow-through.

With this in mind, I compiled the following tips for getting the most out of professional learning and coaching sessions.…Read More

Kansas Provides Statewide Access of LETRS Professional Learning in Literacy for Educators Responsible for Prekindergarten through Grade Three

BOSTON (Dec. 1, 2021) –– The Kansas State Board of Education is providing  statewide access to LETRS® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) professional learning for educators in prekindergarten through third grade to individuals entering the early education field. Offered by Lexia® Learning, a Cambium Learning® Group company, the LETRS professional learning experience provides the research, depth of knowledge, and abilities for teaching literacy skills to a wide range of students in grades PreK-5.

The Kansas State Board of Education will support the literacy-focused professional learning program over the next three years. “The state’s goal is to address literacy learning gaps that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lexia Learning President, Nick Gaehde. “We will be helping Kansas educators accelerate early literacy learning so students who suffered from the disruption to their learning can quickly recover.”

LETRS is a comprehensive professional learning solution that deepens educator knowledge and expertise in the Science of Reading. The program provides practical support with tools that are available 24/7—online and print. LETRS also offers in-person consulting services and ongoing support throughout the school year with strategies specific to instruction. Educators can choose from the following foundational literacy professional learning programs:…Read More

MobileMind Launches MobileMind Sync, a Full-Service Scheduling Solution

ATLANTA (PRWEB) NOVEMBER 03, 2021 — MobileMind, the modern professional learning hub for schools, has launched MobileMind Sync, the first full-service PD scheduling solution. MobileMind Sync allows districts to seamlessly manage all asynchronous and synchronous PD efforts within the same platform.

“MobileMind Sync has been a transformative tool for our district in the fact that it enables us to connect and carry out effective, informative PD from any location. Having a central hub for all our PD needs has made my job as an Instructional Technology Director easier,” explained Adriane Ellis, Director of Instructional Technology and Media Services for Murray County Schools in Georgia.

MobileMind Sync allows districts to create and schedule synchronous training events, invite participants, track attendance, assign asynchronous prerequisite courses, and much more. The full-service scheduler eliminates manual work for facilitators. For example, tasks like taking attendance, awarding credit hours, and releasing micro-credentials are all automated as learners use join codes to enter virtual synchronous PD events. Districts can create single-session events like workshops, as well as conference-style PD days that consist of multiple days and/or sessions. MobileMind Sync also provides an excellent resource for department/grade-specific training and meetings (e.g. PLC, Data, or Team meetings).…Read More

4 lessons I’ve learned about supporting all students

Over the past several years, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with many innovative student teachers and have taken advantage of several blended learning instructional opportunities in my building. These experiences have been the best thing to happen to my teaching practice.

Between the small group instruction and differentiation used in the special education classroom that translated perfectly to my inclusion and general ed classes, the new technologies I’ve learned about from my co-teachers, and my own constant pursuit of professional learning, I have been mindful that even as a 32-year classroom veteran, I must continue to evolve my approach and incorporate new strategies so I can be at my best for all learners.

The challenges we’ve faced as a profession throughout the pandemic have validated my thinking and reinforced the importance of being adaptive and always learning as an educator. With the new approaches I’ve implemented and with new technology, I’ve seen students achieve some marvelous things.…Read More

Aperture Education Hires Stacey Preator as its New Vice President of Customer Experience

Charlotte N.C. (Sept. 30, 2021) — Aperture Education, the leading provider of researched-backed social and emotional learning (SEL) assessments for K-12 schools, has hired Stacey Preator as its new Vice President of Customer Experience – a new position created by the company to provide additional support to its customer success team, professional learning team, and strategic accounts team. In her position Preator will focus on leading projects to improve the customer experience and create better customer implementations for the schools, districts, and out-of-school time organizations using Aperture’s products.

“SEL has always been a passion of mine and I’m excited to be able to support the teams at Aperture Education as they lead this important work,” said Preator. “At the end of the day, we must make sure we are having a positive impact on students. To do that we need to ensure that the administrators, teachers, and staff members using our products are confident they are implementing our assessments and strategies with fidelity. Improving the customer experience is vital to making sure we are meeting that end goal of helping students grow and succeed.”

Preator, who lives in Utah, has more than 12 years of experience in the educational software industry, including leading teams and spearheading initiatives to improve customer satisfaction and success. Most recently she served as Vice President of Customer Experience Operations at Imagine Learning where she directed an initiative to revamp the customer onboarding experience for more than 20,000 schools, restructured multiple departments, and improved the customer onboarding satisfaction rate by 60 percent during the back-to-school season. Preator also served as Director of Success Operations and Live Teaching for the company, directing teaching teams and working with the product team to improve students and teachers’ experience with the company’s products.…Read More

BetterLesson’s ‘Empowered Algebra Learning For All’ Named 1 of 11 Grand Challenge Grantees

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. SEPTEMBER 10, 2021 — BetterLesson, a leading provider of high quality virtual and in-person K–12 professional learning, announces that the company’s “Empowered Algebra Learning For All” solution is one of only 11 grantees chosen for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenge. Algebra 1 is among the most important on-track indicators of students’ future success. In fact, students who do not complete Algebra 1 have just a one-in-five chance of graduating from high school.

The content of Algebra 1 tends to reflect the inequities experienced by Black and Latinx students, thereby failing to engage their strengths, and inhibiting learning. BetterLesson will collect input from students to develop and test new activities on the Desmos platform that provide multiple access points and engage through creativity, exploration, and collaboration, such as sketching and free-form writing.

In addition, BetterLesson’s Empowered Algebra Learning for All solution will provide 17 hours of professional learning support for Algebra 1 educators through a mix of virtual and in-person support from BetterLesson Coaches. BetterLesson Coaches will work with educators to deepen their work over the course of the year, as educators move from a focus on identity and self-reflection, to student agency and engagement and cultural connections and inclusivity.…Read More

3 unexpected ways online PD strengthened my teaching

As a science educator, I love showing my students the wonders of the world. I encourage them to always be curious, ask questions, and seek out new knowledge and skills. An important part of my job is modeling lifelong learning for my students—and one of my favorite ways to do that is by honing my skills in professional learning courses.

I’ve participated in a variety of professional development (PD) courses throughout my teaching career, but some of the most powerful ones I’ve experienced have been the free, short, self-paced courses from the National Geographic Society. These online PD courses cover everything from developing an “explorer mindset” in students to methods of empowering students to tell impactful stories. The courses surpassed my expectations of what an online professional learning course can be—and how easily I can translate what I’ve learned in these courses into my classroom activities and instruction.

Here are three of the lasting impacts that these courses had on me as a teacher–and as a person.…Read More