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November 19, 2013

Table of Contents

Shmoop Launches ShmoopTube Educational Video Channel
Discovery Education Announces Expanded Content Partnerships
Scholastic Premieres “Math@Work: Math Meets Fashion” Web Series
Ebook History Collection Now Available from EBSCO Information Services
SIIA Announces Innovation Incubator Program Finalists
OverDrive's Checkout Terminal, OverDrive Media Station, Now Broadly Available
Scientific Learning Announces Reading Assistant Auto Initial Assignment
OverDrive Updates School Digital Libraries Solution
Curriculum Associates Releases First App in New Series of Educational Games for the iPad
CoSN Kicks Off 2013-2014 Webinar Series
Internet@Schools Xtra News: November/December 2013 Internet@Schools Content Now Available Online

Shmoop Launches ShmoopTube Educational Video Channel

Shmoop, a digital curriculum and test prep company, is launching ShmoopTube, a brand-new, innovative portal for educational and hilarious videos. ShmoopTube improves upon and replaces the gone-but-not-forgotten Shmoopsterpiece Theater.

Shmoop has created a one-of-a-kind video platform for its growing video content. Featuring hundreds of educational videos with a humorous bent on every subject including math, history, literature, and test prep, ShmoopTube helps teachers incite class discussions and students better understand tough concepts.

ShmoopTube highlights its entertaining videos in an intuitive user-experience which makes it easier and better to use than ever. New features include:

• Better Tagging. With videos catalogued by subject (e.g. “English”) and subtopics (e.g. “Elementary Algebra”), it’s a breeze to browse and search for the exact video needed to clarify classroom concepts.

• Better Search Feature. Shmoop’s new search feature is better than ever. Its recommendation engine matches video titles and keywords to a list of potential videos that viewers might be interested in.

• Playlists. Shmoop has also put together hand-picked playlists in case teachers and students are looking for a crash course in algebra or get a illuminating immersion in American history.

• Universal Design for Learning Features. Shmoop is also making great strides with incorporating Universal Design for Learning (UDL) measures in order to accommodate all kinds of learners. Shmoop remains committed to providing the best resources to every type of student. In that vein, ShmoopTube features videos in Spanish for ESL students, and also has transcripts for hearing-impaired students.

• Related Videos. Just finished learning how to solve equations using addition and subtraction? ShmoopTube is there to help students take learning to the next level with Related Videos, which will suggest similar videos that will help students master any topic.

Shmoop will continue to evolve its ShmoopTube with the speed of the internet and will soon also launch an even more personalized viewing experience. In the coming months, users should watch for new features, like ways to organize their favorite videos on ShmoopTube.

The new ShmoopTube is available for any screen except sunscreen–including computer, mobile phones, and iPads—and can be viewed by its admirers here.

Source: Shmoop, www.shmoop.com

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Discovery Education Announces Expanded Content Partnerships

Discovery Education has announced it has expanded content partnerships with some of the world’s most respected producers, including MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, BBC Worldwide, and Rand McNally. These new partnerships further enhance Discovery Education Streaming, Discovery Education Streaming Plus, and Discovery Education Social Studies Techbook with custom-built news programs, documentary films, and other dynamic digital resources that use current, real-time, global events to bring instruction to life.

Though a partnership with MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, Discovery Education introduces Global Wrap, a summary of the week’s news from across the globe. Developed specifically for a middle school audience, Global Wrap presents a series of short reports that make even the most complex news stories easy to understand. With a new report every week, Discovery Education keeps students abreast of current events and connects the past to the present. Global Wrap, and its archive, is available exclusively through the Discovery Education Social Studies Techbook.

With an emphasis on differences and commonalities across geographic regions and cultures, the Discovery Channel/BBC mini-series Human Planet is also now available on both Discovery Education Streaming Plus and Social Studies Techbook platforms. Spanning 40 countries and some of the most remote locations on Earth, this awe-inspiring series focuses on the human species and the ways humans have adapted to life in every environment on Earth.

Additionally, Discovery Education has partnered with Rand McNally to create a global map and flag series that features an extensive collection of 196 country maps, 39 global and regional maps and 193 world flags. These digital atlases replace pull-down maps and student atlases and can be used in presentations, reports, lesson plans and activities.

Discovery Education’s new content offerings also provide students an engaging glimpse into the circumstances facing children in countries around the world. A student-produced documentary series, BYkids presents stories from today’s teens’ perspectives, while inspiring and empowering the viewer to share their own story.

Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com

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Scholastic Premieres “Math@Work: Math Meets Fashion” Web Series

Scholastic has announced the premiere of “Math@Work: Math Meets Fashion,” the first episode in a web series for students and classrooms designed to connect classroom learning to exciting careers that students aspire to. “Math@Work: Math Meets Fashion,” hosted by Project Runway’s Tim Gunn, takes three students on a tour of legendary designer Diane von Furstenberg's New York City studio to learn about the mathematical thinking and problem solving required in this career. Along the way, Tim puts their math skills to the test as they discover just how much math and fashion go hand-in-hand.

The Math@Work: Math Meets Fashion webisode is available on the Scholastic Mathematics website at www.scholastic.com/mathematics.

Designed as Common Core-ready learning units for middle school, each 25-minute Math@Workwebisode is paired with lessons that will facilitate mathematical discussions and problem solving. Math@Work aims to show students in grades 5 and up why math is important beyond the classroom and essential for 21st Century careers.

Source: Scholastic, www.scholastic.com

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Ebook History Collection Now Available from EBSCO Information Services

EBSCO Information Services has released eBook History Collection, a growing subscription package of eBook titles concentrated in the various aspects of World History that is a strong complement to any academic collection.

eBook History Collection includes more than 9,000 titles from leading publishers. Titles encompass a variety of world history subjects designed to assist students and scholars with history research. Subject matter includes:

· Medieval History

· History of Music

· History of Science

· History of the World

· History of the Caribbean & West Indies

· History of the Holocaust

· Law in History

· History of Philosophy

· History of Africa

· Art History

· History of Technology & Engineering

· History of Business & Economics

· History of the Middle East

· History of Latin America

· History of Canada

· History of Asia

· History of Political Science

· History of Religion

· History of Europe

· History of the Military

· History of the United States

eBook History Collection is offered on an annual subscription basis with unlimited access to the content and optional downloading. Each title is offered with unlimited users allowing more users access to each title in the collection. As with all ebooks available from EBSCO, eBook History Collection is integrated and works seamlessly with all EBSCOhost content. Users will be able to search the collection on its own or side-by-side with other EBSCOhost databases bringing together ebooks, periodicals and other content for a seamless search experience.

Source: EBSCO Information Services, www.ebsco.com/

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SIIA Announces Innovation Incubator Program Finalists

The Education Division of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) has announced finalists, and an alternate, for its Innovation Incubator Program. The program will be held during the annual Education Business Forum, Dec. 10-11, at the McGraw Hill Conference Center in New York. The finalists will feature their products during the event, and awards will be presented to the Most Innovative and Most Likely to Succeed based on votes of conference attendees. The Educator’s Choice Award will also be presented based on votes from educators and administrators from around the United States. SIIA will also award prizes from program partners.

The SIIA Innovation Incubator Program identifies and supports entrepreneurs in their development and distribution of innovative learning technologies. The program began in 2006 and has provided support for dozens of successful products and companies in their efforts to improve education through the use of software, digital content, and related technologies. The program is open to applicants from academic and non-profit institutions, pre-revenue and early-stage companies, as well as established companies with newly developed technologies.

Innovation Incubator Program finalists were selected from the applicant pool based on key selection criteria, including:

- Education focus and end user impact / Market need for the innovation,
- Representation of K-12/Postsecondary market levels,

- Level of originality and innovation

All Innovation Incubator finalists will present during the Business Profiles Presentations on Dec. 10, which is immediately followed by the Innovation Showcase & Networking Reception where they will be available for one-on-one product demonstrations and in-depth discussions.

Innovation Incubator Program participants are:

eProf Education Inc, eProf
eProf is the first e-commerce platform allowing education businesses a turnkey solution for taking their businesses online. With eProf, teaching businesses can effectively deliver live, interactive online learning sessions and manage all of the logistics (payments, scheduling, user tracking) of their business. eProf provides a suite of fully integrated tools for online teaching include multi-stream virtual classrooms, HTML5 whiteboards, webinar environments, and Skype.

InstaEDU, InstaEDU
InstaEDU combines the high-quality of traditional in-home tutoring with the convenience and affordability of an online service. Students can get connected to a tutor instantly in InstaEDU's online lesson space, or browse tutor profiles, message tutors and set up a lesson for a future date. The InstaEDU lesson space offers video, audio and text chat, as well as a collaborative whiteboard, text editor and code compiler.

Leading Edge Certification, Leading Edge Certification
Leading Edge Certification (LEC) is a national certification program in educational technology and curriculum innovation. Created by an Alliance of nonprofits, universities and educational agencies, LEC is the first national certification program of its kind, and is platform and vendor neutral. There are currently 3 LEC programs: Online and Blended Teacher, Administrator, and Digital Educator. Training takes place via a combination of face-to-face and online training, or via online-only training.

LightSail Education, LightSail
LightSail is an adaptive literacy platform for grades K-12. Tablet-based, it combines an interactive e-reader, a personalized library of great fiction and nonfiction texts embedded with objective and Common Core-aligned assessments, tools for collaboration and feedback, and data dashboards into an easy-to-implement application. LightSail’s recent honors include winning the edtech category at SXSW V2V and taking a top prize in the Gates Foundation’s Literacy Courseware Challenge.

Nervanix, Nervanix
Using advanced EEG (brainwave monitoring) technology, NERVANIX determines whether and to what extent a student is paying attention, and then uses that data to inform instruction. Both teachers and online learning systems can use the data in real time to adapt to the attention levels of the learners. Such "attention driven adaptability" underpins the teacher's ability to personalize the instruction for individual students, quickly and easily.

Net Texts, Net Texts
Net Texts is a flexible system that allows educators to use and customize open educational resources (OER), copyrighted information, and their own material to create virtual courses that can supplement or replace textbooks. The Net Texts system has two parts: (1) a content management website, where teachers select, modify, or create sets of course materials, and (2) a tablet app and website for students to use those materials.

Portfoliyo, Parent-teacher texting
Fifty percent of families never hear from teachers. Portfoliyo wants to solve this problem by using the most effective method for teachers to communicate to parents: texting. While email, blogs, wikis, twitter etc. are all useful, the tool with the highest "open" and "response" rate from parents is texting. Teachers use a web or mobile app to text parents. Parents get the messages on their cell phone via text. Quick question, quick answer, fast and targeted interventions deliver better student performance.

RoboKind, Robots4Autism
Robots4Autism is a revolutionary humanoid robot that delivers research-based interventions and curriculum; teaches and reinforces social understanding; improves a child’s ability to use social behaviors in natural contexts; and displays unparalleled human like expressions, gestural bodies and eyes, face tracking, and conversational artificial intelligence. The Robot was designed around the strengths of children with autism to provide nonthreatening interaction and consistent lesson delivery.

Shindig, Shindig
Shindig allows remote participation for students, professors, parents and administrators with a computer and internet access. On Shindig, a speaker can address an audience of thousands. They can share the stage and take questions from selected audience members, share videos and documents. Meanwhile audience members can themselves network and converse with one another in their own private chats.

TeacherMatch, Educator's Professional Inventory
TeacherMatch has created a platform that predicts the impact of teacher candidates on student achievement. Our revolutionary, new hiring assessment is designed to identify the top candidates for any teaching position. It also produces a customized professional development report, setting new hires up for success. In concert with prestigious academic institutions, we built EPI on cutting-edge, evidence-based research. What's more, machine learning makes the platform smarter the longer it is used.

Alternate:

BiblioNasium, Where Kids Flex Their Reading Muscles
BiblioNasium is a safe social network that promotes literacy & supports the independent reading activities for kids 6-13 years old. Kids connect to the 3 constituents that most influence what they read, their teachers, friends and parents to create an online community that shares & exchanges book recommendations and encourages reading progress. Integration with Lexile aids in book selection and digital reading logs, virtual rewards and reports for educators, help keep kids on task and motivated.

For more information about the Education Business Forum, visit siia.net/ebf/2013/incubator.asp.

Source: The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), www.siia.net/education

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OverDrive's Checkout Terminal, OverDrive Media Station, Now Broadly Available

OverDrive has announced that its “inside the library” ebook, audiobook, music and video sampling and checkout terminal, OverDrive Media Station, is now broadly available. Launched as a pilot program earlier this year with 50 public library systems in five countries, the in-library ebook kiosks enable readers to browse ebooks, audiobooks and other media on a touchscreen monitor in libraries or any location where libraries want to introduce readers to their ebook catalog.

OverDrive Media Station enables libraries to showcase to in-library patrons their entire OverDrive digital catalog, including ebooks, audiobooks, music and video. Experienced or new users can browse, search and sample any of the media they find with the swipe of a finger. Patrons can instantly (without cables or pre-installed apps) send a link to any title from OverDrive Media Station to their favorite device for checkout using a QR code, email or text message (SMS).

King County Library System (KCLS) in Washington, one of the largest public libraries in the nation, installed OverDrive Media Station recently at the re-opening of their updated Federal Way 320th Library branch.

“The OverDrive Media Station has been really well received by our patrons. It’s rarely unoccupied,” said Jennifer Simon Halai, Librarian, Virtual Library Services at KCLS. “During the day, adults are the dominant users, but after school and in the evenings, it’s the kids and teens who are engaging with it, usually with a smartphone or tablet in hand.”

With an ad campaign running last month alongside the OverDrive Media Station implementation, KCLS has seen an immediate increase in ebook checkouts in the first month. Halai said they have seen a definite rise in engagement with the large touchscreen device as a key feature in the new library 

The OverDrive Media Station is now available for all libraries. Contact your Account Representative for more information.

Source: OverDrive, www.overdrive.com

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Scientific Learning Announces Reading Assistant Auto Initial Assignment

Scientific Learning Corp. has announced a new Reading Assistant tool that quickly and accurately assesses students, and automatically places them in the most appropriate content library and starting point in the online program. Reading Assistant is a program that uses speech recognition to correct and support students as they read aloud, building fluency and comprehension with the help of a supportive listener.

Delivered on the MySciLEARN online platform, the Reading Assistant Auto Initial Assignment tool automates the entire student assignment process, allowing educators to spend more time working directly with students, and for students to maximize their time in the program. As soon as a student is added to the system, the tool automatically assesses the student’s reading level by administering a Reading Progress Indicator (RPI) assessment, and uses the results to place the student at the appropriate starting point in one of the four content libraries based on the student’s grade level.

With Reading Assistant, students can improve their reading grade level up to 50 percent more than students receiving classroom instruction alone, according to the announcement. Reading Assistant uses the power of speech recognition technology to “listen” to students as they read aloud, providing feedback at just the right time. It features more than 300 pieces of content at a range of reading levels, and includes non-fiction and fictional texts. Students of diverse ages and abilities can benefit from the program, including K-6 readers, English language learners, and struggling readers in middle and high school.

Source: Scientific Learning Corp., www.scientificlearning.com

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OverDrive Updates School Digital Libraries Solution

Overdrive has added new features to its digital school library solution, including a fully-updated user interface providing a more informative, user-friendly experience. New features include enhanced metadata, robust search tools, filters and improved title detail pages and menus to make finding a title easier. Users are now able to search for titles based on standardized reading level information such as Lexile, ATOS and Accelerated Reader scores. This new metadata will assist teachers in identifying the most appropriate content for their students.

Users are able to adjust their lending periods and account settings quickly to align with their preferences. The updated digital library websites also use a responsive design, providing the same user experience regardless of what computer, tablet or device is being used. 

Students have the ability to select from three different visual themes. The improved look provides a cleaner navigational view customized to the user’s taste. Students can share what they’re reading via social networking tools and easily add titles to their wish lists to read at a later date. Newly designed help pages, created specifically for students, have been added as well.

Recommend to Library, OverDrive’s enhancement that lets users suggest titles for libraries to add to their digital collection, is now rolling out for our school partner websites. This feature will enable students to view OverDrive’s catalog of titles not currently in their school’s digital library.

Recommendations will be tracked in OverDrive Marketplace for staff members to review and add to their carts. If a school purchases titles that a student recommends, the student will be alerted via email so he or she can check out the book. 

With the Recommend to School feature, students will not have access to OverDrive’s full collection. They will be limited to viewing titles with any of the following criteria:

· Titles with Juvenile or Young Adult subject categories

· Titles that have school metadata, such as Lexile/ATOS scores

· Titles that have been added to other school library collections

Pilots for the Recommend to School feature will begin soon, with a full rollout expected later this year. 

Source: OverDrive, www.overdrive.com

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Curriculum Associates Releases First App in New Series of Educational Games for the iPad

Curriculum Associates has announced an addition to i-Ready Diagnostic & Instruction product line with the release of the first app in a new series of educational games for the iPad. These apps will target the skills that are most essential for achievement in reading and mathematics and then harness the power of game design to motivate students to develop them, according to the announcement.

World’s Worst Pet is the first educational game in this series. Designed for grades 4–8, the game provides targeted skill development specifically focused on Tier Two vocabulary, a key area of emphasis in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The game also helps educators ensure long-term achievement gains and increased student performance and growth outcomes when used in conjunction with i-Ready.

World’s Worst Pet complements i-Ready’s online and teacher-led instruction, addressing key shifts in instruction related to the CCSS in areas shown to hold students back. The app focuses on developing understanding of Tier Two vocabulary words, which is a key part of developing students’ ability to read and understand complex text. Tier Two words appear across a wide range of texts, including literature and informational texts. They include academic vocabulary, as well as domain-specific vocabulary such as science and social studies words.

World’s Worst Pet, available now through the App Store, provides students with robust practice and multiple exposures to words in a variety of contexts. In the game, students must use their academic vocabulary skills to help keep Snargg, the troublesome pet of the BakeStars—the onscreen characters from i-Ready’s online lessons—out of danger, but Snargg keeps escaping and getting stuck again in other strange places.

The app incorporates engaging and pedagogically sound games and requires minimal direction and intervention from teachers or parents. Multiple replay opportunities within a low-risk environment provide teachers with the flexibility to use the program as part of small-group instruction, classroom activity centers or for practice at home. 

The app can be downloaded at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/worlds-worst-pet-vocabulary/id730540095?ls=1&mt=8 or by searching for “World’s Worst Pet”.

For more information, please visit www.i-Ready.com/empower, and visit Curriculum Associates’ YouTube channel to watch video testimonials from teachers and administrators using i-Ready: http://youtu.be/98IU2V9XGDM.

Source: Curriculum Associates, www.curriculumassociates.com

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CoSN Kicks Off 2013-2014 Webinar Series

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has released its 2013-2014 Webinar Series schedule, which begins on Tuesday, Nov. 12, and concludes in May 2014. Featuring local, regional, federal, and private sector K-12 education leaders from across the country, the hour-long webinars will be an online forum for regular discussions on a range of issues, including privacy in the cloud, learning analytics, “hybrid innovation” strategies, high stakes online assessments, smart education networks, and the “2014 Horizon Report K-12 Edition,” among other K-12 education technology trends and tools.

“The webinars provide participants with a unique, important opportunity to have conversations online about real, best practices that are strengthening and shaping the learning environment,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “This year, we’re again excited to offer an exceptional lineup of topics and speakers who will give participants incredible insight on what’s happening and forthcoming in K-12 ed tech. We encourage school leaders, educators, and other ed tech advocates to join the discussion and share their perspectives in what will be another thought-provoking series. 

CoSN’s first webinar, themed “Is Privacy in the Cloud Possible?” will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 12 from 1-2 p.m. EST and will examine current regulations and best practices of school privacy in the cloud-based environment. Presenters will include Jim Siegl, Technology Architect, Fairfax County Public Schools (VA); Kathleen M. Styles, Chief Privacy Officer, U.S. Department of Education; David Rubin, Attorney, Council of School Attorneys; and Aimee Guidera, Executive Director, Data Quality Campaign. To register, please visit: www.cosn.org/events/webinars/cosn-webinar-series-privacy-cloud-possible.

To follow is the remaining 2013-2014 Webinar Series schedule:

  • “Can Learning Analytics Enable Personalized Learning?” Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013

  • “Can School Systems Leverage ‘Hybrid Innovation’ Strategies to Improve Student Learning?”Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014

  • “Being IT Ready for High Stakes Online Assessments,” Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014

  • “Smart Education Networks by Design: Developing the Next Generation Network to Support Personalized Learning with Technology,” Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2014

  • “Over the Horizon: Results from the ‘2014 Horizon K-12 Report,’” Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Participation in the webinars is free for CoSN members. For more information, visit www.cosn.org/events/webinars

Source: Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), www.cosn.org/

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Internet@Schools Xtra News: November/December 2013 Internet@Schools Content Now Available Online

Content from the November/December 2013 issue of Internet@Schools is now available at our website. There is free full text accessto the cover story, Creating a Safe Social Learning Environment to Improve Student Success, plus to all the November/December reviews.

Check out the full November/December table of contents HERE, including the additional features and columns, available in synopsized form. If you're a subscriber to the print publication, you'll be receiving your issue soon! If not, well, SUBSCRIBE HERE!

Later this month, once all the issue articles have been processed electronically, you can access any of them in Full Text, Text+Graphics, or Page Image PDF format from the November/December 2013 table of contents. They'll be available on a pay-to-view basis via Information Today, Inc.'s InfoCentral, powered by ProQuest. Check back soon.

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