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May 06, 2014

Table of Contents

Follett Introduces New Search Interface in Destiny 12.0 Release
Gale Launches InterLink, Document-Level Hyperlinking Technology
Scholastic Launches New Subscription-Based Digital Reading Programs for Schools
Apex Learning Introduces Apex Learning Tutorials Digital Curriculum for Middle Schools
Discovery Education Announces Launch of Digital Leader Corp
Teachscape Introduces New Online ELA & Literacy Courses to Help Educators Navigate the Common Core State Standards

Follett Introduces New Search Interface in Destiny 12.0 Release

Follett has announced the release of Destiny 12.0 with Universal Search, a new search interface that allows students to seamlessly search and access all print and digital content within the Destiny Library Manager platform. Whether reading ebooks or conducting research, students can now access the content they need from one system that offers a consistent, simplified user experience with single sign-on access.

Rather than having to use a separate tool for digital content, Destiny is a universal solution that provides students and teachers access to multiple types of resources from multiple vendors, within the convenience of one system. Destiny offers powerful federated searching so a student can find a wide variety of high-quality relevant resources with minimal effort.

The new Universal Search interface is built to provide an optimal experience on virtually any size screen. Universal Search also takes advantage of Destiny’s deep integration with Follett ebooks, allowing users to directly check out content, place titles on hold, and provide direct access from mobile devices.

Within the new release, librarians and teachers can now collaborate and connect to content using Follett’s exclusive Curriculum Tags, which include tags for specific skills and Common Core-related terms such as “figurative language,” “point of view,” “primary sources,” and “cause and effect.”

With the introduction of Universal Search’s cloud-based functionality, Follett will add new, dynamic capabilities on an ongoing basis. Schools will have the flexibility to introduce the new features at their own pace.

Source: Follett, follettlearning.com

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Gale Launches InterLink, Document-Level Hyperlinking Technology

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, has announced the launch of InterLink, a new technology that connects current articles from newspapers, magazines and journals with contextual reference content found within ebooks on Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), Gale’s ebook platform. InterLink document-level hyperlinking is available free across all Gale InfoTrac periodical products, such as Academic OneFile and General OneFile, with plans to incorporate the technology into other resources. InterLink will not only enable a robust research experience for users, it will help libraries drive usage of their ebook collections.

Gale’s proprietary InterLink technology extends a user’s research by building a web of connections across Gale products—helping researchers find the content they need, when they need it, without having to know the specific resource in which to find it. For example, a user reading a peer-reviewed journal article on climate change can InterLink to a STEM ebook on GVRL to continue exploring a particular term or topic interlinked within that article. Most importantly, InterLink leverages Gale’s unique subject indexing and results ranking algorithms to provide a better cross-search than any other database provider or web search engine by including hyperlinked information within the context of what the user is already reading, ensuring a relevant discovery experience.

For more information on InterLink or to view a demonstration, visit www.gale.cengage.com/interlink.

Source: Cengage Learning and Gale, www.cengage.com

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Scholastic Launches New Subscription-Based Digital Reading Programs for Schools

Scholastic has announced the launch of Storia School Edition, a subscription-based ebook solution for Pre-K through Grade 6, for group and individual classroom reading, and Core Clicks, a web-based instructional program for Kindergarten through Grade 5 that supports content area reading in social studies and science.

A one-year subscription to Storia School Edition grants a school access to a carefully curated library of 2,000 well-known fiction and nonfiction ebooks for Pre-K-Grade 6. Titles cover an optimal range of Guided Reading and Lexile Levels for each grade and include recognizable fiction, award-winning literary classics, and engaging nonfiction to meet every student's reading level and interests. Storia School Edition supports concurrent usage within a school, allowing multiple students to access the same titles simultaneously.

Storia School Edition features that support classroom reading include:

  • A balanced library of fiction and nonfiction titles to introduce students to a variety of text types;

  • Storia Close Reads, short informational articles and literary passages, provide opportunities for text marking and finding textual evidence related to story, structure, and point of view;

  • Grade-appropriate dictionaries to build vocabulary;

  • Reading Challenge comprehension quizzes;

  • Highlighting and note-taking tools to help students focus their ideas; and

  • Pronunciation tools and natural-voiced Read-to-Me audio in younger titles.

  • Core Clicks Graded Nonfiction to Support K-5 Content Area Reading

Drawing on the nonfiction resources of Scholastic News and Weekly Reader, Core Clicks presents leveled informational texts on 18 topics per grade, all designed to provide content area reading in science and social studies while explicitly teaching Common Core Language Arts standards at each grade level. Detailed teaching of 13 key Spotlight Skills through lively starter videos and computer-based informational text analysis provides a complete nonfiction curriculum with a curated collection of informational text for each grade level, K to 5. Core Clicks was developed in consultation with Nell K. Duke, Ed.D., a professor of literacy, language, and culture at the University of Michigan, who worked closely with the editorial team on the program's adherence to best practices in literacy development and in addressing the Common Core State Standards.

Key features of Core Clicks include:

  • A "three read" approach in which students read, analyze, and discuss the text while building key skills and vocabulary with each read-through;

  • Interactive exercises, quizzes, and video content to reinforce skills and learning; and

  • Varying levels of text complexity on topics ranging from Monsters of the Deep to Hurricane Hunters and Living History that are sure to keep kids wanting more.

Core Clicks and Storia School Edition are designed for school-wide subscriptions and are easily accessed from desktop and laptop computers, tablets and interactive whiteboards. Online teacher resources and support are available.

Source: Scholastic, scholastic.com

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Apex Learning Introduces Apex Learning Tutorials Digital Curriculum for Middle Schools

Apex Learning is expanding the Apex Learning Tutorials, first released in October for grades 9–12, to address middle school. Designed with an instructional approach to actively engage students, Tutorials provide classroom teachers with the flexibility they need to address each student's individual learning needs, according to the announcement.

The interactive app-like design of Tutorials offers an innovative approach to instruction, practice, review and assessment. Students are presented with choices through the unique organization of Tutorials — Learn It, Try It, Review It, and Test It — that are intended to motivate them to take charge of their learning.

Designed to be a key component of effective blended learning, Tutorials enable teachers to enhance classroom instruction to support each student in achieving to his or potential, deliver targeted remediation and intervention, and prepare students for success on high-stakes assessments.

The new Tutorials for middle school include Math 6, 7, 8 and English language arts 6, 7, 8. Tutorials are tablet-ready for Android and iOS devices as well as netbooks, laptops and desktop computers.

The Tutorials will be available in the 2014–2015 academic year. For more information about Tutorials, visit apexlearning.com/curriculum/tutorials

Source: Apex Learning, apexlearning.com

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Discovery Education Announces Launch of Digital Leader Corp

Discovery Education has announced the launch of the Digital Leader Corps (DLC). A new professional development service, the DLC supports school systems as they develop teacher-leaders to serve as change agents powering their district’s digital transition. Under the DLC’s shared leadership model, Discovery Education works collaboratively with school district partners to develop comprehensive professional learning plans that scale to any size learning initiative, build a culture of continuous improvement and ultimately, create lasting, systemic change, according to the announcement.

The new professional development model builds and nurtures a network of teacher-leaders to design and implement successful and innovative teaching strategies that can be shared with their peers. Featuring a unique combination of professional learning, pedagogy and tools, the DLC helps participating educators learn to integrate educational technologies and digital media into classroom instruction. A new innovation included in the DLC is educator created, student-centered Learning Labs. In these labs, teachers bring to life new teaching strategies, and practice and adapt their skills in a classroom setting before sharing their successes broadly with their colleagues. The DLC program provides teachers with continuous customized, job-embedded consultation throughout the process with on-going modeling, coaching and feedback from Discovery Education DLC trainers in the pre-planning, stakeholder communications and implementation phases.

The DLC utilizes multiple measures of data to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of participants’ professional learning. Through surveys, direct observation, increased use of digital content and tools by teachers and students, and gains in student achievement, school systems can monitor the impact of the DLC and adjust their efforts as necessary to achieve desired outcomes.

Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com

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Teachscape Introduces New Online ELA & Literacy Courses to Help Educators Navigate the Common Core State Standards

Teachscape has expanded its TeachscapeLearn Professional Learning Suite. In addition to its online courses about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics, The Common Core Series in Teachscape Learn now offers new video-based, self-paced courses on the CCSS for English Language Arts (ELA) & Literacy. This interactive series, which was developed specifically to help educators understand and effectively implement the new standards, includes case studies, extensive expert commentary and more than 24 hours of course content.

The courses range in length from 15 minutes to two hours and use a multimodal approach to boost educators’ knowledge about the CCSS for ELA & Literacy. Experts include distinguished professors and content experts from several institutions, including University of California, Berkeley; Rutgers University; University of Maryland, College Park; and Stanford University. Teachers from various grades and diverse classroom settings are featured in the courses to ensure educators find relevant content that will inform and shape their classroom practice.

Users can access an overview of the CCSS for ELA & Literacy by starting with the introductory course, which will guide them through the standards as well as the series. Throughout the series, learners will benefit from interviews with leading literacy experts, recommended readings, and reflection questions. Five of the new courses focus on key instructional shifts (changes) that need to be considered as a result of the CCSS, and there is one additional course that focuses on implicit aspects of the standards identified by expert contributors. These courses present a research-based analysis of the CCSS and provide considerations for implementation. Six teaching cases each showcase a full-length, standards-aligned lesson with reflection by the teacher and/or a discussion by one or more experts.

The new courses are part of the Teachscape Learn Professional Learning Suite, which helps teachers and administrators reflect on practice, collaborate with colleagues, and build relevant skills. Teachscape Learn includes a research-based PreK–12 course library, online learning communities, video upload and sharing tools, and personalized learning plans. Teachscape Learn is part of the integrated online Teachscape Effectiveness Platform, which provides districts and states with tools for classroom observation and evaluation as well as professional learning, and supports the development of effective teaching practices throughout an educator’s career.

Source: Teachscape, teachscape.com

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