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February 25, 2014

Table of Contents

Follett Announces Ebook Partnership With Penguin Group (USA)
SIIA Announces Industry Best Practices to Safeguard Student Information Privacy and Data Security
ASCD Releases 2014 PD Online Course Catalog for K–12 Educators
ABPathfinder Adds Data Collection Features to Its Data Management and Assessment Software
Skyward Debuts New Data Analytics Tool
Learning.com Updates App With Tablet-Ready Assessments
Hooda Math Unveils 50 Math Games for Mobile Devices

Follett Announces Ebook Partnership With Penguin Group (USA)

Follett has announced it has launched a collection of nearly 17,000 ebook titles for PreK-12 students from Penguin Group (USA). Penguin is the fifth major book publisher to partner with Follett in the past six months, joining Random House, Hachette, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan.

The Penguin collection is available now through Titlewave, Follett’s collection development, search and ordering tool that provides access to more than 270,000 ebook titles to PreK-12 schools nationwide.

Among Penguin’s popular PreK-12 titles available through Follett are “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, “The Westing Game” by Ellen Rasking, “James and the Giant Peach” by Roald Dahl, “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” by Mildred D. Taylor, “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green, “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, and “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini.

With books increasingly moving to digital formats, Follett is helping in the transition with tools and solutions that help customers access and integrate the new forms of content within schools. Follett Shelf is the virtual bookshelf used by schools to access ebooks, while Follett Enlight provides students with a consistent and easy-to-use ebook reading environment on their desktops, tablets and smartphones, and allows users to add notes and highlights and then view them anywhere they have access to their Follett Shelf account.

Currently, according to the announcement, more than 29 million students and educators in 42,000 schools worldwide use ebooks provided by Follett.

Source: Follett, www.follettlearning.com

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SIIA Announces Industry Best Practices to Safeguard Student Information Privacy and Data Security

The Software & Information Industry Association(SIIA) has announced a series of industry best practices for providers of school services.

With the goal of supplementing existing efforts, SIIA released the following Best Practices for the Safeguarding of Student Information Privacy and Security for Providers of School Services. These privacy and security best practices are intended as guidance for providers of educational services to educational institutions to the extent that they collect, disseminate, use or maintain personally identifiable information about students (student PII). These best practices can be used to inform the contracts that govern the relationship between providers of educational services and the educational institutions – school districts and schools – for which they work.

• Educational Purpose: School service providers collect, use, or share student PII only for educational and related purposes for which they were engaged or directed by the educational institution, in accordance with applicable state and federal laws.

• Transparency: School service providers disclose in contracts and/or privacy policies what types of student PII are collected directly from students, and for what purposes this information is used or shared with third parties.

• Authorization: School service providers collect, use, or share student PII only in accordance with the provisions of their privacy policies and contracts with the educational institutions they serve, or with the consent of students or parents as authorized by law, or as otherwise directed by the educational institution or required by law.

• Security: School service providers have in place security policies and procedures reasonably designed to protect personal student information against risks such as unauthorized access or use, or unintended or inappropriate destruction, modification, or disclosure.

• Data Breach Notification: School service providers have in place reasonable policies and procedures in the case of actual data breaches, including procedures to both notify educational institutions, and as appropriate, to coordinate with educational institutions to support their notification of affected individuals, students and families when there is a substantial risk of harm from the breach or a legal duty to provide notification.

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

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ASCD Releases 2014 PD Online Course Catalog for K–12 Educators

ASCD has announced the release of the 2014 PD Online course catalog. The new catalog offers more than 100 user-friendly courses developed by ASCD authors and experts available anytime, anywhere to educators, including 21 new PD Online courses. PD Online courses are developed to help educators increase their knowledge and discover best practice methods.

PD Online courses enable educators to address both individual and group professional development needs with a flexible course design that supports specific professional development needs, job-embedded applications that link course materials to real-world practice, and assessments that measure results at the beginning and end of each course. The intuitive design of the courses makes training and implementation simple, and many states, districts, and universities allow PD Online courses to apply toward a continued education unit (CEU) or college credit.

Educators may enroll in PD Online courses on timely topics, including teacher effectiveness, curriculum development, differentiated instruction, classroom management, English language learners, and STEM. The new courses address a variety of topics important to educators today, including instructional leadership, formative assessment, and Common Core State Standards implementation.

The courses showcase the same education experts who author ASCD books and present at ASCD conferences, including Grant Wiggins, Judy Carr, Jay McTighe, Harvey Silver, Carol Ann Tomlinson, Eric Jensen, and Robert Marzano. Learning directly from ASCD’s leading experts, PD Online courses help educators address individual and group professional development needs.

To register for PD Online courses, visit www.ascd.org/pdonline to enroll or contact the ASCD Program Management Team at programteam@ascd.org or 1-800-933-ASCD (2723). By purchasing multiple PD Online courses, educators have the opportunity to save up to 30 percent off course prices. Registrants have one year from the purchase date to activate their course and six months from activation to complete the course.

Source: ASCD, www.ascd.org

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ABPathfinder Adds Data Collection Features to Its Data Management and Assessment Software

ABPathfinder, LLC, developer of special education and therapy management solutions, has announced a new group data collection features for its ABPathfinder data management and assessment software. Designed especially for special education and autism therapy, this purpose-built capability enables educators and therapists to log data and track progress for multiple students simultaneously.

Combining the new group data collection feature with ABPathfinder’s flexible online/offline input capability, users are able to record student data with or without an internet connection. The software collects, graphs and analyzes behavioral development data, recognizing patterns immediately and identifying focus areas for improvement. Offering support to all team members of a child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP), the ABPathfinder system reduces time spent on paperwork and other administrative tasks, so that educators and therapists are able to spend more time with each child.

ABPathfinder is available via Android and Apple devices, giving more educators and therapists the freedom to record group data in the classroom, or any other location they’re administering therapy. The software provides the flexibility to use customized therapy methods, and offers consistent training and technical support to the IEP team.

Source: ABPathfinder, www.abpathfinder.com

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Skyward Debuts New Data Analytics Tool

Skyward, Inc., a K-12 school administrative software provider, has announced the debut of myDistrict360, developed in partnership with BravePoint. myDistrict360 is a versatile, user friendly portal for teachers and administrators to analyze vital student and business information, enabling them to more easily recognize school improvement opportunities and monitor student achievement.

Available for use with the Student Management and School Business Suites, myDistrict360 provides comprehensive analytics without the need for extensive development, professional services, or the knowledge of how to write code. Through an easy to use interface, dashboards and advanced data visualizations can be quickly customized to meet the unique needs of each user.

Key features of myDistrict360 include:
-Pre-built capabilities that minimize the need for custom coding
-Web 2.0 reporting and analysis, including advanced charting gauges and other data visualization tools
-Process and workflows reports, including email, schedules, alerts and database management
-Highly flexible and customizable security options, providing complete control in creating secure, role-based access and views
-Built for the Web with an open XML (Extensible Markup Language) architecture
-Customized output style to meet complex requirements
-Advanced data analytics including “what-if” and forecasting analysis

To learn more about myDistrict360, visit www.skyward.com/mydistrict360.

Source: Skyward, www.skyward.com

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Learning.com Updates App With Tablet-Ready Assessments

Learning.com has announced a major update to its Learning.com app. In addition to curriculum and lessons, the enhanced app now features tablet-ready assessments. The assessments help educators identify learning gaps, understand student needs and improve 21st century teaching skills.

The Learning.com app was first launched in September 2013 and provided access to tablet-ready EasyTech lessons. This latest update to the app now provides access to Learning.com’s 21st Century Skills Assessment, WayFind Teacher Assessment, and the TechLiteracy Assessment. The app is available on iTunes and on Google Play.

The 21st Century Skills Assessment is designed to provide deeper insight into students' grasp of critical 21st century skills, such as creativity, information fluency, critical thinking and digital citizenship. With WayFind Teacher Assessment, administrators get accurate and meaningful data to understand how well teachers grasp 21st century teaching skills. The TechLiteracy Assessment provides data and reports to help schools meet accountability requirements, pinpoint students' technology challenges and identify teaching strategies to help them improve.

Source: Learning.com, www.learning.com

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Hooda Math Unveils 50 Math Games for Mobile Devices

Hooda Math, a resource for free K12 web based math games, has announced the release of more than 50 non-flash-based educational games. The 50+ mobile games can be accessed safely through any browser, from any device, along with the more than 500 web-based games at www.hoodamath.com. The games are free, including the newly released mobile games, and each makes correlations between standards and skills practiced in the game.

Each of the newly released mobile games is non-flash based and compatible with any web-enabled device. Student favorites like Hooda Stacker, Hooda Dissection and Hooda Remover were among the first games to be created specifically for mobile platforms.

The shift to mobile is already proving to be beneficial for students. This past December alone, three months after the Hooda site began offering mobile games, nearly 1 million kids played Hooda Math games from their iPads, Kindle Fires, Android tablets and more.

Hooda Math releases new, free, math games on a weekly basis, from basic skill practice to brain-challenging escape games, a favorite among older students visiting the site.

Source: Hooda Math, www.hoodamath.com

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