Certell Named a Finalist for Two 2022 Civvys Awards

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — (June 14, 2022) — Certell, Inc., whose mission is to foster a generation of independent thinkers, was named a finalist for two awards in the fifth annual American Civic Collaboration Awards, also known as the “Civvys.”

The Civvys is the only national awards program dedicated to celebrating projects that emphasize working together across divides to strengthen communities and empower citizens. By leveraging collaboration as a core strength, these initiatives put community and nation before party, ideology, and narrow interests, embodying a civic spirit that inspires other Americans to take action.

Certell’s SensibleSchool was named a finalist in the National Category for its Bending Bars program that brings Civics and other classes to prison inmates. Certell’s Poptential™ was named a finalist in the Youth Category for its free family of social studies course packages that include engaging digital storytelling to bring social studies to life.…Read More

How online learning can bridge the math gap

As the U.S. moves toward more normalized learning and day-to-day life, we know many students continue to feel the impact of remote and hybrid learning. The lingering effects of remote learning during the pandemic have left many students behind, particularly in essential math and reading skills.

In a 2021 study, more than half of public-school K-12 teachers said the pandemic resulted in a “significant” learning loss for many students. Other evidence shows that the pandemic widened pre-existing learning gaps in key subjects such as math. In fact, the World Bank projects $10 trillion in lost future earnings for children due to the pandemic if they do not make up lost or delayed skills like math.

During the initial phase of COVID-19 lockdowns, Generation Alpha (born 2010-2024) and Generation Z (born 1995-2009) had to pivot to virtual-only school platforms. While these students were heavy technology users, they were unskilled remote learners, with many never having the experience of online-only learning. Schooling outside of higher education was mainly following an in-person model. …Read More

Creatorup Raises Additional Investment To Disrupt The Video Creation Sector

CreatorUp has raised an additional round of financing from Gaingels and JFF (Jobs for the Future) to expand its first-of-its-kind video marketplace – that helps organizations of all sizes create professional video content easily and affordably anywhere in the world – while simultaneously providing training and opportunities for its creative workforce. 

Funds will be used to expand operations of the CreatorUp marketplace, which features more than 650 proven video solutions, in a multitude of styles and formats, that give clients the ability to choose, purchase, and create bespoke media with just a click.

“Powering the production of CreatorUp’s content is a network of almost 7,000 creative professionals, who bring a wealth of diversity and creativity to our projects,” said Mike Tringe, CreatorUp’s Co-founder and CEO. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer these opportunities in this new creative landscape.”…Read More

New Online Platform from Vernier Boosts High School Students’ STEM Learning with Fun, Interactive Investigations and Projects

BEAVERTON, Oregon, March 31, 2022 — Leveraging standards-based instructional content and its award-winning technology, Vernier Software & Technology is announcing Vernier Connections, an innovative web-based platform to engage high school students in hands-on STEM learning and exploration. Vernier Connections emphasizes fun and interactive investigations and projects, and it gives educators the ability to assess student comprehension across all science disciplines.

“Academic recovery post pandemic is a national imperative and supporting educators with this gargantuan task is a must. Vernier Connections provides comprehensive, critical support to science educators to help students catch up in their learning,” said John Wheeler, CEO of Vernier Software & Technology. “It also promotes STEM literacy, that is, the ability to think critically and work with others to find innovative solutions to complex challenges. To that end, Vernier Connections gives students the ability to study the real world in their own context, collect and analyze data as they investigate natural phenomena, and take part in experiential and three-dimensional STEM learning.“

This new platform draws on the decades of STEM expertise that Vernier Software & Technology has, bringing together relevant hands-on technology and high-quality resources to save educators time and deliver instruction in a fun and modern way. It includes robust content, resources, assessments, and management tools.…Read More

How educators can make time for self-care

This time of year sees email in boxes filled with information about how to prepare for the next year, reminders that grades are due, and papers await grading. We are deluged with predictions about the future, what to worry about, and sometimes even what to be excited about. Those with calendar year goals are often rushing to complete projects or solidify a final sale. Family and other holiday obligations can often add an extra level of stress as well. One thing often missing is how to make sure you are balanced and ensure you are taking time for self-care.

According to a recent NBC article about the increasing educator shortage, between retirements among an already-aging population and the stress and burnout of the pandemic, the number of potential educators in the pipeline is not nearly enough to match needs.

An October 2021 NPR report showed that 80,000 aspiring nurses were turned away from nursing schools due to a lack of adequate nursing instructors. It is clear that educator burnout can directly lead to shortages in other critical areas such as health care.…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

Blackbird Updates Code Education App

PORTLAND, Ore., Aug. 24, 2021  —  Blackbird, bridging the gap in Computer Science curriculum, today announced updates and improvements inspired by student and teacher feedback to their code education app and platform. Improvements include a modern site-wide redesign, a dedicated page for Guided Projects, a Code Workshop that better eases students into using professional IDEs, and refined teacher tools used to manage classes, review code, view progress reports, and more. Created to bridge the gap between introductory game-based curriculum and advanced computer science, Blackbird was built to enable students and teachers to learn real-world coding skills in an intelligent and encouraging educational environment.

“With great feedback from our users we were able to refine the app’s user experience significantly. The goal was to improve ease-of-use for students and make it easier for teachers to have a successful coding class,” said Bjorn Hansen, cofounder and director of technology, Blackbird. “In the past year, Blackbird students have written over 2 million lines of JavaScript and completed over 150,000 lessons. We’re excited that Blackbird has had such an impact and we hope to hit 5 million lines before the end of the year.”

For more info, or to try Blackbird for free, please visit:  https://www.blackbirdcode.com/…Read More

Highly Anticipated Presentation Product Now being Shipped by Hall Technologies

Hall Technologies, a leading designer and manufacturer in the AV industry, announced today that its EMCEE200 Multiview Presentation Switcher is now shipping. This highly anticipated presentation product offers a wide range of features and is ideal for any collaboration type projects.

Ken Eagle, VP of Technology for Hall Technologies says, “Some things are just worth waiting for, and the EMCEE200 is one of them! The EMCEE200 4K Multiview Presentation Switcher is uniquely engineered to give end users the ability to customize their onscreen content layout in various multi-view formats. They can customize the visual hierarchy of content based on the contents size and position on screen giving their audience a visually seamless experience that is uniquely them.”

Built-in USB 3.0 4K soft codec support makes the EMCEE200 perfect for live events or to stream content live in the best quality possible. Presenters can also record the presentation to an external storage device directly from the device. Capable of simultaneously processing up to four 4K @60 video sources with virtually seamless switching, dedicated confidence monitor and presentation HDMI outputs, dual MIC mixer, and a wide range of audio embedding/de-embedding options, the EMCEE200 is the perfect presentation system. The unique modular expansion slot design and growing assortment of expansion cards add adaptability and functionality whenever needed.…Read More

How to establish international collaboration with esports

As the high school esports club advisor for the William Penn Cybercats, I have had the opportunity to work with my students on some pretty awesome projects. From building our club infrastructure to coordinating a beyond the games challenge, to organizing our first esports teams in Rocket League and Madden 21, and participating in North American Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) Minecraft builds. But as a 2020-2021 NASEF Fellow, I was encouraged to go beyond my building walls in a way that enhances cultural understanding and international collaboration.

In our tight urban community, I have seen students enjoy cultural experiences that built on their understanding of the world around them, but I have never helped coordinate them. For my NASEF Fellow Capstone project, I and another fellow, Ashley Sheehan from Windsor, United Kingdom, coordinated to have an international Minecraft Build. The task was simple: have a team from each town build a part of their world in this cross Atlantic server, and then discuss those buildings with each other in a live chat.

I banded a small group of students together, and gave them the task. They decided to build the school, William Penn Senior High School, and the park just outside of our main entrance, Penn Park. Both are iconic spaces in the community of York City, Pennsylvania. Ashley’s team of students were going to build their two schools, the Green Room School and the Green Room Sixth Form both in Windsor, UK. …Read More

Teaching coding and design can lead to tech literacy

Technology is ubiquitous in the lives of today’s students. As technology users, students access technology for entertainment, communication, and learning. Tech literacy, which has become as essential as reading, writing, and arithmetic in preparing students for the future, encourages students to move beyond the role of technology consumers to becoming technology creators.

Encouraging technology creators means engaging students in project-based technology courses that introduce them to coding, design, gaming, and animation. And as students complete projects such as developing an app, creating a 3D video game, or designing a collection, they gain relevant, hands-on experience using industry-standard tools professionals use. Students apply creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills–competencies that are important in preparing students for the future and are applicable to any career, whether it’s in technology or not.

While states are adding computer science as a requirement for high school graduation, fewer than half of K–12 public schools are able to offer technology courses. For Wautoma High School in rural Wautoma, Wisconsin, adding technology courses to the high school offering afforded equity of access to an online solution that would otherwise be prohibitive to a smaller district.…Read More