Austin ISD offers free test prep to high school students
Austin ISD (AISD) is partnering with Edgenuity, an online education provider, to expand support for all high school students by offering free test preparation services for college entrance exams, including the SAT.
AISD students may enroll in the web-based courses, which will allow them to complete lessons at their own pace.
AISD is the fifth-largest school district in Texas, serving about 85,000 students at 129 campuses, including 17 high schools. This semester, the district serves about 21,000 high school students throughout Austin.
This year, AISD’s graduation rates have reached an all-time high. More AISD students are participating in the SAT and ACT—and they are scoring better overall on the exams, compared with the state and national averages.
“Preparing Austin students to graduate ready for college is among our top priorities at AISD. Working with our school communities, we are meeting our goals by helping to meet students where they are, but there is more work to be done,” said Paul Cruz, interim superintendent. “We must continue to invest in our students’ success by ensuring all students have access to the tools they need. The new Web-based services offer students the flexibility to prepare for college entrance exams when and where it works best for them.”
Edgenuity’s online courses aim to help prepare students to successfully complete the SAT, ACT and Texas Success Initiative tests. The collaboration is part of AISD’s commitment to support greater academic achievement by ensuring all students have access to the latest in innovative tools and courseware.
“Most of today’s students are digitally savvy and are looking for educational opportunities that are personalized, engaging and rigorous,” Cruz said. “This partnership with Edgenuity will help AISD continue to meet the unique learning needs of all our students, including at-risk and first-generation college students. The online courses will help students prepare for and excel on standardized exams at the state and national level.”
Edgenuity’s on-screen teachers help demystify the SAT, ACT and TSI exams and their content and offer test-taking strategies. Courses include video-based instruction, interactive assignments and frequent assessment opportunities to track progress.
Infobase relaunches Issues & Controversies
Infobase, a provider of educational content to schools and libraries, has announced the relaunch of Issues & Controversies. The database, which aims to offer balanced treatment of complex, hot-button issues, is a recent recipient of The ComputED Gazette’s 19th Annual Education Software Review Awards.
Issues & Controversies’ dynamic new design is structured around today’s most controversial issues, from immigration, gun control, racial profiling, and Cuba policy to climate change, police brutality, terrorism, Middle East policy, and more.
Recent controversies in the news are highlighted on the home page, along with a hyperlinked list of all topics, organized by subject or A-to-Z, for quick access into the core of the database.
The issue pages themselves have also been expanded and improved, with a new, user-friendly organization that reveals at a glance all the controversies related to each issue, with clear pro/con statements for each, plus new features such as videos, interactive polls, and news articles that engage and enlighten users as they explore each issue.
Another new addition to the database is the collection of more than 90 debate videos from the renowned Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate Series, featuring some of the most prominent political figures, journalists, academics, and experts in the United States and throughout the world on a wide range of crucial subjects. Linked directly to Issues & Controversies articles and topics, these provocative Oxford-style debates offer fresh perspectives from leading authorities on both sides of the issue and can be used to spark discussion, encourage critical thinking, and enhance debate prep. Each debate can be viewed in its entirety, by predefined segments, or with the help of the complete, searchable transcript.
InfoSnap honored as inaugural Pearson award winner
InfoSnap, a provider of cloud-based registration management solutions, is the winner of Pearson’s inaugural Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Integration Excellence Award.
Chosen from the more than 100 technology companies in Pearson’s ISV program, InfoSnap is honored for its work collaborating with Pearson to develop application programming interface (API) tools for integrating its student information system, PowerSchool, with other software applications, creating cost-effective and efficient approaches for school districts.
Pearson Vice President, Oliver Wreford, who oversees the ISV program, said, “Our partner program includes more than 100 world-class education technology companies that we collaborate with to support K-12 school districts. InfoSnap exemplifies our overall commitment to API development to help schools maximize their technology investment and realize savings in time, resources, and money. Congratulations to InfoSnap President and CEO, Lou Trotter, and his team of talented technology developers.”
Founded in 2000, InfoSnap is used by more than 650 preK-12 independent, charter, and public schools around the world. Its solutions provide secure, customized online forms based on existing business processes, and are designed using SmartForm technology. A powerful administrative portal allows for the review, editing, and managing of data. InfoSnap easily integrates with PowerSchool through an advanced Data Integration Framework. The Data Integration Framework works with the data import process of any SIS (API, files, etc.) to automate the vast majority of imports, identify exceptions requiring administrative action, and provide the proper procedures and tools to resolve the exceptions. This framework allows schools to achieve responsible automation of data delivery.
The single sign-on feature allows families to access InfoSnap services from within their PowerSchool family portal without the need to create or log into a separate InfoSnap account. Additionally, InfoSnap is the only online registration partner that is directly embedded within the Parent Portal navigation.
“InfoSnap and Pearson have had a long and successful partnership,” said Lou Trotter, InfoSnap CEO and President. “Collaborating with Pearson has given our clients an unparalleled understanding of the efficiency, technology, and customization that InfoSnap offers. This award is a direct reflection of the successful integration capabilities we have and the dedicated specialists who work collaboratively with Pearson and our clients to implement innovative solutions.”
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