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

A Better Way Forward for Education – ‘Year in Review’ for SEL

From the pandemic to school closures to nationwide mobilization for racial justice, our nation’s headlines serve as an urgent call for social and emotional learning (SEL). CASEL has released 2020: SEL Year in Review, which reflects on the past year and shows that with SEL there is a better way forward for our communities, schools, and students. The top stories of 2020 remind us that the systems in which we learn, work, and live must promote healthy development.

 

“We can find common cause and unity in prioritizing our youth and the systems in which they are educated,” said CASEL President & CEO Karen Niemi. “SEL can serve as the antidote to much of what ails our nation.”…Read More

Curriculum Associates’ Ready® Classroom Mathematics Receives Highest Rating

Curriculum Associates’ Ready Classroom Mathematics program for Grades K–5 recently received a Tier 1 rating by the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE). This highest rating from the LDOE, which was given after a comprehensive, educator-led review process, signifies the instructional program “exemplifies quality” and “meets all non-negotiable criteria and scored the best possible on all indicators of superior quality.”

The LDOE leads online reviews of instructional materials to support school districts across the state in making their own local, high-quality purchasing decisions. The tiered reviews describe the instructional materials’ degree of alignment with state content standards, which enables each local school system to determine if the use of the materials is appropriate to meet the educational needs of their students. Ratings are based on elements such as the focus, coherence, rigor, alignment, and quality of the materials.

“This highest rating from the Department signifies the power of Ready Classroom Mathematics in helping students gain conceptual understanding, develop a high degree of procedural skill and fluency, and apply the knowledge learned in and out of the classroom,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “Regardless of where the teaching and learning is taking place, we look forward to supporting educators throughout the state of Louisiana this year and beyond as they help students make gains in math.”…Read More

Rethinking School Spaces and Structures to Maintain Proper Distancing

Spaces4Learning has put together a series of articles on the topic of school environments, and what they might look like when schools in North America finally reopen amid the threat from COVID-19 — and how K-12 educators and administrators can plan effectively to keep everyone safe while maintaining instruction. Future articles will look at what we can learn from previous pandemics, what instruction might look like, and how to address students’ social-emotional needs, among other topics.

The first article on School Spaces and Structures highlights the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and how schools and other organizations can safely reopen. The guidelines were still under review by the Trump Administration as of early May, and it’s possible they could change. In their initial form, however, they make the following recommendations for maintaining social distancing and limiting the sharing of materials within schools.

Read the full article at Spaces4Learning.…Read More