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May 05, 2015

Table of Contents

Follett Challenge Announces 2015 Winners–Gamification Projects Takes Grand Prize
Education Technology Pioneers Announced as Winners of SIIA Innovation Incubator Program
Learning Upgrade Launches Math Upgrade Kindergarten for Summer
PBS KIDS Digital Series OH NOAH! Launches New Videos and Games to Introduce Kids to Spanish Announces Curriculum Foundry Integration with Google Drive
Gale Supports Public Libraries With New Digital Early Literacy Resource
Free Resources: Hooda Math's Web-Based and Mobile Math Games

Follett Challenge Announces 2015 Winners–Gamification Projects Takes Grand Prize

Follett Corporation has announced the winners of the fourth annual Follett Challenge, which empowers innovation and rewards ground-breaking educational programs. O’Neill Middle School in Downers Grove School District #58 in Downers Grove, Illinois, has been awarded the Grand Prize for its inventive multimedia program, Conquest of the Realm. The school will receive a $60,000 prize in Follett products and services.

Video of the O’Neill team learning they are the Grand Prize Winners of this year’s Follett Challenge is available here:

Using the idea of gamification and a mythical-inspired theme, Conquest of the Realm divides students into one of four “houses,” which compete against each other in challenges that focus on helping students improve literacy and develop 21st-century skills. Students must work together to create their own works of literature, write reviews of books from Follett’s online catalog, Destiny Library Manager, and work with new technologies, among other tasks.

In addition to the Grand Prize, Follett Challenge recognized two semifinalists – each will receive a $30,000 prize in Follett products and services. The semifinalists include

· Bluebonnet Elementary/Park Glen Elementary in Fort Worth, Texas, for the Tech Ninja initiative.

· The Young Women's Leadership School of Astoria/Queens in Astoria, New York, for the Intensives program.

The winning schools each submitted a written entry and video, and were selected based on a combined score of their written entry and the number of votes their video received. More than 243,000 votes were cast this year, an 800 percent increase from the Challenge’s inaugural year in 2011.

Follett also awarded $8,000 in prizes each to 10 “People’s Choice Winners” – schools whose videos received the most votes.

For more information, visit

Source: Follett,;

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Education Technology Pioneers Announced as Winners of SIIA Innovation Incubator Program

The Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN) of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) showcased some of the newest and most innovative products in the education technology market, and recognized the best among them as part of the Innovation Incubator program at the Education Industry Summit, the leading conference for the K-12 and post secondary education technology market, held May 3-5 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.

Award Winners:

· Most Likely to Succeed: Vidcode, Vidcode

· Most Innovative: Vidcode, Vidcode


· Most Likely to Succeed Runner-Up: TAO, Open Assessment Technologies

· Most Innovative Runner-Up: 3D Deep-Zoom Interactive Educational Content, Corinth

More than 50 applicants were assessed for the Innovation Incubator program on a broad range of criteria. They were judged by both industry leaders and educators in classrooms around the globe. Ten participants and one alternate were selected as finalists for the program, and the winners were judged by the ed tech leaders at the Education Industry Summit.

The full list of finalists:

· Adobe Voice, Adobe

· CAP IT!, CAP IT! Learning

· eCarrot, eBravium

· EdProtect, Education Framework Inc.

· Junction, Junction Education

· LabMS Suite, Infinite Octopus

· Propagate Vocabulary, Propagate, Inc.

· TAO, Open Assessment Technologies

· Tilton’s Algebra, TiltonTec

· Vidcode,Vidcode


· 3D Deep-Zoom Interactive Educational Content, Corinth

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.

Source: SIIA,

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Learning Upgrade Launches Math Upgrade Kindergarten for Summer

Learning Upgrade has released Math Upgrade Kindergarten. The 50 lessons, each with music, games and video, are sequenced to help each child make breakthroughs in math. The lessons will be made available to those schools taking advantage of Learning Upgrade’s complimentary summer school licenses, with more lessons to follow for the upcoming school year.

Math Upgrade Kindergarten has been designed to support student mastery of both state and national standard benchmarks, including every Common Core math standard. Students are guided step-by-step through each of the lessons with voice instructions, and given practice problems that include immediate verbal help and remediation when needed.

The program is designed for the way today’s young students want to learn, according to the announcement. The familiar format of music videos and interactive games with rewards is used to move students step-by-step to understand math. Students are rewarded with medals for completing each lesson and gold certificates for achieving mastery on every lesson. Students have access to the program in school or at home on a variety of devices, including laptops and tablets.

Learning Upgrade provides both whole class as well as 1-on-1 lessons. Teachers can use projectors or Smartboards for group interactive lessons, and laptops and tablets for individualized learning.

Math Upgrade Kindergarten includes detailed assessments with real time web-based reports, so that teachers and parents can see where each student is struggling and what they have mastered. The program gives the teacher enough information to enable follow-up instruction in weak areas.

Source: Learning Upgrade,

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PBS KIDS Digital Series OH NOAH! Launches New Videos and Games to Introduce Kids to Spanish

The PBS KIDS digital series OH NOAH! is expanding its offerings with new animated videos and games that introduce Spanish in an entertaining way. New OH NOAH! content includes an immersive language learning game, “Lost and Found,” and a new 11-minute video, “Making a Splash.” In addition, all OH NOAH!content is now accessible on mobile and tablet devices via

Geared to kids ages 4-7, OH NOAH! features the comic misadventures of Noah, a young boy staying with his grandmother in a community where almost no one else speaks English. As he tries to learn Spanish and makes new friends, misunderstandings land him in wacky predicaments, but he always manages to rebound and cheerfully learn from his mistakes. Since its launch in spring 2011, OH NOAH! has attracted a strong and growing audience online and introduced new Latino lead characters to children’s media. Emmy Award-nominated OH NOAH! is produced by THIRTEEN for WNET, New York’s flagship public media provider, and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

WNET is partnering with a variety of organizations to extend the reach of OH NOAH!. Through a new partnership, the national steward organization for “El Día de los Niños,” the National Latino Children’s Institute (NLCI), is helping leverage OH NOAH! content at events in key communities across the country. As part of a partnership with the National Council of La Raza, OH NOAH! will participate in NCLR’s Annual Conference and National Latino Family Expo in Kansas City, July 11-14.

According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, benefits of early language learning include improving a child’s understanding of his or her native language, having a positive effect on intellectual growth, enriching and enhancing a child’s mental development and promoting more flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language and a better ear for listening.

As the Latino population has increased significantly in the U.S., so has interest in teaching children Spanish. That interest extends to Latino families themselves. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, nearly 65 percent of U.S. Latinos speak only English at home or speak it very well; 95 percent say it is important for their children to know Spanish, too.

New content now available on includes:

  • “Making a Splash,” a new 11-minute video: On a sweltering day, Brisa invites Noah and Nell to go swimming. Noah is hesitant because he can’t swim. With Nell’s encouragement, Noah decides to get swimming lessons, but because of a misunderstanding, Noah ends up performing tricks with a waterskiing team instead. After the ski team agrees to give him swimming lessons, Noah declares “¡Puedo nadar!” (“I can swim!”) triumphantly.

  • An interactive “Games in Video” version of the “Making a Splash” video that includes embedded language-learning mini-games.

  • New short videos, including an extended version of the music video “Puedo nadar!” (“I can swim!”) and a highlight reel of Pequeño’s funniest moments from the series.

  • “Lost and Found,” a new immersive language-learning game: Players join Noah and Nell on an interactive scavenger hunt. Players seek help from friends and neighbors to decipher Spanish words and locate missing objects, and encounter a series of fun mini-games along the way.

  • OH NOAH! is now mobile-friendly and accessible through smartphones and tablets.

Educational resources related to the new video and games are available for students and educators on PBS LearningMedia. In addition, a new printable family activity guide and other activities designed for use by parents and caregivers with their children is available on the OH NOAH! and PBS Parents websites. The OH NOAH! website offers 13 three-minute videos with an embedded “Match It” game that helps children learn vocabulary, as well as five other learning games. OH NOAH! videos are also accessible on the free PBS KIDS Video App, which is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast.

Source: PBS KIDS,

Back to Contents... Announces Curriculum Foundry Integration with Google Drive has announced that its new solution Curriculum Foundry will integrate with Google Drive. Adding this functionality is the second major step the company has taken to make it easier for digital content built in Curriculum Foundry to integrate with multiple learning systems.

The first step was IMS Global Learning Consortium’s certification of’s implementation of Thin Common Cartridge V 1.3. This export tool allows districts to export content from Curriculum Foundry to learning management systems that support Thin Common Cartridge imports.

Google Drive integration, available for back-to-school 2015, will allow districts using Google Apps for Education to share the lessons, units, and courses they have created in Curriculum Foundry. Students and teachers will be able to launch the content from Google Drive or Google Classroom. Districts will also be able to add content they have created in Google Drive to its district’s library in Curriculum Foundry for future use.

Launched in February 2015, Curriculum Foundry helps districts enhance their instruction with digital content by making it easy to access, organize, and share quality digital content with teachers and students. The solution includes a rich repository of vetted, standards-align Open Education Resources (OER) and other quality free content in all subject areas. It also provides tools to create, customize, and personalize curriculum and instruction; using existing repository resources and content districts already have or will create. The new functionality of Google integration will set Curriculum Foundry apart as a leading provider of curriculum building tools to create, supplement, and extend instruction affordably and effectively, across the curriculum for grades K-12, the announcement states.


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Gale Supports Public Libraries With New Digital Early Literacy Resource

Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, has announced Miss Humblebee's Academy, a new early literacy product that will assist the library’s youngest learners in building foundational literacy skills. Partnering with Miss Humblebee LLC., Gale has co-developed a robust product tailored specifically to the public library user, which includes the assessment tools libraries need to measure their impact on early literacy development in their communities. Studies show that participating in quality early learning can boost children’s educational attainment and earnings later in life, underscoring the importance for public libraries to provide resources that serve this young audience.

Designed for children ages 3 to 6, Miss Humblebee's Academy is an easy-to-use, interactive and award-winning online and mobile-accessible kindergarten-readiness solution. It offers hundreds of lessons spanning all major academic subjects, weekly progress reports, and is the only product that provides assessments to measure proficiency and learning outcomes.

Miss Humblebee’s Academy provides children an opportunity to learn while having fun in a safe online classroom environment with no pop-ups, ads or links to other websites; and provides parents with tools to measure their child’s kindergarten-readiness while working at the library, at home or on the go. The product assesses cognitive skills at regular intervals for measurable improvement toward kindergarten-readiness and offers a developmental observation checklist allowing parents to review and record social and emotional growth as an additional condition of school preparedness. Weekly emails alert parents to review curriculum progress and assessment results that are available online 24/7. A portion of the curriculum is also available offline in the form of printables and worksheets.

For more information on Miss Humblebee’s Academy or to request a free trial, visit

Source: Cengage Learning and Gale,

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Free Resources: Hooda Math's Web-Based and Mobile Math Games

Hooda Math, a resource for free, web-based math games, has created a downloadable iOS app that includes more than 30 games, all free to download. The mobile games can be accessed safely through any browser, from any device, along with the more than 500 web based games at

Hooda Math has converted its most popular games--ice cream truck, dublox, multiplication game, and fraction poker--to work on their mobile site, so kids-on-the-go this summer can play anytime.

They have also designed more than 35 “Escape” games, popular games that have kids navigate locations like the old west, a pirate ship, and Yosemite National Park. All are ready for play on tablets and mobile devices, and that list will keep growing. Parents take note: these games will change the way you think about long family car rides.

Visit them at and see which games may be perfect for your students, no matter what device they are using.

Source: Hooda Math,

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