Bringing the world to life through augmented reality

My school, located in London, is a rich and diverse community with over 40 languages spoken at the school. Affectionately known as a ‘village school in the United Nations of Brent,’ we can see the arch of the iconic Wembley Stadium from the end of our street. However, like some of our American counterparts, we serve students who have never been able to visit–let alone step inside–the iconic landmarks like Wembley, Buckingham Palace, or the Tower of London, in their own backyard. 

This fact was brought home to me several years ago when a 10-year-old student from Brazil, whom we will call Lucas, made a sobering observation on a school trip to center city London. Looking up at the glass, the skyscrapers, the abundance of wealth, Lucas casually remarked, “I didn’t know London could look like this.” 

In that moment we knew we were failing our children. If our neighborhood of Cricklewood in North London was all they knew, how could they have aspirations beyond it? It was augmented reality that began to bring the world to life for our learners.…Read More

Do your teachers know what good teaching looks like?

Pick any high-priority instructional initiative in your district. Can you think of at least one teacher who is excelling in that priority area?

Maybe it’s an early-elementary teacher facilitating small group math learning. Or, maybe it’s a high-school science teacher appropriately deploying sheltered-instruction techniques into a lesson rich with academic language.

Now ask yourself… how can every other teacher get a chance to see that teacher’s classroom?…Read More

How our coding platform helps us teach STEM

In a district where most of our students receive free or reduced lunches, we have next to no access to high-quality STEM programs, computer science classes, or coding courses. When I was Googling different ways to fill some of these gaps and incorporate more STEM into my Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS) after-school club, I discovered an online coding platform and coding competitions that are both accessible and affordable.

This was a big find. I wanted my students to excel and compete effectively with important college and career and STEM skills, regardless of how rich or poor our school district was, but we just didn’t have the resources to make that happen. I was looking for a platform that taught basic computer coding, and one that would allow anyone at any skill level to jump in and participate.

I also wanted a program that included robotics, and that segued into our existing robotics program, which starts in seventh grade. CoderZ checked all of these boxes, so we started using it three years ago. It effectively replaced the Hour of Code general coding/computer programming platform that we were previously using.…Read More

Discovery Inc. and Discovery Education Partner to Present Exclusive Virtual Field Trip Behind the Scenes of the Inauguration

Discovery Inc. and  Discovery Education are partnering to present  I Do Solemnly Swear: The U.S. Presidential Inauguration to help educators, students, and families across the United States and around the world explore the rich history and tradition surrounding the Inauguration of the President of the United States. This exclusive, no cost virtual learning experience provides students behind-the-scenes access to this extraordinary quadrennial event. I Do Solemnly Swear premieres Tuesday, January 19 at 12:00pm ET exclusively on  www.discoveryeducation.com and will air the same week on  Discovery Family, and in Spanish on  Discovery Familia.

During I Do Solemnly Swear, elementary and middle school students, their teachers, and families will learn about the many distinctive aspects of the Presidential Inauguration. Through a series of interviews, Inaugural experts and historians will share their perspectives and insight, and answer questions such as why we have an Inauguration, how does a First Family move into the White House during the Inauguration, and what do the symbols and language of the Inauguration mean. In addition, a surprise guest is scheduled to appear who will share a special message with students.

Interviewing the Inaugural experts featured in I Do Solemnly Swear are a group of extraordinary students from families served by  Operation Homefront, the national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families. Since 2002, Operation Homefront has provided relief, resiliency, and recurring support programs that help military families overcome short-term bumps in the road so they do not become long-term chronic problems.…Read More

Barix Speeds and Simplifies IP Speaker Installations with New Remote Configuration Toolset

IP audio innovator Barix has added a powerful new remote configuration toolset in its award-winning IP Former analog-to-IP speaker upgrade solution that makes multi-unit installation faster and easier. Built into each IP Former device and accessible through a web browser, the new toolset enables efficient, centralized configuration of all IP Former units on the same network.

The IP Former hardware transforms analog loudspeakers into feature-rich, networked IP speakers. The cost-efficient device provides an IP network interface, audio stream decoder, and amplifier front-end for a two- to eight-ohm speaker, with power supplied over PoE to minimize cabling requirements. Current analog speaker installations can be retrofitted by simply swapping their transformers with IP Former units, maximizing the lifespan of customers’ existing investments.

The new toolset enables installers to efficiently configure any number of IP Former devices – from two to hundreds of units – at once from a single, intuitive dashboard. A grid view displays all IP Former devices on the network, their settings, and the active stream on each unit for easy visualization and validation of the deployment.…Read More

LenelS2 Introduces OnGuard Security Management System Version 8.0

LenelS2 today announced the release of the OnGuard® security management system version 8.0, empowering security teams with enhanced situational awareness through unified views of the security environment, as well as powerful visualization for data-based insights. Version 8.0 provides major updates including integration with the Magic Monitor® unified client, rich interactive maps, a new modern reporting engine, cybersecurity enhancements and more. The OnGuard security management system is an advanced solution in Carrier’s Healthy Buildings Program, and provides critical features like occupancy management, enhanced access control and proactive screening solutions to better protect people and assets, and optimize building health and efficiency. LenelS2, a global leader in advanced security systems and services, is a part of Carrier Global Corporation (NYSE: CARR), a leading global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions.

“OnGuard version 8.0 provides end users with the tools they need to be in complete control of their security environment and transform security data into actionable insights,” said Jeff Stanek, president, LenelS2. “As the world returns to the workplace, the breadth of new features, updates and enhancements in OnGuard version 8.0 make it an ideal solution for today’s unique security challenges.”

The OnGuard 8.0 system enhances security and situational awareness through integration with the Magic Monitor client, a Windows® and MacOS® client, which provides a unified view of access control, video surveillance feeds and web content in a single display. Users can view OnGuard system alarms, credentials as well as live or recorded video from the LenelS2™ Network Video Recorder (LenelS2 NVR) platform, or third-party video management systems, including the Milestone XProtect® system. The Magic Monitor unified client supports a single display, a command center workstation or expansive video walls.…Read More

Columbus City Schools Adopts Curriculum Associates’ Ready Classroom Mathematics

Columbus City Schools in Columbus, Ohio has adopted Curriculum Associates’ Ready Classroom Mathematics to support students’ growth and achievement in mathematics. The rigorous, standards-aligned core curriculum, which emphasizes modeling and discourse, will be implemented with all of the District’s 25,000-plus students in Grades K–5 starting in fall 2020. The District will additionally continue its use of Curriculum Associates’ online i-Ready program to support both mathematics and reading instruction across all of K–8.

“Our responsibility is to ensure that students are learning and developing proficiency,” said Dr. Talisa Dixon, superintendent/CEO at Columbus City Schools. “This new curriculum will provide rich, robust, high-quality instruction for all students to reach mastery and have deep meaningful learning experiences online and eventually in the classroom.”

Ready Classroom Mathematics helps teachers deliver discourse-based instruction while empowering students to think mathematically and discuss mathematical ideas. Its printed and online resources work cohesively to support the teaching and learning process. The program uses multiple-day lessons and instructional routines to help students understand important mathematical concepts, make connections between multiple mathematical strategies, and deepen their conceptual understanding by leading the majority of the classroom discussion. There are also frequent opportunities for practice and assessment to ensure that students understand concepts and to help teachers make instructional decisions.…Read More

Teton Science Schools Launches Online Courses

Teton Science Schools opened enrollment for 2020-21 Place Network Online courses for middle school students this week. Three courses will be offered this year. Each course is designed as an academically challenging place-based experience that integrates language arts, math, science, and the visual arts. Designed to be part of a student’s learning experience, these interdisciplinary courses engage students in rich content, applicable skills, and center around a Community Impact Project. Participants connect learning to their local community and region throughout the experience, building relationships and supporting positive impact in the process. Courses are delivered virtually and taught by experienced Teton Science Schools’ faculty. These courses are open to middle school students around the world looking for innovative and place-based learning. Schools that are part of the TSS Place Network can enroll their students without a fee.

Head of Innovation, Nate McClennen, states, “We designed these courses to fill a need for affordable, online, high quality, place-based courses that help students understand and make a difference in their community – while meeting academic goals. Linked to content and skills connected to the course, middle school students will experience a relevant and engaging learning experience.”

Courses this year include My Place, Our Vision (fall), Owner’s Manual for My Human Brain (winter), and Health, Not Hunger (spring). Register now at https://www.tetonscience.org/what-we-do/school-network/online-courses/. Enrollment deadline is always ten days prior to the course start date (September 4 for the fall course).…Read More

7 keys to effective online learning

Online learning’s reputation has taken a hit in recent years amid reports of poor academic performance and concerns over lax regulation. While there is certainly some cause for concern, many of the problems center on for-profit providers who manage full-time virtual schools. The truth is that not all online learning experiences are of suspect quality.

When done well, online learning can be highly successful—opening the door to numerous learning opportunities that students otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to, while providing very rich and rigorous instruction. In fact, students who take online Advanced Placement courses from VHS Learning consistently outperform national passing rate averages on AP exams.

Related content: 10 things to help students during the COVID-19 outbreak…Read More