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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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July 22, 2014

Table of Contents

Free Resources: Snapwiz's Edulastic, Formative Assessment Platform Sporting Student Mastery of Common Core Standards
Gale Brings Millions of Pages of Treasured Historical Content to Academic Libraries
SIIA Releases 2014 Vision K-20 Survey Report
Discovery Education, 3M Announce National Finalists in 2014 Young Scientist Challenge
CoSN Issues Resources to Complement K-12 Education Privacy Toolkit

Free Resources: Snapwiz's Edulastic, Formative Assessment Platform Sporting Student Mastery of Common Core Standards

Snapwiz has, announced the release of a free solution that directly addresses the Common Core implementation challenges facing K-12 schools and districts around the country. Edulastic is a web-based formative assessment platform that helps teachers prepare and deliver effective Common Core curricula by simultaneously improving the assessment creation, assignment, and grading processes.

The Common Core's rigorous standards present significant new challenges to teachers by asking them to ensure every student is mastering a wide range of skill sets. To help students meet the new standards and practice using critical thinking to solve real-world problems, teachers will find value in delivering personalized instruction that is based on formative assessments. By providing existing assessment content for free, alongside rich question authoring options, teachers have access to empowering resources in one place—making teaching and formative assessments easier.

Edulastic helps educators achieve their Common Core curriculum objectives in several ways:

  • Provides meaningful homework solutions and daily assessments for evaluating and supporting student mastery of Common Core standards.

  • Enables teachers to craft standards-aligned formative assessments with highly interactive, freeform questions defined by Smarter Balanced & PARCC.

  • Offers free curated content that includes thousands of standards-aligned questions crafted by other teachers.

  • Provides insights into student proficiency at an aggregate and individual level, enabling teachers to identify areas where a student needs personalized instruction, intervention or remediation.

  • Facilitates the adoption of benchmarked standardized assessments through a collaborative evaluation process that can be applied across districts and within broader learning communities.

Edulastic allows teachers to use day-to-day assessment insights to shape learning outcomes. By giving teachers a new level of pedagogical ownership, Edulastic uses homework and in-class assignments as the basis for continuous and comprehensive evaluations.

Teachers can sign up for Edulastic at

Source: Snapwiz Inc.,

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Gale Brings Millions of Pages of Treasured Historical Content to Academic Libraries

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, has added millions of pages of content to its Gale Digital Collections program with the launch of 10 resources, including new periodical collections and the next installments of Smithsonian Collections Online, Nineteenth Century Collections Online, and The Chatham House Online Archive. Researchers now have access to digitized versions of venerated materials such as recordings and transcripts of speeches from Winston Churchill and Henry Kissinger, and photos and exhibition catalogs of World’s Fairs, among others. These collections will be available on the Gale Artemis: Primary Sources platform, giving researchers access to graphing and search visualization tools that will help them explore this historical content in new ways.

The new collections are available now for academic and special libraries and include:

· Smithsonian Collections Online: Trade Literature & the Merchandizing of Industry – charts the history of manufacturing, printing, and marketing through digitized catalogs, pamphlets, and ephemera

· Smithsonian Collections Online: World’s Fairs and Expositions: Visions of Tomorrow – follows technological innovation and cultural trends through photos, books, exhibit plans and catalogs

· Nineteenth Century Collections Online: Children’s Literature and Childhood – provides children's literature as well as legal and sociological texts from Europe, Asia, and North America

· Nineteenth Century Collections Online: Mapping the World: Maps and Travel Literature – provides searchable maps, gazetteers and geographical images marking an important era in cartography

· Nineteenth Century Collections Online: Religion, Spirituality, Reform, and Society – reveals documentary materials on religious & philosophical movements wrought by the changes from the industrial revolution

· The Making of Modern Law: Foreign Primary Sources, Part II – contains a collection of historical legal codes and statutory materials, as well as commentaries on codes, from around the world

· British Newspapers: Part IV, 1780-1950 – details social and political events via digitized newspapers

· Punch Historical Archive, 1841-1992 – delivers a digitized full run of the iconic British humor magazine, Punch

· The Independent Digital Archive, 1986-2012 – contains a digitized run of this major British daily newspaper known for its centrist position & idiosyncratic views on the free market, social issues & culture

· The Chatham House Online Archive – includes a searchable archive of Chatham House publications, audio recordings, briefing reports, and analysis on global trends and key events and issues

For more information on these resources, visit

Source: Cengage Learning and Gale,

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SIIA Releases 2014 Vision K-20 Survey Report

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) has released the 2014 Vision K-20 Survey Report, its seventh annual national survey measuring U.S. educational institutions’ self-reported progress toward building a framework that embraces technology and e-learning. The findings were presented at a press event during the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference. The report suggests that K-20 education institutions are striving for more digital educational goals, which are increasingly reached through Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies.

Central findings from this year’s report include:

- Respondents expect an increase in the use of BYOD technology.

- Both the current and ideal level of technology integration has shown a directional increase for K-12 and postsecondary institutions, compared to 2013.

- There is a need for increased technology integration in K-20 education.

- Educators recognize that there is a large gap between current and ideal levels of implementation, which they aspire to fill.

- Only 40 percent of K-12 education institutions feel prepared for upcoming online assessments.

The survey, which transitioned to a seven-point benchmarking scale this year, was distributed to nearly 1,000 educators and administrators with the help of many partner organizations – being the most prolific recruiter. SIIA also recognizes its lead partner, MMS Education, for its work on the Vision K-20 Survey analysis and report.

To view the Executive Summary of the 2014 Vision K-20 Survey Report, visit

To download the full report, visit

Source: SIIA,

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Discovery Education, 3M Announce National Finalists in 2014 Young Scientist Challenge

Discovery Education and 3M have announced the top 10 finalists in the annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, a science competition for students in grades 5-8.

Discovery Education and 3M are proud to announce the following 10 finalists (in alphabetical order)*:

  • Mythri Ambatipudi, San Jose, Calif., Stratford Middle School

  • David Cohen, Dallas, Texas, Akiba Academy of Dallas

  • Sahil Doshi, Pittsburgh, Pa., Fort Couch Middle School

  • Ana Humphrey, Alexandria, Va., George Washington Middle School

  • Christopher Isozaki, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., St. John Fisher School

  • Anthony Kim, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., Ridgecrest Intermediate School

  • Jai Kumar, South Riding, Va., J. Michael Lunsford Middle School

  • Andrew Masek, North Attleborough, Mass., North Attleborough Middle School

  • Nikita Rafikov, Evans, Ga., Riverside Middle School

  • Katherine Wu, North Potomac, Md., Takoma Park Middle School 

* Schools listed are from time of competition entry (January – April 2014).

After submitting a short video communicating the science behind a possible solution to an everyday problem, these budding young scientists rose to the top of the competition due to their science acumen, inventive thinking and exceptional communication skills demonstrated in their entry videos.

Each finalist will now have the exclusive opportunity to work directly with a 3M Scientist during a unique summer mentorship program, where they will be challenged to create an invention that solves a problem in society. As part of the program, students will meet virtually with their mentors, who will provide guidance as the finalist develops his or her idea from a concept into an actual prototype. Students will then present their inventions during the competition’s final event at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn. October 13th and 14th. Throughout the program, each student has access to resources and support provided by 3M and Discovery Education.

Finalists will receive $1,000 and be awarded a trip to 3M Headquarters to participate in the final competition where they will be evaluated on their creativity, scientific knowledge, persuasiveness and overall performance during a series of three different challenges, including a presentation of their completed innovation. Each challenge will be scored independently by a panel of judges. The winner will receive $25,000, a student adventure trip to a destination such as Costa Rica, and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”

The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge targets students in the years when research indicates their interest in science begins to wane and encourages them to explore scientific concepts and creatively communicate their findings. Each January, students nationwide are asked to create a short video describing a new innovation or solution that could solve or impact an everyday problem. In addition to the 10 finalists, 36 students have been selected as state merit winners in this year’s competition and each will receive a 3M innovation prize pack.

For more information on the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, including photos and bios of the 10 finalists and a list of the state merit winners, go to

Source: Discovery Education,

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CoSN Issues Resources to Complement K-12 Education Privacy Toolkit

CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) has unveiled two freestanding resources to accompany its in-depth, step-by-step privacy toolkit.

Designed to help school system leaders navigate the complex federal laws and related issues, the complementary resources include:

  • “10 Steps Every District Should Take Today”; and

  • “Security Questions to Ask of an Online Service Provider.”

Launched in March through CoSN’s Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning initiative, the existing toolkit addresses compliance with laws such as the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and offers smart practices to better protect student privacy and their data. The security questions for online service providers were included in the v.1 toolkit.


The toolkit was developed through the support from Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, which is based at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. The toolkit is sponsored by Microsoft Corporation and endorsed by the Association of School Business Officials International, and the “10 Steps” tool was independently supported by Intel.

The “10 Privacy Steps Every School District Should Take” include:

  • Designate a privacy official

  • Seek legal counsel

  • Know the laws

  • Adopt school community norms and policies

  • Implement workable processes

  • Leverage procurement

  • Provide training

  • Inform parents

  • Make security a priority

  • Review and adjust

Organized as a decision tree, the toolkit released in March also includes key definitions, overviews on the Directory Information Exception and the School Office Exception, and insight on metadata and de-identification.

In the fall, CoSN will expand the toolkit with additional sections covering the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) and the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) – filling out the privacy guide with all four federal privacy laws applied to K-12 education.

To access the new resources or to learn more about CoSN’s privacy efforts, visit

Source: CoSN,

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