Addressing students’ pandemic ‘learning loss’

A new phrase as a result of the pandemic, “learning loss,” captures the concern that students’ learning has been compromised over the past year and a half. However, before the strategies for addressing the concern can be identified, it’s important to define and articulate what is meant by learning loss.   

The observation is true that many students aren’t at the same place in their subject mastery as similar pre-pandemic students. For example, in North Carolina, where I serve as a Superintendent, a recent report revealed that just 45 percent of public school students could pass state standardized tests, down from 59 percent two years earlier. (Testing was waived for the 2019-2020 school year).  

The question then for many is how do we help these students catch up? That question, however, assumes that the standard by which students were assessed two years earlier is the appropriate assessment tool for students today.  …Read More

Leveraging digital testing to build student confidence

Year after year and in study after study, we see the same thing: Confident students are better students. But, as one student pointed out in a 2019 survey, that confidence is easily shaken.

“I feel like if you do poorly on one test, you kinda get in your mind that maybe this isn’t the subject for you, or you go into the next test feeling less confident. So, then it may influence your academic performance and reflect on your grades.”

And that can only be worse after so many students were forced into remote classrooms. In another survey, this one from 2020, more than 80 percent of students said that the thing they missed most in online learning was being able to see and collaborate with other students and their instructors in person.…Read More

Be prepared: It’s a cliché for a reason

According to Tony Spence, for a district to be ready for everything, it has to constantly be preparing for something. And maybe be a little bit lucky.

In this conversation with eSchool News, Spence, chief information officer at Muskego-Norway School District, details his district’s recent major AV implementation and how it dovetailed with his district’s decision to remain in-person during the COVID crisis.

eSN: When we look back at last spring, it was almost as if a lot of districts were in triage—just making basic connections, getting folks together, and things like state testing were out the window. Are there things from your experience that you think that your district will draw out of that and apply going forward?…Read More

Nureva HDL300 system is now Microsoft Teams certified

Nureva Inc., an innovator in advanced audio conferencing solutions, announces that its Nureva HDL300 audio conferencing system is now certified as a Microsoft Teams Room device. After undergoing Microsoft’s rigorous testing process, the HDL300 system becomes the first microphone and speaker bar to be certified for large meeting spaces up to 15′ x 28′ (4.5 x 8.5 m). Powered by patented Microphone Mist™ technology, the HDL300 system fills a room with 8,192 virtual microphones so in-room participants can move around, maintain physical distance and still be heard clearly by remote participants. Unlike traditional audio conferencing systems for large spaces, there isn’t a need for a DSP, complex installation and calibration of multiple components such as table-top pods and ceiling mics. IT teams can quickly and easily install and set up the HDL300 system in under an hour. The system hangs on a wall with two screws and connects via USB to a computer with Teams software. It calibrates automatically and continuously so the Teams Room is always ready to go – even if it has been reconfigured to accommodate changing uses or distancing protocols.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Teams has become indispensable to a growing number of organizations and education institutions around the globe that have shifted to a hybrid model, where a combination of workers or learners are physically in the same space, alongside those who are remote. Recent data show that daily active Teams users climbed to over 115 million at the end of October, and more than 230,000 education institutions are using Teams for remote and hybrid learning. As those numbers continue to grow, reliable audio conferencing that is easy to implement and manage will continue to be an essential aspect of any IT strategy to support collaboration. The HDL300 provides Teams customers with a new certified device option that is ideally suited to meet this need.

“As the global adoption of Teams continues to grow, so will the need for reliable audio conferencing solutions that deliver performance without complexity,” said Nancy Knowlton, Nureva’s CEO. “We are thrilled that the HDL300 is the first microphone and speaker bar to be certified for Microsoft Teams in large meeting rooms, demonstrating its unique ability to provide full-room microphone coverage from a single device.”…Read More

Are you protecting health data amid COVID-19 testing and tracking?

There’s no point mincing words: School districts and administrators have had a heck of a year. Not only have you been under immense pressure from parents and state officials to reopen schools safely, but your teachers are also understandably concerned about virus transmission. What’s more, your plans keep changing and you’re being forced to adapt.

Related content: How eLearning coaches can support teachers

It’s an uphill battle, and there’s no doubt you’re doing your best. In all the chaos, you’re now responsible for taking temperatures and doing daily COVID-19 screenings, but you may not have had enough time to research screening devices and do sufficient due diligence before welcoming students back through your doors. Unfortunately, making a purchase like this can open you up to risk. Here’s why, and how to mitigate these risks moving forward.…Read More

Riverside Insights Launches Battelle Early Childhood Assessment with Updated Data Validity

Riverside Insights®, a leading developer of research-based assessments that provide insights to help elevate potential, announced today the official launch of the Battelle® Developmental Inventory, 3rd Edition™ (BDI-3™) to customers in the United States and internationally, including Canada and Mexico. The enhancements to the BDI-3 include expanded digital administration and reporting tools, as well as updated standardization and norms. This makes the BDI-3 the most comprehensive early childhood assessment on the market. With this release, Riverside is also the first assessment provider to introduce an affordable subscription model that enables continued enhancements of the testing experience – from administration to reporting.

Recommended in 44 states and listed as a preferred state assessment in 16, the BDI enables early childhood development centers, schools, school psychologists, speech pathologists and private clinicians to obtain early insight into a child’s developmental progress, evaluate readiness for school, and inform eligibility for special education resources. It has consistently been the industry standard for early identification, offering the most comprehensive and up-to-date norms. The BDI-3 measures mastery of developmental milestones and behaviors from birth to age 7 years, 11 months across the five critical domains – communication, social-emotional, adaptive, motor and cognitive – and 13 subdomains.

The third edition has been expanded to include the Battelle Early Academic Survey (BEAS), which measures early foundational literacy and mathematics skills for children aged 3 years, 6 months to 7 years, 11 months.…Read More

New “Testing America’s Freedom” Podcast from NWEA Examines Equity in Education

NWEA, the not-for-profit educational assessment provider, announced today the launch of its new podcast, Testing America’s Freedom. Hosted by Dr. Aaliyah Samuel, Executive Vice President, Government Affairs & Partnerships at NWEA, the episodic series explores the role of race and assessment in American public education through thought-provoking interviews with current and future leaders in education.

Testing America’s Freedom delves deep into the lesser-known history of laws and policies that have perpetuated and exacerbated racial inequities within the education system. Samuel and her guests explore topics such as school funding, the importance of diversity in the education workforce, assessment purposes and design, and their link to modern-day systemic racism, discussing the challenges and opportunities presented by these urgent issues.

“The inequities within our public education system do not exist by accident, they are the result of carefully orchestrated policies that used tools like school funding, divestment and testing to perpetuate achievement and outcome gaps for students of color,” says Samuel. “Although the past may be grim, as educational leaders, we have the opportunity to use these same tools to reimagine systems of learning and teaching so we can construct a more equitable future. My hope is that this podcast can be a catalyst for our education and policy communities to think about how we can collectively move toward change at a time when education policy is evolving so rapidly.”…Read More

Curriculum Associates’ CEO Rob Waldron Appointed to the Association of Test Publishers’ CEO Council

The Association of Test Publishers (ATP), the leading international organization for publishers of assessment programs, has named Curriculum Associates’ CEO Rob Waldron to its newly formed CEO Council. Waldron is the only CEO in the United States’ K–12 education market space to be appointed to the five-person council, which will provide ongoing guidance to the ATP and its global membership.

“Rob brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the newly formed council,” said William G. Harris, CEO of the ATP. “As the Association navigates the challenges of globalization and the unprecedented disruption of a pandemic, ATP welcomes the expertise and guidance of global leaders such as Rob to help us move both the industry and ATP into the future.”

Representing leading publishers and assessment service providers in the testing industry, the ATP promotes high-quality programs among members—as well as among the entire assessment community—through highly regarded global events, advocacy work, best practices guidance documents, and networking opportunities. The ATP’s three core tasks include representing the general interests and welfare of its members and the assessment industry, providing members with current information on industry-related issues, and, when possible, establishing a unified position among members on key industry issues.…Read More

Simplify student health care management

Frontline School Health Management has expanded their offering to include COVID-19 training, tracking, data analytics and reporting for students AND staff to support and ensure the physical, mental and behavioral health, well-being and regulation compliance of the full school community as they develop plans to address social distancing, COVID-19 case tracking and more in addition to their existing responsibilities.

  • Comprehensively and easily collect health data on students, their families and school staff (e.g., symptoms, testing, immunity and other data)
  • Educate, implement and enforce practices to increase safety and reduce risk
  • Provide comprehensive tracking, reporting and oversight
  • Support mental and behavioral health issues among students

For additional information visit Frontline Education

…Read More

7 strategies to improve vocabulary instruction

Two-thirds of students in the U.S. are struggling with reading and the gap is widening, according to recent NAEP testing. Although insufficient decoding skills are typically thought to be the reason for weak comprehension skills among students, research has revealed that in many cases, an area of pronounced weakness for struggling readers is vocabulary. As a language arts teacher and learning specialist, I have been alarmed by the decline in vocabulary knowledge I’ve witnessed over the years.

Starting several years ago, my colleagues, speech-language pathologists Beth Lawrence and Deena Seifert, began questioning long-held assumptions about how students should be taught vocabulary. They wondered whether rote memorization of dictionary definitions, a hallmark of vocabulary instruction for decades, ought to be used at all, considering that these definitions often include even more unfamiliar terms, further taxing students, especially those with a language deficit.

Related content: Mindfulness instruction can make a big impact on learning…Read More