S.C. districts access digital literacy tools for free
To empower students in school districts across South Carolina with digital literacy skills, Learning.com announced the Palmetto Digital Literacy Program (PDLP), in partnership with the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee and Department of Education.
The initiative will help prepare students for college and career success by offering access to a comprehensive digital literacy skills curriculum and provide teachers and students with assessments that can identify technology challenges.
“The importance of a strong skillset in digital literacy and safety in our modern global society has never been higher,” said South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “I look forward to this collaborative partnership and the complementary resources to our current computer science programs that will be provided to students so that they can be successful upon graduation.”
The program, which will launch just in time for the 2016-2017 school year, is funded by the South Carolina Legislature through a digital literacy appropriation. The PDLP will apply best practices related to digital literacy skills for K-12 students, with a particular focus on assisting educators in integrating technology and digital resources into the classroom, while also increasing the digital literacy skills of each student. The program is also designed to support current state initiatives to increase the effectiveness of the use of technology and digital resources at the district and school level.
“Developing digital literacy skills in our students is critical in the workplace of today and tomorrow. To achieve this, we must ensure that all students have equitable access to high quality, digital literacy curriculum as it directly impacts our future economy,” said Keith Oelrich, CEO, Learning.com. “We are incredibly proud of this partnership and look forward to equipping students with the tools they need to build a foundation for future success.”
As part of the initiative, Learning.com will supply access to EasyTech and Inquiry, two of its most popular digital literacy solutions. EasyTech equips students with such vital skills as keyboarding, word processing, digital citizenship, online safety, computational thinking and coding in addition to media and information literacy skills. Projects in Inquiry guide students through mastery in productivity tools, internet research, multimedia presentations and online communication.
Verizon app idea contest open for middle, high school students
Middle and high school students can win prizes and possibly have their problem-solving smartphone application idea turned into reality by entering the Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge.
The contest, which is held in partnership with the Technology Student Association, is open to teams of students from nonprofit organizations and public, private and parochial schools, a news release said. Teams are asked to develop an app idea to solve a problem in their school or community.
Entry deadline is midnight Nov. 18; winners will be announced in January and February.
From among the qualifying entries, one team of middle school students and one team of high school students from every U.S. state and Washington, D.C. will win $5,000 for their nonprofit group or school and tablet computers for each team member, the news release said. Twenty-four teams from among those winners will advance for Best in Nation judging.
Eight Best in Nation winners and a "Fan Favorite" team selected by the public from Best in Nation nominees each will receive an additional $15,000 for their nonprofit group or school and the chance to work with experts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to build their app, which then can be made available for the public to download, the news release said.
For details on how to enter and tips for creating a winning app, go to http://www.verizon.com/appchallenge, @verizongiving on Twitter or http://www.facebook.com/VerizonFoundation on Facebook.
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Marketplace trend update: 5 ed-tech developments
Remaining a tech-savvy educator means keeping on top of the myriad changes and trends in education, how technology can support those trends, and how teaching and learning can best benefit from near-constant change.
Below, we’ve gathered some of the latest and most relevant marketplace news to keep you up-to-date on product developments, teaching and learning initiatives, and new trends in education.
Kids Discover's interactive digital library, Kids Discover Online, now includes custom assessment capabilities. Kids Discover Online enables educators to mix and match material from science and social studies to facilitate students’ exploration of big ideas through cross-curricular learning. The newly added Assessments tool gives educators full control to create, distribute, and assess custom quizzes, tests, and homework assignments directly within the platform. Read more.
Education network Edmodo's latest professional development program for teachers, Edmodo Envoys, is designed to help teachers find and network with one another at the local level and support each others’ professional development efforts. Edmodo Envoys host a TeachUp in their local area and can meet and exchange ideas with educators in their communities whom they might not otherwise have met. Read more.
High school students taking VHS’ U.S. History courses can now receive college credit at Quincy College. Starting fall of 2016, VHS students can earn college credit from Quincy College for taking online Virtual High School U.S History courses. These online classes are now eligible for transcripted credits, which are transferrable within Massachusetts’ State College and University system. Read more.
Pearson has unveiled the Beta-4, the latest revision of a nonverbal measure of cognitive abilities in adults, originally developed by the U.S. Army during World War I. With today’s Beta-4, clinical psychologists can obtain a quick assessment of adults’ nonverbal intellectual abilities. Read more.
Study.com, in partnership with Thomas Edison State University and Quality Matters, has been selected to participate in the Department of Education’s Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP). The program will allow low-income students access to financial aid for nontraditional education and training programs through partnerships with select colleges and universities. Read more.
Schools earn national privacy designation
Seven school systems, both urban and rural, have received a new CoSN seal, which recognizes a commitment to ensuring the privacy and security of student data.