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March 11, 2014

Table of Contents

ASCD Brings Spring and Summer Common Core Professional Development Institutes to New Cities in 2014
Triumph Learning Unveils CommonCore.com, Featuring Practical Advice for Teaching the New Standards
The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) Launches New Website
Free Resources: Hooda Math's Free Timed Math Tests for Mobile Devices
EBSCO Information Services to Provide Rosetta Stone Language-Learning Resources to Libraries
Gale Expands Product Strategy, Bolsters Publishing Program to Address Critical Library Needs
Kickboard Publishes White Paper Detailing How Student Data Can Be Used To Create More Effective Learning Environments

ASCD Brings Spring and Summer Common Core Professional Development Institutes to New Cities in 2014

ASCD has announced the lineup of one- and two-day Professional Development Institutes for the spring and summer. Expanding to eight new cities, ASCD’s institutes are designed to provide greater support to educators nationwide as they continue to implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), while meeting educators where they are.

A recent poll from ASCD SmartBrief showed that this year, 52 percent of educators received more Common Core-related professional training than last year, with 30 percent of respondents reporting they spent “much more” learning time on the CCSS. With this in mind, ASCD has taken the five series of Professional Development Institutes offered this past fall and added new dates in new cities nationwide.

One-day Institutes

The 2014 spring and summer lineup features three series of one-day institutes. In Implementing the Common Core State Standards: English Language Arts and Literacy and Implementing the Common Core State Standards: Mathematics, educators will look more deeply into the specifics of each subject, including

  • Close reading of multiple kinds of texts for multiple purposes.

  • Addressing the implementation of reading and writing across the curriculum.

  • Shifts in classroom norms and instruction based on the Standards for Mathematical Practice.

  • Clustering mathematical standards to form manageable units.

These will each be offered in four cities: Philadelphia, Pa.; St. Louis, Mo.; Washington, D.C.; and Seattle, Wash.

In the third one-day institute series, Using Formative Assessment to Meet the Demands of the Common Core, educators will learn how to align the multiple measures of assessment available with the CCSS and create a system of data collection and analysis to enable higher levels of student achievement.

The Formative Assessment Institutes will be offered in eight different cities, including the four locations listed above as well as Charlotte, N.C.; Louisville, Ky.; Boston, Mass.; and New York, N.Y.

Dates for one-day institutes will run from April 8 through May 23. The full schedule and registration details are available on the Professional Development Institutes page.

Two-day Institutes

In addition to the one-day institutes, ASCD is offering a pair of two-day institute series this spring and summer. The first, Common Core and Understanding by Design: Planning with the End in Mind, draws on the work of popular ASCD authors Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. These institutes focus on showing participants how to unpack the CCSS and create the high-quality curricula and assessments needed to prepare students for the demands of college and the workplace.

The Understanding by Design institutes will be held in Louisville, Ky. (April 28–29); Boston, Mass. (April 28–29); and New York, N.Y. (May 19–20).

Lead the Change to Common Core State Standards: Get Essential Tools for School and District Leaders is the second two-day institute on the schedule for this spring and summer. These sessions will benefit the school and district leaders responsible for bringing the CCSS from awareness to implementation and sustainability. Among other things, attendees will learn

  • What the Common Core Standards look like, both in planning and design for instruction, and also in the classroom.

  • What changes will be necessary for the school or district to move toward full implementation of the CCSS and prepare all students to be college- and career-ready.

  • How to monitor progress during implementation and use new success metrics.

This series will take place in eight different cities: Philadelphia, Pa.; St. Louis, Mo.; Washington, D.C.; and Seattle, Wash.; Charlotte, N.C.; Louisville, Ky.; Boston, Mass.; and New York, N.Y.

Source: ASCD, www.ascd.org

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Triumph Learning Unveils CommonCore.com, Featuring Practical Advice for Teaching the New Standards

Triumph Learning has unveiled CommonCore.com, a website offering free resources to support teachers as they implement the Common Core State Standards. The interactive clinics, videos, lesson plans, blogs and white papers featured on the site provide educators and parents with best practices and practical information on the new, more rigorous learning goals.

When teachers arrive at CommonCore.com, they will discover the opportunity to interact one-on-one with featured experts who will offer advice on all aspects of implementing the Common Core in their classrooms. In addition, they can engage in discussions with colleagues from around the country who are facing the same challenges that they are in the Common Core Community. Special live events and insightful white papers offer perspectives that will help teachers gain a more complete understanding of the Common Core Standards and their practical applications in the classroom. They will discover answers to questions ranging from “How can I engage my reluctant readers?” to “How do I help my students gain conceptual knowledge?”

In addition, CommonCore.com offers parents answers to the questions they may have about the standards as well as tips for ensuring that their children stay on track for academic success.

To learn more, visit www.CommonCore.com.

Source: Triumph Learning, www.triumphlearning.com

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The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) Launches New Website

The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the principal membership association of U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders, has announced the launch of the redesigned SETDA.org, another key step in the implementation of the association’s strategic plan.

SETDA.org offers resources to help state and national education leaders improve education through technology policy and practice. The redesigned website more clearly communicates the association’s work and priorities to the public and follows on the fall 2013 launch of an online professional learning community for members and partners, SETDA Connects.

Featured resources on the site highlight state educational technology leadership in:

  • Advocating for equity of access to digital learning opportunities

  • Helping educators manage the shift from traditional textbooks to digital content

  • Managing the transition to online student assessment, and

  • Ensuring that education data is used to advance instructional and policy information needs, while safeguarding student privacy 

Source: SETDA, www.setda.org

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Free Resources: Hooda Math's Free Timed Math Tests for Mobile Devices

Hooda Math, a K-12 resource for free online math games, has optimized its math timed tests to work on every device.

The website recently released more than 50 free, non-Flash games that are also compatible with every device. Students and teachers can select a test with 25, 50 or 100 problems. Scoring is done automatically through the web app. The web app reports the percentage correct, lists incorrect answers, and tracks how long it takes them to complete the test. After a student completes his or her test, a report can be printed or emailed to a teacher or parent.

The free math timed tests are available for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and mixed operations. More free testing tools are in the works, including games that will offer instant reports on Common Core State Standards proficiency to assist teachers in recording learning data on their students

Hooda Math already has several reporting-enabled games available on the site, including Hooda’s Drive-Thru. Players man a virtual-drive thru window, using their math skills to calculate exact change for each driver. Each level has been designed to test proficiency on a specific Common Core State Standard in mathematical content.

Source: Hooda Math, www.hoodamath.com

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EBSCO Information Services to Provide Rosetta Stone Language-Learning Resources to Libraries

Rosetta Stone Inc., a provider of education technology and language learning solutions, will soon be available to U.S. and Canadian academic and public libraries through a distribution partnership with EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO). EBSCO has announced that it will redistribute Rosetta Stone’s interactive language-learning software in the U.S. and Canada.

Rosetta Stone's proprietary language-learning techniques are used by thousands of schools, businesses, government organizations and millions of individuals around the world. Founded in 1992, Rosetta Stone pioneered the use of interactive software to accelerate language learning. Today, the company offers courses in 30 languages, from the most commonly spoken (such as English, Spanish and Mandarin) to the less prominent (including Swahili, Swedish and Tagalog).

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

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Gale Expands Product Strategy, Bolsters Publishing Program to Address Critical Library Needs

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, has announced expanded product and services initiatives, a new publishing program and the addition of industry-leading STEM content from partners. These updated strategies and partnerships usher in a new era of resource development that will help libraries and their users thrive in today’s education landscape, according to Gale.

STEM Monograph eBooks on GVRL for the First Time
As a part of the expansion Gale will now provide science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) eBook collections from Springer and Elsevier through the Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL).

Gale offers this in-demand STEM content to meet the growing needs of the hard science disciplines. The U.S. Department of Commerce states that STEM occupations are projected to grow 17 percent by 2018. The availability of more than 2,900 titles from Springer—combined with Elsevier content—provides library users with a single point of access to the most esteemed STEM publications.

Accessing this content through GVRL, as opposed to other eBook platforms, grants users the added flexibility of viewing and downloading content in multiple formats in addition to other unique benefits of Gale’s platform, such as ReadSpeaker text-to-speech technology and translation of content into other languages.

70 New eBook Collections Now Available for Purchase
Gale has launched 70 new eBook collections covering STEM, humanities and social science disciplines, as well as general interest topics like travel and do-it-yourself. Unique collections are now available to meet the specific needs of academic, public and school libraries. Additional collections will be added in the future, underscoring Gale’s commitment to being the largest eBook provider to libraries.

New Future, New Name for GVRL
In addition to the new content, Gale will rebrand GVRL. The company plans to combine the reference content from its 90 publishing partners with monographs and multimedia content, such as videos, to make GVRL the only library platform delivering this broad cross-section of research support.

Launch of Proprietary Monograph Publishing Program
Monographs—specialized studies on a single subject—are also a core part of Gale’s product strategy moving forward. The company is launching a new proprietary monograph publishing program that, when combined with Gale’s existing collection of over 350,000 monographs, will deliver unrivaled benefits to scholarly and general researchers. The program will combine the best works available from our partners covering the humanities, philosophy, religion and social science disciplines matched with Gale’s core strength across these content areas, resulting in the ability to better discover and understand the research. The outcome is increased critical thinking in circulating essential and current ideas among the communities we serve.

Source: Gale Cengage, www.cengage.com or www.gale.cengage.com

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Kickboard Publishes White Paper Detailing How Student Data Can Be Used To Create More Effective Learning Environments

Kickboard has announced the publication of a new white paper titled “Instructional Management Solutions: Creating a High-Performing School Climate by Capturing, Analyzing and Acting Upon 360-Degree Student Data.” The paper can be accessed at: http://bit.ly/1aWTanJ

The paper explores the variety of data points educators should collect and analyze, so as to make instructional decisions based on a “360-degree” understanding of the whole child. It also examines the obstacles to acquiring and understanding those data points, and how instructional management systems can simplify the process by integrating and organizing the data to make it easy to understand, act upon and share.

The Kickboard instructional management solution is a central hub of classroom data, where teachers can collect, analyze and share student grades, standards mastery, rubric observations, attendance, behavior and more. The platform’s teacher-centric design and dashboards provide easy-to-understand, actionable information to better drive instructional decisions. With real-time data and a global, holistic view of each child, teachers can directly impact students’ academic performance and behavior, and create more effective, engaged learning environments.

Source: Kickboard, www.kickboardforteachers.com/

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