SunGard K-12 Education releases eSchoolPLUS 4.0
Today, SunGard K-12 Education announced the release of eSchoolPLUS 4.0. The next-generation student information system, eSchoolPLUS 4.0 is a solution for student information management that helps educators directly and positively impact student achievement.
This release amplifies SunGard K-12 Education’s student information system with a smart user interface and a variety of features that promote collaboration.
According to Joel Hames, SunGard K-12 Education’s vice president of product, eSchoolPLUS 4.0 delivers on the vision of bringing a highly elegant solution with user-focused interactivity to schools. “With recent advances and increasing options in technology, today’s educator relies on a broad spectrum of devices and browsers to access their web applications,” says Hames. “eSchoolPLUS 4.0 meets educators where they are by leveraging the latest technology to create a progressive, highly usable, and forward-thinking solution for student achievement.”
With HTML5 as its core technology, eSchoolPLUS 4.0 offers the same application and user experience across any browser and choice of PC, Mac®, Chromebook™ notebook computer, and iPad® or other tablet.
eSchoolPLUS 4.0 sets a new standard for usability with features including responsive design, advanced navigation tools, and mobile-first design concepts, such as tablet-friendly icons and pages and gesture-friendly screens. The result is a very friendly user experience, regardless of which of the multitude of devices and browsers educators and administrators are using to access this web-based application.
This solution also provides advanced tools and at-a-glance insights that promote collaboration between administrators, teachers, parents, and students.
Highly customizable smart search functionality throughout the software puts ad-hoc reporting capabilities at the fingertips of educators. And, with SunGard K-12’s hallmark PLUS 360 Notifications, eSchoolPLUS 4.0 mines student data to help increase user efficiency by allowing educational stakeholders to choose to be automatically alerted when certain events occur or criteria are met.
App of the Week: Quist – Today in LGBTQ History
Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated with help from Graphite by Common Sense Media. Click here to read the full app review. Quist: Today in LGBTQ History What’s It Like? Quist (a contraction of “queer history”) is a reference app for exploring historic events that involved members of the LGBTQ [ Read More ]
BrightBytes releases leadership module at ISTE 2015
BrightBytes, an educational research and analysis organization, has added a leadership module to its Clarity platform. Created in partnership with McREL International, a nonprofit education research and development organization, the Leadership module empowers educational organizations to grow and develop exceptional leaders and track the progress of their improvement initiatives.
"Knowing the status of your most important initiatives is critical for every school leader," said Rob Mancabelli, CEO and co-founder of BrightBytes. "The Leadership Module communicates the impact of your work to all your stakeholders in seconds."
The Leadership module is based on McREL’s research about the leadership practices that have the largest impact on student outcomes. The module provides personalized, actionable analysis for organizational teams in the areas of purposeful community, managing change, and leadership focus
“The Leadership module gives principals, superintendents, and other administrators ready access to data, insights, and recommendations on leadership practices that improve student achievement and staff success,” said Bryan Goodwin, President and CEO of McREL.
BrightBytes’ Clarity platform has a variety of solutions intended to help educational leaders make better, data-driven decisions for student learning. Each module on the platform gives schools, districts, and states very specific next steps on how to use their strengths to address gaps, enabling them to prioritize learning initiatives and allocate investments for maximum impact.
7 of Leslie Fisher’s favorite gadgets for 2015 and beyond
Speaker and self-professed gadget geek Leslie Fisher took to ISTE 2015 to share her favorite futuristic tech tools at her session "Attack of the Gadgets," where she shared everything from drones that follow you to augmented reality tools to simply cool gizmos you'd want around the house. From the just-released to the possible pipe dream, here's a sampling of the future of tech.
A leader’s guide to technology implementations
Establishing a shared vision around a technology initiative is one of the most important success factors for that initiative, according to a panel of administrators from around the country who gathered at ISTE 2015 in Philadelphia to discuss a leadership roadmap to successful technology integration.
The panel was based around ISTE's Essential Conditions, which are 14 necessary conditions for effectively leveraging technology. The conditions fall under the categories of people, policy, and resources.
Some of the conditions--such as consistent and adequate funding--are largely aspirational and may not be fulfilled.
"The key is working with what you have and understanding the places where you need to have those critical conversations," said ISTE's Mindy Frisbee.
Innovative approaches to school technology
Barry Bachenheimer, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment in New Jersey's Pascack Valley Regional Schools (PVRS), which was the first one-to-one laptop district in the state of New Jersey. The initiative is now 12 years old.
"It's not about the device. The more important thing is about what we're doing with the device--not about the device itself," Bachenheimer said.
When we launched this initiative, our board of education was really supportive. We made sure that when they were on board, this initiative was not tied into test scores.
District leaders secured buy-in from all stakeholders, including teachers, students, parents, and they try not to make any big decisions without consulting constituent groups.
"We really want to make sure that we follow our vision and make sure our vision connects with our actions, and vice versa," he said. "We want to take risks. We want to be one of the most innovative districts around."
In February 2014, PVRS held a virtual snow day during a blizzard. Teachers put lessons together ahead of time and students accessed the lessons on their devices. The district showed 97 percent attendance that day.
The district also built in 20 percent time for students. Each week, students get 90 minutes of free time to take ungraded or noncredited classes or meet with teachers, among other activities.
District leaders also are focusing on decreasing student stress.