IXL Learning Acquires Emmersion, Developer of AI-Powered Language Assessments

SAN MATEO, Calif. and LEHI, Utah  — IXL Learning, developer of personalized learning products used by millions of people worldwide, announced it has acquired Emmersion, the Utah-based leader in certifying language ability through artificial intelligence. Emmersion’s platform has conducted millions of automated assessments for corporate and educational institutions, including The World Bank, Randstad, Columbia University, Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania, providing valuable data insights into language proficiency scores. 

The acquisition of Emmersion deepens IXL Learning’s line of language and literacy products, which include the world-renowned Rosetta Stone, IXL English Language Arts, Vocabulary.com, SpanishDict, inglés.com and Fluencia. Emmersion’s cofounders, Brigham Tomco and Dr. Jacob Burdis, will remain with the company. 

Accurately establish language skills with AI…Read More

Bringing our history to light can improve our students’ futures

In November 2021, the Institute for Education Innovation (IEI) held its Fall Superintendent Summit at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.V.–one of the most stunning resorts in the U.S.

But as with many of the nation’s iconic landmarks, from The White House to Harvard University, the legacy of The Greenbrier is directly tied to the greatest stain on our nation’s legacy: the enslavement of Black people. During the Summit, we invited Toni Ogden and Janice Cooley of the Greenbrier County Historical Society to provide a historical context of our surroundings.

The original resort was built in 1858 largely by enslaved people, and as late as 1910, when the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway acquired the property, the company continued to exploit Black workers. African American staff members were expected to cater to the whims of white guests in the style of the old plantations before returning home to overwhelming poverty.…Read More

Custom Acoustic and Staging Equipment From Staging Concepts Optimize Function and Flexibility at New High School Performing Arts Complex

Located in the far northeastern suburbs of Dallas, Texas, Melissa High School provides numerous creative opportunities for students to exercise their ingenuity as performers through fine arts programs such as band, choir and theatre.

Recognizing the importance and growing popularity of these disciplines, as well as the potential to host events such as University Interscholastic League (UIL) competitions, the school recently underwent a dramatic renovation and expansion that included the addition of a new 65,000-square-foot performing arts complex.

At the center of the new complex is a 1,000-seat auditorium featuring an expanded stage and state-of-the-art acoustic system engineered by Minneapolis-based Staging Concepts, a Trex Company with more than 30 years of experience as an industry leader in designing and engineering staging equipment. Working in tandem with theater consultant Schuler Shook, Staging Concepts custom-designed an acoustically flexible, multipurpose facility to support the school’s varied visual, musical and theatrical productions.…Read More

Personalize your digital PLN in 3 steps

I am currently in an online doctoral program at Winona State University. One of our recent discussion queries required answering the following prompt: “Share three pieces of your own PLN that you think would be helpful to the others.”

I wasn’t quite sure if I should share platforms, tips, or connections, so I will be sharing three things I wish I would have considered sooner than later.

1. Drop the IRL

I have listened and visited with Angela Maiers–an educator, consultant, and speaker–a number of times. One thing that she frequently shares in her keynotes is around dropping the “IRL” (in real life) mentality when talking with your online PLN. For those who connect with you virtually, a digital relationship is IRL. You may never physically meet these individuals due to logistics, geography, or time and that is ok. Such relationships do not necessarily become instantly more meaningful when you meet in the same moment of time or space.…Read More

3 ways to personalize your digital PLN

I am currently in an online doctoral program at Winona State University. One of our recent discussion queries required answering the following prompt: “Share three pieces of your own PLN that you think would be helpful to the others.”

I wasn’t quite sure if I should share platforms, tips, or connections, so I will be sharing three things I wish I would have considered sooner than later.

1. Drop the IRL

I have listened and visited with Angela Maiers–an educator, consultant, and speaker–a number of times. One thing that she frequently shares in her keynotes is around dropping the “IRL” (in real life) mentality when talking with your online PLN. For those who connect with you virtually, a digital relationship is IRL. You may never physically meet these individuals due to logistics, geography, or time and that is ok. Such relationships do not necessarily become instantly more meaningful when you meet in the same moment of time or space.…Read More

CASEL mourns the loss of Dr. Roger P. Weissberg, Board Vice Chair and Chief Knowledge Officer

CHICAGO – It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Roger P. Weissberg, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning’s (CASEL) Board Vice Chair and Chief Knowledge Officer.

Dr. Weissberg was a leading voice and foremost expert on social and emotional learning (SEL), and his seminal research helped to establish a substantial evidence base for SEL and to transform how school districts and state departments approached education. He was a co-founder of CASEL, where he spent the past 25 years guiding the organization and contributing to the growth of the SEL field. Dr. Weissberg was also Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he was named the NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair in Social and Emotional Learning Research in 2011. 

“Roger made incalculable contributions to the science, practice, and policy of education in the United States and around the world,” said CASEL co-founder and board chair Timothy Shriver. “SEL has brought empathy, compassion, and strength to the lives of millions of children and adults, and no one did more to open their hearts and ours too than Roger. Future generations will long be indebted to him and those of us lucky enough to know and work with him will cherish his memory, his kindness, his endless commitment, and his life changing friendship.”…Read More

No, it’s not “the end of going to college”

According to data from National Student Clearinghouse, undergraduate enrollment declined by nearly 3 percent this spring, following a similar drop last fall. These statistics have inspired dire headlines such as “Higher Ed in Crisis” and even “The End of the University,” but the truth is more nuanced. While college admissions may be down at most universities overall, graduate school enrollments are up significantly. 

It makes sense that, in a time when medical professionals are very much in the limelight, there has been greater demand for healthcare and nursing education. However, even in a time of deep concern about undergraduate enrollments, many providers have also seen increases for SAT and ACT products.

This says to me that, despite the disruptions of the past year, motivated students are still taking an active role in their own education and looking to differentiate themselves. …Read More

Every single middle school student can benefit from financial literacy education according to new study

University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute study holds promise that financial literacy education can help students nationwide build important financial foundations

Newly released findings from a two-year study of the efficacy of financial literacy on middle school students affirm significant knowledge gain in the subject matter, and advocates more such learning be provided to students in this age group. Conducted by the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute (UMDI), the largest study of financial education efficacy on middle school students focused on FutureSmart, a digital financial literacy course for grades 6-8, developed by the social impact education innovator, EVERFI, and available nationwide at no cost through a grant from the MassMutual Foundation.

The complete study and its findings were published today in the Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning. Through a comparison of pre- and post-course assessment data, researchers found significant and consistent gains in financial knowledge for all students regardless of personal or school characteristics and regardless of how the program is implemented with students. In particular, the study focused on the impact of the curriculum on four key student outcomes: financial knowledge, feelings of confidence with the subject, communication with parents on fiscal topics, and current and future engagement with financial systems. …Read More

Owl Labs Unveils New Product Suite That Will Enhance Hybrid Learning in K-12 And University Classrooms

Biden Pledging To Open Schools In First 100 Days With In-Person Instruction Once A Week With Schools Needing to Bridge the Technology Gap

Owl Labs, the collaborative tech company revolutionizing how the world communicates with its inclusive and immersive video experiences, today announced a new suite of features that will support the needs of educators leveraging the Meeting Owl (the company’s flagship 360-degree camera, mic and speaker hardware product) for remote and hybrid learning.

As teachers continue to look to create an organic learning environment for students during remote and hybrid learning, the newly unveiled suite features the award-winning Owl Connect, Presenter Enhance and Digital Whiteboard products that will bring more immersive classroom enhancements to hybrid learning.…Read More

CASEL Board Member Dr. Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl Starts as NoVo Endowed Chair of SEL at UIC

CASEL Board of Directors Member Dr. Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl has begun her tenure as the next NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair of Social and Emotional Learning in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The position was created in 2011 to support ongoing social and emotional learning (SEL) research at the UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, with support from the Novo Foundation. As the new NoVo Chair of SEL, Dr. Schonert-Reichl will take over for CASEL Co-founder and Chief Knowledge Officer Dr. Roger Weissberg, who held the post since its creation.

Known as a world-renowned expert in SEL, Dr. Schonert-Reichl was a Professor in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, and Special Education in the Faculty of Education at University of British Columbia (UBC) from 1991 to 2020. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious 2021 Janusz Korczak Medal for Children’s Rights Advocacy, and has been invited to participate in several dialogues with the Dalai Lama on the themes of cultivating compassion and educating the heart.

“It is truly such an honor for me to take on this new role as the NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair in SEL, and to join such an amazing group of faculty and students at UIC — a world-class university,” Dr. Schonert-Reichl said. “And, it is particularly meaningful to me to be returning to Chicago, where my interest and passion for SEL all began as a teacher. Indeed, it was during my years as a new teacher that my students taught me that the best learning happens when explicit attention is given to creating educational contexts that support and promote their social and emotional competence and well-being.”…Read More