Here’s what you need to know about Betsy DeVos, likely Education Secretary

With his nomination of billionaire Betsy DeVos for U.S. Secretary of Education, President-elect Donald Trump seems to be making good on his campaign promise to promote school choice.

Trump has proposed a $20 million fund to support school choice for students, namely through charters and vouchers. DeVos, who has no professional experience working in schools, is a vocal proponent of school choice and vouchers. Currently, she chairs the American Federation for Children, which promotes school vouchers and scholarship tax credit programs.

[Read the higher education version of this story here.]…Read More

Marketplace trend update: 4 ed-tech developments

Remaining a tech-savvy educator means keeping on top of the myriad changes and trends in education, how technology can support those trends, and how teaching and learning can best benefit from near-constant change.

Below, we’ve gathered some of the latest and most relevant marketplace news to keep you up-to-date on product developments, teaching and learning initiatives, and new trends in education.

PC Connection, Inc., a national technology solutions provider, has changed its brand name to Connection. Reflecting the increasing relevance of transformational technologies, this new brand aligns with the company’s mission to connect people with technology that enhances growth, elevates productivity, and empowers innovation. Connection unites PC Connection, GovConnection, MoreDirect, and Softmart into one brand name. Read more.…Read More

Edmodo Envoys program connects local communities of educators through TeachUps

Education network Edmodo has launched its latest professional development program for teachers, Edmodo Envoys. The program is designed to help teachers find and network with one another at the local level and support each others’ professional development efforts.

Edmodo Envoys participate by hosting a TeachUp in their local area, with support and promotion from Edmodo. Tapping into Edmodo’s vast network of 67 million users, Edmodo Envoys can meet and exchange ideas with educators in their communities whom they might not otherwise have met.

TeachUps are meetups for teachers, counselors, administrators and technology leaders designed to foster a strong community of educators in local communities. Types of TeachUps being held around the world include everything from meet-and-greets for new teachers in the area to roundtable discussions around common topics of interest, such as how to make the most of technology in the classroom.…Read More

Marketplace trend update: 5 new ed-tech developments

Remaining a tech-savvy educator means keeping on top of the myriad changes and trends in education, how technology can support those trends, and how teaching and learning can best benefit from near-constant change.

For instance, a new report highlights the link between arts-based learning and STEM education; a new challenge asks participants to explore and report on local folklore traditions; tutoring gets a social treatment; and more.

Below, we’ve gathered some of the latest and most relevant marketplace news to keep you up-to-date on product developments, teaching and learning initiatives, and new trends in education.…Read More

Arizona implements K-6 language development and literacy intervention for English learners

The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) is continually seeking effective ways to support educators as they work to help English language learners (ELLs) develop academic English fluency. Toward that end, the ADE, in cooperation with the Arizona State Board of Education, has embarked on an innovative, two-year pilot program to bring a technology-based language development and literacy intervention to ELLs in grades K-6.

Following a competitive bidding and review process, the State Board of Education has chosen to partner with Scientific Learning Corp. to implement the neuroscience-designed Build English Fast™ solution for this project to help ELLs accelerate their English language acquisition, and make fast and lasting gains in their language and reading skills.

Approximately 70,000 of Arizona’s K-12 students are ELLs. On the 2015 AzMERIT statewide benchmark exam, only 2 percent of ELLs passed the language arts section, and 6 percent passed the math section of the exam.…Read More

App of the Week: One-stop shop for research and writing

Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated with help from the editors of Graphite.org, a free service from Common Sense Education. Click here to read the full app review.

Citelighter Education

What’s It Like? Citelighter is an engaging online platform designed to support students and teachers as they tackle the intricacies of the writing process. Students simply sign up and download the Citelighter toolbar or work on the Citelighter website. Students can work on Citelighter’s platform to research topics and construct their own written work or use the Citelighter toolbar to search and cite from the open Web. On the platform, students follow a series of scaffolded steps predetermined by their teacher; they’ll explore leveled articles and various multimedia content (videos and images) before they begin writing a paper. As students find useful excerpts, capturing and organizing is as simple as highlighting, clicking, and dragging. Citations are automatically saved and referenced in a bibliography.

Price: Free/subscription

Grades: 3-12…Read More