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November 03, 2015

Table of Contents

Common Sense Media, SETDA Unveil New Toolkit to Help States and Schools Access E-Rate Funds
Mimio Launches MimioMobile for the Web
Follett Integrates with eBook Providers to Create Open Content Repository for PreK-12 Districts
OpenEd.com Increases Integration with Google Classroom
Mobiliya Edvelop Launches Virtual Bag to Provide Offline Access to Books for Students

Common Sense Media, SETDA Unveil New Toolkit to Help States and Schools Access E-Rate Funds

Common Sense Kids Action and the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) have announced their collaboration to help finish the job of connecting every school and library in America to high-speed internet by helping states and school districts access billions of dollars in the newly modernized federal E-rate program.

In 2014, the Federal Communications Committee (FCC) modernized the E-Rate program, a nearly 20-year old program that subsidizes communications projects for schools and libraries with small fees from telephone bills. The reforms resulted in $9 billion being available for high-speed fiber and Wifi projects at schools and libraries across the country over the next five years. While nearly all schools and libraries are connected to the internet, more than 60 percent of schools do not have adequate capacity or speed to perform most functions required in today’s highly digitized learning and administrative environments.

Not all lawmakers and state and district education leaders are aware of or clear about the recent E-Rate changes and have not yet taken advantage of the available funding. Common Sense and SETDA have unveiled their new user-friendly online E-Rate toolkit that explains the changes, available funding, and best ways to apply for it.

Common Sense Kids Action, the advocacy arm of Common Sense Media, and SETDA will work together this year and in 2016 and 2017 to encourage digital leaders to file applications for E-Rate funding, and Common Sense will advocate for states to set aside or appropriate funds that qualify for the new state matching grant created in the modernized E-Rate program that can make local high-speed internet projects even more affordable.

The toolkit is being publicly unveiled just before the annual SETDA conference in Washington, D.C., where technology and education leaders from around the country will gather to discuss educational technology policies and best practices.

The E-Rate reforms are part of the Obama Administration’s multi-pronged effort to expand broadband access in America and ensure every classroom and library has high-speed Internet by 2018.

Common Sense also strongly supports one of those efforts, the FCC’s effort to reform and modernize the 40-year-old Lifeline low-income phone service to also include an option for broadband access to underserved homes to ensure all kids have equal access to learning technology at home and at school.

Source: Common Sense Media, commonsensemedia.org; SETDA, setda.org

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Mimio Launches MimioMobile for the Web

Mimio has launched the newest version of its MimioMobile application, MimioMobile for the Web. Available through a (compatible) web browser at mobile.mimio.com, the web application enables educators to deliver collaborative lessons and assessments to an entire class. This release, coupled with the existing Apple and Android apps, allows the MimioMobile app to work on virtually any device the student may have in the classroom: tablets, smartphones, and laptops (including Chromebooks). Educators can try the software for free for 30 days. To help teachers make the most of their trial, Mimio has created a Starter Pack of lesson samples, assessment questions, and tips.

Mimio users can learn how to start their free trial of the MimioMobile app at mimio.com/en-NA/Products/MimioMobile-Trial.aspx. The app will allow teachers to show any combination of the students’ work on the front-of-the-class display, creating greater collaborative learning and providing more in-depth understanding of the students’ comprehension. The MimioMobile app is the only application that provides complete collaboration models for students working with each other and with teachers as part of an interactive whiteboard solution.

Mimio is offering a MimioMobile Starter Pack that will help new users try the app in depth. Available at news.mimio.com/mimiomobile-starter-pack-pr, it includes collaborative student activities, assessment questions, and further learning practice. The pack is loaded with tips that will help teachers enhance each lesson through the use of conventional and technological tools. It also includes links to resource guides and information about on-demand and live training.

The MimioStudio classroom license and the MimioMobile app allow any student with an Android or Apple mobile device, or any device with compatible Web browser, to participate in collaborative learning and ongoing, real-time formative assessment, including open-response questions. The collaborative group instruction encourages participation and idea sharing, and supports the requirement of the Common Core State Standards for a more student-centric learning environment.

To learn more about the MimioMobile collaboration and assessment app, view a short, online animated video at mimio.com/en-NA/Products/MimioMobile-Application.aspx.

Source: Mimio, mimio.com

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Follett Integrates with eBook Providers to Create Open Content Repository for PreK-12 Districts

Follett has unveiled new product integrations with OverDrive and Mackin Educational Resources, continuing in its efforts to make Follett Destiny an open agnostic discovery tool for print and digital content that supports PreK-12 classroom and curriculum needs.

The product integrations ensure that once users have logged into Follett's Destiny, they can access OverDrive or MackinVIA content without being presented with another separate login prompt from those vendors’ platforms. Students and staff can easily access the content from Destiny with a single click of a consistent open button, further negating the need to remember multiple usernames and passwords.

“We recognize our customers utilize content from multiple vendors and are seeking a simple login solution for all their print and digital resources,” said Nader Qaimari, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Follett School Solutions.“It’s important we all work together to provide teachers and students a more seamless browsing experience and to minimize barriers, such as multiple logins. We are pleased to work with vendors, such as OverDrive and MackinVIA, to more easily access content from Destiny with a single click.”

Follett will be expanding this “open approach to education” strategy to support integration with other PreK-12 solutions, such as learning management systems, and access to open educational resources (OER) to ensure teachers and students have access to resources where they need them and when they need them.

All three companies will be exhibiting at this week’s AASL National Conference: Follett at booth #309, OverDrive at booth #629, and Mackin at booth #317.

Source: Follett, follettlearning.com

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OpenEd.com Increases Integration with Google Classroom

OpenEd.com, an online resource library for K-12 teachers, has announced additional ways that teachers can seamlessly integrate its resources with Google Classroom. Now, teachers can import their rosters from Google Classroom into OpenEd with a single click. This roster integration means that any OpenEd resource shared onto Google Classroom will be graded automatically, saving teachers time and letting them focus on what they do best—teaching.

This enhancement marks the second phase of OpenEd’s integration with Google Classroom. Earlier this year, teachers were able to share resources from OpenEd into Google Classroom. With this new level of integration, teachers don’t need to manually create usernames or give out classcodes. They can just transfer their Google Classroom roster right into an OpenEd class.

OpenEd.com has over a million assessments, videos, games and homework assignments. All of these resources are aligned accurately to the appropriate standard via machine learning. The company uses its pre-built and automatically graded assessments to determine the optimal and most effective videos and games, resulting in truly personalized learning for each student.

To see how OpenEd works with Google Classroom, please visit OpenEd.com, sign up with Google, and click the Google Classroom share buttons on the roster and resource pages.

Source: OpenEd, opened.com

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Mobiliya Edvelop Launches Virtual Bag to Provide Offline Access to Books for Students

Mobiliya Edvelop, a digital classroom platform, has launched a virtual bag feature on its LMS platform. The virtual bag is intended to replace the school bags that the children carry to school on their shoulders and gives access to curriculum text books on the Mobiliya Edvelop platform. The virtual bag allows the student to access textbooks and bookmark, annotate, highlight and doodle over the text books. The students can also make side notes on each page.

Mobiliya Edvelop offers all its tools in one unified dashboard -- virtual classrooms, tests, assignments, discussion board among several others. Mobiliya Edvelop blends learning features such as live lectures, assignments, tests, report cards and library, making it a comprehensive learning platform.

The virtual bag feature of Mobiliya Edvelop offers key benefits to all the stakeholders -- students, teachers and content publishers.

Benefits for Students:

· Access to curriculum textbooks on device of their choice.

· Can weekly reveal new content even in an offline mode -- a puzzle or a crossword can be activated each Monday by the teacher.

· Students no longer need to bear the weight of heavy school bags stuffed with text books and note books.

· Works in an offline mode, wherein, the content is encrypted and stored on the device. Thus, even with no internet access, students can access all the content from anywhere anytime.

Benefits for Teachers:

· Highlight-Annotate-Share feature allows teachers to instantly make and share notes for every chapter/section.

· Teachers can also attach additional reference materials (text/video/PPTs) with every chapter and share with students, making learning much more interactive and engaging.

· Allows uniformity of content and reduces redundancy or duplication of work. Teachers can share same content across schools and locations.

Benefits for Content Publishers:

· Be it a tablet, smartphone, laptop or a desktop, Mobiliya Edvelop offers a uniform user experience and functionalities, making it a device agnostic proposition.

· Since the books are encrypted, there is no threat of any copyright infringement or violation.

· Any change in syllabus would allow publishers to simply edit the books by adding/deleting chapters instead of re-publishing the books all over again, saving huge costs and resources.

For more information, visit edveloplms.com

Source: Mobiliya, mobiliya.com

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