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July 23, 2013

Table of Contents

‘Digital Natives’ Are Still Bound to Printed Media—Pew Report
Toshiba Introduces New Education Solution Program for K-12
Teaching Channel Launches Social and Video-Enabled Professional Development Platform
Flipped Learning Network and Pearson Collaborate to Expand Professional Development Offerings for K-12 Teachers
Discovery Education Announces Enhancements to Streaming Plus Service
ASCD Offers Resources for Educators Planning the School Year Ahead

‘Digital Natives’ Are Still Bound to Printed Media—Pew Report

Belying the stereotype that younger Americans completely eschew print for digital, those ages 16-29 have wide-ranging media and technology behaviors that straddle the traditional paper-based world of books and digital access to information.

One major surprise in a new report from the Pew Research Center is that even in an age of increasing digital resources, those in this under-30 cohort are more likely than older Americans to use and appreciate libraries as physical spaces – places to study for class, go online, or just hang out.

The report paints a textured portrait of younger Americans’ sometimes surprising relationships with libraries’ physical and digital resources:

* Online: Almost all those in the 16-29 age group are online, and they more likely than older patrons to use libraries’ computer and internet connections, access library websites, and use a library’s research databases.

* On paper: However, younger Americans are also more likely than older adults to have read a printed book in the past year: 75% of younger Americans have done so, compared with 64% of older adults.

* On-site: Younger adults are also more likely than their elders to use libraries as quiet study spaces. Moreover, they are just as likely as older adults to have visited libraries, borrowed printed books, and browsed the stacks of books.

This mix of interests is further reflected in younger users’ desires for new library services. Americans ages 16-29 are particularly interested in adding technology-driven features such as apps for accessing library materials and for navigating library spaces, and “Redbox”-style kiosks around town for convenient access to library materials around town.

Still, Americans under age 30 are strong supporters of traditional library services. Large majorities of them say it is “very important” for libraries to have librarians and books for borrowing, and relatively few think that libraries should automate most library services or move most services online. And younger Americans, like older adults, think that print books should have a central place at libraries; only 23% strongly support moving some stacks of books out of public areas to create room for things such as technology centers, meeting rooms, and cultural events.

“Younger Americans’ reading habits and library use are still anchored by the printed page,” said Kathryn Zickuhr, research analyst at the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and a co-author of the new report about younger Americans’ relationships with libraries. “Some of this stems from the demands of school or work, yet some likely lies in their current personal preferences. And this group’s priorities and expectations for libraries likewise reflect a mix of traditional and technological services.”

These insights emerge in a new analysis of a survey of Americans ages 16 and older when they are asked about their library use and their hopes for the library of the future, which includes a new analysis of three specific age groups: 16-17 year-olds, 18-24 year-olds, and 25-29 year-olds. The findings are based on a survey of 2,252 Americans ages 16 and above between October 15 and November 10, 2012 by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. The surveys were administered on half on landline phones and half on cell phones and were conducted in English and Spanish. The margin of error for the full survey is plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.

Other major findings from the report include:

* 85% of 16-17 year-olds read at least one print book in the past year, making them significantly more likely to have read a book in this format than any other age group.

* Younger patrons are significantly more likely than their elders to use libraries as places to sit and read, study, or watch or listen to media; 60% of younger patrons say they go to the library do this, compared with 45% of library visitors ages 30 and older.

* 67% of younger Americans ages 16-29 say they would be interested in a digital media lab where patrons could create and upload new digital content; some 27% say they would be “very likely” to use such a resource.1

* 44% of library visitors under age 30 have used a library’s computers, internet, or a public WI-FI network, compared with just 27% of those ages 30 and older.

Younger Americans’ priorities for libraries reflect this mix of habits, including various types of brick-and-mortar services as well as digital technologies. Asked about what it is “very important” libraries should offer, for instance, librarians were at the top of the list:

* 80% of Americans under age 30 say it is “very important” for libraries to have librarians to help people find information they need

* 76% say it is “very important” for libraries to offer research resources such as free databases*

* 75% say free access to computers and the internet is “very important” for libraries to have

* 75% say it is “very important” for libraries to offer books for people to borrow

* 72% say quiet study spaces are “very important”

* 72% say programs and classes for children and teens are “very important” for libraries to have

* 71% say it is “very important” for libraries to offer job or career resources

This report is part of a broader effort by the Pew Internet Project to explore the role libraries play in people’s lives and communities. The research is underwritten by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project is an initiative of the Pew Research Center, a non-profit “fact tank” that provides information on the issues, attitudes, and trends shaping America and the world. The Pew Internet Project explores the impact of the internet on children, families, communities, the work place, schools, health care and civic/political life. The Project is nonpartisan and takes no position on policy issues. Support for the Project is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts. More information is available at

Source: Pew Research Center Internet & American Life Project,

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Toshiba Introduces New Education Solution Program for K-12

Toshiba’s Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. has announced a new Education Solutions Program, a suite of software offerings for teachers, students, administrators and parents designed to address the needs of all the stakeholders in a student’s education rather than focusing on fulfilling an individual requirement. The software available through the program addresses five key elements important to K-12 educational institutions: Creation, Collaboration, Investigation, Validation and Protection.

Create: Teacher and Student Tools for Building Ideas, Thoughts and Work
Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 includes the latest versions of the essential Office applications – Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint – enabling students and teachers to create, work, plan and share more easily at home and at school. Developed specifically for education, Microsoft Office Home & Student is essential to equip students and teachers to be creative and productive.

Collaborate: Teacher, Student and Parent Tools That Create a Learning Community
Designed for whole-school and district-wide use, ePals Learn365 offers a complete learning environment with the tools and resources educators can use to implement project-based learning and STEM-related educational experiences in their classrooms. Learn365 enables students to participate in authentic social learning experiences which develop digital literacy skills and prepare them for college and the modern workplace. The system is easy for administrators to deploy, manage and scale through robust integration with major SIS systems and control panels provide safety and privacy settings that ensure COPPA, CIPA, and FERPA compliance even as districts integrate popular services like Gmail and Google Drive. New enhancements also embed into Learn365 world-class projects and resources that align to Common Core and other state and national standards, and integrate classrooms from around the world through the ePals Global Community.

Investigate: Reinforce Learning through Self-study Tools
Highly detailed and interactive, SOLARO Study Guides feature an overview of all curriculum concepts and comprehensive practice question sets with full solutions for students to self-study and fully test their knowledge. The Bing search engine is also available for students to research and find information on any topic.

Validate: Curriculum-aligned Lessons, Activities and Exercises That Meet State Requirements
The SOLARO Validation Tool offers state-specific and Common Core standards-aligned lessons, activities and exercises that validate the evolving required learning standards for greater student success. It’s designed for grades 3 through 12 and provides tens of thousands of lessons in mathematics, English language arts, science, biology, chemistry, physics and earth sciences. Teachers can create automatically-scored online or print practice assignments from SOLARO’s database of standards-aligned questions with full solutions and students can practice and review anytime, anywhere through web and mobile access.

Protect: Secure Student Content, Ideas and Personal Information Online and Off
Norton Internet Security defends a school’s digital community against viruses, malware, spyware or unauthorized access, protecting student assets, personal information and other school resources.
The system uses multiple layers of security that work together to proactively block attacks and remove threats and all downloads, files and applications are checked before use.

The Toshiba Education Solution Program is suited to Toshiba’s line of tablets and ultrabooks, including Toshiba Excite tablets and the new Portégé Z10t Detachable Ultrabook. The software applications can be purchased a la carte or bundled together on new Windows-based Toshiba PCs and tablets.

Source: Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. (TAIS),

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Teaching Channel Launches Social and Video-Enabled Professional Development Platform

Teaching Channel, creator of a large, free library of professionally produced videos from inside real classrooms featuring teacher best practices, has launched a new product called Teaching Channel Teams, designed to transform professional development in this time of diminishing education resources.

Teaching Channel is building on its online library of more than 700 videos with the creation of Teaching Channel Teams, a professional development platform for schools, districts and states where teachers and teacher leaders can work together to improve learning outcomes and increase student achievement.

Teaching Channel's website has already built a community of more than 260,000 educators and includes more than 170 videos aligned to the Common Core State Standards. But teachers have made it clear they want a safe place to collaborate with their colleagues, be mentored and conduct job-embedded, relevant professional learning. Teaching Channel Teams enables schools, districts and other education organizations to do just that - more cost-effectively than traditional professional development activities. With Teaching Channel Teams, collaboration within a school, across a district or with a larger network of educators, is made easier using socially-enabled tools within a platform that makes it simple for educators to use and share video as well as other types of professional development resources.

Teaching Channel's free website is already helping teachers across the country. In a recent survey completed by Teaching Channel, 70% of educators said they had tried a new technique in their classrooms using an idea found on Teaching Channel. Of those, 87% reported that the technique they tried increased student understanding.

The Teams platform is new, but the power of this collaborative platform is already being seen in facilitating meaningful coaching and professional learning in Chicago Public Schools with the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL). AUSL is using Teams to create a "connective tissue" across the district where teachers are sharing videos of their practice and lesson plans and getting the customized coaching and mentoring they need in a safe and collaborative environment.

Districts and educational organizations are using Teaching Channel Teams to share their own featured videos with the goal of creating, sharing and replicating best practices within their own community. The intuitive technology requires little to no training enabling easy video capture and sharing from any iPad or iPhone within the Teaching Channel Teams environment. The socially-connected, cloud-based nature of Teams enables educators to engage in professional learning from any device, anytime, anywhere.

Teaching Channel is partnering with teachers and leaders across a number of education reform organizations committed to giving teachers the tools they need to do their best work. For more information about Teaching Channel Teams visit

Source: Teaching Channel,

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Flipped Learning Network and Pearson Collaborate to Expand Professional Development Offerings for K-12 Teachers

The Flipped Learning Network and Pearson have unveiled “Foundations of Flipped Learning,” a new professional development offering based on the work of Jon Bergman and Aaron Sams, considered the pioneers of flipped learning. This new course, targeted at K-12 educators around the country, leverages a blended learning model of face-to-face and online training to prepare teachers to flip their classrooms.

The Flipped Learning model of instruction, while virtually unknown a few years ago, is gaining attention and adherents among teachers and administrators in American K-12 and postsecondary classrooms. In this model, some or most of direct instruction is delivered outside the group learning space using video or other modes of delivery. Class time, then, is available for students to engage in hands-on learning, collaborate with their peers, and evaluate their progress and for teachers to provide one-on-one assistance, guidance and inspiration. The shift is from a teacher-centered classroom to a student-centered learning environment.

Through a one-day, on-site workshop and 6-8 hours of online training, “Foundations of Flipped Learning” explores the four essential elements of this instructional strategy that have been identified by the Flipped Learning Network and Pearson based on the available literature: the four pillars of F-L-I-P -- Flexible Environment, Learning Culture, Intentional Content and Professional Educators.

The research supports what schools around the country report. In flipped classrooms, achievement increases, students are more engaged in learning and teachers reporter higher levels of job satisfaction. For a copy of the new literature review developed by the Flipped Learning Network, George Mason University and Pearson’s Center for Educator Effectiveness, click HERE.

Source: Flipped Learning Network,

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Discovery Education Announces Enhancements to Streaming Plus Service

Discovery Education has announced significant enhancements to its Discovery Education Streaming Plus service. Featuring hundreds of model lessons, performance tasks and custom assessments, the enhanced Discovery Education Streaming Plus engages students with interactive features and supports educators at all levels as they integrate the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) into classroom instruction.

Discovery Education Streaming Plus’ model lessons and instructional exemplars demonstrate for educators what the new Common Core State Standards look like in action, while the addition of customized assessments to the service save teachers valuable time by putting curriculum, instruction and assessment resources all in one place. In addition to supporting educators, these new enhancements promote the development of critical thinking, problem solving and higher order thinking skills for students.

Discovery Education Streaming Plus also features more than 155,000 dynamic digital learning objects supporting all subject areas and learning styles, including videos, skill builders, games, audio files, images, writing prompts and encyclopedia articles. It will be available to current school district partners at no additional cost.

In addition, new interactive student features like My DE and Board Builder have been added to transform classrooms by creating an environment that encourages engagement, inquiry and creativity. My DE is a new destination providing students individualized learning and exploration resources via different pathways through content. Students are encouraged to become content creators through the Board Builder tool by gathering evidence, creating arguments and supporting their claims, all while practicing and developing higher-order thinking skills.

For more information about Discovery Education Streaming Plus and other services and resources from Discovery Education, visit

Source: Discovery Education,

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ASCD Offers Resources for Educators Planning the School Year Ahead

As educators gear up to return to school in the fall, ASCD has compiled a collection of resources to enable educators to implement innovative teaching and learning strategies for the 2013–14 school year.

ASCD offers timely materials on the most prevalent issues in education today, including the Common Core State Standards, teacher and principal effectiveness, and quality instruction. Here are a few resources to get started:

Common Core

  • Using Common Core Standards to Enhance Classroom Instruction and Assessment by Robert J. Marzano, Phil Warrick, Tammy Heflebower, David C. Yanoski, Julia A. Simms, and Jan K. Hoegh. Common Core implementation isn't complete until school leaders link learning targets to proficiency scales that teachers can use in their everyday practice to ensure students are attaining the goals called for in the standards. That's where this book comes in with practical steps and a clear way to measure improvements.

  • Leading with Vision: 6 Steps to Implementing the Common Core State Standards DVD. Designed to help school leaders successfully implement the Common Core State Standards, this new ASCD DVD shows effective ways to empower teachers to make necessary shifts in curriculum planning and instructional practice.

  • Teaching the Critical Vocabulary of the Common Core: 55 Words That Make or Break Student Understanding by Marilee Sprenger. In this book, popular ASCD author Marilee Sprenger explains the compelling reasons to teach these 55 crucial words and equips you with fun and memorable strategies you can use to make them stick in students' minds.

Teacher and Principal Effectiveness

  • Teacher Evaluation That Makes a Difference: A New Model for Teacher Growth and Student Achievement by Robert J. Marzano and Michael D. Toth. This book introduces a new model of teacher evaluation that takes into account multiple data-rich measures of teacher performance and student growth to ensure fair, meaningful, and reliable evaluations for all.

  • Never Underestimate Your Teachers: Instructional Leadership for Excellence in Every Classroom by Robyn R. Jackson.In the much anticipated follow-up to Never Work Harder Than Your Students, Jackson turns her attention to how school leaders can help any teacher become a master teacher.

  • Principal Evaluation: Standards, Rubrics, and Tools for Effective Performance by James H. Stronge, Xianxuan Xu, Lauri Leeper, and Virginia Tonneson. Based on extensive research and experiences in the field, this book provides you with a sound framework for principal evaluation and the practical tools you need to implement a fair and effective evaluation process

Quality Instruction

  • Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins. In this book, the authors of Understanding by Design explore how to design and frame essential questions that create a more stimulating environment for learning and prompt students to think deeply.

  • The Innovators: Project Based Learning and the 21st Century DVD. Race to the Top and the Common Core State Standards have put real-world learning and 21st century skills front and center. This DVD shows how educators are using technology and project-based learning to bring relevance and rigor into their classrooms.

  • Role Reversal: Achieving Uncommonly Excellent Results in the Student-Centered Classroom by Mark Barnes. In this book, classroom teacher Mark Barnes introduces you to a results-only classroom where teachers use a combination of individual and cooperative learning activities, completed in class and over extended periods of time, that provide students constant feedback and opportunities to change.

For more information about ASCD or ASCD membership, visit To learn more about ASCD's professional development resources, please visit

Source: ASCD,

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