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December 04, 2012

Table of Contents

Pearson, Flipped Learning Network Announce Professional Development Partnership
Classroom Evaluation of Ballard & Tighe's Word Raider: Escape Demonstrates Effectiveness of Focused Motivation in Game-Based Learning
MimioReading iPad App Expands Reading Comprehension Delivery and Learning Opportunities for Grades 3-8
Visual Learning Systems Publishes iPad-Ready Life Science Textbook for Grades 5-9
eChalk Launches Custom Web Design Services to Help Schools Personalize Sites

Pearson, Flipped Learning Network Announce Professional Development Partnership

Pearson and the Flipped Learning Network have announced a joint venture to offer a comprehensive professional development course for the rapidly increasing number of educators looking to switch to the new "flipped learning" teaching model.

Flipped learning turns the school day around by having the teacher's lecture delivered outside of the traditional classroom via video for students' viewing on their own - at home or on-the-go. Class time is used for active problem solving by students and one-to-one or small group tutoring with the teacher. Students can watch the short lectures as many times as they wish to grasp the content and then come to class ready to jump into the lesson, answer questions, work on collaborative projects, and explore the content further.

Educators are embracing this model in all grades and subjects, the announcement states. In a survey conducted in June, 2012 by the Flipped Learning Network in conjunction with ClassroomWindow, with nearly 500 flipped educators responding, 67% reported improvement of their students' test scores and an 80% improvement of students' attitudes toward learning. Additionally, 88% of teachers indicated "improved" job satisfaction, with 46% noting "significantly improved" job satisfaction. The average experience of flipped educators was seven years.

With sixteen hours of online and face-to-face learning, educators will experience flipped lectures and discover how best to implement into their own classroom styles. They will engage with their colleagues to learn more about flipped learning, how to create videos while working collaboratively with their peers, determine what is the best use of in-class time with students, and convert an existing lesson to the flipped learning model. Teachers in various grades and disciplines will work in teams to support each other, as well as hear from experts in the field. Course attendees will have deep discussions about and view actual classroom footage to see how experienced flipped educators are using this model in an inquiry-based or mastery-learning environment, or in a more traditional class setting. A personal learning work plan will be developed for each educator; working with a coach, each will receive individual and small group follow-up to ensure successful implementation.

Course participants will have access to a comprehensive video library and will be guided by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams's book Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day (ISTE/ASCD, 2012).

For more information, go to www.pearsonschool.com/flippedlearning

Source: Pearson, www.pearsonschool.com; Flipped Learning Network, http://flippedlearning1.wordpress.com/

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Classroom Evaluation of Ballard & Tighe's Word Raider: Escape Demonstrates Effectiveness of Focused Motivation in Game-Based Learning

Ballard & Tighe Publishers recently completed a beta test of Word Raider: Escape, a new online video game that teaches academic vocabulary to students in grades 2-5. The testing evaluated game-play and student interaction. It yielded data supporting the ability of game-based learning to engage students while enabling deeper learning and vocabulary retention, the announcement states.

The academic vocabulary taught in Word Raider: Escape was selected to bridge the language gap, and the game's evaluation in both the United States and international schools revealed that providing rigorous content through a game-based format produced a state of focused motivation, which boosted language acquisition.

The majority of students surveyed after the evaluation indicated that their favorite aspect of the educational game was "Final Escape," a difficult end-of-level word puzzle that tests students' ability to use the academic vocabulary learned within the game.

Built with the same kinds of activities that make video games captivating and fun, Word Raider: Escape is a robust instructional program that situates players in a virtual world where learning and practicing academic vocabulary is the objective. Nearly 1,000 students from Texas, Utah, California, and as far as Singapore participated in the beta test, conducted from October1-12, 2012.

Word Raider: Escape will be available in mid-December at $24 per student per year. For more information, visit www.Word-Raider.com.

Source: Ballard & Tighe Publishers, www.Ballard-Tighe.com

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MimioReading iPad App Expands Reading Comprehension Delivery and Learning Opportunities for Grades 3-8

Mimio has created an iPad app that broadens the ways in which teachers and students can use the MimioReading comprehension suite in the classroom and beyond. Designed as a companion to the comprehension suite, the new app gives anytime, anywhere access to interactive, mastery lessons on the four primary components of comprehension - finding facts, making inferences, identifying themes and the "main idea," and learning vocabulary in context.

Schools acquire the app when they purchase the MimioReading comprehension suite. Teachers can have students do MimioReading's age-appropriate content and challenging activities on iPads in the classroom, but they also have the option of activating at-home access for whichever student they choose. Families who have bought MimioReading for home use can download the app for themselves from the iTunes App Store at no cost.

Users can utilize the app to access MimioReading's component programs:

  • MimioSprout Early Reading provides basic reading skills intervention for students in grade three and above.
  • MimioReading Individualized Instruction adapts to each student's specific learning pace, improving reading comprehension in grades three through five and providing effective intervention for grades five through eight.
  • MimioReading Group Instruction offers interactive group activities that can be adapted or edited to meet the needs of multiple students or the entire class in grades three through eight.

• MimioStudio classroom software automatically integrates the entire MimioClassroom family of products

Source: Mimio, www.mimio.com/

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Visual Learning Systems Publishes iPad-Ready Life Science Textbook for Grades 5-9

Visual Learning Systems (VLS) has launched a new life science textbook for the iPad that taps into middle school students' natural curiosities by utilizing hands-on applications and leveraging all the features of the iPad. Packed with hundreds of captivating video clips, fun interactives, and vibrant images, the etextbook piques student curiosity, making the curriculum come alive while opening their eyes and minds to the possibility of science as a career, according to the announcement. Embedded self-assessment quizzes create the opportunity for students to learn at their own speed and comfort level.

Spanning 31 chapters and over 1,000 pages, "Core Ideas in Life Science" fully supports the Next Generation Science Standards. Animators, designers, videographers, and producers led by Brian Jerome, Ph.D. used their archive of videos, images, and animations to create this learning tool. The team has created a textbook that inspires the drive to learn by using tools with which today's students are familiar and comfortable, the announcement states.

For more information go to: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/core-ideas-in-life-science/id575263524?mt=13.

Source: Next Generation Science Standards, www.visuallearningsys.com/

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eChalk Launches Custom Web Design Services to Help Schools Personalize Sites

eChalk, a creator of school communication and instruction management software, has launched Custom Web Design services to help schools personalize their sites in ways that foster greater community involvement and boost their online curb appeal.

With the Custom Web Design service, administrators choose from a variety of customizable themes and work one-on-one with a professional designer to create a unique look and feel for the site. Administrators can advise the designer to modify the site's layout and navigation, while incorporating school-specific photography and artwork. When the site is complete, eChalk transitions to a support role, enabling school administrators to manage content on their own schedules.

To learn more, visit www.echalk.com.

Source: eChalk, www.echalk.com

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