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September 10, 2013

Table of Contents

Free Resources: Discovery Education's 'How Successful Digital Transformation Take Shape' Webinars
Curriculum Associates Expands ‘Ready Common Core Reading’ for Grades K–1
Edmentum Adds Career Technical Education Courses to Plato Courseware
Schoolwires Announces Symposium on Parent Engagement
Edmentum Enhances Learning Solution for Common Core Alignment
Follett Launches New Release of FollettShelf with an Enhanced HTML5 Reading Environment for K-12
Triumph Learning Announces Updates to Its Common Core Resource Library

Free Resources: Discovery Education's 'How Successful Digital Transformation Take Shape' Webinars

On September 23, Discovery Education is kicking off One Community, Five Voices: How Successful Digital Transformations Take Shape, a new free week-long webinar series offering unique perspectives on changing school culture to support digital transformations.

Each of the One Community, Five Voices half hour presentations will offer perspectives from critical stakeholders including administrators, principals, teachers, parents, and students on their role in creating and sustaining the cultures of change critical to the transition from static textbooks to dynamic digital learning environments. Presentations include:

  • Transformation: From Vision to Reality -- Monday, Sept. 23 – 1 - 1:30 p.m. EST. In her presentation, Dr. Valerie Truesdale, Chief Learning Services Officer in North Carolina’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, will discuss how to communicate a vision for digital learning and create momentum for the cultural shift needed for digital transformation.

  • Supporting Educators Through the Transition -- Tuesday, Sept. 24 – 1 - 1:30 p.m. EST. In a live interview with Discovery Education’s Vice President of Learning Communities Lance Rougeux, a Principal in Alabama’s Gadsden School District, Delsia Easley, will share how she motivated teachers to embrace digital teaching as well as provide strategies and tactics for supporting classroom staff as they shift instruction.

  • The Model Lesson --Wednesday, Sept. 25 – 1 - 1:30 p.m. EST. Cheryl Lykowski, a teacher in Michigan’s Bedford Public Schools, will present a model lesson created with digital content and delivered with educational technologies.

  • How Parents Can Help Students Navigate the Digital Age -- Thursday, Sept. 26 – 8 - 8:30 p.m. EST. Leon Pridgen, the parent of students in North Carolina’s nationally recognized Mooresville Graded School District, will talk about the impact digital learning has had on his children, how he became an advocate for the transition to digital learning, and effective ways parents can work with administrators to support changing the culture in schools.

  • Student Work -- Friday, September 27 – 1 - 1:30 p.m. EST. One Community, Five Voices will close with a presentation from a 5th grade classroom in Albuquerque Public Schools. During this session, teacher Susan Bowdoin and her students will share with participants real projects indicative of a school system’s cultural shift to digital learning environments.

For more information and to register for the events, visit www.discoveryeducation.com/OneCommunity.

Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com

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Curriculum Associates Expands ‘Ready Common Core Reading’ for Grades K–1

Curriculum Associates has expanded its Ready Common Core Reading program with Grades K–1 content to help students in early grade levels meet the new demands of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Ready Common Core Reading offers K–1 students age-appropriate instruction and practice to build reading comprehension skills and supports teachers with point-of-use professional development to help them teach the new, more rigorous standards.

The program uses high-quality, award-winning read-aloud trade books as the central “vehicle” to teach reading comprehension skills. Single copies of nine literature and informational read-aloud trade books for each grade level are included with the program, and teachers use these books multiple times to teach different standards in conjunction with the detailed lesson plans in the Teacher Resource Books. The read-aloud trade books used in the Ready Common Core Reading program for Grades K–1 were selected to meet the rigor of the CCSS and include well-known literature titles such as Chrysanthemum and My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother, as well as informational titles such as Red-Eyed Tree Frog and Butterflies and Moths.

The Ready Common Core Reading program for Grades K–1 also includes full-color Student Instruction Books that follow a repetitive, predictable structure to support emergent readers. The Student Instruction Books include meaningful activities based on the read-aloud books to encourage students to use text-based evidence to answer questions.

Teacher Resource Books provide teachers with the critical resources they need to understand and best teach the new CCSS. Lessons include Common Core background knowledge such as the learning progression and prerequisite skills, as well as best-practice teaching tips like tapping children’s prior knowledge, Tier Two vocabulary suggestions, and ELL support. In addition, “Close Reading” instructional support included in the book gives teachers ideas for guiding close reading of text. The Ready Common Core program also provides teachers with free access to the Online Teacher Toolbox that offers invaluable, easy-to-use resources to engage young learners.

Instruction Student Books can be purchased for $11.99 with an order of 10 or more. The Teacher Support Package includes one Teacher Resource Book and one Read-Aloud Trade Book Set (nine titles) and costs $84.99. The K–1 read-aloud trade books are a critical component of the K–1 reading program because they hold the majority of the text students will encounter. Teacher Resource Books may also be purchased separately.

There are also state-specific versions of the new Ready Reading program for Grades K–1 for New York and North Carolina.

Ready Common Core Math for Grades K–1 will additionally be available in early 2014, but may be purchased now at an introductory price of $9.99 per student book with an order of 10 or more. Introductory pricing expires on January 31, 2014.

For more information, please visit www.readycommoncore.com

Source: Curriculum Associates, www.CurriculumAssociates.com

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Edmentum Adds Career Technical Education Courses to Plato Courseware

Edmentum has announced new Career Technical Education (CTE) courses for Plato Courseware. Eight CTE courses are available now for Edmentum’s standards-based Plato Courseware online curriculum, with an additional 24 courses scheduled for release in 2014.

The CTE courses are all mobile-friendly for “anytime, anywhere” use and feature interactive, video-rich content to engage learners. The courses are aligned to the CTE National Career Clusters framework, which was developed by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) as an organizational structure for CTE programs.

Educators can customize the Plato Courseware CTE offerings, which are available for middle school, high school and post-secondary, to meet their unique needs. The courses can be implemented in a lab setting, in a virtual experience or through a blended learning environment that incorporates both online and traditional classroom courses. Edmentum provides the CTE courses through a range of flexible packages to meet the specific needs of educators, schools or districts.

For more information on Plato Courseware and Edmentum’s CTE offerings, visit www.edmentum.com/products-services/plato-courseware.

Source: Edmentum Inc., edmentum.com

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Schoolwires Announces Symposium on Parent Engagement

To help districts engage with parents more deeply this new school year, Schoolwires is hosting a Symposium on Parent Engagement on October 22. The online event will include presentations by Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, Dr. Karen Mapp, director of the Education Policy and Management Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and administrators from K-12 districts across the country.

"Today’s digital parents have different expectations when it comes to the effective use of technology in the classroom and school-to-home communications," said Evans. "These expectations are driving change in the way school districts engage parents to support student success. Yet too many districts still rely primarily on one-way information sharing that falls short of parent expectations."

Administrators can learn effective new strategies for communicating with digital parents during the online Symposium on Parent Engagement on Oct. 22 from 11 am to 4 pm CT. Presenters will include:

  • Dr. Karen Mapp, director of the Education Policy and Management Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, will deliver a keynote on Family Engagement Research. Mapp is one of the nation’s leading experts in educational leadership and partnerships among educators, families and community members that support student achievement. Her keynote will help attendees better understand how to build capacity for families to become more engaged and the specific components LEAs and schools need to create successful family engagement initiatives.

  • Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, will summarize the latest research from the Speak Up National Project around the “New Digital Parent” and explain the impact this group has on school district communication, 21st century learning, and family outreach plans.

  • Bernie Rhinerson, former Chief of Staff at San Diego Unified School District, will discuss leveraging mobile apps and social communications to reach tweeting, texting digital parents.

  • A panel of administrators from K-12 districts will discuss their family engagement programs. The panel includes Mary Wegner, Assistant Superintendent, Sitka Schools, Alaska; Steven Anderson, Director of Instructional Technology, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, North Carolina; John Schreck, Webmaster, Riverside Unified School District, California; and Christine Corliss, District Webmaster/Publicity Coordinator, Caldwell-West Caldwell Schools, New Jersey.

Attendees can register for the Symposium on Parent Engagement at the Schoolwires website.

To complement the online symposium, Schoolwires partnered with Project Tomorrow to create a companion Administrator's Guide to Reaching Digital Parents. The guide includes findings from the 2012 Speak Up National Research Project that tracks interest in the use of emerging technologies to address the specific needs of K-12 students, parents and educators. Among the most noteworthy findings of the survey is the importance of effective school-to-home communications as a way to engage parents in the learning process. However, a quarter of school and district administrators (26 percent) see effective communications with parents as a major challenge today. The guide will help administrators better understand today’s digital parents, and provide best practices that districts can model to better engage parents to support student achievement. The guide can be downloaded in advance of the symposium at the Schoolwires website.

Source: Schoolwires, www.schoolwires.com

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Edmentum Enhances Learning Solution for Common Core Alignment

Edmentum has enhanced its Study Island test-preparation solution with the addition of nine item types aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). With a total of 10 item types for testing, Study Island gives educators an industry-leading learning solution that can help students demonstrate a greater depth of understanding in math and English language arts, according to the announcement.

The new Study Island item types – such as constructed response, fill-in-the-blank, matched pairs and others – promote higher-order thinking and inquiry. Edmentum applied the CCSS Depth of Knowledge (DoK) guidelines to ensure the item types were written to the correct DoK level and ensure students get exposed to the appropriate content.

The new item types are mobile compatible and align with the CCSS assessments under development by two separate consortia: the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

For more information on Edmentum CCSS-aligned learning solutions, visit www.edmentum.com/solutions/common-core-standards-mastery.

Source: Edmentum Inc., edmentum.com

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Follett Launches New Release of FollettShelf with an Enhanced HTML5 Reading Environment for K-12

Follett has announced a new back-to-school release of its popular FollettShelf hosted digital bookshelf, which includes a new HTML5 reading environment for Follett eContent called Follett Enlight. The new release of FollettShelf provides schools with universal access to quality K-12 eContent in a consistent virtual learning space that promotes critical thinking skills through reading, studying and note taking.

In addition to the Follett Enlight reader, the new release of FollettShelf features two new modules designed to connect eContent to all parts of a school district:

  • FollettShelf Classroom Connections is uniquely designed with classroom teachers and curriculum directors in mind, providing tools for communication like note sharing, reading support, and enhanced reporting functionality. 

  • FollettShelf District Manager is a district level platform that delivers management tools for providing access to Follett ebooks across multiple sites, giving districts one platform and a uniform experience for all schools. Districts with Destiny Library Manger already receive FollettShelf and FollettShelf District Manager functionality.

The new release of FollettShelf offers students the reading experience of the Follett Enlight HTML5 digital reading environment. Follett Enlight allows students to add notes and highlights to an ebook and then view them anywhere they have access to their FollettShelf account. In addition, students now have access to a chosen dictionary based on reading levels. The new reading environment also improves the reading experience on small devices and is integrated with other popular Follett products like the Destiny suite of school resource management solutions.

For more information about FollettShelf and the new Follett Enlight reading environment, visit www.follettshelf.com/whatsnew.

Source: Follett, www.follett.com

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Triumph Learning Announces Updates to Its Common Core Resource Library

Triumph Learning has unveiled major updates to its comprehensive online Common Core resource library, offering more support for teachers transitioning to the rigorous math and English/language arts standards. The latest updates make Readiness for Common Core an even more powerful teaching tool with improved search capabilities, enhanced navigation and new learning materials covering additional grade levels.

The Common Core resource library’s new instructional material will allow teachers to easily differentiate instruction for students in grades 3-8. Popular Triumph Learning texts for grades 1, 2 and 9-12 are now included alongside the hundreds of on-level lessons, practice sessions and assignments already in Readiness for Common Core, so teachers only need to login once to challenge gifted learners or provide support for struggling students.

A redesigned Teacher Dashboard and user interface simplifies navigation and lets teachers quickly move from managing their classes, to viewing reports and finding new content. New “Getting Started” and “Contextual Help” features ease the transition to the new program and suggest successful strategies for integrating the platform into teachers’ curriculums and workflows.

The robust data and real-time reporting features of Readiness for Common Core continue to help teachers identify individual learning needs easily, while the new “Content Discovery” tool makes finding and assigning relevant instructional materials easy. Using the Content Discovery tool, teachers can search by topic or standard across multiple grade levels to find the lesson that is best suited for their students’ learning needs. Search results include complete standards coverage information in an “at-a-glance” summary section, so educators can quickly decide if a lesson is appropriate for their class.

Readiness for Common Core also offers powerful assessment features that let teachers assign dozens of ready-made tests or build their own tests using thousands of questions from the Readiness item bank. Real-time data allows educators to analyze items and sort results in meaningful ways—by lesson, assessment, class or student—providing educators the capability to track growth and proficiency. In addition, logins for parents help them keep track of their children’s progress and strengthen the home-school connection.

For more information about Readiness for Common Core, visit www.triumphlearning.com/Readiness.

Source: Triumph Learning, www.triumphlearning.com

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