Loudoun County Public Schools Partners with Tutor.com to Provide 24/7 Unlimited Tutoring for K-12 Students

NEW YORK/PRNewswire/ —  Tutor.com, one of the world’s largest online tutoring services, announced today that it has been selected by Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS), the third-largest school division in Virginia, to provide 24/7 online tutoring for every K–12 student in the division.

Through the partnership, which launches today, more than 82,000 students across 98 LCPS facilities will benefit from access to 1-to-1 expert tutoring, test prep, concept review, and homework help in more than 200 subjects, including many in Spanish.

“We believe that all students should be able to access additional support when they need it, and therefore, we are pleased to be able to offer this service to our students at no cost,” said Dr. Ashley Ellis, deputy superintendent of instruction. “We are offering this service because students should have access to the tools they need to be successful in school. By partnering with Tutor.com, we are further able to fulfill the mission of our strategic plan and empower our students to achieve their best.”…Read More

Allentown-Area School Buses Modernized with Safety Technology to Protect Kids and Stop Dangerous Drivers

Allentown, PA (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Children returning to school on the yellow school bus can expect a safer, smarter commute this fall, thanks to the launch of a new safety initiative across Eastern Pennsylvania. Allentown, Bethlehem, Kutztown Area, and Northwestern Lehigh school districts have each partnered with local law enforcement and BusPatrol to tackle the illegal passing of stopped school buses.

More than 300 buses across Berks and Lehigh counties will be outfitted with automated enforcement technology to detect the license plates of vehicles that fail to stop for school buses, putting children at risk. The video evidence is shared with local law enforcement for review before a citation is issued.

The programs will go live on Monday, August 29, to coincide with the start of the new school year. In addition to enforcement, the initiative includes an education and awareness campaign to remind motorists of school bus safety laws and teach students safety tips for getting on and off school buses.…Read More

Reaching the 4Cs with 3D and virtual reality

I thought I was ahead of the times when I acquired virtual reality headsets and other
mixed reality technology via a grant award in late 2019. The pandemic shutdowns halted my plans to use the acquired virtual reality headsets for virtual field trips and other STEM investigations. Returning to in-person learning just six months later, the prospect of utilizing this tech for meaningful integration seemed more daunting and less appealing.

Feedback from my students revealed that they had already consumed hours of 360° views while gaming on their home computers and were well versed in digital travel because teachers frequently used video tours as engagement tools during the pandemic.

To overcome my discouragement, I recalled that in 2020, Natale et al. published a review of recent research related to learning with virtual reality and concluded that VR is not as impactful on learning when done with non-immersive tools such as the Chromebooks students were issued when they were forced into distance learning. …Read More

Automation can help K-12 cybersecurity–here’s how

Across industries, ransomware and cyberattacks have proliferated in the past year, largely due to the rapid shift to remote work and school. The education sector has been hit particularly hard–the 2020 calendar year saw a record-setting 408 publicly disclosed cybersecurity incidents in the K-12 sector, according to The State of K-12 Cybersecurity: 2020 Year in Review.

The report, put out by the K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center, found that the attacks affected 377 school districts in 40 states and cost millions of dollars to resolve.

The unfortunate reality is that the problem isn’t going to go away–the threat landscape will continue to expand. And compounding this is the fact that education IT departments are too often underfunded. This is where automation can play a key role.…Read More

Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready® Classroom Mathematics for Grades 6–8 Named a Highly Rated, “All Green” Program by EdReports.org

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., September 24, 2021—Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready Classroom Mathematics for Grades 6–8 was recently named a highly rated program by EdReports.org, an independent nonprofit that conducts evidence-based reviews of instructional materials. After undergoing a comprehensive review using the organization’s updated and more rigorous evaluation rubric, expert educators from EdReports.org found the standards-aligned core math program met expectations for all evaluation criteria across Grades 6–8.

EdReports.org conducts extensive third-party reviews to increase the capacity of teachers, administrators, and leaders to seek, identify, and demand the highest quality instructional materials to improve and deepen student learning. The organization’s review process includes a three-gateway system in which a “green” rating signifies that the program meets expectations for a given set of criteria.

i-Ready Classroom Mathematics for Grades 6–8 met the expectations of all criteria for each grade level with a “green” rating across the following:…Read More

3 reasons to use spaced repetition

When we learn in classrooms, there is a built in sequence of events that helps us go from initially learning a topic to full mastery. Our mastery of each topic is reinforced multiple times: after learning about the topic, we do homework involving it, take a quiz the next day, then prepare for said topic to appear in the final exam.

After all of these check-ins, we should have effectively retained all the concepts we’ve learned.

What is spaced repetition?…Read More

Why automation is key to education’s cybersecurity problem

Across industries, ransomware and cyberattacks have proliferated in the past year, largely due to the rapid shift to remote work and school. The education sector has been hit particularly hard–the 2020 calendar year saw a record-setting 408 publicly disclosed cybersecurity incidents in the K-12 sector, according to The State of K-12 Cybersecurity: 2020 Year in Review.

The report, put out by the K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center, found that the attacks affected 377 school districts in 40 states and cost millions of dollars to resolve.

The unfortunate reality is that the problem isn’t going to go away–the threat landscape will continue to expand. And compounding this is the fact that education IT departments are too often underfunded. This is where automation can play a key role.…Read More

CASEL Releases Updated Guide for High-Quality Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Programs

48 Programs Receive Highest Designation

CHICAGO, IL – Today, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) published an updated edition of its most frequently accessed resource, The CASEL Guide to Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs, commonly known as the CASEL Program Guide (https://pg.casel.org). As the leading authority on evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL), CASEL is uniquely positioned to review and rate programs with potential to promote desired competence development among children and youth, preschool through high school. With the rising popularity of SEL and the growing number of program options, this Consumer Reports-style guide will help district and school leaders select effective programs that support their students’ social, emotional, and academic well-being. 

Programs are reviewed against evaluation, design, and implementation criteria to help ensure the consistency and quality of program delivery. Programs in the CASEL Program Guide are designated as either SELect, Promising, or SEL-Supportive. …Read More

Post-COVID plans should focus on program values and evaluation

As the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic begin to relax, many institutions are going to step back and try to reestablish institutional norms. Many educational organizations have struggled through a year or more of remote learning. The instructional and technology systems of many organizations have been strained.

Some of this stepping back may be as simple as trying to return to a pre-pandemic normal. More of this review may be revision and redevelopment of institutional strategic plans, technology plans, and other such planning documents.

Many of those planning processes have utilized the VMOSA standard as a guide to ensuring a coherent and complete final plan. VMOSA generally stands for vision, mission, objectives and goals, strategies, and action plans. However, as defined, VMOSA is missing a couple of key facets that are required for a truly holistic plan. V should be expanded to provide the planning process not only a guiding vision for the organization, but also the guiding values under which the organization is hoping to operate. …Read More

vFairs Offers Immersive Virtual Graduations to Schools and Colleges

Graduation season is rapidly approaching, and continued restrictions against social gatherings to combat the coronavirus are still in effect in much of the country. vFairs, the leading platform for hybrid and virtual events, is offering immersive, customizable virtual graduation ceremonies to schools, colleges and universities, including features such as creating a virtual campus setting and 3D modeling to make the experience truly memorable.

According to a March 2020 poll by Educause Review, 49% of colleges and universities elected to postpone their 2020 commencement ceremonies, 14% opted to cancel commencement altogether and 14% planned a virtual ceremony. Rather than hosting a live webinar or virtual conference call, vFairs makes it possible for schools to create a virtual graduation ceremony in a virtual world.

vFairs can create customized three-dimensional models of a campus, stadium or auditorium modeled after the school. For example, the vFairs platform can create virtual environments replicating your community college campus to hosting a ceremony on the National Mall in Washington D.C. The platform also can create virtual avatars of graduating students dressed in caps and gowns. The result is an immersive virtual experience that students, parents and faculty will remember.…Read More