IXL Learning Acquires Language Learning Software Developer Curiosity Media

SAN MATEO, Calif.  — June 12, 2022 — IXL Learning, developer of personalized learning products used by more than 13 million students, announced it has acquired Curiosity Media, the creator of innovative language learning platforms that empower people to more effectively communicate in Spanish and English. The acquisition of Curiosity Media includes its flagship products SpanishDict, inglés.com and Fluencia, which collectively help more than 100 million people each year grow their languages skills through vibrant and interactive learning resources. 

The acquisition of Curiosity Media will further diversify and complement IXL Learning’s language and literacy offerings, including the world-renowned Rosetta Stone, IXL English Language Arts and Vocabulary.com

Curiosity Media has been at the forefront of creating products that help language learners interact in Spanish and English. SpanishDict debuted in 1999 and is now the world’s top destination for Spanish-language learners, reaching more than 100 million people annually. The platform provides users with a comprehensive set of tools to learn Spanish, including millions of free dictionary entries, verb conjugations, example sentences, pronunciation videos, vocabulary quizzes, interactive lessons and more.  …Read More

3 key steps when using VR in education

As new VR technologies emerge, educators at all levels are finding new applications to augment the classroom experience – and for good reason. VR allows educators to move past pages in a textbook to create totally immersive experiences that stimulate and inspire students.

Imagine a social studies teacher leading a discussion about the Taj Mahal, for example. While educators and students used to be bound to traditional experiences like books, handouts, or PowerPoint presentations–now they can use the power of VR to take virtual tours of the monument, walking from space to space and seeing every detail of the carved stone.

The applications for VR in education are truly endless and open up an entirely new way of learning–with lesson formats that can literally bring students back in time for history class or transport them to different galaxies for science.…Read More

5 STEM-based TED-Ed Lessons to close out your school year

School days might seem as if they move at a glacial pace in the countdown to summer break. Some schools have already closed, while others have a couple more weeks left. Teachers who still have classrooms full of students can use TED-Ed Lessons to liven up these last days and highlight students’ different personal interests.

The TED-Ed platform is especially cool because educators can build lessons around any TED-Ed Original, TED Talk, or YouTube video.

Once you find the video you want to use, you can use the TED-Ed Lessons editor to add questions, discussion prompts, and additional resources.…Read More

3 ways families can support students’ learning at home

For parents and caregivers, supporting your child’s learning can be stressful. Academic concepts are taught differently than they used to be. In addition, we’re all grappling with a scarcity of time and juggling competing priorities. It is hard to keep up–especially if you don’t have the resources to do so.

At Brooklyn Landmark Elementary School, we recognize that part of supporting students’ success is supporting families. Research shows students who have families engaged in their learning are more likely to attend school regularly, have improved social skills and behavior, and achieve high levels of academic performance.

One of our goals is to build the capacity of our families to make supporting their child’s learning as easy and accessible as possible. For example, we offer family coffee chats and family workshops that provide practical strategies and ways to support their own mental health and wellbeing—as well as their children’s.…Read More

3 “keepers” from teaching in a pandemic

Who would have thought that we would still be teaching in the midst of a pandemic? At the beginning of this school year, public school districts had to make important decisions about how to approach this school year. How would they keep students safe? How would they continue to engage students in learning? And, how would they support teachers in the process?

At St. Vrain Valley Schools in Longmont, Colorado, we acknowledge we are teaching in a pandemic, yet we still need to move students forward and continue to help them grow. This is a delicate balance, especially as teachers are dealing with the stresses of a changing landscape and the desire to find their footing with new instructional challenges.

Prior to and particularly now during the pandemic, coaching has been a vital support in helping educators find balance and maintain the pace they are working. It has also given them adequate time and space to think and process the learning that is occurring in their classroom every day. …Read More

3 key actions for trauma-informed student supports

Most every K–12 teacher or administrator can anecdotally describe the mental health and wellness challenges their students now face. Statistically, it’s overwhelming—more than one-third (37 percent) of high school students report that they experienced poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic and 44 percent of them reported they felt persistently sad or hopeless during the past year.

The degree and types of trauma students now face can be measured as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that demand deliberate and focused school-based supports that can mitigate the ACE’s impact on a student. We have talked for years about the challenges students face, but it is now time to actualize support systems that not only re-engage, but keep students engaged in their learning.

ACEs are traumatic experiences that occur in childhood, such as experiencing violence, abuse, neglect, and even economic and health disruptions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 61 percent of adults surveyed across 25 different states reported experiencing at least one type of ACE before age 18, and 1 in 6 adults reported experiencing 4 or more types of ACEs. While ACEs don’t have a single cause, they do have lasting, negative effects on health, well-being, education and even job potential. Toxic stress from ACEs affects a child’s brain development, immune systems, and stress-response, leading to a decrease in a child’s attention, decision-making abilities, and learning. Yet, students often lack access to proper support.…Read More

Computer Science professor honored with teaching excellence award

June 2, 2022, Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— For over two decades, Dr. Kendall Martin has been introducing her students at Montgomery County Community College to a new superpower you won’t find inside the pages of a comic book. The Computer Science professor has helped them discover the full potential of technology that surrounds them and learn to use it ways they never dreamed possible, changing their lives forever.

In a classic example, one former student told Dr. Martin she believed she was destined to spend her life working as a beautician in a hair salon before taking a Computer Science course.

“Everybody in her family said ‘You’re no good at technology. That’s for your brother. Why don’t you go learn to do hair?’” said Dr. Martin of Lansdale. “And now she’s at Lockheed Martin, working as a computer programmer. So, you can start to see yourself in a different light and see a different future for yourself. Once you see you can be taught how to do these things, then you own it. It’s your superpower and you can use it however you want. That can be a life-changing moment.”…Read More

To help young students read, acceleration beats remediation

Due to the pandemic, many students have fallen behind grade-level expectations. Educators are trying to get students caught up in the most efficient way possible. It may feel like we’re so far behind that we’ll never catch up, but by focusing on teaching students what they’ve missed while continuing on with grade-level material, I believe we can help close the learning gaps created over the past two years.

Despite teachers’ natural inclination to slow down when students are struggling, our district is taking a different approach to literacy. Instead of focusing on remediation, we are diving into acceleration. With the limited district data gathered over the past two years, analysis shows that we can’t slow down in order to get students caught up to grade-level reading. We have to continue on our path forward; otherwise they’ll be catching up until they get their diploma. Here’s how we’re implementing reading acceleration for our students.

Mastery Is Not Bound to Time…Read More

How one district is channeling the Power of One for student success

The Columbus City Schools recently released a new Strategic Plan that details how we are going to achieve our mission over the next five years.  This plan is a new North Star for our district, guiding us as we work every day to ensure that all our students are highly educated, prepared for leadership and service, and empowered for success in a global community.

Our plan is called “The Power of One: Students Leading the Way.” It defines exactly how we are going to create our future – where every one of our CCS employees and every one of our partners and community stakeholders has a role to play in contributing to better student outcomes.

It is a plan to come together as one district to ensure every one of our students achieves their full potential. It is a plan that puts student achievement at the forefront, leading the way for our district’s future.…Read More