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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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August 20, 2015

Table of Contents

Follett Unveils Lightbox — Interactive Multimedia Springboard for PreK-12 Learning
Free Touch Curriculum Technology Deepens Learning in MobyMax's Cognitive Skills Science Curriculum Announces New Resources For Educators
myON Launches Redesigned myON Version 3.0
New Interest Discovery Tool from NextLesson Brings the Real World into the Classroom

Follett Unveils Lightbox — Interactive Multimedia Springboard for PreK-12 Learning

Follett has unveiled Lightbox, a fully interactive, multi-dimensional interface for PreK-12 teachers looking to improve student engagement, comprehension, vocabulary and literacy development. Designed with digital natives and the way they learn in mind, Lightbox supports instructors with varied approaches to teaching topics, while its built-in tools create a student-centered learning experience for even the most disengaged students, according to the announcement.

Lightbox is easy to use, affordable, aligned to state standards and can supplement any science, social studies or reading strategy/literacy program, the announcement states. Its objective is to stimulate students’ keen interest and immersion in a topic that ultimately leads to deeper mastery of the subject.

While national surveys show students spend an average of 8 minutes with a traditional ebook, Follett pilot districts are telling the company that their students are spending an average of 45 minutes in a Lightbox topic.

Cotton Creek School, part of Wauconda Community Unit School District #118 in Island Lake, Ill., was among the districts to pilot Lightbox. “My students were very excited and motivated to use Lightbox,” said Susan Fluger, fourth-grade teacher. “They were engaged and enjoyed sharing their discoveries with one another.”

Lightbox delivers market-leading multimedia content from multiple sources in a single interface available on any device. For instance, if a class is studying glaciers, all elements of the lesson on the topic are aligned to the standards and built right into Lightbox, including:

· Audio: High-quality narration using an advanced text-to-speech system to boost student comprehension

· Video: Embedded high-definition video clips to make learning come alive

· Activities: Printable PDFs that can be emailed and graded, ideal for assessing student progress

· Weblinks: Carefully curated links to external, child-safe resources to enhance learning

· Slideshows: Pictorial overviews of key concepts to engage and inspire visual learners

· Google Maps: Interactive maps and satellite imagery to provide context

· Quizzes: Multiple choice assessments that are automatically graded and emailed for teacher review

· Key Words: Highlighted important terms matched with their definitions to enhance vocabulary and understanding

Textbooks, ebooks and other resources are supplemented with core content from renowned video providers, Google Maps, library collections in Follett Destiny Library Manager, and For more information or to purchase Lightbox, visit

Source: Follett,

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Free Touch Curriculum Technology Deepens Learning in MobyMax's Cognitive Skills Science Curriculum

MobyMax, which offers personalized and blended learning curriculum for K-8 students, has released a new Touch Curriculum technology that uses more than 20,000 cognitive skill manipulatives to deepen students’ mastery of science concepts.

By tapping on the manipulatives embedded in every layer of Moby’s Cognitive Skills Science curriculum, students will become better problem solvers, critical thinkers, and even “creative geniuses,” predict Moby’s co-founders, Wade and Glynn Willett.

Cognitive Skills Science is intended for both personalized learning and the blended classroom. Students can discuss, learn, and retain science at a deeper level through exploring and discovering science concepts with cognitive skill manipulatives.

Cognitive Skills Science creates a solid STEM foundation in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) domains—life, physical, earth, and space science. Through cognitive skill manipulatives, Moby’s Cognitive Skills Science leads the way in providing a world-class STEM education for K-8 students.

For more information on Cognitive Skills Science:

Source: MobyMax,

Back to Contents... Announces New Resources For Educators has announced that it will have over 1,000 new teacher-created lesson plans available for educators. With a one-year subscription to Pro, teachers can access thousands of classroom resources, educational games, and lesson plans for less than $75, saving hundreds of dollars on instructional expenses, according to the announcement.

New this school year, the lesson plan offering at includes hundreds of plans for educators of preschool through fifth grade students, in subjects including math, science, reading, social studies, and more. Developers are adding dozens of new lesson plans every week, and over 1,000 will be available in early October. Every lesson plan is made by an experienced teacher, for teachers, and provides an outline, estimated time frame, learning objectives, list of materials, preparation description, worksheets, supplemental games, ideas for differentiation, and key terms.

In addition, to help continue to combat the financial burden teachers in Title 1 schools face, is extending its nationwide effort to support teachers in underserved schools with $1 million worth of free subscriptions to Pro. This subscription also includes access to Brainzy, an award-winning early math and reading program. The no-charge access is available to any eligible teacher at a Title 1 school who registers at by October 1, 2015:

For more information on Pro please visit


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myON Launches Redesigned myON Version 3.0

myON, a business unit of Capstone, has announced a redesign of its personalized literacy environment for PreK-12. Dedicated to providing learners and educators with innovative literacy resources, myON engaged administrators, teachers, library-media specialists and students throughout the development process to ensure their feedback was incorporated within the new design and features.

myON 3.0 includes new student and educator interfaces, advancements in content recommendations based upon individual student interests and Lexile reading level, gamification, and improved enhancements to the state-of-the-art monitoring and reporting functions. All schools and district currently using myON will gain access to these new tools at no cost.

The addition of the new writing tool further enhances the myON Literacy Toolkit, introduced in 2014, that includes a suite of close/active reading tools. Using the new writing tools, educators can create assignments – complete with their own writing checklists – that direct students to write essays integrating their reading journal entries, graphic organizers and myON’s embedded dictionary, within the myON platform.

These enhancements to the myON environment are launching as the myON collection, consisting of more than 10,000 enhanced digital titles from Capstone and over 60 publishing partners, continues to grow on a regular, monthly basis. The collection is composed of 70% non-fiction and informational text, 30% fiction, with 10% of the overall collection composed of dual-language text.

Originally launched in 2011, myON has earned national industry recognition for its disruptive and innovative approach to providing students with 24/7 online and offline access to a complete library of “just right” books, which match their individual interests and reading levels, the announcement states.

Source: myON,

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New Interest Discovery Tool from NextLesson Brings the Real World into the Classroom

NextLesson has announced the launch of InterestID, a student interest and lesson discovery tool. InterestID enables teachers to discover their students' interests and easily find standards-aligned lessons on topics students love.

With a fun, engaging interface, InterestID allows students to voice their favorite interests within categories such as sports, books, movies, food, music and gadgets. Students can filter by specific categories, rate whether they like or dislike individual items, and add new interests to guide future lesson development. They can also view a summary of their most liked categories and interests.

Teachers are able to view the interests of their students in a summary that displays the top categories, most popular interests within those categories, and recommended lessons from NextLesson based on those interests. Teachers can view summaries for individual students or classes as a whole, and track changes in their students' interests over time.

"We want to help teachers make learning relevant by connecting lessons to things students already know and like," says Dion Lim, Founder and CEO of NextLesson. "By having students voice their interests through InterestID, teachers can meet students where they are by discovering lessons that their students will find interesting and engaging."

InterestID is a free tool available on and in the Edmodo Store. To view an informational video, click here:

Source: NextLesson,

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