3 tips for implementing a tech-based learning environment
To assist schools grappling with making the digital leap, three large, national professional education associations offer practical guidance, best practices and examples of model technology-enabled schools.
Posting PARCC exams on social media is copyright infringement
Is monitoring kids on social media following high-stakes testing a violation of student privacy? One lawyer representing those testmakers vigorously asserts it is not.
myON adds content from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
myON, a business unit of Capstone, has introduced digital content from global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) to the myON literacy environment. With the addition of HMH titles, myON continues to expand its collection to encourage reading at all levels spanning all grades, PreK-12.
Through its Publisher Program, myON incorporates titles from leading content providers in the US and abroad, and provides subscription-based access for schools through its cloud-based literacy environment. With this latest addition of four incredible digital packages from HMH — Picture Books, Award Winners, as well as a Middle and High School package — students are sure to find books they find interesting and engaging. The Picture Book package features everyone’s favorite monkey, Curious George. Award Winners include The Bronze Bow, The Midwife’s Apprentice, A Single Shard, and Caldecott Medal Winner Golem, along with a host of Newbery Honor books. The Middle and High School packages feature titles from well-known authors such as Eleanor Estes, Glenn Stout, Gary Paulsen, Roland Smith and many more.
myON, staying true to its commitment of providing the most engaging titles through its personalized literacy environment, is consistently adding new content to further engage and excite learners in reading. All content on myON has an unlimited building license, which removes the traditional check-in/check-out barrier that students might experience with other titles.
"Adding HMH has catapulted myON offerings to new heights, extending its reach in all grade levels, Pre-K-12. It is our top priority to provide our readers with books that pull them into the story and hold their interest to the last page,” said Todd Brekhus, president of myON. “From Curious George to The Black Pearl, the addition of HMH content runs parallel with myON’s mission to provide students with a unique reading experience that resonates with their interests, further supporting them in becoming self-assured lifelong readers and learners.”
MIND Research, Boeing partner on math PD
Through a grant from Boeing, the nonprofit MIND Research Institute aims to help teachers excel using ST Math, a blended learning program designed to boost K-12 math comprehension and proficiency through visual learning. The grant provides specialized professional development to hundreds of Southern California math teachers, and is funding the creation of a new training program.
Boeing’s gift to MIND provides an extensive teacher development course called “Make the Standards of Mathematical Practice Come Alive with ST Math,” to 160 teachers at nine schools in Huntington Beach City School District, who are currently participating in the training. Boeing support is intended to help MIND design and build the professional development program with the goal of demonstrating impact to raise more support for its further scale up.
“Boeing understands that for students to excel, it’s essential to support teachers,” said Daryl Pelc, vice president, Engineering & Product Support, Global Services & Support at Boeing. “MIND’s ST Math program has proven extremely effective at supporting students’ deeper conceptual understanding of math concepts, so MIND is perfectly positioned to help educators translate this conceptual understanding into their teaching practice, as well.”
This training program, specifically for educators using ST Math in a blended learning environment, provides 11.5 hours of professional development in the form of workshops, webinars, in-class lesson studies and coaching sessions over several weeks. But because the training requires teachers to practice the pedagogical techniques in their own classrooms and report back to their peers on how those lessons went, the actual learning time is even greater.
“MIND prides itself on experiences that allow students to 'learn by doing' through ST Math, and with this multi-faceted professional development program, we are bringing that mantra alive for the teachers as well,” said Erich Zeller, manager of instructional consulting at MIND Research. “With practice and support, we’re seeing teachers gain new confidence in teaching techniques that were once uncomfortable or even intimidating for them.”
CASE endorses Fast ForWord
The Fast ForWord program from Scientific Learning Corp. has received an official endorsement from the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE), an international professional organization affiliated with the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).
CEC’s members are dedicated to the enhancement of the worth, dignity, potential, and uniqueness of each individual in society. CASE provides leadership and support to members by shaping policies and practices which impact the quality of education.
Fast ForWord earned the endorsement after meeting or exceeding all of the CASE criteria. CASE bases its endorsements on a rigorous evaluation of a wide range of criteria including the product’s research base, application with students who have learning differences, application in diverse settings, performance in field tests, customer satisfaction, and enhancement of professional practices advocated by CASE.
Next page: How Fast ForWord helps students with learning differences
“The CASE Executive Committee believes the Fast ForWord program provides a truly effective way to help students make rapid improvements in their cognitive, language and reading skills,” said Dr. Luann L. Purcell, executive director of CASE. “What stood out during our evaluation was the Fast ForWord program’s extensive research base and its proven results with students with learning differences, including students with disabilities, Tier 3 intervention students, and English learners. We saw ample evidence of its impact on student learning and achievement with a wide variety of student populations and ages.”
While the Fast ForWord program is used by a variety of student populations, within special education it has been proven effective for students diagnosed with a specific learning disability, autism, auditory processing disorders, specific language impairment, and dyslexia.
“Students with learning disabilities don’t need traditional reading intervention, they need foundational cognitive, language, and reading skills to process the curriculum, and then a way to intensely and repeatedly practice these skills with timely feedback and support,” said Robert C. Bowen, CEO of Scientific Learning.