Online Events for Teachers, Students & Administrators During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Online Events for Teachers, Students & Administrators During the COVID-19 Pandemic

9/22 Webinar Featuring Expert on Workplace Culture Shares Strategies for School Leaders

Vector Solutions’ webinar “Becoming an Ally: How School Leaders Can Support an Inclusive School Culture” discusses allies, microaggressions, codes of conduct and more 

Helping students and staff feel respected and protected can go a long way toward creating a positive school environment where learning can thrive. To support schools in doing this, Vector Solutions, the leading provider of training and software solutions to help schools make their operations and communities safer, smarter and better, has partnered with workplace culture expert Catherine Mattice for a free webinar on how to build inclusive school environments.

The webinar “Becoming an Ally: How School Leaders Can Support an Inclusive School Culture,” takes place at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021. To register, visit www.vectorsolutions.com/resources/webinars/webinar-support-inclusive-school-culture/. The webinar will also be available on demand.

“It’s up to everyone – teachers, school staff, principals and administrators – to help create school environments that are welcoming and support inclusion,” said Vector Solutions Director of Product Management John Abner. “This webinar is a great opportunity for schools and districts to get actionable strategies from a leading expert on how to do this to help make their schools safer places for both students and staff.”

Catherine Mattice is founder and CEO of Civility Partners, an HR consulting firm focused on helping organizations create respectful workplace cultures. Mattice is an award-winning speaker, author and blogger, and has authored numerous Vector Training courses for K-12 educators and staff in the areas of Human Resources, Discrimination, Diversity and Inclusion, and more. In the webinar Mattice will discuss ways to be an ally in creating an inclusive school environment, including becoming aware of one’s own personal communication style and how it affects those around them.

The webinar will provide actionable strategies, including how to:

  • Identify the various roles that allies play (e.g. advocate vs. sponsor), and reflect on the roles they play
  • Define the origins of bias and the four different types of bias
  • Define risk factors that increase our likelihood to engage in bias
  • Combat microaggressions using tried and true intervention methods, including asking questions, relying on basic human values, and organizational core values
  • Facilitate and participate in inclusive meetings by creating a code of conduct, starting every meeting with it, and ensuring all measures are taken to ensure inclusivity (accommodating disabilities, diverse speakers, etc.)
  • Identify resources for educating themselves on inclusive behaviors

The webinar is just one example of the resources Vector Solutions provides to support diversity and inclusion in K-12 schools. The company also offers a Diversity & Inclusion Program for K-12 teachers, school staff and high school students, as well as numerous courses in its staff safety and compliance library that touch on diversity and inclusion.


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The 2021 National Literacy Summit Presents a Distinguished Lineup of Experts Addressing What’s Next for Literacy Instruction

For the third consecutive year, the 2021 National Literacy Summit will take place virtually Tuesday, November 9, 8:30 am until 7 pm. Presented by Achieve3000 and Successful Practices Network, this year’s National Literacy Summit will bring together more than 20 leading experts sharing research, strategies, and insights on the challenges of literacy today in K-12 schools. This popular professional development event for learning and networking has attracted more than 4,000 educators since the Summit was first held in 2019.

Recognized educational thought leaders and expert practitioners including Drs. Pedro Noguera, Doug Fisher, Gabi Bell, Anthony Muhammad and Bill Daggett will explore how to draw on the lessons learned in the 2020-21 school year to help shape the vision of tomorrow. Feature sessions include Coping, Adjusting, and Transforming in Disruptive Times, Overcoming the Achievement Gap Trap, The Science of Reading, Equity Focused Leadership, and many other critical literacy topics.

“This year’s Summit provides an opportunity to reexamine what we thought we knew about literacy through the lens of our experiences in 2020,” said Ray McNulty, President at Successful Practices Network. “Our school communities will continue to face difficult challenges in the days ahead, and this event is designed to provide them with the tools and strategies they need to meet them.”

Sessions will be delivered on a state-of-the-art virtual platform that promises to provide a robust experience for Summit participants. As always, this unique learning experience will include the ability for participants and presenters to interact via live polling, Q&A’s, and by direct chat. It is also an excellent opportunity to network with other educators and education professionals.

National Literacy Summit attendees will have access to their choice of 19 one-hour live sessions on November 9th. In addition, all registrants may access all sessions, on-demand, for up to one year following the event. Participants may earn up to 19 CE certificates.

The cost to participate is $99. Register today.


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Commemorate the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 with a New Virtual Field Trip hosted by NBC’s Jenna Bush Hager from 9/11 Day & Discovery Education

To honor the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Discovery Education and the 9/11 Day nonprofit invite students to join the engaging new 20th Anniversary of 9/11: Paying Tribute Through Good Deeds virtual field trip (VFT). Premiering September 7th at 1 PM ET, the 20th Anniversary of 9/11: Paying Tribute Through Good Deeds VFT shows students how good deeds can honor the past and build a brighter tomorrow. Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place.

Developed for students born after September 11, 2001, this experience highlights ways people in the United States came together during and after the terrorist attacks. During this event, students will meet Jenna Bush Hager, co-host of NBC’s Today with Hoda & Jenna, in a town-hall-style session at the 9/11 Tribute Museum. Students will hear from their peers about the power of good deeds, as well as from other leaders. These leaders include Jay Winuk, a 9/11 family member of a first responder and co-founder of the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance (“9/11 Day”); Terri Tobin, the Chief of Interagency Operations for the New York City Police Department, who was injured in the line of duty on 9/11 and is also a 9/11 family member; and Hillary O’Neill, a college student who was born on September 11, 2001.

To learn more about this powerful event and to register, visit the 20th Anniversary of 9/11: Paying Tribute Through Good Deeds homepage here.

The 20th Anniversary of 9/11: Paying Tribute Through Good Deeds VFT builds upon 9/11 Day, a national observance that is now the nation’s largest annual day of charitable engagement and is one of only two days of service recognized under federal law. This year, the nonprofit hopes to inspire citizens everywhere to collectively perform millions of good deeds in honor of those who perished, were injured, and rose in service in the aftermath of the attacks. The partnership with Discovery Education adds a new and exciting dimension to the education resources currently available to teachers and students at www.911day.org.

“Students know and understand the power of collaboration,” said Jay Winuk co-founder & executive vice president of 9/11 Day. “From collaborating in school projects to connecting through virtual classes, togetherness is a defining factor of learning. We’re pleased to work with Discovery Education to help inspire a spirit of collaboration by discovering the compassion and unity that arose out of the tragic events of 9/11.” Winuk’s brother, Glenn Winuk, was an attorney and volunteer firefighter and EMT who died in the line of duty when the World Trade Center South Tower collapsed.

Accompanying digital materials created by Discovery Education’s expert curriculum and content designers help educators integrate the virtual experience into any lesson plan. Included in the resources is a collaborative activity encouraging civic engagement and self-reflection that demonstrates for students how to map out good deed goals. The partnership is also adding to the 9/11 Day collection of lesson plans that help students unlock the power a good deed can have to shape a better tomorrow.

20th Anniversary of 9/11: Paying Tribute Through Good Deeds is part of a new series of virtual field trips welcoming students back to school. Every month, Discovery Education adds hundreds of new resources—from ready-to-use activities to immersive videos and Virtual Field Trips to podcasts and curated channels found in its recently enhanced K-12 platform. Each resource is culturally authentic, reflects the diversity of today’s world, and includes embedded supports, such as closed captioning, text-to-speech, and language translations. Discover resources for all grade levels at www.discoveryeducation.com.

“I can think of no better way to learn about and honor those affected by 9/11 than by focusing on the value of good deeds and diversity,” said Lori McFarling, President of Social Impact at Discovery Education. “We are proud to work with 9/11 Day to present this engaging virtual field trip to students across the United States.”

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn.


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New Virtual Field Trips from Discovery Education & Partners Welcome Students & Teachers Back to School

To welcome K-12 students and teachers back to school, Discovery Education—the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art K-12 digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place—and leading corporate and community partners proudly introduce four new engaging, no-cost virtual field trips (VFTs). Debuting this September, these unique VFTs connect classroom learning to the people, places, and ideas shaping the world we live in.

Discovery Education offers educators, students, and families hundreds of no-cost, on-demand VFTs that empower educators to provide all students with access to remarkable learning experiences without ever leaving their desks. Adding to the robust collection, the following virtual experiences—developed in conjunction with Discovery Education’s social impact partners—will be available this September:

20th Anniversary of 9/11: Paying Tribute Through Good Deeds Virtual Field Trip with 9/11 Day
Premiere: September 7th at 1 PM ET

Empower students to do good deeds by observing the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance (“9/11 Day”). Designed for students born after September 11, 2001, this experience highlights the remarkable ways people throughout the United States came together, focusing on our common humanity in the aftermath of the attacks. Participants in this VFT directly affected by 9/11 discuss the event and its impact, the national and global unity that ensued, and the lessons learned which remain relevant today. This virtual field trip is appropriate for students in grades 6-12.

9/11 Day and Discovery Education joined together to create this virtual experience to provide educators, students, and families positive ways to pay tribute to the victims of 9/11, as well as those who served in response to the attacks.

Discover Your Happy: Happiness in Action Virtual Field Trip with LG
Premiere: September 16th at 1 PM ET

Addressing the important topic of mental health for youth across America, activate peer-learning by introducing students to other students bringing the Six Sustainable Happiness Skills to life by spreading happiness in local communities. Traveling the United States from the vantage point of a selfie video, students discover how science-based strategies can enhance mental wellness and how happiness changes the brain. This virtual field trip is appropriate for students in grades 7-12.

Discover Your Happy, a collaborative effort between Discovery Education and LG Electronics USA – and extension of LG’s award-winning social impact initiative, “Life’s Good: Experience Happiness” – provides educators, parents, and students with hands-on resources to help America’s youth tackle social-emotional issues through the practice of six foundational “happiness skills”: mindfulness, human connection, positive outlook, purpose, generosity, and gratitude.

Know More, Do More Virtual Field Trip with The Home Depot
Premiere: September 23rd at 1 PM ET

Empower students with greater appreciation for sustainability and conservation by discovering how materials impact our everyday lives. From meeting a forestry expert to a supply chain expert, students explore the actions they can take to build greater self-reliance and a healthier planet. This virtual field trip is appropriate for students in grades 6-12

The Home Depot and Discovery Education joined forces to help STEAM-power classrooms and homes across the country as students prepare for the careers of tomorrow through Science Fair Central. With 10 million students from grades K-12 participating in science fairs and STEAM events every year, Science Fair Central aims to give students the tools to take their projects to the next level.

Exploring Cyber Security and Artificial Intelligence with Mastercard
Premiere: September 28th

Explore cyber security in a new multi-part digital learning video series and activities designed to inspire girls to pursue STEM. Students travel to a high-tech cyber forensics lab and fusion center, where a diverse team of MasterCard cybersecurity experts constantly investigates, safeguards, and innovates against threats like cyberattack and fraud. This virtual experience is appropriate for students in grades 5-9.

With the goal of providing five million girls with an engaging STEM education by 2025, Mastercard has partnered with Discovery Education to launch the latest phase of the award-winning, global Girls4Tech™ initiative. Girls4Tech is Mastercard’s signature science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program geared towards giving girls in middle and high school access to STEM resources and career exploration tools with an emphasis on payment technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and cyber security.

Testing the Limits Virtual Field Trip with Boeing
Premiere: September 30th at 1 PM ET

Witness what goes on behind-the-scenes at Boeing to ensure safety and quality in all their programs while meeting engineers and seeing the labs where they test the limits of new aerospace ideas and materials. This virtual field trip is appropriate for students in grades 6-12.

Created in partnership with Boeing and Discovery Education, FUTURE U. provides educators with the no-cost tools they need to inspire their students to use creativity, collaboration, persistence, and problem-solving to change the world.

Each virtual experience features accompanying educator resources and student activities making it easy for teachers to incorporate rich media into the learning experiences they design and deliver every day. Learn more and register for the new virtual field trips and find all the resources here.

“As I work with teachers to build out lesson plans, I always look for new and innovative ways to capture and maintain our students’ attention,” said Rita A. Mortenson, an Instructional Coach at Verona Area High School in the Verona Area School District. “The VFTs from Discovery Education and their partners give me a powerful tool that I can count on to engage my students as it shows them the world beyond the classroom.”

Discovery Education’s Virtual Field Trips can be found within the company’s recently enhanced K-12 learning platform on the Virtual Field Trips channel or in the Corporate Education Partnerships channel. Every month, Discovery Education adds hundreds of new resources—from ready-to-use activities to immersive videos and Virtual Field Trips to podcasts and curated channels. Each resource is culturally authentic, reflects the diversity of today’s world, and includes embedded supports, like closed captioning, text-to-speech, and language translations.

“In today’s world, it is increasingly important to connect students to experiences that will help prepare them for life. As a new school year begins, we’re excited to collaborate with our industry-leading partners to provide students, educators, and families incredible digital experiences that help them explore the world and dive into innovative ideas, all from the safety of home or the classroom,” said Beth Meyer, Vice President of Social Impact at Discovery Education.

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn.


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Twitter Chat on Hiring SEL-Focused Educators

Trauma-informed work is critical to helping students navigate the events of recent years. Not all teachers have the capacity to teach with SEL in mind, however, and many haven’t even been formally exposed to it. We’re calling for school leaders across the country to make sure the teachers they hire are committed to developing these skills so they can:

  • Grow as educators and community members
  • Model SEL in interactions at school
  • Integrate SEL into the classroom

In this recent article, Joshua Bobrow and Brandon Frame of the Urban Assembly shared 10 questions that principals can ask potential new teachers to ensure that every space in their learning community fosters resiliency and emotional growth. Join Bobrow and Frame, along with ace-ed.org Executive Director Maia Appleby, to discuss how principals can prioritize social-emotional learning (SEL) during the hiring process.

Thursday, September 2 at 3pm ET/12pm PT
Follow the hashtag #Hiring4SEL to participate

Add to Calendar

Twitter links: Follow ACE-Ed.org | Follow The Urban Assembly


Brandon Frame, Director of Social-Emotional Learning, the Urban Assembly
Joshua Bobrow, Deputy Director of Social-Emotional Learning, the Urban Assembly
Maia Appleby, Executive Director, American Consortium for Equity in Education

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Boerne Independent School District in Texas Discusses how to Support Student Resilience in Aug. 24, 2021 Webinar

New “Inside SEL” webinar series from Aperture Education features interviews with school districts about best practices for social and emotional learning (SEL)

As school resumes in 2021-2022, student wellbeing and resilience will be important areas of focus. Educators and administrators will hear directly from school districts about their successes with these issues in a new “Inside SEL” webinar series from Aperture Education, which kicks off at 2 p.m. EST on Aug. 24, 2021 with the Boerne Independent School District (ISD) in Texas.

To register, visit https://bit.ly/BoerneSEL

The “Inside SEL” webinar series features interviews with school district leaders about supporting student resilience, trauma informed practices, and more. In the Aug. 24 webinar, Boerne ISD Executive Director of Whole Child Services Lesa Pritchard explains the role social and emotional learning (SEL) plays in supporting student engagement in her district, the alignment between trauma-informed practices and academics, the district’s integration of the Aperture Great 8 Competencies, and how the district is building stakeholder engagement into its multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) framework.

All webinars in the “Inside SEL” series will be available on demand. Visit apertureed.com/resources and filter by topic: “Inside SEL.”

“For schools who want to implement SEL programs this year, one of the most helpful things they can do is talk to other districts that have done this well. That’s why we launched our new ‘Inside SEL’ webinar series,” said Aperture Education CEO Jessica Adamson. “These webinars provide a great opportunity to hear directly from other school districts about their experiences and successes in implementing SEL programs, and Boerne ISD is a great way to kick it off.”

The “Inside SEL” webinar series is just one way Aperture Education supports educators, administrators, parents, and out-of-school time programs in promoting SEL in classrooms, homes, and after school programs. Additional resources and activities from the company include its free Back-to-School Guide, its SEL conference, and its EdSERT professional development program for teachers, as well as several free resources for families.

To learn more about Aperture Education, visit https://apertureed.com/


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NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly Featured in 4 Live BYJU Webinars in July & August

With one full month remaining until the majority of K-12 students in the U.S. return to in-person learning, BYJU’S FutureSchool announces four remaining live webinars featuring NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, which are complimentary to students enrolled in its math and coding Summer Program. New students can also enroll for free in an upcoming webinar, provided they register for a free session at the FutureSchool Summer Program. Kelly’s most recent webinar on the theme “Mission to Mars” can be viewed here.

BYJU’S FutureSchool partnered with Scott Kelly to instill excitement about the space-focused math classes and coding courses focused on learning through the joy of creative thinking and problem solving. Coding can invite new ways of thinking to help children learn how to solve complex problems while providing a structure that allows children to foster persistence, collaboration, communication and social skills. The proprietary activity-based coding curriculum helps children learn concepts through creating and building applications, facilitated by a highly trained teacher. The math program is anchored on storytelling to help students learn in an engaging manner while learning real-life applications.

Kelly’s future live talks are scheduled for:

  • July 30 at 8 pm EST
  • August 9 at 10:30am EST
  • August 19 at 10:30am EST
  • August 29 at 10:30am EST

Parents can register their child via an easy, two-step process:

Open to students ages 6 to 18, BYJU’S FutureSchool Summer Program includes 6-week and 12-week coding courses and a 14-week math course, which result in the child creating either a space themed game, a space themed app or a math space mission. Some of the projects include simulating the docking of a real spacecraft on the international space station or joining astronauts and scientists on project NEEMO (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations), the world’s only undersea research station.

Students have the option to take one-to-one teacher to student or group classes. For a limited time, BYJU’S is offering their Summer Program classes at discounted prices starting $12 per class for a group class of up to four students and $25 per class for one-on-one instruction. The summer program runs through Aug. 31, 2021.


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Free July 10 Mission Mars space webinar for students featuring NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, astrophysicist Kamen Kozarev

BYJU’S FutureSchool Summer Program is offering a Saturday July 10 free morning webinar (7am Pacific Time; 10 am Eastern) called “Mission Mars” featuring Nasa Astronaut Scott Kelly, astrophysicist Kamen Kozarev, and educator Rajeev Jha, which is open to all students. Great for students interested in space travel, math and coding. While free to register, note, it is not a 1 step but 2 step registration process.

Objective: A unique convergence where coding meets outer space. Code and Decode your way to an outerworld journey.

Why Join Mission Mars?

  • Unravel the mysteries of the space for your child
  • Visualise and get answers to why earth is shaped the way it is
  • Journey Through The Life of a comet

What Takes Place

  • Live Q&A Session with NASA astronaut
  • Unlock the mysteries about Comets – Live demo
  • Exclusive video access to make your home a planetarium
  • Hackathon Access – Get a sneak peek into the Hackathon Finale

Registration is a 2-step process

STEP 1. Register for a free trial class at FutureSchool link (https://www.byjusfutureschool.com/). After that, you are eligible to participate.

STEP 2. Register here for event: https://creatorspace.byjusfutureschool.com/


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BYJU’S FutureSchool Partners With Former NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly to Kick off Math & Coding Summer Program

Online learning platform provides one-on-one live math and coding classes to build creativity and problem-solving skills in children ages 6-18

After a difficult year of online and hybrid learning, 67% of parents* are seeking summer enrichment programs; and to meet the needs of students, leading online education technology company, BYJU’S FutureSchool, is launching its first U.S. online math and coding Summer Program with a partnership with former NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly.

BYJU’S FutureSchool is partnering with Kelly to instill excitement about the space-focused math classes and coding courses focused on learning through the joy of creative thinking and problem solving. Coding can invite new ways of thinking to help children learn how to solve complex problems while providing a structure that allows children to foster persistence, collaboration, communication and social skills. These skills may be needed more than ever with 63%* of surveyed parents noticing decreased engagement in schoolwork.

The BYJU’S FutureSchool Summer Program includes 6-week and 12-week coding courses and a 14-week math course, which result in the child creating either a space themed game, a space themed app or a math space mission. Some of the projects include simulating the docking of a real spacecraft on the international space station or joining astronauts and scientists on project NEEMO (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations), the world’s only undersea research station.

Students who join the summer program can attend live webinars hosted by Kelly where he will play the role of motivational coach while sharing his life experiences on endurance and perseverance.

Students have the option to take one-to-one teacher to student or group classes. The proprietary activity-based coding curriculum helps children learn concepts through creating and building applications, facilitated by a highly trained teacher. The math program is anchored on storytelling to help students learn in an engaging manner while learning real-life applications.

“Students receive individualized attention and guidance to meet their specific needs, so they learn at their own pace while they learn creative thinking and problem-solving skills to help them in the classroom and beyond,” said Sajid Shariff, BYJU’S FutureSchool U.S. CEO. “Since the classes are online, they can be incorporated into a child’s current education and activity schedule, allowing them to engage from the comfort of their own home, which can help parents organize and simplify their lives.”

“It’s important for kids to be excited about learning; that curiosity and exploration will help them grow and find joy in their education or career,” said Kelly. “I’m excited to partner with BYJU’S FutureSchool and be a part of their unique approach that fosters the fun of learning by focusing on building and creating while letting kids chart their own path.”

Parents can book a free trial class by signing up at byjusfutureschool.com. For a limited time, BYJU’S is offering their Summer Program classes at discounted prices starting $12 per class for a group class of up to four students and $25 per class for one-on-one instruction. The summer program runs through Aug. 31, 2021.

LEARN MORE


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Association of Latino Administrators & Superintendents (ALAS) Hosts Small School Symposium July 15-16, 2021

School districts can apply to attend the in-person event, which includes networking, workshops and a meeting with legislative staff and the U.S. Department of Education

The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) is hosting “Small School Symposium: Your Voice in DC” July 15-16, 2021 to provide selected school districts with the opportunity to network and discuss challenges and creative solutions specific to districts of their size. The event includes keynotes, interactive workshops and a meeting with legislative staff, as well as representatives from the U.S. Department of Education. School districts must apply to attend or be invited by ALAS. The event takes place in-person in Washington D.C.

To apply, visit alasedu.org/event/small-school-symposium.

“Small school districts have specific concerns and perspectives about issues ranging from funding to personnel to policy and they may not be able to get all of the answers they need at education conferences that are geared toward the masses,” said ALAS Executive Director Maria Armstrong. “We created the Small School Symposium to provide these districts with a much-needed, more personalized opportunity to have frank conversations with similarly-sized districts about issues that matter to them. We’re also giving them an audience with legislative staff and the U.S. Department of Education where they can discuss their unique needs and creative solutions.”

The Small School Symposium includes several hours dedicated solely to networking, as well as workshops centered around issues such as critical race theory, migrant students, and hiring ecosystems to advance diversity, equity and inclusion. There will be policy discussions and dedicated time for legislative staff, and representatives from the U.S. Department of Education to hear directly from the school districts.

The Small School Symposium is among several events and programs ALAS offers. It also hosts a major education conference in the fall, weekly vodcasts discussing issues in education, and several other professional development opportunities throughout the year.

For more information about ALAS, visit alasedu.org.


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Learn How to Transform Learning Spaces Using COVID-19 Relief Funds

TUESDAY, JUNE 29 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Did you know COVID-19 relief (ESSER) funds can be used for design and furnishing services?

Investing in the right classroom furniture ensures schools will have ergonomic, agile furniture that supports the mental and physical well-being of students. And, VS America’s agile furniture can be instantly rearranged to allow for physical distancing when needed.

Learn how schools can use COVID-19 relief funds to purchase agile furniture for students and teachers in this session with a district CFO and school administrator.

All school personnel, architects, designers, and VS partners are welcome to attend.

Speakers

Steve Barr | Oak Park School District Chief Financial and Operations Officer

Steve Barr has dedicated 26 years of his career advocating for K-12 education. After working six years in public accounting after graduating from Michigan State University, Steve worked in the Utica Community Schools, Troy School District, Macomb Intermediate School District, Novi Community School District and also the City of Farmington Hills prior to his current assignment in Oak Park Schools. In addition to being a leader in school finance, he feels strongly about the positive impact that agile furniture has on teaching and learning. He co-led the implementation of flexible furniture in all classrooms in the Novi Community School District beginning in 2015, with Dr. RJ Webber.

Dr. RJ Webber | Novi Community Schools Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction

Dr. RJ Webber has been a passionate ally and advocate for students and teachers his entire career. He has a focus upon instructional design, curricular design, and social justice that creates space for all stakeholders to reach their potential. In 1991 RJ earned the Alma College Jerry Smith African Teaching Fellowship, committing to a year of teaching at the Mayflower Junior School in Ikenne, Nigeria. It was in Nigeria that RJ began to understand the importance of the educational environment and instructional design.

At Novi Community School District, RJ has led a community wide approach to social justice efforts that focus upon student and educator voice. He has partnered with the University of Michigan School of Social Work, Oakland Schools, and the Novi Community to offer training in culturally relevant instruction.

Learn more about VS America at www.vsamerica.com or contact VS at 704-378-6500, info@vsamerica.com.

REGISTER HERE


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KidWind Awards Top Student Teams in 2021 National KidWind Challenge

Winners were best of 58 teams to prove their renewable energy skills

A passion for exploring and learning about wind energy brought 58 teams and more than 200 students to the 2021 National KidWind Challenge. Over the course of the four-day virtual event, these students, who had previously won regional events, were tested on their knowledge of renewable energy and demonstrated their wind turbine’s performance to a panel of judges using a variety of virtual tools. The highest performing teams are:

Elementary School Division (Grades 4-5):

  1. Nature Wings from Cardinal Ridge Elementary School in Centreville, Va.
  2. Carrillo Ranch Reunion from Carrillo Ranch Elementary School in Indio, Calif.

Middle School Division (Grades 6-8):

  1. Auntie Anne’s from The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas.
  2. The Georges from American Charter Academy in Wasilla, Alaska.
  3. Moderna from Bobby Duke Middle School in Coachella, Calif.
  4. Blade from Old Donation School in Virginia Beach, Va.

High School Division (Grades 9-12):

  1. Quilt Blockers from Darlington High School in Darlington, Wis.
  2. Mauston Golden Eagles from Mauston High School in Mauston, Wis.
  3. Underground Turbine from Exeter West Greenwich Regional High School in Greenwich, R.I.
  4. KidWin(D) from Mauston High School in Mauston, Wis.

Team scores were based on their performance on six tasks. Teams submitted performance data for their physical or simulated wind turbine through the KidWind competition site and each team presented their turbine to a panel of judges over Zoom. All teams also participated in a synchronous virtual quiz bowl and three challenges that had students building gearboxes, siting wind farms and creating wind focused PSAs.

In addition to top performance, the event presented additional awards for Blade Design, Rookie of the Year, Judges Awards, and Spirit of KidWind Awards.

“Everyone knows that doing anything in schools was really hard this year – especially hands-on competitions. I was so impressed with all the students that had the passion to participate in our virtual national challenge. Some students had even been out of school for weeks!,” said Michael Arquin, founder of KidWind. “I look forward to taking what we learned this year and combining it with our more traditional programming in the 2021-22 season. It is going to be awesome!”

Since the first competition in 2009, the KidWind Challenge and its partners have successfully implemented events in 32 states, with roughly 40,000 students competing in 300 events across the country. The 2021 KidWind Challenge was made possible with the help of many volunteers and the generous contributions from national sponsors, including Vernier Software & Technology, Flinn Scientific, EDP Renewables North America, Orsted, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, TPI Composites, and Siemens Gamesa.

For more information, visit kidwind.org/challenge.


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Registration Is Open for the <br>2021 National Literacy Summit

November 9, 2021 | [8:30] AM – [7:00] PM ET

In 2020, the pandemic forced us to reexamine everything we thought we knew about literacy instruction and education in general. In 2021, we’re exploring how we can draw on those lessons to promote equity, accelerate and deepen learning, and build a culture of literacy.

Join some of today’s most respected thought leaders for an informative and inspiring day of professional learning as they look at the challenges of literacy today and share their vision for how we can help shape tomorrow.

REGISTER HERE


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Summer Learning Made Fun with No-Cost Family Resources from Discovery Education & Partners

To accelerate student learning and ignite their natural curiosity, Discovery Education presents parents and guardians an array of no-cost dynamic digital resources for the summer. This selection of content, created in partnership with leading corporate and community partners, inspires families to learn together by exploring the world around them during the summer break. Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms.

The following selection of no-cost digital resources connect families to continued learning in essential topic areas like STEM, financial literacy, health, and social-emotional learning:

STEM Activities

From traveling the world to recycling water and cans, families can dive into the wide world of STEM and sustainability with K-12 activities from the STEM Careers Coalitionthe first-of-its-kind national STEM initiative powered by corporate leaders and anchored in schools by Discovery Education.

Empower middle school students with the key components of computational thinking and gain a deeper understanding of problem-solving skills with these exciting, collaborative, and challenging activities from Ignite My Future in School, an educational partnership with Tata Consultancy Services.

Financial Literacy Resources

Get the entire family involved in creating a strong financial future with resources from Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids. Designed with Jackson Charitable Foundation for family fun, these activities and engaging videos for K-6 students are informal learning opportunities that provide the tools and knowledge for kids to grow up to be money smart.

Social-Emotional Learning and Social Awareness Resources

Explore how to leverage the power of story to teach middle and high school students about perseverance, resilience, and testimony through artistic expression using activities from Teaching with Testimony and The Willesden Project created in partnership with USC Shoah Foundation.

Build body and social confidence together through resources from Amazing Me – an initiative from Dove Self-Esteem Project and Discovery Education. Amazing Me delivers the best in social-emotional learning (SEL), health, and confidence-building content for students in grades 4-5.

Health Content

Parents and guardians can help keep their kids healthy by having thoughtful, factual conversations about the dangers of vaping. For help getting started, families can turn to the no-cost Be Vape Free digital tools. Be Vape Free is a nationwide initiative from the CVS Health Foundation, CATCH Global Foundation, and Discovery Education providing standards-aligned e-cigarette prevention resources for 5-12 grade students.

While federal and state governments wrestle with how and whether to legalize cannabis use for adults, the science is clear when it comes to youth: cannabis use among kids and teens can come with lasting consequences. Conversations are the keys to prevention; discuss the effects of engaging in risky behaviors with kids and work with the whole family to open the lines of communication with resources from Ask, Listen, Learn, a program empowering students in grades 5-7 to “YES” to a healthy lifestyle and “NO” to underage drinking and substance use.

“As a teacher and as a parent, I know I can lean on Discovery Education and their trusted partners for high-quality, relevant content,” said Shelby Graves, Library Media Specialist at Rebecca Boone Elementary in the Warren County R3 School District. “As the school year turns into summer break, I can make sure my students keep learning by connecting their parents to cool resources like these.”

Families, students, and educators can discover even more resources for any-time learning on Discovery Education’s flexible K-12 learning platform. The STEM Careers channel inspires students to dream big by meeting current STEM professionals from industry leading organizations. The Corporate Education Partnerships channel offers up a diverse array of multi-media activities designed to spark curiosity and launch learning into the world. The Social-Emotional Learning Coalition provides K-12 educators, students, families, and afterschool directors a no-cost library of digital social and emotional learning (SEL) resources supporting the integration of SEL into core instruction.

“We know that learning goes beyond the classroom. As students turn towards summer break, teachers and families can team up to ignite summer learning,” said Beth Meyer, Vice President of Corporate & Community Partnerships at Discovery Education. “We are proud to stand alongside our partners to provide communities engaging learning experiences anywhere.”

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn.


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Upcoming Teletherapy Webinar Helps Districts Planning for Next School Year

Presenters will discuss how PresenceLearning’s Teletherapy Essentials can help school districts meet students’ needs this coming fall, no matter the setting

For school districts looking for solutions for providing support services to students for next school year, PresenceLearning, the leading provider of live online special education related services for K-12 schools, is hosting, “A Complete Teletherapy Platform Solution for District Teams” on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 2 pm ET/11 am PT.

PresenceLearning’s team will outline what districts need to know to plan ahead for a smooth start to providing support services to students this fall. Janna Piper, director of student support services for National School District in National City, California, will join the webinar to discuss how to incorporate PresenceLearning into the school district’s plan. Topics will include:

  • Ongoing use of remote therapy
  • Innovative staffing solutions and retention tools
  • Continuity of services – meeting the need no matter the setting

To attend the upcoming webinar, register here


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ALAS Supports its Kansas-Missouri Chapter’s National Education Summit for Aspiring Latino Administrators and Superintendents

Conference furthers the goal of ALAS to support Latino Education Leaders

The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) supports its Kansas-Missouri chapter’s inaugural online education summit Conexión: The Summit for Latinx Education Leaders. The summit, which features keynote Dr. Martha Salazar-Zamora who is superintendent of the Tomball Independent School District, takes place on Saturday, May 22, 2021 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Central. To register, visit https://bit.ly/33B7MaQ. Tickets are $25.

The summit, hosted in partnership with the Latinx Education Collaborative, brings together Latino leaders from across the country who are interested in becoming school administrators or superintendents. Attendees will have the opportunity to connect with Latinos in positions of leadership in education and take away tools and practices to help them advance in their careers.

“Strong leadership is necessary to improve equity in schools and positive outcomes for students,” said Stephen Linkous, KANMO-ALAS member. “We created the Conexión summit to support education leaders, both in the Kansas-Missouri region and nationwide, along their career journeys so they can have an even bigger impact on the Latino students, schools and communities they serve.”

About the speakers

Dr.  Martha Salazar-Zamora has been an educator for 28 years in South Texas, Houston and Central Texas. In addition to serving as superintendent for the Tomball Independent School District, she has held superintendent or assistant/deputy superintendent roles in the Round Rock Independent School District, Houston Independent School District, Spring Independent School District, and Kingsville Independent School District. Her educational leadership work began in the Bishop Consolidated Independent School District, where she served as principal and as director of special programs. She has also served as a teacher, educational diagnostician and speech/language pathologist. She is also vice president of the newly formed Texas Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (TALAS).

Panel discussion: “Latinos in Leadership/The Power of ALAS” featuring:

  • Maria Armstrong, Executive Director of National ALAS
  • Gustavo Balderas, Superintendent of Edmonds Public Schools
  • Stephen Linkous, Chief of Staff, Kansas City Kansas Public Schools

“The goal of ALAS and its State Affiliates is to help develop the leadership skills of our Latino-serving education leaders. The Kansas-Missouri Conexión summit is a great opportunity to do that,” said Maria Armstrong, executive director of ALAS. “We’re excited to participate in this event and encourage anyone who is committed to serving children while moving forward on their own career journey, to attend.”

Learn more & register here.


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National Constitution Center

BIG EVENT ON CIVICS FOR STUDENTS FRIDAY, MAY 28 AT 1PM WITH JUSTICE STEVEN BREYER

 Online Scholar Exchange for students live at youtube.com/ConstitutionCenter   

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer joins National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen to discuss the Constitution, civil discourse, and the courts. The session will include Q&A from students.

This student-focused special session is part of the National Constitution Center’s schedule of 2020-2021 live classes on the Constitution and other course offerings for middle school, high school, and college students. The remote learning initiative featuring synchronous and asynchronous classes – the Scholar Exchanges –allows the Center to engage learners in the text, meaning, and history of the U.S. Constitution wherever learning takes place this year.

​Admission is free. Tune in live at youtube.com/ConstitutionCenter or register to attend here.


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How to Teach Phonics and Word Recognition to Older Students

To further support educators with their reading instruction, Curriculum Associates is hosting a free, full-day workshop led by Dr. Anita Archer, an educational consultant on explicit instruction and author. During “How to Teach Phonics and Word Recognition to Older Students,” which will take place virtually on Friday, May 14, 2021 from 9 a.m.—4 p.m. ET, Dr. Archer will provide expert insights about the art of teaching phonics to students in Grades 3 and up and model principles from her PHONICS for Reading program.

“Ensuring students receive high-quality, in-person reading instruction as they return to the classroom is a top priority for schools and teachers across the country,” said Elizabeth Bassford, associate vice president for content and implementation at Curriculum Associates. “Dr. Archer is the architect of explicit instruction and will provide teachers with the practical strategies and impactful delivery they need to accelerate student learning.”

Dr. Archer serves as an educational consultant on explicit instruction and literacy to state departments and school districts. She has presented in all 50 states and many countries and is the recipient of 10 awards honoring her contributions to education. Dr. Archer has served on the faculties of University of Washington, University of Oregon, and San Diego State University. She has also coauthored numerous curriculum materials, including PHONICS for Reading (Curriculum Associates), which is a three-level intervention program, and a best-selling textbook titled Explicit Instruction: Effective and Efficient Teaching (Guilford Publications).

All attendees of Dr. Archer’s upcoming workshop will receive a free meal provided by Grubhub. The workshop culminates the Teach Forward: Innovations in Reading series showcasing a variety of timely, research-based practices around knowledge development, culturally responsive pedagogy, and the power of proven scaffolds that bring all students to grade-level text.

To learn more and to register for the upcoming workshop, visit CVent.Me/2K8rkr.


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PBLWorks Online Summer PD Sessions Now Open for Enrollment

Introductory and advanced workshops meet the needs of educators and administrators wherever they are in their Project Based Learning journey

PBLWorks, the leading provider of professional development for Project Based Learning (PBL), has opened enrollment for its summer professional development workshops which are designed to help teachers and instructional leaders implement Gold Standard Project Based Learning in their classrooms. A variety of workshops are available to support those who are just getting started on their PBL Journey and others support seasoned PBL educators looking to advance their PBL skills. All courses are offered online, making it easy for participants to attend, no matter where they are located.

To see the full list of upcoming workshops and courses and to register, visit: https://www.pblworks.org/calendar. This includes a variety of dates throughout the summer, as well as at the annual Project Based Learning conference PBL World, hosted by PBLWorks on June 21-24, 2021.

“Research shows that Project Based Learning is incredibly effective, but no one becomes a PBL instructor overnight. It takes practice to do it well,” said Bob Lenz, CEO of PBLWorks. “Our professional development programs provide both the training and the ongoing support every step of the way to help teachers get started with PBL and then build on those skills. We also help school and district leaders create a climate where PBL can thrive. Summer is a great time to get started and we’re looking forward to welcoming teachers and administrators into our workshops in Summer 2021.”

Upcoming workshops include:

Introductory workshops which provide a grounding in Gold Standard PBL, including the Essential Design Elements and Project Based Teaching Practices. Courses include:

Advanced workshops which are for educators and instructional leaders who have already taken PBL 101 and want to advance their PBL practice, include:

For those who need help deciding which to choose, PBLWorks has created a short guide. Visit: https://www.pblworks.org/blog/summer-pd-guide-choosing-your-next-pbl-workshop-or-course.


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Epson Creative Projection App

Recent Epson Survey Found 80% of Teachers Spend Their Own Money on Classroom Supplies; Would Leverage Technology to Enhance Teaching if They Had it

Teachers make a tremendous impact in the lives of millions of students every day, in the classroom and far beyond its walls. From navigating hybrid lesson plans to keeping classes engaged to providing emotional support to keep students motivated during this difficult time, teachers play a critical role in students’ personal well-being and educational growth. To better understand teachers’ needs, Epson surveyed Pre-K to 5th grade educators* and found that they heavily rely on technology to support critical learning, with 80% of respondents spending their own money on classroom supplies. 94% of respondents print documents to help them stay organized during the school week and help them remain productive, and 81% of respondents scan hard copy materials such as lesson plans or art project materials for their students to use.

Epson learned that teachers would use technology to enhance the learning experience if they had access to reliable solutions. From the survey, 63% of respondents would print more if they did not have to worry about running out of ink, 86% of respondents who did not bring a scanner home would use one if they had it and 80% of respondents agree that they would prefer to have a larger screen than their laptops to be able to see and engage with students. With a wide range of reliable and intuitive technology solutions that help teachers easily engage with students, Epson is celebrating teachers and giving back in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week.

“We are grateful for teachers and the important contributions they make every day to support  students and their communities,” said Mike Isgrig, vice president, North American Consumer Sales and Marketing, Epson America. “Epson is committed to providing teachers with reliable and high-quality educational technology solutions to help alleviate stress and enhance productivity so they can focus on what they do best – inspiring children and helping them reach for the stars.”

To honor teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week, Epson is sponsoring an #EpsonTeacherAppreciationSweepstakes on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Epson is encouraging educators to respond for a chance to win an EcoTank® ET-4760 all-in-one cartridge-free Supertank printer, an extra set of replacement ink bottles, and a ream of EcoTank Paper. With the EcoTank ET-4760, teachers can wirelessly print, copy, scan, and fax thousands of colorful lesson plans, assignments, calendar pages, and more without worrying about running out of ink and with zero cartridge waste. The EcoTank ET-4760 features refillable ink tanks and low-cost replacement ink bottles,2 providing teachers with a cost-effective printing solution to stay organized and productive. With a wide range of voice-activated printing applications, the EcoTank ET-4760 enables teachers to stay on top of important tasks by simply asking Amazon Alexa™, Google Assistant™ or Siri®.

#EpsonTeacherAppreciationSweepstakes1 Details

Simply go to @epson on Facebook, @epsonamerica on Instagram or Twitter and enter for a chance to win by commenting on Epson’s sweepstakes posts using the hashtag #EpsonTeacherAppreciationSweepstakes. Five winners will be selected to receive an EcoTank ET-4760, an extra set of replacement ink bottles and a ream of EcoTank Paper, with one winner selected each day from May 3-7, 2021.

For full details and sweepstakes rules, visit https://epson.com/ecotank-teacher-appreciation-sweepstakes.


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Osmo For Schools Announces FREE June 16 Webinar “Shake Up Your Station Rotations, In Time for Fall”

Webinar Focuses On 5 Ways to Creatively Implement Osmo for Schools Learning Systems Into ELA, Math, and STEAM/STEM stations & Get the Most Out of Them

Osmo for Schools announces a FREE June 16 webinar for Pre-K to Grade 5 teachers addressing “Shake Up Your Stations Rotation, In Time For Fall,” to help those interested in updating their stations using Osmo for Schools learning systems and how to get the most out of their Osmo products. The webinar takes place via Zoom at 8 p.m. Eastern Time/5 p.m. Pacific Time.

The webinar will address changing up learning stations for English Language Arts (ELA), Math, and STEAM/STEM. It will be co-hosted by Kira Westbroek of Osmo for Schools, and Technology & Innovation Lead Teacher Micah Brown. Westbroek is a former special education teacher for K to 5; Brown works with students and teachers for Pre-K to 5 at Andover Public Schools in Andover, Kansas, and holds a B.S. in elementary education and a M.S. in curriculum and instruction.

“Osmo for Schools believes in helping educators understand how its proprietary educational technology can support their ELA, Math and STEM lessons and teach it in a more interactive and engaging way for students,” says Jan Richards, head of education sales and marketing at Osmo for Schools, the division of Tangible Play that promotes in-classroom usage of Osmo’s devices and recently received the 2021 EdTech Award for Curriculum and Instruction Solution. “This webinar will help those who are new to Osmo figure out how to maximize the technology for learning purposes, by taking a deeper dive into Osmo’s offerings.”

“Teachers will learn how to get the most out of Osmo, and use Osmo creatively,” says Brown, who also leads the Awesome Squiggles global art project that utilizes Osmo for Schools technology. “Educators will also learn where to find helpful resources for using Osmo in classrooms,” adds Westbroek.

To help teachers maximize their potential with ELA stations, the webinar will focus on creating an Albums Directory using the Osmo Words app, where a picture shows up on a tablet screen and students have to choose the correct letters tiles to spell the word, and place them in the right order in front of the tablet. Teachers will learn how to download word types to their ELA station, as well as create a custom album where they upload their own photos and download the relevant words assigned to each photo. Teachers will also learn to use Osmo Masterpiece app to support writing for book reports, where students use Masterpiece to draw the subject of their book report, as well as handwriting on worksheets via their student whiteboards.

For those using Math stations, the focus is using the Osmo Numbers app, where students creatively arrive at a solution, as well as discover multiple solutions to a math problem. Students will learn algebraic thinking, fact families, deductive reasoning, and develop a better understanding of the relationship between numbers. Teachers will learn lock/unlock modes for individualized instruction, and to help students buddy up with high/low groups together.

For teachers looking to enhance their STEAM stations, the focus is using Osmo Tangram and Osmo Newton apps, to showcase cause/effect relationship games, theme activities and brain teasers; it will also help students explore the foundations of coding using Osmo Coding Family apps (Coding Awbie, Coding Jam, Coding Duo). With Osmo Tangram, students use geometric thinking and spatial reasoning to solve puzzles with shapes; and with Osmo Newton, they practice the cause/effect relationship and experiment with gravity by guiding falling balls on the tablet’s screen to fall into targeted zones.

Last, the webinar will provide resources for teachers, including: the blog; a how-to guide for each app; how to connect with the Osmo community of educators on Facebook and Twitter; and how to get involved in the Osmo for Schools community.

The webinar takes place via Zoom on Wednesday, June 16 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time/5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Sign up here.


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51 Activities & Events to Help Educators and Communities Celebrate Earth Day

To celebrate the 51st Anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2021, Discovery Education and several content, corporate, and community partners present educators, students, and families 51 engaging, curated activities and events. Found online at Discovery Education’s 51 Ways to Earth Day website, these dynamic digital resources inspire students to explore the natural phenomena in the world around them as they observe the 51st Earth Day in the classroom or at home. Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms.

The 51 Ways to Earth Day resources include live events, videos, podcasts, ready-to-use instructional resources, Virtual Field Trips, and fun family activities from Discovery Education’s robust collection of Earth Day content, as well as resources from trusted partners. Among the exciting no-cost events planned are:

Diversity in STEM Discussion:
Building a Sustainable Future Through Inclusion

4/20 at 2 p.m. ET

It’s no surprise that diverse perspectives and broader representation can play a significant role in solving the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. But how are we creating opportunities for tomorrow’s diverse change agents to explore interests, grow critical skills, and access real-world opportunities? During this interactive discussion, corporate and educational leaders will examine key actions and strategic programs that allow students to showcase their abilities and ideas, test-drive their interests, and gain valuable network connections.

Save the Ocean with Patrick Dykstra

4/22 at 10 a.m. ET

Meet discovery+’s Chasing Ocean Giants host Patrick Dykstra and learn what inspired him to become an ocean explorer, adventurer and filmmaker, and what we can all do to make the world a better place for wildlife.

Green Goes Live!

4/22 at 12 p.m. ET

Don’t miss this live Twitter chat with Minnesota Twins player Nelson Cruz! Join the team @DiscoveryEd to hear from a real player and pitch in to the conversation.

Learn About Rising Sea Levels with a NASA Scientist

4/22 at 1 p.m. ET

Catch a Q&A session with Dr. Josh Willis, oceanographer, and lead scientist for the Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) initiative.

“Connecting my students to real-world learning for Earth Day is made fun and easy thanks to the curated digital content from Discovery Education,” said Genny Kahlweiss, 3rd Grade Teacher at Saint Columban School in the Diocese of Orange, California. “These new resources ensure engaging learning experiences for all my students whether we are learning together in person or remotely.”

Included in the 51 Ways to Earth Day are resources on all things Earth. Students examine the impact of plastics and fast fashion, study polar bear migration, learn about sustainability efforts at Major League Baseball parks, and experience how fragile the Earth is through the eyes of astronauts. Students can explore the wide world with DE original content and instructional resources, as well as trusted content from Discovery Channel, Major League Baseball, World Wildlife Fund, NASA, Newsy, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Science News for Students, and more.

Also available to educators are no-cost resources from several corporate and community partner initiatives – including from Itron, Boeing, Chevron, AES, P&G, and Caterpillar – focused on sustainability and Earth-conscious learning. Covering topics from conservation and the STEM professions involved in going green to the future of cities and recycling, these engaging resources present communities with high quality, standards-aligned content exploring some of the most important topics of our time through engaging media. Find all the Earth Day content in Discovery Education’s K-12 learning platform on a specially curated 51 Ways to Earth Day Channel and on the 51 Ways to Earth Day resource page.

“Every year, Earth Day provides educators and students the opportunity to take a closer look at the world around them, and Discovery Education is proud to provide resources that ignite that curiosity and inspire learning,” said Scott Kinney, Discovery Education’s Chief Executive Officer. “By encouraging students to engage with their natural environment, we can inspire lifelong learning as we learn how to make our world a healthier place. Every action—big or small—helps to make a difference.”

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn.


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Diversity in STEM Discussion<br> Building a Sustainable Future Through Inclusion

Join Discovery Education for Diversity in STEM Discussions, a thought leadership series designed to bring leaders of industry together with district-level and classroom educators to engage in an honest and thought-provoking dialogue around building a magnificently diverse STEM workforce.

Tuesday, April 20th | [2:00]PM – [3:00]PM EST

This action-based conversation will dig into:

  • Why diversity is a key driver to successful sustainability
  • How diversity and sustainability can widen the talent pool
  • How we can open channels for our most underserved students in tangible ways

During this interactive discussion, our panelists will explore ways to open channels for under-resourced students through academic programs, community outreach, employee engagement and the diversification of our future STEM workforce.

REGISTER HERE


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Lexia Webinar: "Less Guessing, More Addressing: Tangible Steps to Close the Literacy Gap"

According to a Learning Counsel survey conducted in January, academic achievement has declined among 51% of students. The task now facing school leaders is figuring out how to assess students’ achievement gaps and how to adjust curriculum planning to address those shortcomings.

On April 22 at at [3:00] PM EST, teachers and educational leaders will learn best practices from Pulaski County SSD Deputy Superintendent Alesia Smith; Wenatchee Public Schools 246 Superintendent Dr. Paul Gordon; and Dr. Liz Brooke, Chief Learning Officer for Lexia Learning, a Cambium company. The webinar will be moderated by Learning Counsel CEO and Founder LeiLani Cauthen.

The panel will discuss how thoughtful human response, combined with professional-grade quality technology and simple user experience, can accelerate student learning. The practices and insights that they will share can benefit the following types of schools:

  • Traditional schools needing quality interventions for onsite students
  • Hybrid schools needing asynchronous options
  • Hybrid-simultaneous teaching schools needing to personalize live classroom and remote options
  • Schools seeking equitable solutions for all students

Smith has been the Deputy Superintendent for learning services in Pulaski County SSD since 2017. Before that, she served as the school improvement officer for Pine Bluff SD, also in Arkansas, supervising more than 200 educators. In addition, Smith has been an elementary school principal, assistant principal and teacher in Cincinnati.

Dr. Gordon currently serves as the superintendent for the Wenatchee School District in Washington. His first superintendency was for a K-8 school district in the Western suburbs of Chicago. Prior to those experiences, Dr. Gordon served as the Chief Academic Officer in a large urban school district in Colorado, the director of professional development, a middle school principal, and as a teacher.  He and two co-authors will be publishing a book through ASCD this December on becoming an inclusive school system.

Cauthen is an author and media personality with a research, marketing and sales background in the high tech, government and education sectors. She is also the founder of Knowstory, a social media hub for education. Before that, she served as publisher and vice president of sales for the Center for Digital Education from 2003 to 2013.

As Lexia’s Chief Learning Officer, Dr. Liz Brooke, CCC-SLP, guides the pedagogical approach and research strategy for the company’s personalized literacy and language programs. Dr. Brooke joined Lexia from the Florida Center for Reading Research in 2010, where she served as the Director of Interventions. Prior to FCRR, she worked as a Speech and Language pathologist evaluating students with learning disabilities, a Title I reading instructor and a first-grade classroom teacher.

Register for this free webinar here


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Supporting Women in School Organizations: Lessons from the Private Sector

Former superintendent and education business executive discuss how districts can support, retain, and develop women leaders by creating working environments where they can thrive.

Women make up 77 percent of the workforce in public education, yet 73 percent of superintendents are men. The upcoming webinar Supporting Women in School Organizations: Lessons from the Private Sector on Thursday, May 6 at 2 pm ET/11 am PT will address how district leaders can create better working environments to develop and promote the women on their teams.

Kate Eberle Walker, PresenceLearning CEO and author of The Good Boss: 9 Ways Every Manager Can Support Women at Work, and will be interviewed by Dr. Robert Avossa, former superintendent of the School District of Palm Beach County and Fulton County Schools, to discuss how leaders — men and women alike — can support women in education.

During the webinar, Eberle Walker will share the lessons from her book and Avossa will reflect on how to apply them to education organizations. Participants will walk away with practical advice including how to:

  • Develop and promote more female leaders
  • Create working environments that promote inclusivity
  • Bring women back to the workforce post-COVID

“When I first read The Good Boss it immediately struck me as important and necessary for school leaders. I wish I had this perspective and advice when I was a superintendent, and I’m excited to help bring these lessons to educators in this session,” said Dr. Avossa.

“I wrote this book to teach managers how to proactively support the women who work for them. The majority of managers are men, yet too often they tune out, thinking a book about women at work isn’t relevant for them,” said Eberle Walker. “So I was genuinely excited when Dr. Avossa approached me to share how much he had learned from the book and how it could help other school leaders be more aware of the experiences of women.”

To attend the upcoming webinar, register here.


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Series III: On the Shoulders of Greatness

Virtual event for ALAS members and guests will focus on “On the Shoulders of Greatness”

Civil rights activist and founder of the United Farm Workers union Dolores Huerta will join the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) for their April networking event, Linking Latina Leaders [L3]. The free event to ALAS L3 members and their guests, takes place from [5:30]-7:00 p.m. EST on April 15, 2021 and will address the theme: “On the Shoulders of Greatness.” The event is facilitated by ALAS L3 members Patricia Trejo and Dr. Patricia Ordónez-Feliciano.

To register, visit https://bit.ly/2Qxo417

“Our Linking Latina Leaders events focus on our female members and leadership development. And for those who lead schools for our most marginalized and students of color you may want to attend this event,” said Dr. Maria Armstrong, executive director of ALAS. “Dolores has been a powerful voice for social justice for more than 50 years and we are honored to have her be a part of this series. The work she has done to educate voters, advocate for education reform, and improve infrastructure in low income communities is truly awe inspiring.”

Dolores Huerta has worked in labor rights and social justice for more than 50 years.  In 1962, she and Cesar Chavez founded the United Farm Workers union where she served as Vice President and played a critical role in many of the union’s accomplishments for four decades. In 2002, she received the Puffin/Nation $100,000 prize for Creative Citizenship which she used to establish the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF). DHF is connecting groundbreaking community-based organizing to state and national movements to register and educate voters; advocate for education reform; bring about infrastructure improvements in low-income communities; advocate for greater equality for the LGBT community; and create strong leadership development. She has received numerous awards: among them The Eleanor Roosevelt Humans Rights Award from President Clinton in 1998. In 2012 President Obama bestowed Dolores with The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.

Linking Latina Leaders is one of several networking programs and events ALAS offers. The organization also hosts a major education conference in the fall, weekly vodcasts discussing issues in education, and offers several professional development opportunities throughout the year. For more information about ALAS, visit https://www.alasedu.org/.


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PBLWorks is Taking Nominations <br>for its 2021 PBL Champion Awards

School, district and individual winners will be announced at the virtual PBL World conference this summer

PBLWorks, the leading provider of professional development for Project Based Learning (PBL), is accepting nominations of schools, districts and individuals for its 2021 PBL Champion Awards. The annual awards program recognizes a school, district and an individual for demonstrating a commitment to Project Based Learning that has had a positive impact on students.

This is the first year PBLWorks has solicited nominations from the public for the award. The winners will be recognized at its PBL World conference which takes place online June 21-24, 2021.

“We started the PBL Champion Awards years ago, because we wanted a way to recognize those who are making a difference with Project Based Learning,” said Bob Lenz, CEO of PBLWorks. “Often, the people who have the best insight about this are those who are actually in these schools and communities where PBL is happening. So this year, in the true spirit of collaboration and learning, we have opened the nomination process to the public. We’re looking forward to hearing your stories as we look to select our next PBL Champions!”

The PBL Champions will have the opportunity to share their story during the keynote sessions at PBL World. They will also receive complimentary registration for a 3-day PBL workshop of their choice during PBL World.

To nominate a school, district or individual for the 2021 PBL Champion Awards, visit pblworks.org/champion-awards and share how your nominee has contributed to the advancement of PBL, how their work has advanced racial equity, and the impact it has had on students. Recipients will be selected by May 15, 2021.


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Learning Ally’s Spotlight on Dyslexia Virtual Conference Presents Leading Experts on Literacy and the Science of Reading

Building on the highly reputable and popular “Spotlight on Learning” Conference series, Learning Ally will host its 6th Spotlight on Dyslexia virtual conference on Friday, June 4, 2021, from [9:00] AM to [5:00] PM CT. Previously attended by over 9,000 educators, this year’s Spotlight on Dyslexia brings together leading experts in the fields of dyslexia, literacy and neuroscience to share new research, strategies, and insights for identifying and supporting students who struggle with reading. Participants can earn up to 12 continuing education certifications by participating live or on-demand through December 1, 2021.

After a year of pandemic related classroom disruption and learning loss, it is imperative for educators to be equipped with the latest research and resources to help their students. This year’s conference will explore the intersection of educational practice and dyslexia neuroscience, and how actively striving to create a culture of literacy in the classroom can not only benefit students who struggle with dyslexia, but all students, making this conference a great resource for both general and special educators.

Three keynote addresses

Andrew Lewis, 2-time Olympian and founder of the AL Sailing Foundation, will present Perseverance, Passion and Purpose: Finding My Way; Dr. David Kilpatrick, Professor of Psychology at CUNY Cortland, will present Embracing the Scientific Revolution in Reading and Dragging Your Colleagues Along with You; and Dr. Susan Hall, author and reading expert, will present What Does Structured Literacy Look Like in Practice?.

With the continued disruption to education over the past year, Spotlight on Dyslexia is an essential resource for educators, providing learning and actionable tools to help them reduce student learning loss. Dr. Terrie Noland, Learning Ally’s V.P. of Educator Initiatives, says, “We’re bringing together educators from all spaces within a school: specialists, generalists, and administrators, to help create a collective efficacy that positively affects all students who struggle to read. Right now, that’s more important than ever.”

This year, the live conference will be delivered on a state-of-the-art virtual platform that promises to provide a more robust experience for participants compared to previous years. As always, the unique learning experience will include the ability for participants and presenters to interact directly via live polling, Q&A’s, and by direct chat. It is also an amazing opportunity to network with other educators and education professionals.

Two ways to experience Spotlight on Dyslexia this year

For those who only want to participate in the event on the day of, Basic passes are available. For those who want to get more out of the event, Premium passes include everything past attendees have come to expect, like on-demand access to all sessions through December 1, 2021 and the ability to earn up to 12 continuing education credits for every session attended—even on-demand sessions. Continuing education hours for this event are approved by ALTA.

The Spotlight on Dyslexia virtual conference is $69 for a Basic pass or $99 for a Premium pass. On-demand content will be available through December 1, 2021. Register now.


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Nominations Now Open for the 2021 Substitute Teacher Hall of Fame

Swing Education, a staffing application for substitute teachers, is now accepting nominations for its Substitute Teacher Hall of Fame which annually recognizes substitute teachers across the country for their outstanding work as educators and their notable contributions to the students, teachers, and schools they serve. This year’s class of inductees will be announced during Teacher Appreciation Week in May.

“From remote to hybrid to in-person teaching, substitute teachers have played such a vital and supportive role during every phase of this challenging school year,” said Mike Teng, CEO of Swing Education. “The Substitute Teacher Hall of Fame will highlight three of these truly exemplary educators who continue to make a real difference and go above and beyond for their students, yet so often don’t get the recognition they deserve.

All nominations, which will detail the substitute teacher’s impact in the education setting, are due by April 25, 2021. Any individual who is a substitute teacher who works at a district, charter, private, or parochial school in the United States and its territories; who has been teaching for one or more years; and who has subbed for at least one day during the 2020-21 school year is eligible for the Substitute Teacher Hall of Fame.

Substitute teachers may be nominated by others – including students, parents, fellow educators, or administrators – or they may nominate themselves for this recognition. Administrators submitting a nomination will also have the opportunity to upload a short thank you video to their substitute teacher which could be featured on Swing Education’s website and social media channels.

All three of the 2021 inductees will receive a prize package that includes a $500 cash award, $250 for professional development or school supplies, and a commemorative plaque.

To learn more and nominate a substitute teacher, visit teachers.swingeducation.com/hall-of-fame-2021.


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Belouga and The #SameHere Global Mental Health Movement Launch 2nd Annual Mental Health & Wellness Series for the Education Community

Belouga’s #SameHere Schools Month provides students, teachers, administrators and parents with a network of resources, live video panels and community connections to help support their own mental health and wellbeing. 

In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month, Belouga and The #SameHere Global Mental Health Movement have organized a month-long program, starting, May 1, 2021, to bring together the education community and over 100 leading mental health organizations, experts and educators from around the world. The #SameHere Schools Month series will focus on the mission that everyone on this planet faces challenges that make us all connected and part of a “Same Here” group. Embracing these challenges and connections, the Belouga website, http://www.belouga.org/, will host free mental health resources throughout the month of May supporting the mental health of students, teachers, administrators and parents worldwide.

The event series will look to build off its success from 2020, facilitating 124 learning activities and speaker sessions, reaching over 800,000 people worldwide, during a time when mental health initiatives were needed more than ever before.

“It’s a very exclusive, instead of inclusive, term, because there’s the people who ‘have an illness’ and then everyone else. So the problem is, when we say ‘mental illness’ we’re talking about the people who are diagnosed a certain way and then all the other people who don’t want to be considered in that category, so they don’t ask for help. So the power of all the folks up here coming out with their story – and I’m humbled that they would come and be a part of this – is that they’re willing to say, ‘No, you know what, all of us go through it,” said Eric Kussin, Founder of The #SameHere Global Mental Health Movement

Evin Schwartz, Founder of Belouga, said: “We can no longer afford to ignore wellbeing within the education industry. Communities are struggling, and rightfully so after the past year. The end of the school year (testing season) traditionally creates a stressful experience for all stakeholders within education, especially students. The only thing we should be accessing this year is the wellbeing of our students, teachers, administrators and parents. This is what #SameHere represents.”

Through the combined ability of Belouga and The #SameHere Global Mental Health Movement to attract top-quality mental health content, contributors, produce learning experiences that go beyond the status quo of online learning, and increase access to peer and expert networks, this partnership is designed to introduce and enhance learning and safe mental health practices, as a result, giving the entire education community the tools they need to succeed in-and-out of the classroom.

Learn more about the program by visiting https://belouga.org


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Urban Assembly Hosts 4th Annual SEL Symposium on May 5

The 4th Annual Urban Assembly Social-Emotional Learning Symposium takes place on Wednesday, May 5. The virtual symposium, SEL is Here to Stay: All Learning is Social and Emotional, features panels, workshops, and interactive presentations from leading SEL experts from around the country, including a keynote speech from celebrated author and advocate Heather McGhee.

The Urban Assembly SEL Symposium brings together important and diverse perspectives around social-emotional learning and development in K-12 education. This year’s theme focuses on integrating and maximizing the power of SEL in all learning methods and platforms.

Panelists and presenters include:

  • Jessica Adamson, CEO of Aperture Education
  • Dr. Byron McClure, founder of Lessons for SEL
  • Lucy Herz, CEO of the Student Success Network
  • Clark McKown, President of xSEL Labs
  • Dr. Terrell M. Hill, Superintendent of Windsor Public Schools
  • Dr. Sharon L. Contreras, Superintendent of Guilford County Schools

“This is a time where social-emotional well-being must be prioritized,” explains Brandon Frame, Director of Social-Emotional Learning at the Urban Assembly. “Families across the country are dealing with a lot right now, and our communities and institutions have great incentive to prioritize SEL. By leaning in and listening to the needs of members of our communities, we, as practitioners and leaders, can better support the social-emotional needs of our communities.”

Experts will lead workshops and sessions that explore the equity, science, implementation, and creating sustainable social-emotional learning programs and supports which are vital to advancing outcomes at this time.

“Social-Emotional Learning is a paramount skill for students and staff, explains Urban Assembly CEO David Adams. “With fewer resources and increased constraints, program facilitators and educators are now tasked with rising to the occasion of providing high-quality experiences during a time of unprecedented need. This is the time for educators, program managers, counselors, students, families, and academics to lean into social-emotional learning. The Urban Assembly looks forward to working with practitioners and communities across the nation at the annual SEL symposium.”

The 4th Annual SEL Symposium, SEL is Here to Stay: All Learning is Social and Emotional will be held on Wednesday, May 5th from 12:30pm to 4:30pm EST.

Registration is $25 per person; register here.


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reDesign Launches Open Call for “Designers-in-Residence” to Reimagine Curriculum This Summer

50 Designers will be selected to create next-generation 7-12 grade student projects that develop key competencies and critical consciousness, and nurture deep connections to community 

reDesign, an educational design consultancy, is launching its inaugural Designers-in-Residence program, convening boundary-breaking curriculum designers to create competency-based, high-quality, culturally-relevant materials for middle and high school learners. These designers will join the growing global movement to engage the passions, interests, and lived experiences of learners, while simultaneously addressing the learning challenges that arise within an inherently inequitable, industrial system.

For the past 25 years the curriculum industry has been organized to support the high-stakes standards-based assessment system that has dominated education in the 21st century. This has not worked: between 2000-2017 postsecondary education graduation rates remained static at 48-50%  (ACT, Statista), while the percentage of jobs available to those without postsecondary degrees has continued to decrease (StatChat). It’s time to revolutionize the curriculum industry and time to transform the learning opportunities of all learners.

“The pandemic gave the adult world a peek into our classrooms, awakening a broad awareness of the deep inequities that have always been at the heart of our  K–12 education system,” said Antonia Rudenstine, reDesign’s co-founder and Creative Director. “Access to engaging learning materials that develop critical consciousness and key competencies, alongside a profound connection to community, is particularly scarce for a significant majority of 12-20 year olds and the educators who are committed to their design of thriving, satisfying lives.”

Now accepting applications for Designers-in-Residence

The program’s application period closes April 30, 2021, with selections notified on a rolling basis.

The 50 Designers selected to contribute will receive a $6,000 stipend, as well as an opportunity for  revenue-sharing on projects that become part of an upcoming equity-focused, curriculum marketplace. Designers can also earn up to two graduate credits from Southern New Hampshire University, paid for by reDesign.

reDesign seeks educators with deep pedagogical expertise, exceptional design and learning facilitation chops, and a passion for reimagining teaching and learning. Ideal candidates will have deep experience:

  • Working with tweens and teens (ages 12-20),
  • Designing and teaching using culturally responsive and/or culturally sustaining pedagogies, and a social justice lens,
  • Applying the learning sciences to pedagogy and curriculum designs, and
  • Connecting curriculum to young people’s communities, passions and interests.

To learn more and to apply, visit Designers-in-Residence.


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Math in the Middle: A Plan to Engage and Motivate Middle School Students

To support middle school math educators with their ongoing instruction, Curriculum Associates is launching a new, nine-part webinar series called Math in the Middle: A Plan to Engage and Motivate Middle School Students. The complimentary series, which kicks off on April 6 and runs until May 4, will provide both teachers and coaches with fresh ideas and practical ways to engage students, increase their motivation, and develop independent mathematical thinkers.

“Teaching is both an art and a science, especially when it comes to teaching middle school math,” said Elizabeth Peyser, National Director of Content and Implementation at Curriculum Associates—and one of the featured webinar presenters. “During this formative time in students’ lives, it is so important for educators to connect and engage with students during the learning process, while helping them build critical math skills. The upcoming webinars will provide educators with new and impactful strategies they can immediately put into action to help their students succeed.”

The Math in the Middle series includes:

  • Is Your System Working? Rethinking Algebra 1 Acceleration Practices in Middle School on Tuesday, April 6, 2021
  • Managing Middle School Math through Reading on Wednesday, April 7, 2021
  • Moving Beyond Cross-Multiply and Divide on Tuesday, April 13, 2021
  • Don’t Mess with the Middle on Thursday, April 15, 2021
  • What’s Your Angle on Angles? on Tuesday, April 20, 2021
  • Success Leaves Clues: Five Lessons to Strengthen MS Math Implementations on Thursday, April 22, 2021
  • Fraction Computation on Number Lines on Tuesday, April 27, 2021
  • Empower, Engage, and Excite Learning with i-Ready® ClassroomÔ Mathematics on Thursday, April 29, 2021
  • “Get Me Outta Here!” Escape Room Math on Tuesday, May 4, 2021

All webinars will be held at 3 p.m. ET and last for 45 minutes.

To learn more and register for the upcoming webinars, visit Cvent.Me/8wdYGG.


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Three New Virtual Field Trips From Discovery Education & Industry Leading Organizations

Discovery Education and leading corporate and community partners are offering K-12 educators and students three engaging new virtual field trips (VFT) debuting in April and May. Focused on an array of diverse topics, these new virtual field trips connect learning to the real-world through relevant and timely digital content that supports learning wherever it takes place. Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms.

Through its award-winning K-12 learning platform, Discovery Education offers educators, students, and families hundreds of on-demand virtual field trips empowering educators to take students to amazing places and give them remarkable experiences, without ever leaving their desks. These new virtual experiences were developed in conjunction with Discovery Education’s corporate and community partners and include:

Identity, Belonging, and Legacy: How Testimony Makes Us Stronger Than Hate from USC Shoah Foundation

Premiere: April 15th at 1 p.m. ET

Explore the ways that our present continues to be shaped by our collective past through a powerful glimpse at the Armenian Genocide, an important and often overlooked chapter of history. The VFT will explore the legacy of the Armenian Genocide and analyze how family and identity histories – reaching back long before we were born – continue to affect people in the present day. This virtual field trip is appropriate for students in grades 6-12

Teaching with Testimony – a no-cost and standards-aligned educational initiative from USC Shoah Foundation and Discovery Education – empowers students to create a better future by listening to and learning from the testimony of survivors and witnesses of genocide.

Be Vape Free: Just the Facts from the CVS Health Foundation & CATCH My Breath

Premiere: April 29th at 1 p.m. ET

Inspire students to become Vape Detectives uncovering the harsh truths about e-cigarettes for themselves in this exciting virtual investigation. The Be Vape Free initiative has at its core the proven-effective CATCH My Breath program which equips students in Grades 5-12 with the science-based background knowledge and practical refusal skills necessary to avoid risky behaviors like vaping. This virtual field trip is appropriate for students in grades 5-12.

Be Vape Free – generously supported by the CVS Health Foundation, and created in partnership with CATCH Global Foundation, and Discovery Education – is a nationwide initiative providing standards-aligned e-cigarette prevention resources at no-cost for educators teaching grades 5-12.

Nuclear Frontiers: Powering Possibilities from American Nuclear Society & U. S Department of Energy

Premiere: May 6th at 1 p.m. ET

Blast-off on an interstellar virtual journey that explores the amazing ways nuclear science is fueling human progress from Earth to outer space and beyond. Navigating Nuclear immerses elementary, middle, and high school students in the mind-blowing potential of nuclear energy and the exciting STEM careers driving its innovation. This virtual field trip is appropriate for students in grades-3-12.

The Nuclear Frontier virtual field trip builds upon the American Nuclear Society, Discovery Education, and Department of Energy’s Education program, Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World. This Virtual Field Trip continues to engage students with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-aligned resources focused on pathways to STEM careers, as well as the positive and future impacts of nuclear science.

Each virtual field trip features educator guides, student activities, and other resources.

“Virtual field trips are a unique way to engage all learners and ignite their natural curiosity about the world” said Cecilia Wilburn-Davis, a 5th Grade ELA Teacher at Oakbrook Elementary School at Dorchester School District Two. “With the digital content supports from Discovery Education and its partners, I have a set of powerful resources that take students beyond the classroom to explore the planet and discover new places, people, and ideas they might not otherwise have the chance to meet.”

Discovery Education’s Virtual Field Trips can be found within its K-12 learning platform on the Virtual Field Trips channel or in the Corporate Education Partnerships channel.

“We are thrilled to continue offering exceptional virtual experiences, like those recently created in partnership with the American Nuclear Society, the CVS Health Foundation, and USC Shoah Foundation,” said Beth Meyer, Vice President of Corporate & Community Partnerships. “Through these exciting events, students can see first-hand the ’real world’ applications of what they are learning in the classroom.”

Learn more and register for the new virtual field trips here.


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CrisisGo Announces New Mental Health & Behavioral Risk Platform

CrisisGo’s Safety iBeacon unites behavioral risk assessment, reporting, and intervention tools in a single solution.

CrisisGo, a leading provider in emergency communications, incident management, and student/staff health management, announce their industry-leading toolset for behavioral, discipline, and threat assessment teams, along with mental health staff management and human resources. The tool provides the ability to accelerate the early identification of those in need of support and allowing your teams to assess and manage many cases simultaneously quickly. Our easy-to-use platform expands your organization’s capacity to support your stakeholder’s mental health needs while proactively creating a safe, positive, and supportive school and organizational culture.

  • Survey students, staff, and employees to address the root cause of concerns.
  • Early identification of those in need of mental health support.
  • Electronic scheduling of intelligent surveys and universal mental health screenings.
  • Simple dashboard to monitor progress, communication reports, and automatic report escalation.
  • Utilize all communication methods to collect tips via anonymous real-time two-way reporting, including in apps, webpage, emails, surveys, and others.

“The launch of Safety iBeacon is an opportunity to continue our mission of getting students and staff safely to school, supported, protected, and returned home safely. iBeacon promotes proactive social-emotional engagement with stakeholders while also giving the school staff the tools for effective case management, assessments, and safety plans. Expecting social-emotional support needs will increase due to the pandemic, Safety iBeacon has never been more important,” said Jim Spicuzza, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at CrisisGo.

As we navigate the storm together and deal with the after-effects of COVID-19, student, staff, and employee mental health risks have never been higher. Safety iBeacon provides a comprehensive digital platform for all mental health risks, impossible with a paper-based process. Our digital tools help proactively communicate and engage in risk discovery from behavior and discipline issues to violent threats against themselves or others.

  • Supported by all national assessment models or available to build your own.
  • Integrated with district directory services and information systems to improve accuracy and ease.
  • FERPA and HIPPA compliant.

Join CrisisGo’s webcast on Wednesday, March 31st at [1:00] PM CT, “Permission Slip for a New Perspective: An Open Dialogue on Mental Health,” to learn about Safety iBeacon and how the vital tool is playing a role in defining the future around the mental health stigma using a positive, proactive, holistic approach.

Register to attend: https://bit.ly/3tEGX0x


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SEL Day

Join thousands of educators and community partners around the world in celebrating the 2nd annual SEL Day on March 26th

On Friday, March 26th, thousands of educators, community organizers, and individuals around the world will celebrate the second annual International Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Day. Spearheaded by the Urban Assembly and SEL4US, this year’s theme, Building Bonds, Reimagining Communities, recognizes and reinforces the ways in which individuals, schools, and communities have used social-emotional skills to remain connected and engaged during the pandemic.

“In these difficult times there are people who used their social-emotional learning skills to build community,” says David Adams, Urban Assembly CEO. “This year, it’s time to celebrate the people who help develop these skills and to also build the infrastructures of organizations to continue to uplift communities through SEL.”

On SEL Day, Friday, March 26th at 12noon EST, the Urban Assembly and SEL4US will join the Learning Policy Institute, America Forward, Harmony SEL, and Committee for Children for SEL Policy to Foster Connection after Trauma, a Congressional briefing featuring Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (NY- District 9). Congresswoman Clarke will be joined by students, practitioners, and experts in child development to discuss the importance of social-emotional learning in schools and communities, and how social-emotional learning and development can be advanced through federal policy.

“Social-emotional learning plays such a vital role in building communities. SEL competencies develop throughout one’s lifespan, and they shape how we show up at work, in school, and in everyday life,” says Congresswoman Clarke. “I believe in the power of SEL to empower young people to develop positive relationships, demonstrate empathy, and make responsible decisions.”

At 1pm EST on March 26th, the Urban Assembly and SEL4US are teaming up with CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) for The Graduate Profile: Imagine the Possibilities on #SELDay, a discussion on how graduate profiles can cultivate meaningful school experiences, and how social-emotional learning can strengthen the vision for future-ready high school graduates.

At 4pm CET on March 26th, the ENSEC (European Network for Social and Emotional Competence) is partnering with PROMEHS (Erasmus + Project Promoting Mental Health in Schools) and the Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health at the University of Malta to host Children of the Pandemic: The mental health and resilience of children during COVID-19The webinar features Professor Michael Ungar of Dalhousie University and Professor Helen Cowie of the University or Surrey in conversation about the mental health, well-being, and resilience of students during the pandemic.

On Tuesday, March 30th, the Urban Assembly will lead a training session for the Congressional Black Associates (CBA), a bipartisan collective of Black Congressional staff. During the Importance of Social Emotional Learning to Professional Development training session, the Urban Assembly’s SEL team will help the CBA understand social-emotional intelligence and its role in advancing public policy, and train them to utilize social-emotional intelligence to enhance their professional skills.

In addition to these events, more than 2,200 schools, school districts, government agencies, community groups, and individuals nationwide will be raising awareness for social-emotional learning through local and regional SEL-centered activities, events, and initiatives.

“Students, families, educators and communities have faced so many challenges in the past year,” explains Nova Biro of the SEL4US Leadership Team. “International SEL Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the importance of relationships, community, and foundational social-emotional skills to support each other through these challenges.”

SEL Day is on Friday, March 26th. Schools, community groups, and individual can sign-up to participate in SEL Day at selday.org/sign-up. SEL Day toolkits are available at selday.org/toolkits free of charge and provide resources to help partners activate their communities, stakeholders, and public officials on the importance of SEL on SEL Day and beyond.

Partners and members of the public can also register to join any of the Urban Assembly and SEL4US SEL Day events at selday.org/events.


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reDesign Seeks 250 Content Experts to Reimagine the K-12 Educational Content Map this Summer

Educators, academics, and industry experts are invited to apply or nominate others for a paid one-week Design Studio to create inclusive, future-oriented content maps across 25 discipline area

reDesign, an educational design consultancy, is launching an all-call for K-12 content discipline experts from diverse backgrounds and geographies to join together this summer to re-envision the “canon” of K-12 content.

Content experts will be selected across 25 discipline areas, and will convene for a virtual Design Studio the week of June 27th to reimagine a 21st century K-12 Content Map that defines essential topics and concepts, develops critical consciousness, and fosters deep connections to community. Selected participants will receive an honorarium of up to $2,000 for their contributions.

To learn more, and to apply or nominate colleagues, visit: K-12 Content Mapping.

This educational content initiative marks a shift away from long lists of factual knowledge, and toward disciplinary concepts and cross-disciplinary competencies that are in-sync with how the brain learns, and the rapidly shifting opportunities of the adult world, while centering inclusion and antiracism in subject area content choices.

“The current K–12 content map is both fragmented and over-generalized. It’s designed for a pre-Google world of limited information and closely-held, Eurocentric funds of knowledge that center the white experience” said reDesign founder and Creative Director, Antonia Rudenstine. “This moment in time—shaped by the pandemic’s global impact on schooling and the Movement for Black Lives—provides a unique opportunity for educators, industry experts, and academics to come together to create a content map that prepares young people to critically examine current global challenges, by listening to the multiplicity of voices and experiences that shape the world they are growing up in.”

Now accepting nominations and applications

The program’s application period closes April 30, 2021, with selections notified on a rolling basis. A stipend of $15,000 will be distributed across each team of 10 discipline experts; shares of the stipend will be awarded based on time invested during the week-long session. reDesign is seeking discipline content experts who are passionate about making school relevant and connected to the rich variety of communities and work contexts that today’s young people participate in.

Additional Program Details

reDesign will select and convene a total of 250 multicultural, disciplinary content experts, with teams of 10 experts engaging in a design process for each of 25 disciplines, under the umbrellas of physical and material science, life science, mathematics, humanities, social sciences, and engineering and design. See the full list of 25 disciplines.

The week-long Content Mapping Design Studio will take place June 27 – July 1, 2021, in a virtual, blended format of team-organized design sessions and synchronous live meetings.

“We want to elevate often ignored, silenced, and invisible voices, and to tap into the growing network of passionate educators and professionals working to reinvent education,” said Rudenstine. “Join us to help build a better world for our students.”

reDesign’s Audacious 5-Year Plan to Build Learner-Centered Communities

The convening experts for the K-12 Content Mapping initiative is reDesign’s first step in its bold 5-Year Plan to co-create and support inclusive and equitable learner-centered communities for young people and adults that embrace every learner. Learn more about reDesign’s Big, Hairy, Audacious 5-Year Plan.


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SEL Day

On Friday, March 26th, thousands of educators, community organizers and individuals around the world will celebrate the second annual International Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Day. Spearheaded by the Urban Assembly and SEL4US, this year’s theme, Building Bonds, Reimagining Communities, recognizes and reinforces the ways in which individuals, schools, and communities have used social-emotional skills to remain connected and engaged during the pandemic.

“In these difficult times there are people who used their social-emotional learning skills to build community,” says David Adams, Urban Assembly CEO. “This year, it’s time to celebrate the people who help develop these skills and to also build the infrastructures of organizations to continue to uplift communities through SEL.”

The Urban Assembly and SEL4US, along with sponsors Harmony SEL, Inspire Teaching & Learning, Sanford College of Education at National University, Second Step, Education Development Center, Panorama Education, QuaverSEL, Quinnipiac University School of Education, Rethink Ed, and WINGS, will host a number of virtual events in honor of SEL Day. On Monday, March 22nd at 12noon EST, they are hosting #SEL4Equity, a live twitter chat discussing the intersection of social-emotional learning and equity and inclusion.

On SEL Day, Friday, March 26th at 12noon EST, the Urban Assembly and SEL4US will join the Learning Policy Institute, America Forward, Harmony SEL, and Committee for Children for SEL Policy to Foster Connection after Trauma, a Congressional briefing featuring Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (NY- District 9). Congresswoman Clarke will be joined by students, practitioners, and experts in child development to discuss the importance of social-emotional learning in schools and communities, and how social-emotional learning and development can be advanced through federal policy.

“Social-emotional learning plays such a vital role in building communities. SEL competencies develop throughout one’s lifespan, and they shape how we show up at work, in school, and in everyday life,” says Congresswoman Clarke. “I believe in the power of SEL to empower young people to develop positive relationships, demonstrate empathy, and make responsible decisions.”

At 1pm EST on March 26th, the Urban Assembly and SEL4US are teaming up with CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) for The Graduate Profile: Imagine the Possibilities on #SELDay, a discussion on how graduate profiles can cultivate meaningful school experiences, and how social-emotional learning can strengthen the vision for future-ready high school graduates.

At 4pm CET on March 26th, the ENSEC (European Network for Social and Emotional Competence) is partnering with PROMEHS (Erasmus + Project Promoting Mental Health in Schools) and the Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health at the University of Malta to host Children of the Pandemic: The mental health and resilience of children during COVID-19. The webinar features Professor Michael Ungar of Dalhousie University and Professor Helen Cowie of the University or Surrey in conversation about the mental health, well-being, and resilience of students during the pandemic.

On Tuesday, March 30th, the Urban Assembly will lead a training session for the Congressional Black Associates (CBA), a bipartisan collective of Black Congressional staff. During the Importance of Social Emotional Learning to Professional Development training session, the Urban Assembly’s SEL team will help the CBA understand social-emotional intelligence and its role in advancing public policy, and train them to utilize social-emotional intelligence to enhance their professional skills.

In addition to these events, more than than 2,200 schools, school districts, government agencies, community groups, and individuals nationwide will be raising awareness for social-emotional learning through local and regional SEL-centered activities, events, and initiatives.

“Students, families, educators and communities have faced so many challenges in the past year,” explains Nova Biro of the SEL4US Leadership Team. “International SEL Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the importance of relationships, community, and foundational social-emotional skills to support each other through these challenges.”

SEL Day is on Friday, March 26th. Schools, community groups, and individual can sign-up to participate in SEL Day at selday.org/sign-up. SEL Day toolkits are available at selday.org/toolkits free of charge and provide resources to help partners activate their communities, stakeholders, and public officials on the importance of SEL on SEL Day and beyond. Partners and members of the public can also register to join any of the Urban Assembly and SEL4US SEL Day events at selday.org/events.

Visit SELday.org


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Financial Literacy Challenge from Jackson Charitable Foundation & Discovery Education Now Open for Entries

Jackson Charitable Foundation, a nonprofit with the mission to advance financial knowledge on a national scale, and Discovery Education today opened the 5th annual Cha-ChingTM Money Smart Kids Contest. The contest enables communities to vote for their school to win $10,000 to use toward critical educator resources to teach kids how to earn, save, spend, and donate.

This national contest encourages elementary school teachers, families, and community members to show their commitment to financial education by voting online daily for their school to receive a prize package featuring:

  • A grant of $10,000 to build a brighter financial future at the winning school.
  • $1,000 to be donated to the charity of the school’s choice.
  • A fun, educational financial literacy event hosted by Discovery Education that brings to life Cha-Ching’s four pillars of financial education – earn, save, spend, and donate.

Participants may enter up to once a day on behalf of their school from now through June 10, 2021. Learn more and vote for your school.

“The economic consequences of the pandemic have shined a spotlight on financial fragility in our country and the need for continued financial education. With Financial Literacy Month coming up in April, we are thrilled to open the 2021 Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids Contest and provide communities with an engaging opportunity to help students and their local school make smart financial decisions,” said Danielle Robinson, Executive Director, Jackson Charitable Foundation.

“The challenge empowers schools with the financial literacy and technological resources needed to educate students and close the equity gap,” said Dr. Mark Andrade, Principal of Rhode Island’s Potter-Burns Elementary School, 2020 winner of the Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids Contest. “Winning the contest exemplifies the power of community collaboration in coming together virtually to support Potter-Burns Elementary School and all its students in their pursuit of a secure financial future.”

The annual contest builds upon a Jackson Charitable Foundation and Discovery Education educational program – Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids – which provides no-cost resources that build critical life skills in K-6 students through high-quality financial literacy education resources. Launched in 2017, the engaging and fun program offers millions of students the knowledge, tools, and practice they need to make informed financial decisions to reach their goals.

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn.


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Kidskintha Announces World Early Years Summit with High-Quality Learning for Teachers & Parents

Free registration is now open for the 2021 summit, taking place March 23-24, which will feature more than 30 expert presenters on a range of educational topics

Kidskintha, a global parenting and educator collective, has announced the first World Early Years Summit (WEYS 2021), an online event designed to connect the parent and teacher communities for relevant learning around early childhood and elementary education. The Summit is in collaboration with The Early Childhood Association of India, and will go live from March 23-24. The event will feature 30+ expert presenters covering topics including pedagogy, social-emotional learning (SEL), mindfulness, leadership, technology, and more.

“It takes a village to raise a child, and in 2021 that ‘village’ is truly global in nature,” said Devishobha Chandramouli, founder of Kidskintha. “With this in mind, we are convening the World Early Years Summit to help educators and parents make connections, building meaningful relationships, and gain confidence in their ability to create a better future for kids.”

The past year has led people around the world to face new challenges, adopt new lifestyles, and test new technologies. In education, the post-COVID classroom will require seamless cooperation, communication, and upskilling on both sides of the educator-parent relationship to make the most of each child’s formative years. Therefore, as one of India’s largest, most influential, and trusted sources of information and resources for parents and educators, Kidskintha has seized this opportunity to provide a timely content program for the education community.

More than 23,000 participants from around the world have attended Kidskintha’s previous two virtual summits, and through a partnership with India’s Early Years Association ― which will see WEYS 2021 distributed to more than 18,000 schools ― it is expected that this year’s event will engage even more attendees.

The group of presenters includes experts in early childhood and elementary education, digital learning, cognitive development, music, drama, parenting, pediatrics, and more.

Some of the presenters include:

  • Sashwati Banerjee ― Entrepreneur-In-Residence, Central Square Foundation and Former Founding Managing Director of Sesame Street Workshop – India
  • Tara Beteille ― Senior Economist, World Bank Leader – World Bank’s Teachers Thematic Group
  • Erik Fisher ― Genius Expert for The Genius of Play, child psychologist and emotional dynamics expert
  • Audrey O’Clair ― Education Specialist for Soundtrap at Spotify and former special education teacher
  • Wendy Oliver ― Chief Learning Officer of EdisonLearning, digital learning pioneer, author and host of the Building the Bridge podcast for educators and parents
  • Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. ― Author of Bottom Line for Baby and co-author of New York Times bestsellers The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline
  • Pooja Rai ― Founder and CEO of Anthill Creations, TEDx Speaker, and Ashoka Changemaker awarded by Nobel Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus
  • Falu Shah ― Grammy-nominated Musician and Ambassador, Indian Music- Carnegie Hall
  • Emma Turner ― Author of books including Be More Toddler: A leadership education from our little learners, early childhood educator, research and CPD lead, and co-host of the Mind the Gap podcast

“Participants in the Summit will gain many practical skills to help in their role as a teacher or parent,” said Chandramouli. “From a core understanding of neurodevelopment to foundational knowledge about social-emotional learning, or strategies to use technology to scale learning, there is a wide range of subject matter covered by our expert presenters.”

Registration is free for all participants who attend the World Early Years Summit on March 23 and 24. Participants can also purchase an all-access pass, which will give access to the content for a full year, plus bonuses including all content from previous Kidskintha summits.

Interested educators and parents can learn more by visiting www.kidskintha.com/weys2021.


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Upcoming Webinar: How Physical Spaces Impact Well-Being as Students Return to School

America’s Promise Alliance’s National Survey of High School Students during COVID-19 finds widespread negative impact on learning time, emotional health, and social connection.

  • More than half are much more concerned about the present and the future (self and family physical and emotional health)
  • 38% worried about current and future education
  • 30% worried about basic needs
  • 25% trouble sleeping because of worry, unhappiness, depression
  • 29% don’t feel connected to others

Join VS America on March 19 for a conversation with diverse practitioners – including a school administrator, clinical officer, social justice specialist, learning designer, as well as students – to dive into the opportunities and obstacles for students and staff, and discover how schools can create spaces to allow for the healing and connectivity needed.

REGISTER TO ATTEND


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DEN VirtCon: Spring 2021

The Discovery Educator Network (DEN) invites teachers and administrators around the world to participate in VirtCon: Spring 2021 on March 23rd and 24th. A no-cost, virtual, professional learning conference designed expressly for users of Discovery Education’s digital resources, VirtCon provides a unique opportunity for educators to learn new strategies for creating dynamic digital learning environments that keep students and educators connected to what matters most.

This Spring, the DEN is taking an innovative approach to the VirtCon by presenting this extraordinary professional learning event through a combination of flexible, on-demand sessions during the day and live, community-driven sessions at night. Among the exciting on-demand sessions planned for the mornings and afternoons of March 23rd and 24th are:

  • Curating Resources for Meaningful Learning Experiences—During this session, participants will discover new, relevant, and engaging learning content from Discovery Education’s partners including Discovery Channel, Newsy, Learning for Justice,  BeSe, World Wildlife Fund, and more. In addition, they will explore curated channels in Discovery Education’s K-12 platform and review exclusive learning opportunities for students, such as Virtual Field Trips, career explorations, at-home challenges, and more.
  • Creating Learning Experiences with Discovery Education Studio—In this on-demand session, educators will learn to customize ready-to-use learning activities in Studio and build their own Boards and Slideshows. Participants will learn how to differentiate content and interactives within assessments and assignments, as well as monitor student progress and create opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding in multiple formats.

Then, during the evenings of March 23rd and 24th, VirtCon goes live, providing opportunities for participants to connect with the Discovery Education team and educators from around the globe to learn best practices for designing digital learning experiences focused on what matters most.

For details and to register, visit the VirtCon: Spring 2021 homepage.

A global community of education professionals, the DEN connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable professional learning, idea sharing, networking, and inspiration. The DEN is supported by Discovery Education, the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms.

“Discovery Education understands that making time to work on improving as an educator can be a challenge,” said Jannita Demian, Discovery Education’s Senior Director of Learning Communities. “So, we designed VirtCon: Spring 2021 to provide attendees new teaching strategies that they can immediately apply in the classroom in a flexible format. Each session will help educators at all levels better integrate their Discovery Education resources into instruction, so we invite all teachers and administrators to join us for what will be two inspiring days of learning.”

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit  discoveryeducation.com  and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media  through  Twitter  and  LinkedIn.


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Water Conservation & Sustainability: <br>Xylem Global Student Innovation Challenge 2021

Join Xylem, a leading global water technology company, to tackle our world’s most pressing water conservation and sustainability challenges! Xylem Ignite is looking for students ages 13 to 23 who want to learn, have fun and make a difference.

The 8-week virtual hackathon, which takes place from April 5 to May 28, 2021, gives students an opportunity to create innovative solutions for water sustainability. Seven prizes will be awarded from a $20,000 prize pool.

Learn more & sign up here


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Thorndike Press Partners with Beanstack and Mark Cuban to Sponsor ‘Level Up’ National K-12 Summer 2021 Reading Challenge 

Schools Invited to Join the Challenge This Coming June 2021; Winnings Include Cash Prizes, Large Print Book Collections and Virtual Author Visit

Thorndike Press from Gale, a Cengage company, has teamed up with Beanstack and Mark Cuban to bring schools a national K-12 summer reading challenge, ‘Level Up.’ The challenge was designed to lessen the impact of summer slide and keep students engaged and reading all summer long. Schools can win cash prizes, book collections or a virtual visit from Newbery award-winning author, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. The challenge is free, but schools must register to participate. It will run June 1, 2021 through July 15, 2021.

“We recognize the impact of COVID and remote learning on student literacy and want to give educators a turnkey way to support young readers,” said Felix Lloyd, Zoobean Co-Founder. “The Level Up reading challenge is a great way to keep students motivated, engaged and reading throughout the summer and we are excited to partner with Thorndike and Mark Cuban who share our vision and commitment to helping students achieve their reading goals.”

Students can choose to read books from any genre or format to participate. Large print books will be among the formats featured in the challenge, which studies show improve reading speed, boost reading comprehension and work especially well with readers who are below their grade level.

In order for books read to count toward the challenge, readers must track their reading progress using the Beanstack app. Students can access the app via web or mobile to log their reading, earn virtual badges, track stats, engage with friends and discover their next favorite book. Additionally, parents can download the app and link directly to their child’s school.

“Schools and parents are always searching for ways to better engage with students during the summer,” said Mark Cuban, billionaire investor and Shark Tank personality. “The Level Up reading challenge is a great way to keep students reading, even when they’re not in the classroom.”

Winning schools will be determined by the most amount of time their students spent reading. Cash prizes are being provided by Mark Cuban with Thorndike Press awarding prize packs of large print book collections to winning schools as well as a virtual visit from Newbery award-winning author Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.

Prizes include:

  • Grand Prize: $5,000 and $1,000 of large print books and a virtual author chat with the school.
  • Second Place: $2,500 and $500 of large print books.
  • Four (4) Runner Ups: $2,500 and $250 of large print books.

“During the summer, many students lose up to two months of learning, and with the disruption COVID has caused, reading programs are even more critical,” said Paul Gazzolo, senior vice president and general manager at Gale. “Public libraries have seen great success in retaining and building literacy skills through summer reading programs. The Level Up challenge gives schools an amazing opportunity to support student literacy this summer and we are thrilled to partner with Beanstack and Mark Cuban to make it happen.”

Gale and Beanstack will host a live webinar on the Level Up Summer 2021 Reading Challenge on Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 3pm ET/12pm PT. To register, visit the webinar registration page.

For more information, visit the challenge webpage.


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ALAS & NABSE Co-Host “Ed Fest 2021: Through Adversity WE Are Stronger Together”

Free virtual event features U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona, superintendent panels, and awards for students and teachers

The Association of Latino Administrators & Superintendents (ALAS) and the National Association of Black School Educators (NABSE) are hosting a free four-day virtual event March 9-12, 2021 to highlight accomplishments of the past year and set the stage to tackle top education issues in the year ahead. The conference, “Ed Fest 2021: Through Adversity WE Are Stronger Together,” takes place from [4:30]-7:30 p.m. EST March 9-12, 2021.

U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona will give opening remarks at the event, which features multiple stages and is open to parents, teachers, students (from PreK-college) and community members. Additional highlights include a keynote address from educational evangelist Jaime Casap, five plenary panels featuring superintendents at some of the largest districts in the country to small urban and rural districts, multiple breakout sessions addressing the biggest issues in education, an awards program for teachers and students, and giveaways. Teachers are invited to have their classes join the conference live if they are in session during the event.

“This has been an incredibly challenging year in education, but it has also been remarkable in the way that our leaders, school support personnel, teachers, parents, students and communities have risen to these challenges,” said Maria Armstrong, executive director of ALAS. “Ed Fest is our opportunity to recognize and celebrate the amazing accomplishments of the past year, and to dive into some of the biggest issues in education, and to provoke all of us to think differently about the year ahead.”

Ed Fest 2021 will have eight stages for featured speakers, panelists and breakout sessions. It will focus on the following topics:

  • Cradle to Pre-K
  • Pre-K-12 Education
  • Post-secondary Education
  • Teaching and Learning for Today and Tomorrow’s Students
  • Equitable Services
  • Technology
  • Innovation in Education
  •  Federal, State and Local Education Funding and Policy Updates

Additional speakers include Richard Carranza, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education,  David Banks of the Eagle Academy Foundation in New York, Comedian Ernie G., and data scientist/author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz author of Everybody Lies.

The conference will include performances and on the closing night there will be interactive activities, entertainment, and give-aways for those in attendance, as well as a special “Honoring our Own” awards program to recognize students and adults nominated by their school or district leaders for innovative work in their schools or communities.

“NABSE is honored to partner with ALAS in organizing and hosting this Educational Festival. The first of what we hope will be an annual occurrence. We do this at a time during which our society is experiencing a health emergency, the likes of which we have never previously experienced,” said Fadhilika Atiba-Weza, Executive Director of NABSE. “That is compounded by the social policies that severely impacted our schools and students. The current period provides opportunities for rebound and recovery.  Thus Ed Fest 21 provides much needed opportunity to celebrate the successes of our students and those who work with them.”

To register, visit https://www.alasedu.org/event/ed-fest/


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Virtual “SEL Vision Summit” Helps Participants Take Social & Emotional Learning to the Next Level

Aperture Education’s inaugural professional development conference brings together industry experts with school and district members to support students 

Never before has there been more of a need to support social and emotional skills for students and educators alike. Aperture Education is addressing this need with its inaugural SEL Vision Summit: Level Up Your SEL, a new virtual one-day professional development conference. The conference takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST on Thursday, May 20, 2021. To register, visit http://bit.ly/SELVision. All registrants will receive Aperture’s 2021 SEL Toolkit for free.

The SEL Vision Summit brings together teachers, school and district leaders, school counselors, out-of-school time providers, and industry experts to share key insights and actionable practices that can help participants easily take their SEL programs to the next level.

“The past year has really emphasized the importance of social and emotional learning. It also created new challenges for teachers and administrators,” said Jessica Adamson, CEO of Aperture Education. “Many teachers and students are struggling right now and we want to help. Our new SEL Vision Summit will give participants the opportunity to learn from each other and discuss best practices learned over the past year. They’ll also gain actionable tips and learn about resources to support SEL for both their students, and themselves.”

Sessions include:

  • Level Up Your Program: Explore SEL implementation science, how SEL can support Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, how to use SEL to support classroom management, and how SEL can be used in out-of-school time programs.
  • Level Up Your Staff: Learn the importance of teacher resilience, SEL training for educators, and the changing role of out-of-school-time programs and staff.
  • Level Up Your Students: Dive into student voice & choice, how to incorporate SEL at the high school level, how top districts are handling challenges related to the pandemic and re-entry, and how out-of-school-time programs can build connections across all stakeholders.
  • Level up the Field: Understand the national landscape of SEL, the impact of SEL, and funding for SEL programs.

All sessions will be available on demand to registered attendees. Certificates of attendance will be available to attendees following the event.


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Webinar Series Brings Together NYC High Schools to Share Social & Emotional Learning Strategies

The Urban Assembly and Aperture Education host series for schools and districts wanting to learn how to overcome challenges to implementing SEL

Aperture Education has partnered with The Urban Assembly to host a three-part webinar series showcasing how four high schools in New York City overcame challenges to support their students’ social and emotional needs. Participants will hear from teachers, administrators and students about how to prioritize SEL during challenges such as virtual learning, lack of an “advisory” period at school, and being in an alternative school setting. The webinars take place March 3, April 12 and April 16, 2021. All are available on demand.

“We wanted to address some of the concerns and challenges that schools are facing right now, and give them the opportunity to see solutions in practice,” said Brandon Frame, director of social and emotional learning for The Urban Assembly, a non-profit organization which serves a network of 23 urban schools in New York City. “For example, with the virtual learning showcase, I like to use the analogy of ‘what do you do when you’re football field turns into an ice hockey rink?’ We never pictured a pandemic happening, but we can have the structures in place to be prepared for the unexpected and ensure a continuity of learning.”

About the series

Each webinar will address a specific challenge to delivering SEL instruction, and provide advice on how to overcome that challenge. The webinars will include panels of school staff members and students, as well as virtual SEL demo lessons. The webinars are as follows:

Part 1: In-Person, Hybrid or Virtual: SEL Never Stops

10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. EST March 3, 2021

In this webinar The Urban Assembly School for Collaborative Healthcare, a high school in Brooklyn, shares how it adapted to support SEL after shifting to virtual instruction during the pandemic. To view the recording, visit bit.ly/showcase-march3.

Part 2: No Advisory, No Problem: Implementing High Quality SEL When Advisory Isn’t an Option

1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. EST April 12, 2021

Often, SEL happens during “advisory,” a dedicated period of time set aside during the school day. But what if students can’t meet? In this webinar the Business Technology Early College High School (BTECH) in Queens shares how it adapted its SEL programming during the pandemic to provide robust SEL instruction, even though they weren’t able to do in-person advisory. To register, visit bit.ly/showcase-april12.

Part 3: Implementing and Sustaining SEL in Alternative Settings with New Visions AIM 1&2

1:30 p.m.-3 p.m. EST April 16, 2021

In this webinar the New Visions for Public Education AIM I and AIM II Charter High Schools, alternative schools in Brooklyn, will share how they integrate SEL to support students’ resilience and strengths. To register, visit bit.ly/showcase-april16.

All schools featured in the webinars use the DESSA social-emotional assessment from Aperture Education to understand the impact of their SEL programs.

“The pandemic has really highlighted the importance of social and emotional learning and our partners at The Urban Assembly have been doing some amazing work to prioritize SEL despite significant challenges,” said Jessica Adamson, CEO of Aperture Education. “This webinar series will give participants a chance to see successful SEL in action and provide valuable advice to help them overcome similar challenges in their own schools and districts.”

For more information about Aperture Education, visit https://apertureed.com/.

For more information about The Urban Assembly, visit https://urbanassembly.org/.


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Flinn Scientific

Flinn Scientific, a flagship provider of science lab materials and safety and STEM solutions for the K-16 education market, is hosting its fourth installment of the free Professional Learning Webinar Series this month for K-12 science educators and district leaders. The latest webinars will feature an esteemed lineup of leading STEM experts and focus on timely topics around safely and effectively navigating the remainder of this school year and beyond.

“Our Professional Learning Webinar Series has provided thousands of educators with the practical and actionable information needed to help ensure a safe teaching and learning environment during this challenging school year,” said Michael Lavelle, CEO of Flinn Scientific. “Now we are teaming up with district and industry leaders to deliver even more insights and to provide educators with an opportunity to learn about the latest safety and STEM trends and to get answers to their most pressing questions.”

The hour-long webinars include:

Teaching Science & STEM Remotely – Moving Forward in 2021 with Purpose!

Presenter: Jacqueline Monteith, Science Supervisor and Remote Teaching Expert at Frontier School Division 

  • This session, which will soon be available on-demand, focuses on calming the chaos of 2020 and embracing 2021 with efficiency and purpose in the practice of teaching and learning. Attendees explore new approaches to curriculum, authentic assessment, and tools for teaching science, especially in a distance or remote learning environment. This session is suitable for teachers and administrators of all grade levels.

Science Safety When Offering Remote Science Teaching

Presenters: Dr. Ken Roy of the NSTA Safety Committee and James Palcik, Director of Education, Safety, and Compliance at Flinn Scientific 

  • Explore many of the common concerns when having students work remotely in the pursuit of science and STEM in the K-12 environment. This session will explore safety issues related to having students perform activities alone or without supervision and strategies to ensure safety adherence.

Trends in Education K-14 with Flinn

Presenters: Flinn Executive Leadership Team and invited guests 

  • As part of the Professional Learning Webinar Series, Flinn is launching a monthly panel discussion with industry leaders from across the United States to explore relevant topics that impact how educators teach and how students learn across multiple instructional formats.  During these discussions, attendees can ask questions about important statewide or national issues and receive insight from publishers, school suppliers, science supervisors, and trusted academic and pedagogical leaders in the education field.

Using the Chemistry Lab for STEM Exploration Before Explaining

Presenter: Dr. Chris Moore, Professor at University of Nebraska, Omaha and Co-Author of Experience Chemistry at Savvas Learning 

  • What comes first in the chemistry classroom – explanations or lab? Traditionally, chemistry is “taught” first and then followed with a highly-structured lab to reinforce the learning. However, the 5E Instructional Model flips this order. Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate make up the 5Es with engagement and exploration right up front, but what does an exploration-based chemistry lab look like? How can educators take a more traditional lab and convert it into an authentic opportunity for student STEM discovery before they read a single sentence from a textbook or listen to a single lecture? In this hands-on workshop, the presenter will tackle these questions and teach educators how to facilitate discovery that will provide a 3D experience of chemistry in alignment with the NGSS.

Additional webinars from the Professional Learning Webinar Series examining the important and pivotal role educators at all levels play in today’s education climate are also available for on-demand viewing.

To learn more and register for these webinars, visit https://www.flinnsci.com/professional-learning/.


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Today: CoSN Kicks Off “Bold & Brave” Annual Conference Virtually

Will Redefine Virtual Conference Experience with New EdTech Exchange Exhibit, Speed Networking Events and Live Keynote Speakers

CoSN is kicking off its largest-ever Annual Conference virtually this week — beginning Tuesday, March 2 and running through Thursday, March 4 — garnering over 1,500 registrants. Themed “Bold & Brave,” CoSN2021 will highlight how edtech professionals, teachers, superintendents and other education leaders can improve learning through technology in an equitable way that fosters diversity and inclusion and social-emotional student success.

This year’s Conference programming includes a virtual exhibit experience at EdTech Exchange, unique networking “speed dating” opportunities and live keynote speakers who each have their own take on “Bold & Brave” leadership in today’s digital age. 

“In planning the second-ever virtual CoSN Conference, we had our sights set on a unique, thought-provoking and non-traditional experience,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “During CoSN2021, we will host over 50 sessions, offering attendees the opportunity to do a deep dive into the extraordinary changes in education that took place over the last year, with a focus on continuing to improve learning through technology into the future.”

Throughout CoSN2021, participants can visit exhibitors and sponsors to find innovative resources and solutions at EdTech Exchange and join creative sessions on topics ranging from diversity and digital equity to distance learning and student wellness. On day two, attendees will connect with leading education and technology companies during the Sponsor Speed Networking hour.

The three-day event will showcase live remarks from innovative keynote speakers:

  • On Tuesday, March 2 at 11 a.m. ET, the Main Stage will feature a thought-provoking discussion with Ken Shelton, Chief Education Officer, Elevate Education, as he examines Fostering Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in EdTech.
  • On Wednesday, March 3 at 2:45 p.m. ET, attendees will garner creative ideas to address the changing learning environment during the Bold Leadership for Innovative & Successful Hybrid Learning Main Stage event with Weston Kieschnick, Associate Partner, International Center for Leadership in Education.
  • On Thursday, March 4 at 3 p.m. ET, the Main Stage will feature Mindful Well-Being with closing remarks from social-emotional learning and mindfulness in education expert Meena Srinivasan, Executive Director, Transformative Educational Leadership.

Additional details on CoSN2021, including the full three-day agenda, are available at cosnconference.org. New pricing is available this year, based on school system size, so that all IT team members can attend for one price.

Keep up with live updates on CoSN’s Twitter and via #cosn2021.


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Moving Education Forward

The free event is being co-sponsored and hosted by the Center for Educational Innovation and will focus on topics of transformative educational change, leadership, literacy, innovation, and social equity.

The Center for Educational Innovation (CEI) invites all teachers, school and district leaders, higher education stakeholders, and edtech providers to its free, Worldwide Winter Virtual Conference entitled “Moving Education Forward.”

This three-day virtual event will run from February 24–26 and will include a full lineup of critical and timely content. The event is free to attend and will focus on topics of transformative educational change, innovation, and social equity as they relate to:

  • Literacy;
  • Health and wellness;
  • Social-emotional learning (SEL);
  • The intersection of innovative technology and district leadership; and
  • Equity and inclusion.

“Moving Education Forward” will be a hands-on experience meant to link learning with experience, providing participants the chance to walk away from each session with new, tangible skills that can help foster a sense of innovation and equity in their respective school districts.

“It is CEI’s privilege to host this exciting symposium at a time of both rapid change and equally rapid innovation within the sphere of public education,” said Michael Kohlhagen, the CEO of CEI. “At CEI, we believe that education is the cornerstone of our communities, and that every child deserves a high-quality education based on inclusion and equity and supported by technological innovation—an education that fosters advancement for us all.”

The three-day conference will be delivered using a mix of virtual formats, including:

  • Focus groups;
  • Panel discussions;
  • Hands-on pair-up sessions;
  • Virtual workshops;
  • Pre-recorded video modules;
  • Networking sessions;
  • Table topics;
  • Time and space for reflection; and
  • Interactive e-workbooks.

The first day of the virtual conference will center on self-care and feature sessions that will teach district stakeholders how to take care of themselves in order to take care of others. Participants will get the opportunity to interact with NYC DOE Chancellor Richard Carranza during the lunchtime leadership session. They will then explore a novel and exciting cooking-based approach to SEL and self-care in the afternoon.

Day two involves a deep dive into the intersection of leadership and technological innovation. The morning session features a technology panel with a range of speakers, from edtech CEOs and venture capitalists to students and educators. The special leadership lunch will include Dr. Betty Rosa, Commissioner of Education and the President of the University of the State of New York, and the afternoon session will get down to nuts and bolts with a series of hands-on innovation workshops.

Day three is all about literacy, specifically as it pertains to equity and inclusion. Dr. Robert Padilla, Superintendent of Newburgh Enlarged City School District and the New York State Superintendent of the Year, will lead a discussion on leadership, equity, and inclusion in larger school districts. The conference will wrap up with a hands-on mixology session complete with a virtual happy hour.

Additional guest speakers will include Peter DeWitt, Marisol Quevedo Rerucha, Dr. Carolyn Gery, Randy Russel, Paul Bloomberg, Alan Daly, Floyd Cobb, Anthony Lodico, and Angela Maiers.

Register for free here


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Teach Forward: Innovations in Reading

Curriculum Associates is launching a complimentary six-part webinar series for elementary educators. Teach Forward: Innovations in Reading will kick off on February 25th and run every Thursday until April 1. Teach Forward will showcase a variety of timely, research-based practices around knowledge development, culturally responsive pedagogy, and the power of proven scaffolds that bring all students to grade-level text.

“The world of reading never stands still. We are excited to share some fresh ideas for authentic engagement in classrooms where rigor and wonder align,” said Elizabeth Bassford, Associate Vice President for Content and Implementation at Curriculum Associates. “This webinar series provides educators with the latest innovations from a trusted team of experts and practitioners in the field. We invite educators to join us for all six sessions and Teach Forward in 2021.”

The Teach Forward: Innovations in Reading series includes:

  • Scaffolds for Content Equity on February 25, 2021
  • Culturally Responsive Classrooms on March 4, 2021
  • Knowledge Begets Knowledge on March 11, 2021
  • A Look at Lessons through an i-Ready Lens on March 18, 2021
  • i-Ready Reading Instruction on March 25, 2021
  • Raising Word Awareness on April 1, 2021

All webinars will be held at 3 p.m. ET and last for 45 minutes.

Educators who attend all six of the webinars will be entered into a drawing to win a variety of prizes, including Visa gift cards, snack boxes, and more.

To learn more and to register for the upcoming webinars, visit CVent.Me/2K8rkr.


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Feb. 19: See Civil Rights Activist Sylvia Mendez at ALAS "Linking Latina Leaders" Virtual Event

Free Virtual event for ALAS members and their guests will focus on “Breaking Barriers to have an Inclusive Equitable Education”

Civil rights activist Sylvia Mendez will join the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) for their February networking event, Linking Latina Leaders [L3]. The free event to ALAS L3 members and their guests, takes place from [5:30]-6:30 p.m. EST on Feb. 19, 2021 and addresses the theme: “Breaking Barriers to have an Inclusive Equitable Education.”

To register, visit http://bit.ly/ALASL3Feb.

The event is facilitated by ALAS L3 members Patricia Trejo, Dr. Patricia Ordónez-Feliciano.

“Our Linking Latina Leaders events focus on our female members and leadership development – to connect, and for those who may be interested in joining ALAS to network with members nationwide and gain a better understanding of the ALAS vision, mission and goals in leading our most marginalized and students of color ,” said Dr. Maria Armstrong, executive director of ALAS. “We are incredibly excited and looking forward to hearing from Sylvia Mendez, an inspiring leader and trailblazer in education, at our February event.”

Civil rights activist Sylvia Mendez is the oldest daughter of Gonzalo Mendez, a Mexican immigrant, and Felicitas Mendez, a Puerto Rican, who challenged segregation so that she and other Latino children could be provided the same quality education provided to white students. Her parents were plaintiffs in the landmark Mendez v. Westminster School District (1947) case that paved the way for Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and ended school segregation in California. She and her family have received numerous awards and accolades and been the subject of three books and two documentaries. On February 15, 2011, President Barack Obama presented Mendez with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Linking Latina Leaders is one of several networking programs and events ALAS offers. It also hosts a major education conference in the fall, weekly vodcasts discussing issues in education, and offers several professional development opportunities throughout the year. For more information about ALAS, visit https://www.alasedu.org/.


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Countdown to Mars: Perseverance

On February 18, 2021, NASA’s Perseverance rover is set to touch down on Mars and begin exploration of the Red Planet. To commemorate this historic occasion, Discovery Education—the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms—is partnering with NASA to bring students worldwide a special no-cost livestream of this momentous event.

This special livestream of the Perseverance rover’s landing on Mars is scheduled to begin on Thursday, February 18 at  2:15 p.m. ET.  Featuring insights from NASA experts and a behind-the-scenes look at the activities of the Perseverance mission control team, the livestream will culminate with the rover’s real-time touchdown on Mars.

To register for this event, visit Discovery Education’s Mars Landing Livestream homepage.

In addition to the livestream, Discovery Education and NASA are making available exclusive resources supporting the integration of NASA’s latest mission to Mars into classroom instruction.  Among these helpful resources is a 3-2-1 Pyramid graphic organizer to help educators build students’ summarization and critical thinking skills while watching the Countdown to Mars livestream.  Another resource available to support educators sharing this event with students is a ready-to-use Studio Slideshow.  Using this Slideshow, educators can fuel student interest in space, build knowledge, and check for understanding about relevant topics.  These resources and others being made available to educators and students are designed to be used in any learning environment and can be found on Discovery Education’s Mars Landing Livestream homepage.

“Space exploration has the unique ability to inspire students’ imaginations, especially in the fields of STEM,” said Mike Kincaid, NASA’s Associate Administrator for the Office of STEM Engagement. “We’re excited to partner with Discovery Education to bring the extraordinary innovation of the Mars 2020 Landing to students nationwide.”

Following the Perseverance rover’s landing on Mars, the livestream will be archived on Discovery Education’s award-winning learning platform in the Explore Space with NASA and Mars channels. Discovery Education’s flexible K-12 platform connects educators to a vast collection of compelling high-quality, standards-aligned content, ready-to-use digital lessons, and professional learning resources. Together, these resources give educators everything they need to facilitate instruction in any learning environment and create lasting educational impact.

Discovery Education’s team continues adding, contextualizing, and organizing exciting new content and timely resources to the platform each month in response to current events and the ever-evolving needs of educators. These resources, sourced from trusted partners, are aligned to state and national standards, and help educators bring the outside world into teaching and learning every day.

Finally, the Discovery Education platform is designed to work within school systems’ existing infrastructure and workflows. Through expanded partnerships with Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, Schoology, Canvas, Clever and others, integrating the Discovery Education platform into existing IT architecture is easier than ever.

“Discovery Education is thrilled to partner with NASA to bring the landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars to students worldwide,” said Scott Kinney, Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Education. “Events like this take students to places they could never visit and help them see the ‘real world’ applications of what they are learning in the classroom while also driving deeper engagement and, ultimately, higher academic achievement.”

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn


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Presentation Will Help School Districts Address Backlog of Psychoeducational Assessments

Clinical experts, joined by a district leader, will provide information about the remote administration of psychoeducational assessment to support students

For school districts trying to address their backlog of evaluations, PresenceLearning, the leading provider of live online special education related services for K-12 schools, is hosting, “Remote Evaluations: Learn How PresenceLearning Can Help You Get Caught Up” on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 2 pm ET/11 am PT.

PresenceLearning clinical experts Stephanie Taylor, Ed.S, NCSP, clinical director of psychoeducational service and Bonnie Contreras, Ed.S, NCSP, clinical liaison, will be joined by Matt Zilm, director of special education at Ogle County Educational Cooperative in Illinois, to discuss how to leverage remote evaluations to get students into the services they need. Topics will include:

  • How remote psychoeducational assessment works in both the home and school setting
  • How Ogle County Educational Cooperative district has successfully used PresenceLearning to stay on top of their evaluations
  • Supporting research including equivalency studies
  • PresenceLearning’s platform and library of assessments

Join this session to learn how to incorporate remote evaluation into your service delivery model. “PresenceLearning has been able to provide consistency for my school district to support our PsychEd program to ensure students are assessed and receive the services they need,” said Matt Zilm, director of special education at Ogle County Educational Cooperative.

To attend the upcoming presentation, register here.


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KidWind Offers Virtual Workshops on Renewable Energy Education

Dynamic trainings for educators to learn content knowledge and how to conduct a wide variety of practical activities in K-12 classrooms

The KidWind Project, the international leader in clean energy education, has launched an additional round of virtual workshops for this spring. The workshops are topic-specific and designed to help educators teach about renewable energy during distance and hybrid learning. Through the support of the Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education (The CREATE Center), KidWind has a number of scholarships available for 6th-12th grade STEM teachers to be able to offer the workshops at a reduced rate.

“Based on the great feedback we received from our virtual workshops in the fall, we added these workshops so more educators can gain the skills needed to teach about renewable energy as they navigate hybrid learning,” said Michael Arquin, founder of KidWind. “The workshops offer educators tools and resources to create hands-on, engaging lessons whether teaching in person or remotely.”

Each topic-specific workshop is six hours long and will have the same format. Workshops will start with background on the topic followed by introducing activities for the classroom to engage students in dynamic, hands-on learning. Educators will also receive a box of materials in advance for use during the workshop and a certificate of completion at the end of the workshop.

  • Wind Energy Fundamentals, March 20, 2021: Educators will engage with the science and technology of wind power while exploring blade design, power measurement, and wind turbines. Participants can register here.
  • Solar Energy Fundamentals, February 20, 2021 and March 27, 2021: Educators will dive into the science and technology of solar energy while exploring solar PV and thermal, power measurement and how to construct creative solar devices. Participants can register here.
  • Energy & the Power Grid, March 13, 2021 and April 17, 2021: Educators will bring the power grid alive in the classroom while exploring circuits, power measurement, and simulations. Participants can register here.

Workshops and the materials used are geared toward middle school and high school teachers, and no prior knowledge of wind or solar energy is required. Participants will need a stable internet connection and dedicated space in which to work.

In addition to educators being able to register individually for a workshop, schools and districts that are interested in having 10 or more attendees can schedule their own virtual workshop for their staff. Educators interested in receiving a scholarship, can register with the coupon code, CREATE2021. Scholarship recipients who attend and complete all three of the workshops will receive $200 in bonus gear.

For more information and to register for the virtual workshops, visit: www.kidwind.org/training/workshops.


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EDspaces 2021

The Education Market Association (EDmarket) in partnership with Emerald is looking for creative thinkers interested in shaping the future of learning to present at EDspaces, November 3-5, 2021, in Pittsburgh, PA. EDspaces, the education industry’s primary conference and expo focused on state-of-the-art learning environments, features more than 100 speakers sharing unique perspectives and experiences about integrating instructional technology, space, and pedagogical needs to improve student outcomes.

Industry professionals and education leaders are invited to share their knowledge and expertise by submitting proposals for engaging presentations focusing on proven practices and evidenced-based research shaping the future for educators and students.

The EDspaces Advisory Group is developing a series of curated sessions that inform and support excellence in educational facilities in the following program areas:

  • Campus Safety
  • Community Engagement
  • Design/Project Management
  • Environment/Health/Sustainability
  • Facility Operations/Best Practices
  • Funding/Equity
  • Pedagogy/Student Outcomes
  • Technology/Infrastructure

EDspaces is unique in providing education sessions in six designed classrooms that provide an extension of learning for participants to experience first-hand the latest product and space innovations in a variety of collaborative, flexible educational settings. Thought leaders willing to share expertise with an audience of facility professionals including decision-makers from Pre-K to Higher Ed, dealers, architects, and interior designers are invited to submit a proposal. Deadline: March 22, 2021.


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STEM Careers Coalition

The STEM Careers Coalition – the first-of-its-kind national STEM initiative powered by corporate leaders and anchored in schools by Discovery Education – invites educators, students, and communities to celebrate Black leaders in STEM year-round with the launch of dynamic careers content and a series of virtual educator events. The array of new on-demand resources leverages the power of digital content to connect all learners to their innate curiosity by bringing real-world STEM to life in the classroom. Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms worldwide.

Connecting the dots between classrooms and careers, the STEM Careers Coalition presents a robust array of career profiles introducing students to leaders in dynamic industries and job roles – like Boeing aircraft maintenance technician Brandon James, engineering project manager Antoine Sande from American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Microsoft program manager Wadood Daoud, drilling engineer Jesica Holley at Chevron, and senior policy advisor Uni Blake from American Petroleum Institute – and shows how students can use their STEM skills to make a difference in the world. Each career profile video is accompanied by fun activities that help students gain a deeper understanding of the world of work, helping them see themselves as the next generation of STEM leaders. Learn more here.

Discovery Education is supporting the launch of this new content with two exclusive virtual events spotlighting the importance and value of diversity in STEM:

Celebrating Black Leaders in STEM: Resource Tour

Tuesday, February 16th at 6 p.m. EST
Join a professional learning session led by Dr. Robert Corbin to learn how to integrate the new collection of STEM careers content spotlighting Black leaders into lessons. During the session, dive into the over 200 resources designed to uncover students’ STEM skills to activate future solution seekers while also exploring the many benefits of diversity in STEM. This exciting content includes resources ranging from hands-on student activations and lessons to the extensive database of career profiles and family activities. Additional details and registration information can be found here.

Designing the Future for Black Engineers: Diversity in STEM Discussion

Tuesday, February 23rd at 2 p.m. EST
Join the STEM Careers Coalition for the February edition of Diversity in STEM Discussions, a quarterly thought leadership series designed to bring leaders of industry together with district-level and classroom educators to engage in an honest and thought-provoking dialogue around the building of a magnificently diverse STEM workforce. Hear from key STEM education stakeholders and equity warriors as they discuss breaking down barriers and establishing concrete ways to foster equitable opportunities for the next generation of black engineers in leadership. Additional details and registration information can be found here.

“With the STEM Careers Coalition resources and professional learning opportunities, my students get to meet diverse leaders in STEM. The student’s faces say it all: they see themselves in these leaders and know that they, too, can be STEM leaders,” said Michele Hutson, a 2nd Grade Teacher in the Santa Rosa County School District of Florida.

Members of the STEM Careers Coalition are united by the common goals of empowering educators to teach STEM effectively in the classroom, fostering and promoting quality education, and building the next generation of STEM solution-seekers with intentional focus on racial and gender equity. Representing a range of industry sectors, the STEM Careers Coalition seeks to prepare 10 million students for the future of work by 2025 by providing equitable access to digital content and experiences that engage students in instruction, build foundational STEM knowledge, and develop the critical skills students need for college and career success. To view the complete list of STEM Career Coalition partners, visit the partnership webpage here.

In addition to the Coalitions national work, members also engage in regional approaches to workforce development and support students’ explorations in STEM. STEM Career Coalition partners underwrite critical academic and career content available through the award-winning, flexible K-12 learning platform and STEM Connect, an interdisciplinary K-8 resource blending dynamic digital content with ready-to-use lessons and hands-on activities to enhance core curriculum.

“Black History Month offers a wonderful opportunity to continue exploring the many remarkable people, events, and accomplishments that shaped our nation. The STEM Careers Coalition helps bring new dimensions to powerful milestones by connecting students to Black professionals leading STEM innovation,” said Marla Wilson, Executive Director of the STEM Careers Coalition. “These leaders, and the resources and events from the Coalition, help students see the STEM in them, by providing all students equitable access to STEM education.”

Learn more about STEM Careers Coalition here and find out how your organization can support the work of the STEM Careers Coalition. All resources are available at no-cost at stemcareerscoalition.org, and through Discovery Education’s K-12 learning platform on the STEM Careers channel.

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn.


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National Leaders in Clean Energy Education Convene Virtually to Kick Off Efforts to Foster an Equitable Clean Energy Economy

Industry leaders to meet to discuss the state of renewable energy education in light of equity, climate solutions and career development

Leaders in clean energy education– the KidWind Project, REpowering Schools, and CE – Clean Energy. Bright Futures – are hosting the first virtual national Renewable Energy Education Summit today, February 4, 2021, from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm ET. During the summit, educators, researchers, and practitioners from around the world will come together to discuss the current and future state of clean energy education in a collaborative day-long virtual dialogue.

“This summit provides a reflective opportunity for the clean energy education community to come together, set some clear priorities, and to consider whether the tools, voices, and resources in our community are enough to achieve our goals.” said Michael Arquin, founder of KidWind.

The summit will connect more than 90 teachers, researchers, and industry professionals and survey existing clean energy educational research and programs. Participants will explore the impacts of renewable energy education, identify significant gaps and research questions, and establish long-term working groups to address key issues identified during the summit. Participants will be responding to a call to action to help broaden public awareness and include linkages to energy justice, equity and inclusion in clean energy education, and increased access to clean energy career pathways.

Chaun MacQueen, senior director of CE – Clean Energy. Bright Futures, highlighted, “there are many opportunities to meet multiple goals around equity and justice, climate solutions, and preparing students for future careers, but we have a lot of work ahead of us to determine a more inclusive path forward. This summit is just one small step forward of many more to come.”

During working group meetings, participants will discuss what students are learning about energy and renewables, what high-quality resources currently exist to support renewable energy education, and how current educational programs can advance the need for future clean energy talent and informed participants in the growing clean energy economy.

“This summit is an opportunity to bring together practitioners and researchers of renewable energy education to facilitate important discussions about the state of education and identify gaps and solutions to move forward,” said Remy Pangle, executive director of REpowering Schools. “I am excited to be part of this event and look forward to the ongoing work and action that will come out of it.”

Proceedings from this conference will be presented as a report to be released in April 2021.

This summit was made possible through generous contributions from National Renewable Energy Laboratory and EDP Renewables.

For more information about the virtual summit, visit: https://www.reesummit.org/.

To receive the resulting report, email margaret@kehcomm.com.


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Social & Emotional Learning Challenge from Discovery Education & USC Shoah Foundation Offers Students Opportunity to Win $10,000

The third annual Stronger Than Hate Challenge is now open and offers students the opportunity to win $10,000 in prizing. Students aged 13-18 are encouraged to submit a project demonstrating how a community can be stronger than hate.

Full rules and submission details are available here.

The Stronger Than Hate Challenge demonstrates the power of learning from the past and using your own voice to counter hate. The Challenge is presented by the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education and Discovery Education – the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms.

“The Stronger Than Hate Challenge empowers youth voices by connecting students with the impact of testimony in overcoming hate,” said Lesly Culp, USC Shoah Foundation’s Head of Programs for Education. “In continued partnership with Discovery Education, we are helping inspire new ideas and spark student imagination to foster a more just and equitable society.”

Previous finalists and winners submitted projects on a range of relevant and impactful topics that addressed hate in their communities. The 2020 winner – Emma F. from San Clemente High School located in San Clemente, CA – created an artistic multi-media project addressing racism in the United States with a hand-drawn digital mural of George Floyd with the words “you can’t conquer hate with hatred.”

The Stronger Than Hate Challenge builds upon Teaching with Testimony – a USC Shoah Foundation and Discovery Education no-cost and standards-aligned educational initiative – which empowers students to create a better future by listening to and learning from the powerful testimony of survivors and witnesses of genocide.

“The resources from Teaching with Testimony, including the Stronger Than Hate Challenge, exemplify the impact of connecting students to social and emotional learning as a catalyst for change,” said Lori McFarling, President of Corporate & Community Partnerships at Discovery Education. “We commend USC Shoah Foundation for their continued leadership in fostering inclusivity and are proud to join forces in igniting student curiosity through the power of testimony.”

Learn more at TeachingwithTestimony.com/challenge and within the Teaching Tolerance channel on Discovery Education’s flexible K-12 learning platform.


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Classroom Champions Annual Teacher Summit Wednesday, January 27

This year, the Classroom Champions Teacher Summit is open to ALL TEACHERS. Yes you heard us right, invite a friend or two to join us to learn some awesome organizational tips from keynote speaker Rachel Rosenthal and learn from your peers in teacher-led breakouts.

This year’s Teacher Summit will be held virtually on Zoom, so register today for free to join us on Wednesday, January 27th, from 4–6pm PT/7–9pm ET.

Our special keynote speaker, Rachel Rosenthal, will join us with some turnkey and fruitful information for everyone! Rachel is a Professional Organizer, Organizing Expert, and owner of Rachel & Company. She will provide teachers with tips and tricks focused on organization and wellbeing. The presentation will include practical tips for working from home as well as working in person in a classroom. So very useful!

The Classroom Champions Teachers Summit is a celebration of the K-12 teaching community across the nation! Each year, Classroom Champions honors teachers by providing a platform for them to share their best practice and tips with each other. You know best what is needed for your students, and your peers understand your experiences thoroughly — especially this past year.

Register today for free to join your fellow teachers on Wednesday, January 27th, as they lead several breakout sessions that will include:

  • Student Advocacy: What are the ways teachers can ignite student voice through Classroom Champions programming in the classroom? Turnkey and concrete examples will be explored.
  • Growth Mindset in the Classroom: I can’t do that … YET! How can teachers help introduce and incorporate a growth mindset into their classroom culture?
  • Outside-the-Box Challenges: How can Classroom Champions encourage students to think in innovative ways to solve challenges? Let’s get creative together!
  • Integrating Classroom Champions into Curriculum: How can Classroom Champions work with your ELA and/or STE(A)M curricula? Explore the many cross-curricular learning objectives and connections.
  • Students in Crisis: Retired educator Ken Baldwin will share his Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) training to discuss best practices for student wellbeing, including suicide prevention.

You will come away from this Teacher Summit with tools to bring back to your virtual and in-person classrooms. Plus, you will make new connections with other teachers from the Classroom Champions community and beyond for this New Year!

As a special thank you, the first 15 registrants will receive a surprise gift from Classroom Champions! So spread the word and register today for free to join us on Wednesday, January 27th, from 4–6pm PT/7–9pm ET.

Register here


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Discovery Inc. & Discovery Education Present Free Virtual Field Trip of Presidential Inauguration

Discovery Inc. and Discovery Education are partnering to present I Do Solemnly Swear: The U.S. Presidential Inauguration to help educators, students, and families across the United States and around the world explore the rich history and tradition surrounding the Inauguration of the President of the United States. This exclusive, no cost virtual learning experience provides students behind-the-scenes access to this extraordinary quadrennial event. I Do Solemnly Swear premieres Tuesday, January 19 at 12:00pm ET exclusively on www.discoveryeducation.com and will air the same week on Discovery Family, and in Spanish on Discovery Familia.

During I Do Solemnly Swear, elementary and middle school students, their teachers, and families will learn about the many distinctive aspects of the Presidential Inauguration.

Through a series of interviews, Inaugural experts and historians will share their perspectives and insight, and answer questions such as why we have an Inauguration, how does a First Family move into the White House during the Inauguration, and what do the symbols and language of the Inauguration mean. In addition, a surprise guest is scheduled to appear who will share a special message with students.

Interviewing the Inaugural experts featured in I Do Solemnly Swear are a group of extraordinary students from families served by Operation Homefront, the national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families. Since 2002, Operation Homefront has provided relief, resiliency, and recurring support programs that help military families overcome short-term bumps in the road so they do not become long-term chronic problems.

I Do Solemnly Swear is accompanied by learning resources and family activities created by Discovery Education’s expert Curriculum Team, which are available at the event homepage.  Discovery Education’s I Do Solemnly Swear provides elementary and middle school educators the perfect resource to prepare students for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. I Do Solemnly Swear is produced in a way which empowers teachers to either view the entire program with their classrooms as a single live event or use selected segments for specific lessons.

Additionally, a special kids edition of the Inauguration–Our White House: An Inaugural Celebration for Young Americans–will be livestreamed on Discovery Education from the I Do Solemnly Swear homepage on January 20 at 12:00pm ET. A special edition of Our White House: An Inaugural Celebration for Young Americans will also air the same week on Discovery Family, and in Spanish on Discovery Familia.

 I Do Solemnly Swear is the latest virtual field trip produced by Discovery Educationthe global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms worldwide. Previous Discovery Education virtual field trips can be found here or in the Virtual Field Trips Channel within Discovery Education’s flexible K-12 learning platform, which connects educators to a vast collection of compelling high-quality, standards-aligned content, ready-to-use digital lessons, and professional learning resources.

“Discovery Education is dedicated to helping educators prepare students for tomorrow by connecting them to today’s world,” said Scott Kinney, CEO of Discovery Education. “Exciting virtual field trips like I Do Solemnly Swear provide teachers, students, and families insight and perspective into the people, places, and events shaping our world, and we are excited to partner with Discovery Familia and Discovery Family to bring this unique event to students everywhere.”

For more information about I Do Solemnly Swear: The U.S. Presidential Inauguration, visit the event homepage here. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn.


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Registration Open for 10th Annual PBL World Conference

PBLWorks’ premiere professional development conference for Project Based Learning will take place online on June 21-24, 2021

PBLWorks, the leading provider of professional development for high-quality Project Based Learning (PBL), will host its 10th annual PBL World conference virtually on June 21-24, 2021 with the theme “Racial Equity at the Center.”

The conference, which last year drew more than 1,000 teachers and school and district leaders from 37 states and 26 countries, offers inspiring speakers, engaging workshops, and dedicated time for networking. PBLWorks is presenting the conference online for the second year in a row in order to support teachers and administrators who can’t travel or who prefer to attend virtually due to the pandemic.

This year’s theme “Racial Equity at the Center” highlights the power of Project Based Learning to advance educational equity for all students — especially Black and Brown students. Keynoters will bring their perspectives on how participants can put equity at the center of their work. And during workshops, attendees will consider educational equity in their classrooms and their projects.

“The pandemic has caused everyone to rethink how we educate our students and prepare them for the future,” said Bob Lenz, CEO of PBLWorks. “PBL World is a perfect opportunity for teachers and administrators to learn how to use Project Based Learning to support racial equity in education, engage students in the content, and keep them excited about learning, whether they are in the classroom or doing remote learning.”

The workshops

PBL World offers a menu of three-day workshops led by PBLWorks National Faculty members.

  • PBL 101: Intro to Gold Standard PBL design
  • PBL 201: Improving the Quality of Student Work
  • PBL 201: Equity and Gold Standard PBL
  • PBL Coaching: Supporting Teachers in PBL Project Implementation
  • PBL Leadership: Creating the Conditions for PBL to Thrive in your System

Participants can also add on an optional one-day pre-conference session, such as a Project Slice, an immersive workshop that gives participants a taste of what it’s like to be a learner in a PBL classroom.

  •  Project Slice: Sustainable Future
  • Project Slice: The Art of Persuasion
  • Design Slam: A hands on challenge to “rapid prototype” an engaging PBL project
  •  PBL & SEL: PBL as a transformative approach to Social and Emotional Learning

PBL World’s dynamic online experience models the best practices of remote learning while also helping participants make deep connections.

To register for PBL World 2021, visit www.pblworld.org


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International Conference on Educational Innovation to Design the Future of Education

The seventh annual edition of the conference will feature speakers from around the world and the launch of the Institute for the Future of Education

On December 14–18, Technológico de Monterrey hosts the seventh annual International Conference on Educational Innovation (CIIE). The virtual event will bring together experts and teachers from around the world to discuss the trends and practices revolutionizing teaching and learning at this pivotal time for education. The theme for this year’s conference is “Designing the Future of Education,” and the 100% online conference will offer keynotes and panels in six tracks:

        1. Educational trends

        2. Educational technologies

        3. Educational innovation management

        4. Academic health innovation

        5. Lifelong learning

        6. Edtech entrepreneurship

“In the face of the pandemic, educators are grappling with issues such as equal access, the digital divide, quality and digitization of content, new teaching strategies, and assessment of learning outcomes,” said José Escamilla, the director of CIIE and TecLabs – Learning Reimagined. “CIIE will give teachers and administrators from around the world a forum to share their teaching experiences, collaborate with colleagues, and consolidate joint working agreements that have the potential to transform education and make it more accessible.”

Panels of international academic leaders will address topics such as “Reimagining Higher Education in the Post-Pandemic,” “Women in Higher Education Leadership,” and “How Public-Private Collaboration Can Favor Innovation in Universities in Latin America and The Caribbean.”

Keynote speakers will include:

  • Ángel Cabrera, president of the Georgia Institute of Technology, speaking about “Sustainable Development Goals: How Universities Can Maximize our Impact”;
  • Founder and CEO of Character Lab Angela Duckworth on “How and Why to Develop Character”;
  • Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Holon IQ Patrick Brothers on “The Global Innovation Landscape”;
  • Conrad Wolfram, CEO and European co-founder of Wolfram and founder of Computer-Based Maths, on “Fundamentally Fixing Math Education: Computational Thinking for the AI Age”; and
  • Richard J. Davidson, Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry Founder and Director, Center for Healthy Mind, University of Wisconsin–Madison on “Educating for a healthy mind”.

On Friday, December 18, a special event will celebrate the launch of the Institute for the Future of Education (IFE), a nonprofit that is the first of its kind in Latin America. IFE will create, promote, and drive disruptive solutions for education development. Like CIIE, IFE aims to bring together specialists from all latitudes to share technology-powered solutions to today’s educational challenges.

In addition to access to the keynote lectures and a total of 250 simultaneous activities, attendees will receive evidence of their digital participation.

Educators can register here.


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Educators Invited to a New, No-Cost Virtual Professional Learning Event Focused on Computational Thinking

Tata Consultancy Services and Discovery Education Welcome K-12 Educators on December 9th

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) – a leading global IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization – and Discovery Education invite educators nationwide to participate in a new, no cost virtual professional learning event focusing on computational thinking. This event – the Ignite My Future in School Virtual TECHademy – occurs on December 9 at [5:30] PM EST.  To register, visit the registration page here. Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms.

During this unique, 3-hour immersive virtual professional learning event, participating educators will receive:

  • Best practices for online teaching and learning, modeled by Discovery Education Professional Development experts
  • Access to org: no-cost website with educator and family resources, including an opportunity to join a global community of collaborative educators through our Ignite my Future in School Learning Leaders network
  • Five “Grab and Go” lessons that are immediately ready to be used in a virtual environment
  • A digital event bag with free digital tools, like Goose Chase, and a Certificate of Participation

“As a teacher, I am always looking for new ways to improve my own instructional practice so I can be a better support the growth and development of my students,” said Brittney Mata, middle school math & computer Science teacher at STEM2 Prep in Harlingen Consolidated School District (HCISD). “A virtual professional learning event focused on a critical topic such as computational thinking will help me integrate this important subject into my classroom activities immediately.”

A first-of-its-kind, multi-million-dollar initiative, Ignite My Future in School leverages computational thinking and new teaching resources as a catalyst to transform the way K-12 students learn across the United States. Ignite My Future in School offers educators curriculum support through no cost instructional resources with computational thinking strategies embedded into subjects such as math, sciences, arts, and social studies. To date, TCS and Discovery Education have reached nearly 16,000 educators and over 900,000 students since launching the program in 2017.

“Computational thinking helps build innovative solutions to real-world problems. By connecting educators to resources and services that help build their professional skills, students across the United States will be empowered with the support to build fresh ideas,” said Lina Klebanov, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, TCS North America.

“We are proud to partner with TCS to provide educators access to high-quality professional learning that not only keeps their learning connected to curiosity, but supports students’ growth as solution seekers,” said Lori McFarling, President of Corporate & Community Partnerships at Discovery Education.

Learn more about Ignite My Future in School and find all the no cost resources designed for educators at ignitemyfutureinschool.org and through the Discovery Education Experience‘s Ignite My Future in School channel.  Following the event, Ignite My Future in School Virtual TECHademy will be archived here.

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn.


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KidWind Virtual Workshops Available for Educators

Dynamic renewable energy workshops to allow educators to grow content knowledge while also exploring hands-on K-12 lessons

The KidWind Project, the international leader of clean energy education, created topic-specific renewable energy virtual workshops designed to help educators teach about renewable energy whether teaching in person or remotely. The one-day workshops will provide training on the fundamentals of wind energy, solar energy, and the power grid.

“Our training workshops continue to be popular among educators looking to expand their knowledge on renewable energy,” said Michael Arquin, founder of KidWind. “With virtual workshops, we’ll be able to reach more educators and provide newly developed resources and tactics for remote or hybrid learning environments and activities they can use to make lessons hands-on and engaging.”

Each topic-specific workshop is six hours and will have the same format. Workshops will start with background on the topic to help educators get a better understanding followed by introducing activities for the classroom to engage students in dynamic, hands-on learning. Educators will also receive a box of materials in advance for use during the workshop and a certificate of completion at the end of the workshop.

Workshops and the materials used are geared toward middle school and high school teachers, and no prior knowledge of wind or solar energy is required. Participants will need a stable internet connection and dedicated space in which to work.

In addition to educators being able to register individually for a workshop, schools and districts that are interested in having 10 or more attendees can schedule their own virtual workshop for their staff. KidWind is also offering scholarships, so educators can take these workshops for free. These scholarships were made possible through generous contributions form Orsted, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Vernier Software & Technology.

For more information and to register for the virtual workshops, visit: https://www.kidwind.org/training/workshops.


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Teletherapy Open House: <br>Building a Telepractice Career

PresenceLearning clinical experts share information and answer questions about joining the leading network of clinicians serving students across the country

The shift to remote and hybrid learning models has generated a significant demand for teletherapy and tele-assessment services. More and more clinicians are looking to add remote delivery of services to their practice and are turning to PresenceLearning. PresenceLearning, the leading provider of live online special education related services for K-12 schools, is hosting an open house, “Teletherapy Reimagined: The PresenceLearning Difference,” on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT to share information about the benefits of joining the PresenceLearning Network.

Why PresenceLearning?

Not all teletherapy and tele-assessment solutions are created equally. PresenceLearning has more than a decade of experience in serving a diverse range of students with special needs (both in school and in home-based settings). The company’s clinical network of nearly 1,500 providers, working with PresenceLearning platform’s engaging tools and resources, brings the online experience to life for students. Providers in the company’s network reap the many benefits of a community with clinical and technical support, while also enjoying the flexibility of independent work. PresenceLearning’s goal is to make teletherapy the best it can possibly be for all providers by providing robust training and a customized platform designed by and for clinicians.

During the upcoming open house, led by PresenceLearning clinical expert Kristin Martinez, MA, CCP-SLP, clinical director of SLP, attendees will learn about the unique benefits of PresenceLearning’s proprietary platform including:

  • What it’s like to be part of the largest community of online providers
  • How PresenceLearning equips providers to stay on top of this cutting edge/innovative field
  • How to leverage the award-winning PresenceLearning platform that was built for teletherapy

Attendees will also have an opportunity to have questions answered by the company’s recruiting team at the end of the presentation.

“PresenceLearning not only provides an efficient technology solution for clinicians to serve their students in any environment, but it also opens up access to a wealth of resources to support their daily work,” said Martinez. “Our network is a growing community of providers who appreciate the flexibility of online services and who are deeply committed to what they do. Whether you are a provider seeking to expand your current work or make a career change, we are excited to share information with you and hear what’s on your mind.”

To attend the upcoming presentation, register now.


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Special Presentation for School Districts: Learn about Leading Teletherapy and Tele-assessment Platform and Training Programs

Unique opportunity to tour the PresenceLearning Teletherapy Platform and hear from clinical experts and district leaders about how to choose the right solution for your district

For administrators, therapists, and educators seeking solutions for supporting students with special needs during in-person or remote school, teletherapy and tele-assessment can provide a practical and compelling solution. PresenceLearning, the leading provider of live online special education related services for K-12 schools, is hosting the presentation, “PresenceLearning Teletherapy Essentials: A Complete Solution Built for Teletherapy & Tele-assessment,” on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT to share information about how the company’s Teletherapy Essentials training and platform solution can support schools this year.

Why Teletherapy?

When the pandemic hit and schools closed in the spring of 2020, PresenceLearning was in a unique position to help a growing number of schools and districts provide and sustain remote, special education related services for their students. When combined with the company’s teletherapy and tele-assessment training, the PresenceLearning platform, designed by clinicians for clinicians, enables school-based clinicians to continue serving their students wherever they are. As the 2020-2021 school year continues in hybrid and remote models, PresenceLearning‘s complete solution for teletherapy and tele-assessment is engaging students in an interactive, positive learning environment and helping therapists deliver appropriate services online.

“When I first started delivering teletherapy using an online platform typically used in business, I felt like I was an entertainer trying to capture my students’ attention. With PresenceLearning, I’m an SLP. There is such a stark difference in what I can accomplish,” said Melissa Phillips, SLP at Lewis Cass ISD in Michigan.

During the upcoming presentation, led by PresenceLearning clinical experts Kristin Martinez, MA, CCP-SLP, clinical director of SLP & OT, and Stephanie Taylor, EdS, NCSP, clinical director of psychoeducational services, attendees will learn more about the training program for related service providers, tour PresenceLearning’s award-winning platform built for teletherapy and tele-assessment, and hear from a district leader and school clinicians. Attendees will also have an opportunity to participate in a live Q&A at the end of the presentation.

“Technology can be a powerful tool for opening up access to meaningful educational experiences, and this has never been more apparent than in the past several months,” said Kate Eberle Walker, CEO of PresenceLearning. “School teams are turning to our platform both to address immediate concerns and to reimagine how services are delivered in the digital age. This special presentation will be an opportunity for us to share the features that our customers love best for engaging students with special needs and supporting their clinicians.”

To attend the upcoming webinar, register here


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Flinn Scientific

Flinn Scientific, a flagship provider of science lab materials and safety and STEM solutions for the K-16 education market, is hosting new webinars to help educators at all levels successfully navigate this school year. As part of its free Professional Learning Webinar Series, the two upcoming webinars – ‘Dynamic Funding and Grant Proposal Writing from Flinn’ and ‘COVID-19 Safety in the Science Department’ – will each have a school district leader- and K-12 educator-version to specifically address the needs of each unique audience.

“With the ever-changing dynamics of this school year, it is imperative educators at every level have access to the most up-to-date information and best practices available,” said Michael Lavelle, CEO of Flinn Scientific. “These hour-long webinars will provide actionable information to support educators looking to acquire needed funding and ensure a safe and healthy teaching and learning environment.”

The session ‘Dynamic Funding and Grant Proposal Writing from Flinn’ will help educators identify funding sources and the essential alliances needed to advance science programs; secure additional funding through the use of grants and successful proposal applications; and enhance teaching and learning with comprehensive resources for K-12 science and STEM education. It will also provide guidance for updating lab equipment and technology using newly-acquired funding.

The session ‘COVID-19 Safety in the Science Department’ will review and provide best practices and protocols for prevention, sanitation, disinfection, and hygiene. It will help educators understand how science labs should be assessed with COVID-19 safety in mind; the proper protocols for having students in the building and operating remotely; what should be considered for science prep areas; and the safety infrastructure items that should be addressed for the science department to pass inspection for student presence and safety.

Additional webinars examining the important and pivotal role educators at all levels play in this current 2020 education climate are also available for on-demand viewing.

To learn more and register for these upcoming webinars, visit https://www.flinnsci.com/professional-learning/.


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Discovery Education’s Keeping You Connected to Curiosity initiative

To keep students, educators, and families connected to curiosity, Discovery Education presents six new no cost virtual events during the month of November. Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms.

Discovery Education’s Keeping You Connected to Curiosity initiative is anchored by a team of celebrity scientists sharing how curiosity has played an important role in their lives and what they’re most curious about today. Discovery Education is supporting this initiative through its award-winning services, a host of new content designed to spark curiosity in teachers and students about the world around us, and events, community activities, and more focused on promoting science education scheduled throughout Fall 2020.

Among the no cost activities are four new Virtual Field Trips open to students, educators, and their families, a professional learning event from the STEM Careers Coalition, and the Discovery Education’s celebrated Discovery Educator Network VirtCon. Details on these exciting events are as follows:

STEM Careers Coalition™: Tour the Resources Professional Learning Session

11/10/2020 at 4 p.m. EST
Professional Learning

Celebrate the one-year anniversary of the STEM Careers Coalition — the first-of-its-kind national STEM initiative powered by corporate leaders and anchored in schools by Discovery Education. Take a deep dive into the virtual career exploration resources available from industry leaders like API, Boeing, Chevron, and Microsoft, as well as content contributors Sanofi and GAF. Discover all the timely and powerful content, including the STEM Careers Portal, COVID-19 Solutions Seekers series, and more!

Tundra Connections: Two Virtual Field Trips
Curious Creatures: Polar Bears on the Tundra Virtual Field Trip

11/10/2020 at 12 p.m. EST
Grade Level: K-5

Come experience the polar bear packed tundra with Polar Bears International and Discovery Education. Travel to the heart of polar bear action just outside of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada to see these curious creatures in action and discover the science of polar bears in the first of two 2020 Tundra Connections virtual events. Stay connected to your curiosity and the community by using #CelebratewithDE on Twitter during the session.

The Phenomena of Polar Bears Migration Virtual Field Trip

11/12/2020 at 12 p.m. EST
Grade Level: 6-12

From the migration patterns of polar bears to the northern lights, the Arctic is filled with fascinating phenomena. Take a trip to Canada for the annual polar bear migration to learn all about the science of polar bears and their Arctic habitat in the second 2020 Tundra Connections virtual event designed for middle and high school students. Join Polar Bears International and the Discovery Education team to connect with scientists, learn about the connections between climate change and habitats, and see polar bears in their natural Arctic ecosystem on the shores of the Hudson Bay.

Amazing Me: Body Confidence Virtual Field Trip

11/12/2020 at 1 p.m. EST
Grade Level: 4-5

Showing students the power of their thoughts and the importance of accepting and respecting their bodies, the first-ever Amazing Me Virtual Field Trip from The Dove-Self-Esteem Project and Discovery Education is a part of a new initiative boosting 4th and 5th grade student’s body confidence through no cost digital social and emotional learning resources. Students will hear from their peers about the unique beauty in everyone. Providing students practical skills to build self-esteem and body confidence, this event works to eliminate bullying and teasing based on body weight, shape, or size. Educators are invited join the discussion and share pictures of their students watching on Twitter @DiscoveryEd with hashtag #AmazingMeVFT.

Discovery Educator Network: VirtCon

11/16/2020 – 11/19/2020
Professional Learning

Join members of the Discovery Educator Network for instructional inspiration at the reimagined, annual DEN VirtCon: Fall 2020 — four days of on-demand and live professional learning experiences designed for maximum flexibility and choice. Educators will learn practical, creative, and effective ways to ignite curiosity and support teaching and learning in any environment. During the event, teachers gain new ways to meet the needs of students virtually while they connect to an ever-growing, worldwide network of current Network educators.

Tech for Tomorrow: Tech for Global Good Virtual Field Trip

11/17/2020 at 1 p.m. EST
Grade Level: 4-8

Dive into data-driven innovation from Tech for Tomorrow — a program from The Tech Interactive and Discovery Education introducing students to today’s cutting-edge technology and inspiring enduring innovations for the future — through a new Virtual Field Trip sponsored by NetApp. Students will get a behind-the-scenes of Tech for Global Good Celebration, one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting annual events, in honor of the 2020 Tech for Global Good Laureates: four groundbreaking STEM professionals who are rethinking data technology to transform our world for the better.

Learn more and register events at Discovery Education’s Keeping You Connected to Curiosity here.

“Discovery Education’s virtual experiences offer me more ways to bring the real-world to our students,” said Rita A. Mortenson, Educational Technology Coach at Verona Area School District. “The upcoming Virtual Field Trips ignite student curiosity and help keep our students connected to their learning across multiple subjects and key topics. Add in the fantastic professional learning opportunities offered through the upcoming VirtCon and STEM Careers Coalition resource tour, and I have everything I need to support students’ learning and my own career development for the upcoming month.”

A coalition of industry partners joining forces with Discovery Education to create a culture of STEM education in K-12 schools nationwide, the STEM Careers Coalition™ empowers educators to teach STEM effectively in the classroom, fosters equity and access to quality education, and is building the next generation of solution-seekers. Visit www.stemcareerscoalition.org to learn more.

The Keeping You Connected to Curiosity initiative also brings engaging new digital content to teachers and students through Discovery Education Experience, the company’s flexible K-12 learning platform. For Discovery Education Experience users, the new Virtual Field Trips will be available in the Virtual Field Trip channel, along with all the supplemental student activities and educator guides. With Discovery Education’s original Real-World Phenomena series—now live in ExperienceSTEM Connect, and Science Techbook—all learners can experience compelling natural science phenomena such as eclipses and extreme weather. Aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), each short clip in this series encourages students to observe a phenomenon and use their science knowledge to explain what they see and predict what happens next.

“Helping teachers bring the outside world to their classrooms is a key facet of Discovery Education’s mission,” said Scott Kinney, Discovery Education President of K-12 Education. “We are excited to bring the Keeping You Connected to Curiosity initiative, the upcoming no cost Virtual Field Trips, and the Discovery Educator Network’s VirtCon to educators, students, and families this fall, and we invite all educators to participate in these exciting events.”

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn.


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The Character Tree

Nov. 10, 2020 webinar features Renton Park Elementary School Principal Pamela Washington and is hosted by teacher Sara VanderWel.

Having an open dialogue with students about racism and student identity, and making sure each student is seen and celebrated for who they are, continue to be priorities this school year. For teachers seeking resources to help guide these conversations in their classrooms, The Character Tree is hosting a free webinar on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020 featuring Renton Park Elementary School Principal Pamela Washington.

The webinar “Identity Matters: Cultivating Connection in the Classroom” takes place at 4 p.m. Pacific Time/7 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, November 10, 2020. To register, visit https://bit.ly/34uRLEs. The webinar will also be available on-demand.

“Talking about student identity and race is important and a powerful way to support character development,” said Bill Apperson, chairman of Apperson Inc., creator of The Character Tree, an online character development resource for students in grades K-2. “Pamela Washington has decades of experience in promoting discussion around these issues so webinar participants should walk away with ideas to use in their own classrooms.”

During her 20-year career, Pamela Washington has served as a classroom teacher, literacy coach, dean of students, and assistant principal. She has worked in partnership with fellow educators and families to identify, address, and disrupt inequities prevalent in schools today. Currently, she serves as Principal at Renton Park Elementary School in Renton, Washington, where one of her goals is to ensure every student is seen and celebrated for who they are.

In the webinar, Washington will discuss:

  • Strategies and resources for supporting student identity
  • Defining “race,” and “racism,” and why it’s important

Everyone who signs up to attend the webinar will be entered into a drawing to win a set of 10 picture books for talking to children about race.

The webinar is hosted by teacher Sara VanderWel who plays the role of “Miss Sara” in The Character Tree videos. VanderWel, who is Bill Apperson’s daughter, has served as an early elementary teacher for 13 years. She specializes in literacy and writing and in 2018 received the Bonnie Campbell Hill Literacy Leader Award for Washington State. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and a B.S. in Spanish Language and Literature and an M.S. in K-6 Reading and Literacy.  She also runs a Teachers Pay Teachers site called The Primary Pal.

For more information about the Character Tree, visit: https://charactertree.com/subscriptions/.


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CVS Health & Discovery Education Team Up for Substance Misuse Prevention Day of Learning During Red Ribbon Week

No-cost Drug Misuse Prevention Resources Designed for Virtual or In-Person Learning

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) and Discovery Education are coming together to present a Day of Learning on October 27, 2020. This event occurs during Red Ribbon Week, the largest drug-use prevention campaign in the nation, and will debut to communities across the United States the newly announced Dose of Knowledge digital education resources.

Dose of Knowledge, part of CVS Health’s Pharmacists Teach program focused on substance misuse education, offers a suite of no-cost digital resources focusing on the facts about prescription and illicit drug misuse. Designed for students in grades 6-12, Dose of Knowledge empowers pharmacists and educators to discuss the importance of healthy lifestyle choices with students.

Intended to spark critical discussions about prescription medication misuse awareness, the Day of Learning will showcase these new resources for educators, students, and families. The Day of Learning will empower youth and adults alike to more deeply engage in the topic of prescription safety and discover the tools needed to face substance misuse head on. Join in on Facebook and Twitter with #DoseofKnowlege.

Components of the Day of Learning include:

  • a virtual roundtable discussion featuring a CVS pharmacist, education leaders, and student voices
  • a social activation calling for creative student expressions about substance misuse
  • a Twitter chat focusing on the new Dose of Knowledge resources

Click here to register for the event.


“Together with Discovery Education, the Day of Learning will help us amplify both the importance of substance misuse education, as well as the availability of these no-cost digital resources to schools across the country,” said Tom Davis, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Services at CVS Health. “With so many schools participating in virtual learning, these digital-first resources are more important than ever and build on our ongoing commitment to the communities we serve.”

As part of the partnership, CVS Health is underwriting the purchase of Discovery Education Experience–a K-12 learning platform combining dynamic curated curriculum resources with on-demand and personalized teaching strategies—at 50 schools nationwide. Dose of Knowledge is available to Discovery Education Experience and at no cost to all schools nationwide at doseofknowledge.com.

“We are proud to be CVS Health’s partner to scale the impact and success of Pharmacists Teach in communities across the country,” said Lori McFarling, President Corporate & Community Partnerships at Discovery Education. “With Dose of Knowledge, students, educators, pharmacists, and families are empowered to address substance misuse with tools that support the health and well-being of themselves and their community.”

Learn more about Dose of Knowledge and the partnership at doseofknowledge.com and within Discovery Education Experience. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn.


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Waterford.org Launches Ascend 2020 Online Conference to Focus on Early Learning

The six-week series will provide administrators no-cost access to speakers, panels, and workshops, with the goal of creating a cohort to improve early education through equity.

Waterford.org, a national early education nonprofit with a mission to achieve universal literacy through equity, access, and parent empowerment, today announced Ascend 2020, an online conference series that will bring together the greatest minds in education to focus on improving early education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The virtual series begins October 21 and will run for six weeks, with several sessions each week. Educators can register here at no cost, and can customize their experience by attending live sessions or watching speakers and panels on-demand. Ascend 2020 will offer attendees the opportunity to:

  • Be inspired by thought leaders including Waterford.org’s CEO Benjamin Heuston; Bethany Butzer, an expert in positive psychology and transpersonal psychology; and Julie A. Evans, the CEO of Project Tomorrow.
  • Share ideas in weekly workshops about leadership, how to avoid burnout, and more.
  • Network with education professionals from across the country.

Information on the issue of early education will include content normally available only to Fortune 500 companies. Speakers will also share messages of hope to alleviate the stress of trying to deliver “normal” education despite the rapid transition to online learning and the budget cuts that many districts are now facing.

“During this pandemic, we are experiencing hurdles the education world has never seen,” said Waterford.org President & COO Andy Myers. “The goal of Ascend 2020 is to bring together leaders from nonprofits, schools, the government, and our philanthropic partners to launch a cohort focused on improving early education through equity, access, and family empowerment. If we want to reach universal literacy, one thing is certain: we must all work together.”


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Aperture Education

The research-based DESSA from Aperture Education provides actionable data to help schools confidently meet students’ individual social-emotional learning needs

Riverside Insights and Aperture Education have partnered to add Aperture’s entirely strengths-based DESSA social-emotional learning assessment to Riverside Insights’ portfolio of trusted assessments for schools. The partnership between the two companies helps Riverside Insights support schools that are seeking an evidence-based SEL assessment and helps Aperture reach more schools that are serviced by Riverside Insights.

“Research shows data-driven social-emotional learning programs have a positive impact on student mental health, behavior and achievement,” said Jessica Adamson, CEO of Aperture Education. “By obtaining important, timely SEL data through the DESSA, Riverside Insight’s customers will gain confidence by having a practical, accurate and equitable gauge of how they are meeting their students’ individual SEL needs.”

Riverside Insights offers assessment solutions that give schools actionable insights to support student learning and growth. The DESSA is a strengths-based SEL assessment that provides reliable data to help schools measure students’ SEL competence. Data from Riverside Insights’ combined portfolio of assessments provides schools with a complete picture of a student’s learning potential (ability), demonstrated learning (achievement), and SEL competency, which ultimately helps schools support that student’s growth.

“Our goal is to provide comprehensive insights to educators that help them identify and unlock each student’s full potential,” said Rajib Roy, President and CEO of Riverside Insights. “Social-emotional learning is a key pillar to that mission and adding the DESSA to our portfolio helps us take one step closer to that goal.”

Aperture Education and Riverside Insights will hold a joint webinar at 3 p.m. EDT, Oct. 20, 2020. To register, visit https://info.riversideinsights.com/aperture-webinar.

The webinar, “Promoting Educational Equity through SEL Assessment,” will feature Paul LeBuffe, vice president of research & development for Aperture Education and Van Mabie, senior director of special products & services for Riverside Insights. They will discuss how to:

  • Define educational equity
  • Describe the essential role of SEL assessment in promoting educational equity
  • Identify the key characteristics of assessments that promote equity
  • Promote educational equity using the DESSA Comprehensive System

Aperture Education specializes in social and emotional learning (SEL) solutions. Our flagship product, the DESSA Comprehensive SEL System, allows educators to measure, strengthen, and support social-emotional competence in youth in grades K-12. The DESSA System includes a suite of strength-based assessments, a universal screener that can be administered in less than a minute, and growth strategies and foundational practices to strengthen social and emotional competence. The DESSA System is lauded by researchers because it meets high standards for reliability and validity and is appreciated by educators for its ability to easily and quickly identify each student’s personal SEL strengths and provide practical supports that result in improved student outcomes. Because strengthening social-emotional skills is as important for educators as it is for students, we also offer the Educator Social Emotional Reflection and Training (EdSERT) tool. EdSERT is a professional development program to support the social-emotional competency and well-being of educators. For more information, go to www.ApertureEd.com.

Riverside Insights, one of the nation’s leading and most longstanding developers of research-based assessments, is guided by a powerful mission: to provide insights that help elevate potential and enrich the lives of students, clinical patients, employees and organizations globally. For more information, visit www.riversideinsights.com.


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ALAS National Education Summit.png

National Education Summit Oct. 9-10, 2020 Focuses on Equity and Leadership in Action

Association of Latino Administrators & Superintendents (ALAS) Virtual Summit features keynote speakers John Leguizamo and education evangelist Jaime Casap, as well as a panel including New York City Department of Education Chancellor Richard A. Carranza

The Association of Latino Administrators & Superintendents (ALAS) will host its National Education Summit virtually live on Oct. 9-10, 2020. The conference features inspiring keynote speakers such as actor and Latino/a/x advocate John Leguizamo and global education evangelist Jaime Casap, along with panel discussions with action-oriented superintendents from across the country to discuss the issues of equity and leadership in education and a musical performance by Grammy nominee Lupita Infante.

“The events of this year have exposed deep educational inequities for students across our country which underscore our Latino/a/x youth,” said Dr. Maria Armstrong, Executive Director of ALAS. “Strong leadership is critical to address these inequities. Our virtual National Education Summit will, for the first time, bring together parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, superintendents and board members to help get everyone on the same page in providing a quality educational experience for our students.  There has never been a better time to bring the ALAS community together to address educational inequities.”

The summit “Equity Leadership in Action: When to Sprint and When to Pivot,” will take place from 3:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. EST Oct. 9, 2020, and from 11:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. EST on Oct. 10, 2020. Every paid administrator registration includes one complimentary registration for a school board member and one complimentary registration for a parent.

In addition to impressive keynote speakers and thought provoking breakout sessions, the event features two informative Superintendents Plenary Panels. One panel COVID and Beyond: Exposed Inequities Part Two reunites five superintendents from an ALAS event held in April for a panel discussion about the education inequities that have surfaced during the pandemic. Speakers include:

Richard A. Carranza is Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. He leads the largest system in the nation, serving 1.1 million students, as parents and educators address the current crisis, in addition to long term issues of bias, structural inequities, and low expectations that in his words have, for too long, impacted black and brown students, students with disabilities, and those whose families speak English as a second language.

Dr. Gustavo Balderas is Superintendent of Edmonds School District, Washington and the 2020 National Superintendent of the Year. Throughout his career Dr. Balderas has focused on leadership and increasing cultural proficiency, including developing equity systems around student behavior and teacher hiring practices. Currently, his team is providing tens of thousands of meals, child care, and distance learning to his students and community.

Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney serves as the Superintendent of Schools for the Aldine Independent School District. She has received several distinctions and honors, including being named a finalist for the 2020 Female Superintendent of the Year by AASA and was named Superintendent of the Year for Texas in 2017. During the current coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Goffney is ensuring that Aldine ISD continues to focus on issues of equity – including ensuring all families have access to learning, meals, and consistent contact with teachers and counselors for support.

Dr. Don Austin is the Superintendent of Schools for the Palo Alto Unified School District. As one of the premiere school districts in California, PAUSD serves a diverse range of students from advantaged children of tech industry giants and Stanford University professors to historically underrepresented students from poverty. Dr. Austin was born and raised in Chula Vista, California, attended Baker University in Kansas, and has served the students of California for the last 25 years.

Ms. Theresa Plascencia is Superintendent of Waukegan Public Schools, District 60, in Waukegan IL. Ms. Plascencia has made social activism and equity the key focus of her educational career, with an emphasis on providing all students with the tools they need to be successful in society. She is leading the efforts to provide remote learning, internet devices, and meal services.

The second panel Latina/x Leadership in Action: Media, Politics and the Economy During the Time of COVID features Celina Estrada Thomas, superintendent of Hutto ISD in Texas, Dr. Danna Diaz, superintendent of the Reynolds School District in Oregon, Socorro Shiels, superintendent of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District in California, Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, superintendent of Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut, Elsie Rodriguez, superintendent of the Monroe-Woodbury School District in New York and is facilitated by Dr. Maria Chavez Armstrong, ALAS executive director.

The virtual online Summit will also include more than 20 live workshops for attendees, including some in Spanish, and networking opportunities. The event is made possible in part by the pro bono support of Education Elements, a K-12 strategy consulting firm that believes schools grow when people grow.

To register, visit https://www.alasedu.org/event/alas-17th-annual-education-summit/


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Why Tough Conversations Matter: Democratic Preparation and America's Schools

How can teachers and school leaders nurture students’ civic capacities?

We can help them learn to engage with controversial issues, examine multiple perspectives on a given subject, and form thoughtful judgments over time.

International research suggests that normalizing classroom debate and deliberation has an outsized, positive effect on civic outcomes later in life. Unfortunately, it is easier said than done, particularly in today’s toxic political climate.

The school year has begun – just in time for the most contentious election cycle in recent memory. Now more than ever, we need to equip young people with the political knowledge, political skills, habits of engagement, and civil tolerance that alone sustain democratic society.

Join the Johns Hopkins University Institute for Education Policy and the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University on Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 11am EST for a 45-minute webinar, Why Tough Conversations Matter: Democratic Preparation and America’s Schools.

Hear from Raj Vinnakota, President, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in conversation with Ashley Berner, Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy & Fellow, SNF Agora Institute and Kelly Siegel-Stechler, Research Fellow, Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy & Fellow, SNF Agora Institute.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Johns Hopkins University has created a suite of tools to help schools assess and improve their civic culture. The October 8th webinar will focus on two of them: School Culture 360™ and Election 2020: Engaging Students in Civic Discourse. 

Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.
— Alexander Hamilton


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CoSN 2021

Will Offer Interactive Breakout Sessions, Networking Opportunities and Innovative Keynote Speakers for Lower Cost to Encourage Team Participation.

CoSN has announced that its Board of Directors approved shifting the organization’s 2021 Conference, originally scheduled as an in-person event March 1-4 in Austin, TX, to an all-virtual format from March 2-4, 2021.

CoSN2021 registration rates for members will be tiered by school system size to encourage broader participation and start 40 percent lower than the standard cost for the annual in-person Conference. CoSN member school systems range in size and are categorized as: small – under 2,500 students; medium – 2,501-10,000 students; large – 10,001-50,000 students; and mega-large – 50,000+ students.

For example, the new registration structure will allow a small district that would typically pay for two registrations to send an unlimited number of other guests for no additional cost. Similarly, a mega-large district can now send their entire district technology leadership team for the equivalent cost of ten registrations. 

“CoSN’s Board of Directors and Conference Co-Chairs are committed to delivering the same high-quality content that Conference attendees are accustomed to. We look forward to exploring new and innovative ways to provide this content in an all-virtual setting in 2021. Creating unique networking opportunities is a critical component of our strategy,” said Steve Langford, Conference Co-Chair, incoming Chair of CoSN’s Board of Directors and Chief Information Officer, Beaverton School District (OR).

“In a time when funding for professional learning is low or is being cut, CoSN’s new pricing structure will allow districts to get more for their money and have a greater reach. I hope that many school systems will take advantage of the opportunity to offer this outstanding professional development opportunity beyond their CTO to the leadership teams,” said Marlo Gaddis, CETL, Conference Co-Chair, Secretary of CoSN’s Board of Directors and Chief Technology Officer, Wake County Public Schools (NC).

“It is our hope that with reduced pricing and the elimination of travel costs, school districts that have not had the funds available to attend the CoSN Conference in the past can partake in this year’s up-to-the-minute interactive sessions and networking opportunities. We are excited to delve further into virtual content-delivery options that ensure member-to-member connections happen online!” said CoSN CEO Keith Krueger.

Details for CoSN2021 can be found at cosnconference.org.

CoSN2022 remains scheduled as an in-person Conference in Nashville, TN. CoSN plans to return to Austin, TX for the 2023 annual Conference.

CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. CoSN provides thought leadership resources, community best practices and advocacy tools to help leaders succeed in the digital transformation. CoSN represents over 13 million students in school districts nationwide and continues to grow as a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education. cosn.org


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EduCanada Virtual Fair

Students and their families will have free one-on-one access to representatives from colleges and universities to learn about the value of a Canadian education.

EduCanada, a collaborative effort between the provinces and territories through the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) and Global Affairs Canada which supports the international education offerings of Canada’s provinces and territories, is hosting an EduCanada Virtual Fair from October 5th to 6th.  This virtual fair will showcase the variety of programs and educational opportunities that Canadian high schools, colleges, and universities have to offer students from the United States.

On Tuesday, October 6, from 5 to 10 p.m. EDT, students and their families will have a unique opportunity to learn about all the advantages a Canadian education has to offer. Forty-nine Canadian institutions, including colleges, universities, and high schools, will be available to answer questions via one-on-one chats.

When attendees log into the EduCanada Virtual Fair website, they will be able to search institutions by name, type of program or course, and location. Just like a physical event, attendees can then visit the “booth” of each educational institution to obtain more information and chat directly with their representatives – virtually! You can connect directly with your institution of choice through audio and video calls.

Canada has a high-quality educational system that includes 3 of the top 50 universities in the world, with average annual tuition costs that are comparable to out-of-state tuition at a public university in the United States (approximately $22,000 USD).

Students looking for more information on the benefits of studying with a Canadian institution can visit the EduCanada Virtual Fair booth hosted by the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in their state.

To learn more about the EduCanada Virtual Fair or to register, visit educanadavirtual.com/usa/fair.

EduCanada is a brand that supports the international education offerings of Canada’s provinces and territories. The EduCanada brand is the result of collaboration between the provinces and territories through the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) and Global Affairs Canada. It is a protected trademark of the Government of Canada and is subject to a Master Licence Agreement between the parties. For more information about study programs, cost estimates, and about study permit requirements for international students, visit the EduCanada website.


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The Digital Learning Gap Press Event

We cannot allow the COVID-19 pandemic to create an irreversible learning gap for students without the Internet.

On September 29 at 11 PT/2 ET, Cox will host a virtual press event with NCTA, Common Sense Media and local officials to dive into strategies that build critical, permanent digital equity in education. Speakers include:

  • Pat and Michael Powell of NCTA will introduce the Connect2Compete offer
  • Ashley Perkins of Cox Business will discuss an equity-focused CARES ACT program
  • James Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media, will share research on the digital divide
  • Clark County School District (NV) Superintendent and Senator Rosen (D-NV)

Click below to register and listen in:

The Digital Learning Gap Press Event


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Johns Hopkins University School of Education

How can schools help young people become active, knowledgeable citizens?

The nation’s schools are back in session – just in time for the most contentious election cycle in recent memory. Now more than ever, we need to equip young people with the political knowledge, political skills, habits of engagement, and civil tolerance that alone sustain democratic society. The Institute for Education Policy and the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University have designed a suite of tools to help policymakers, school leaders, and teachers accomplish this task herehere, and here.

On September 29th, learn about their latest resource: the Social Studies Knowledge Map™

This new tool allows us to assess whether a given social studies curriculum offers systematic, robust knowledge building across students’ K-12 journey. We also evaluate whether the curriculum provides multiple perspectives on a given topic, and whether the teachers’ materials encourage an open classroom climate. The result is a landscape analysis that leaders can use for continuous curricular improvement in this critical subject.

Please join Peter Levine, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University’s Jonathan Tisch College of Civic Life and Visiting Scholar at the SNF Agora Institute; Janise Lane, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning at Baltimore City Public Schools; and Ashley Berner, Deputy Director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy for this discussion.

To register for the webinar, click here.


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Back-to-School but Not Back to Normal

Leading expert on trauma-informed approaches to support staff and students, Dr. Isaiah Pickens to discuss ways to support students during this free webinar on September 29 at 2:00 p.m. ET

Now more than ever, students are experiencing traumatic events including social, emotional, and economic impacts from COVID-19 and civil unrest in their communities. Because of this, school districts are under increased pressure to develop trauma-informed, culturally-responsive programs for their students. Often, however, they don’t know where to begin. This upcoming webinar can help.

PresenceLearning, the leading provider of live online behavioral and mental health services for K-12 schools, is partnering with Dr. Isaiah Pickens, CEO & Founder of iOpening Enterprises, a professional development and media company that implements trauma-informed and culturally responsive classroom strategies for schools across the country, to discuss how these practices can be used to meet the unique challenges students face in the 2020-2021 school year. During the webinar, “Back-to-School but Not Back to Normal: Trauma-Informed Approaches to Student Mental Health during COVID-19” on Tuesday, September 29 at 2 p.m. ET/ 11 a.m. PT, attendees will hear from Dr. Pickens and Stephanie Taylor, Ed.S, NCSP, clinical director of psychoeducational services at PresenceLearning.

Topics will include:

  • The impact that current events are having on students’ behavioral and mental health
  • Strategies to identify students who are most at risk and who would benefit from various approaches
  • Practical tools and resources to help schools navigate this challenging landscape and best support students

“It is incredibly stressful to be a middle or high school student right now. They have been isolated from their friends, they are coping with ever-changing schedules and structures, their families are coping with health and job changes, and their communities are processing the challenges of racial inequity. We are excited to bring the expertise of Dr. Isaiah Pickens to schools through this webinar, to help them navigate this challenging landscape and learn strategies and tools they can implement to support their staff and students,” said PresenceLearning CEO Kate Eberle Walker.

“School districts are under increased pressure to support students who have been impacted by current events. Now, more than ever, it’s critical that schools embrace practical trauma-informed and culturally responsive strategies that will help staff and students navigate and excel during this time,” said Dr. Isaiah Pickens, CEO & Founder of iOpening Enterprises.

To attend the upcoming webinar, register now.

PresenceLearning, Inc. is the leading provider of live online behavioral and mental health services and special education-related services to K-12 schools. The company connects speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and behavioral and mental health professionals with students through its proprietary online platform, and has delivered more than 2.5 million teletherapy sessions to hundreds of K-12 schools and districts across the U.S. through its network of more than 1,300 certified clinicians. Investors in the company include Bain Capital Double Impact, Catalyst Investors, Catamount Ventures, and New Markets Venture Partners. For more information, visit www.presencelearning.com.


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Soundtrap

The Soundtrap EDU Summit, set to take place from September 28 – October 7, will provide educators with strategies to empower student voice and help all learners make an impact on the world.

Soundtrap for Education today announced the details of the first-ever Soundtrap EDU Summit, a free online experience dedicated to helping educators learn how to empower their students and, in turn, helping to create the future world we all envision. Soundtrap is working in partnership with Matt Miller, creator of Ditch That Textbook, to present the Summit, and speakers will include music and STEAM educators, student storytellers, digital media creators, and more. The online event will take place from September 28 – October 7, 2020, and will bring together educators from around the world.

“Soundtrap makes it a priority to amplify the creative expression of authentic student voice through music and storytelling, and the Soundtrap EDU Summit will advance these goals by providing educators with immediately actionable strategies that can be used in any classroom, with any tools,” said Matteo Ottaviani, Head of Soundtrap for Education. “Knowledge is essential, but in order for students to become the best versions of themselves, we want to help educators pair instruction with lessons that unleash motivation and creativity―letting every student know they can make a difference in the world.”

Once the Summit begins on September 28, registered participants will receive an email each day with a new video presentation, which can be watched on-demand at a time of their convenience. The videos will be supplemented by downloadable PDF notes and educators can generate a certificate of completion for one professional development hour for each video they watch. Further, participants will have the opportunity to build a network with fellow educators from all over the world.

With Matt Miller’s contributions to Summit planning, participants will benefit from his expertise in creating a program that highlights the most relevant topics to today’s educators, as well as a focus on including the compelling and up-and-coming presenters best positioned to deliver meaningful, practical content. Each of these factors will enhance the value gained by participants of all roles in education.

“The Soundtrap EDU Summit provides for several needs that educators have right now. It’s a source of inspiration at a time in our world when educators are struggling and already beginning to burn out,” said Miller. “The Summit will deliver practical teaching ideas that educators can use in class immediately. In short, by participating in the Soundtrap EDU Summit, educators can gain fresh excitement about their profession and strategies to empower all students to share their voices with the world.”

Creativity, music, podcasting and storytelling are just some of the relevant 21st century topics that will be covered in the Soundtrap EDU Summit. Presenters will include a unique group of passionate creators and educators from various walks of life, whose messages will motivate participants and equip them with practical ideas. Some of the presenters already announced include:

  • Marcus Blackwell―CEO and Founder, Make Music Count
  • Micaela Blei―Educator, Storyteller and Story Editor
  • Jeannine Flores―Arts and STEAM Coordinator, Los Angeles County Office of Education
  • Deron Hall―Assistant Director of Youth Programs, Carnegie Hall
  • Tim Needles―Art and Media Teacher, and Author of STEAM Power
  • Jake Sandakly―Virtual Music Educator and Consultant
  • Lila Shroff―Storyteller & Student, Stanford University
  • Daniel Wang―Student Podcaster and creator of studentpodcasts.com
  • Claudio Zavala, Jr.―Digital Media Consultant, I Am Claudius LLC

New presenters will be announced each week and interested participants can visit the Soundtrap EDU Summit website to follow along. Presenters aim to connect with participants’ creative sides, spark new ideas for lessons and activities, and make educators think―and laugh.

Educators of all roles, from around the world, are invited to register for the Soundtrap EDU Summit by visiting http://soundtrapedusummit.com.

Soundtrap, a part of Spotify, is on a mission to make music creation and storytelling simple and collaborative for everyone. Soundtrap for Education is an online audio recording studio that enables students and teachers to collaborate in a safe learning environment, using any device, at any time, from any location. Soundtrap is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden with offices in New York and Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.soundtrap.com/edu


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PBLWorks Launches New Podcast Series – The Project

Series to highlight the power and impact of Project Based Learning for students.

PBLWorks, the leading provider of professional development for high-quality Project Based Learning (PBL), has launched a new podcast series called The Project with the goal of diving deep into the power, the potential, the pitfalls and the possibilities of PBL.

Hosted by PBLWorks’ curriculum and program manager Laureen Adams and digital curriculum manager Stanley Richards, the first six episodes present conversations with and stories from leaders and practitioners of PBL.

“Many of us at PBLWorks are fans of podcasts. They’re a great medium for storytelling and they offer teachers a way to learn about PBL during their drive time or on-the-go,” said Bob Lenz, CEO of PBLWorks. “And The Project lets our team speak to teachers more directly, and for our audience to get to know us in a more personal way.”

Episodes include:

  • “Don’t send a professional to do an 8th grader’s job,” a conversation with EL Education’s Chief Academic Officer Ron Berger about powerful PBL projects he’s worked on with students, including an 8th grade science project that prompted a town to invest $156,000 in energy renovations of its schools.
  • “This Teachable Moment,” a talk with PBLWorks CEO Bob Lenz about the opportunity he sees during this pandemic to transform the way kids learn.
  • “The education all students deserve: PBL and racial equity,” in which Big Picture Learning CEO Carlos Moreno and Equity Consultant Dinah Becton-Consuegra discuss redesigning schools with equity in mind.

The Project is available now on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Spotify. To start listening to the podcast series, go to www.pblworks.org/podcast.

PBLWorks (the brand name of the Buck Institute for Education) believes that all students – no matter where they live or what their background – should have access to quality Project Based Learning to deepen their learning and achieve success in college, career, and life. Our focus is on building the capacity of teachers to design and facilitate quality Project Based Learning, and on supporting school and system leaders in creating the conditions for these teachers to succeed with all students. For more information, visit www.pblworks.org.


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Registration Opens for 2020-21 Conrad Challenge

Unique STEM competition provides student innovators and entrepreneurs
an opportunity to address pressing global challenges

HOUSTON, TX – Registration has officially opened for the 2020-2021 Conrad Challenge, now celebrating its 15th year of driving student entrepreneurship across a variety of STEM fields. One of the most highly ranked STEM competitions globally, the annual Challenge invites students between the ages of 13-18 from around the world to form teams of 2-5 and develop sustainable solutions to global challenges. Along the way, coaches and judges from the best in business, industry, research and academia worldwide guide the teams’ development of their innovative ideas.

Founded and chaired by Nancy Conrad to honor the legacy of her late husband, entrepreneur and third man to walk on the Moon, Charles ‘Pete’ Conrad, the Conrad Foundation produces the Conrad Challenge each year, not only to provide students the opportunity to create innovative solutions benefitting global sustainability, but also to prepare them for success in the global workplace.

“Our Challenge provides the ideal platform for students and educators who are now navigating a very different upcoming school year. Student participants learn to measure success in terms of creativity, collaboration and a commitment to creating a better future for all of us,” said Conrad. “This year is extra special as we celebrate reaching the 15-year milestone of empowering students to design a sustainable future and collaborate digitally, without borders.”

With the 2020-21 Challenge’s special emphasis on sustainability, students will address global challenges in any of seven categories:

Due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring, the Conrad Challenge pivoted from its previously planned Round 3 event, usually held at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, celebrating the top five Finalist teams from each category. The Challenge instead hosted its first-ever Virtual Innovation Summit using the online event platform Hopin, which received overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants. At the Virtual Innovation Summit, student teams presented their innovations before an esteemed panel of judges and were allowed a 15-minute Q&A session, as well as community and team building sessions. Throughout the online event, students, educators, Challenge alumni, subject matter experts, judges and corporate sponsors alike were able to interact directly as well as attend the live-streamed opening and awards ceremonies.

Teams who were awarded the Challenge’s top honor and recognized as Pete Conrad Scholars qualified for scholarships, independent product assessment studies, speaking engagements, patent support and business services to support the growth of their concepts. As there are still many unknowns as to what global health and safety regulations will be in place next spring, the Conrad team will be announcing its plans for either a virtual or in-person 2021 Innovation Summit by February 1, 2021.

Teams interested in participating this season should visit the registration page and 2020-2021 Conrad Challenge Overview for more information on this year’s competition. Registration will remain open until Friday, Nov. 6, 2020 at [11:59] PM EST, when all registered teams must have submitted the requirements for Round 1: The Investor Pitch. Expert judges will then select teams in each Challenge category who will advance to develop comprehensive business plans for their innovation in Round 2 of the competition.

The Conrad Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting collaborative, student-centered, real world-relevant learning that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship. Through its programs, the Foundation unleashes students’ potential to create impactful solutions and a sustainable society for generations to come. For more information about the Conrad Foundation, its Challenge, or the 2020-2021 competition, visit www.conradchallenge.org.


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American Psychiatric Association (APA)

On August 19th from [8:00]-9:00 pm ET, the APA Foundation will host a Virtual Town Hall on Mentally-Healthy Schools in Times of a Pandemic.

Across the country, communities and families are challenged by the prospect of sending children back to school. These unprecedented times have impacted us all.

During this virtual town hall , psychiatric experts will participate in a candid discussion about:

  • What to consider when choosing to return to the classroom
  • How to keep both students and staff safe and mentally healthy
  • How to notice changes in behavior that might indicate a need for support
  • How communities can address barriers preventing youth from receiving mental health care

To attend this free event, please register here. To learn more about this and other town halls, visit the APA Foundation’s Events page.


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Virtual Book Launch Party: Letters From the Inside

Please join me at a virtual book launch party to celebrate the publication of Letters From the Inside: Hope in the Journey Beyond Classroom and Cell.

Thursday, August 20 | 4:30 pm PDT | Online (RSVP for detailed instructions)

In conversation with author Mitali Perkins, I will discuss the backstory of how the book came to be, read a few excerpts, and answer questions from guests. Unfortunately, Jorge is still incarcerated and cannot join us, but we will discuss how to help him and his family as well.

Since we’ll be online, I can’t provide cake and champagne as I’d like to, but I hope you’ll bring your own beverage of choice to toast the new book.

When I wrote about my time teaching third grade in Literally Unbelievable: Stories from an East Oakland Classroom, I had no idea that my next book would be written by a very special co-author: one of my former students now in prison, a very real victim of the school-to-prison pipeline.

We have been working on this for the last few years, and are very excited that Letters From the Inside: Hope in the Journey Beyond Classroom and Cell, will be published on August 20, 2020. We hope the book provides a look behind the scenes: what happened in Jorge’s life to lead to prison, his daily life “inside,” and his hopes and dreams for the future.


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Flinn Scientific

Flinn Scientific, a flagship provider of science lab materials and safety and STEM solutions for the K-16 education market, is offering new webinars this month and next to help district leaders and science educators plan for a safe start to this coming school year. As part of the extended Professional Learning Summer Webinar Series, the free webinars provide timely facts and information about reopening schools and facilitating student instruction in a safe format, regardless of the learning model.

“Our latest webinars cover a myriad of topics rooted in school, staff, and student safety which is a primary concern for educators as districts across the country are in the midst of preparing for this coming school year,” said Michael Lavelle, CEO of Flinn Scientific. “The webinars will cover timely expert information and recommendations that district leaders and science educators can use as they continue their planning.”

The webinars curate the top recommendations from recognized leaders in education, safety, and protection worldwide to help education leaders understand effective safety measures, processes, and protocols, as well as to help them shape their own data-driven plans for the coming school year. Each webinar is an hour long.

For district leaders, the topic is:

  • Guidance to Safe School Re-entry (Part C): Will cover the results from the recent OECD COVID-19 survey of countries around the world with specific direction into the re-opening guidance for school districts in North America based on the results of best practices and multi-disciplinary insights.

For science educators, topics include:

  • How to Teach Science in a COVID-19 Environment (Part 1): Will cover benefits to re-opening schools, planning for the continuity of learning, synchronous and asynchronous learning, instructional education models and considerations, what teaching science will look like now, managing the socio-emotional traumatic impact, and more.
  • How to Teach Science in a COVID-19 Environment (Part 2): Will discuss a new Flinn-created framework curated from various educational and health authorities that provides guidance on teaching science and STEM. It will also cover topics including re-opening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, considerations for safe-school opening, hygiene and PPE considerations, sanitizing and disinfection, teaching suggestions, safely offering science/STEM programs remotely, preventative measures to take in different in-person learning environments, science department order planning, and more.
  • Prep Room Concerns from a Prolonged School Closure: Will cover common concerns and remedies for safely handling and reopening science prep areas and chemical storerooms.

To learn more and register for these upcoming webinars and more, visit https://www.flinnsci.com/professional-learning/.

About Flinn Scientific

Flinn Scientific supports STEM/STEAM educators in opening young minds to the challenges and joys of scientific discovery and the design thinking process. The leader in science education and lab supplies and safety, Flinn Scientific also provides learning systems and professional development that incorporate differentiated digital experiences with hands-on learning grounded in the real-world to help all students think critically, explore like scientists and engineers, and solve problems creatively so they are ready for college and careers in an increasingly technology-driven world.


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Back-To-School: Integrating Teletherapy into Your Service Delivery Model

Special 2-part webinar series to help schools plan for fall

NEW YORK, July 7, 2020 – As districts across the country are grappling with back-to-school plans, there are still a number of uncertainties that can make it feel like an impossible task. But, there are also valuable lessons learned from school closures this spring that schools can apply to their re-entry strategies.

PresenceLearning, the leading provider of live online special education-related services to K-12 schools, is hosting a special webinar series with its clinical experts and district leaders to help guide fall planning, especially as it relates to serving special education students.

Back-To-School: Integrating Teletherapy into Your Service Delivery Model

Part One: July 16 at 12 pm ET

Part One will cover specific examples of how PresenceLearning district partners pivoted to be sure their students with special needs continued to receive their required services through teletherapy and tele-assessment. PresenceLearning clinical experts will outline a flexible framework and steps schools can take now to be prepared for both in-school and in-home delivery of services. Topics will include managing various schedule scenarios; training for confident, effective delivery; choosing the best platform; staff contingency planning; coordinating with parents; and more.

Part Two: July 23 at 12 pm ET

In Part Two district leaders will join PresenceLearning clinical experts for a dedicated Q&A session where they will answer questions with real-world examples of what has and hasn’t worked well, and share their plans for school re-entry.

“It is increasingly evident that back to school plans will need to incorporate at least some online service contingencies. We’re excited to offer clinical perspectives on what our school partners learned in the first months of remote schooling, and how to apply those lessons to do even better in the fall. We’ve learned in our webinars during COVID that our audience has a lot of questions and wants practical answers, so we’re excited to try our new webinar format which includes a second session dedicated entirely to Q&A,” said PresenceLearning CEO Kate Eberle Walker.

To attend the upcoming webinar series, register now.

PresenceLearning, Inc. is the leading provider of live online special education-related services to K-12 schools. The company connects speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and behavioral and mental health professionals with students through its proprietary online platform, and has delivered more than 2.5 million teletherapy sessions at hundreds of K-12 schools and districts across the U.S. through its network of nearly 1,000 certified clinicians. Investors in the company include Bain Capital Double Impact, Catalyst Investors, Catamount Ventures, and New Markets Venture Partners. For more information, visit https://www.presencelearning.com.


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Virtual Superintendent Symposium and Retreat

All district leaders are invited to a no-cost virtual retreat held by the Institute for Education Innovation to outline how to open schools safely and equitably in the fall

(Asheville, NC) July 7, 2020—All district leaders are invited to Institute for Education Innovation’s Superintendent Symposium and Retreat from July 24 to July 25 to workshop ideas for reopening schools in the safest and smartest way possible. With a focus on equity and social justice, the retreat will offer an innovative space both virtually and in person for Institute for Education Innovation (IEI) members as well as non-member superintendents and district administrators from across the country to come together and develop a blueprint for 2020’s version of back to school.

By the end of the symposium, IEI will have outlined a vision of concrete strategies for how districts can open safely and equitably. Workgroup discussions will be organized around district needs, taking into account the need for urban, suburban, and rural districts to connect with colleagues from similar contexts.

Themes and challenges will include:

  • The use of physical space;
  • Mental health and health protocols;
  • Cybersecurity and digital access;
  • Curriculum, instruction, and planning, and
  • Lessons learned from spring 2020 data.

Virtual attendees and in-person attendees will have equal opportunities to participate in the discussions via IEI’s virtual conference platform. In-person attendance at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, is by invitation only to ensure the safety of attendees and adherence to CDC guidance during the pandemic, but all are welcome to register and participate virtually.

“The irony of the pandemic is that district leaders have never so badly needed to get in a room together to problem solve and workshop creative ideas,” said Doug Roberts, founder and CEO of Institute of Education Innovation. “When members asked us to figure out a way to gather the group safely, we got to work figuring out how to make it happen. The IEI community, along with our colleagues in districts across the nation, have the rare opportunity to reopen schools with a focus on undoing some of the structural barriers to equity.”

Dr. Danny Merck, the superintendent of Pickens County (SC) Schools, who will be speaking at the symposium, said that this gathering of leaders to share strategies for coping with extraordinary circumstances is “about an attitude of continuous learning, the ability to learn from other leaders, and being vulnerable yourself. Our three priorities are the well-being and safety of our students, providing excellent teaching and learning, and supporting the economy. How we keep those priorities in order and be mindful that all three are important, without sacrificing the others is just one of the many difficult questions we will seek answers to at the upcoming symposium”

The retreat will have no more than 50 in-person attendees and an unlimited number of virtual attendees. This balanced environment will create a strong community, focused interaction, and positive change. The IEI Superintendent Symposium and Retreat will begin Friday, July 24 at 12 p.m. EDT and ends Saturday, July 25 at 3 p.m. EDT. Free registration will be open until Friday, July 24.

All district leaders are invited to join the Symposium’s virtual component. A la carte partial attendance by topic and session will be available. Interested educators may self-register here.

Institute for Education Innovation (IEI) builds relationships and hosts conferences and workshops that bring together educational innovators to explore new solutions to old challenges in schools across North America. By bridging gaps between the individuals and organizations committed to seeing students succeed in school, IEI creates a safe space for constructive problem-solving and innovative thinking. Learn more at InstituteForEdInnovation.com.


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Flinn Scientific Professional Learning

Flinn Scientific, a flagship provider of science lab materials and safety and STEM solutions for the K-16 education market, is offering district and school leaders the Professional Learning Summer Webinar Series to help them plan for a safe return to school. Taking place during June and July, the free webinars are designed to provide facts and information to enhance student learning and facilitate instruction in a safe way, regardless of the learning modality.

“It is critical for district and school personnel, safety officers, and science educators to have the most timely and relevant safety information as they plan for what next school year may look like,” said Michael Lavelle, CEO of Flinn Scientific. “Our new Professional Learning Summer Webinar Series provides the facts and recommendations these leaders need to make informed decisions that will keep students and staff safe once school returns.”

The webinars curate the top recommendations from recognized leaders in education, safety, and protection worldwide to help education leaders understand effective safety measures, processes, and protocols, as well as to help them shape their own data-driven plans for the coming school year. Each webinar is an hour long.

For school and district personnel, topics include:

  • Guidance to Safe School Re-Entry (Part A): Will cover safety preparation and concerns within schools and maintaining a physically and mentally healthy school environment.
  • Guidance to Safe School Re-Entry (Part B): Will cover maintaining healthy operations when schools are open and COVID-19 school modifications, as well as continuity in education.
  • School Leadership OSHA Science Safety Guidance: Will cover the OSHA Lab Standard and how it applies to teachers and the overall school system.

For safety officers, science department chairs, and science teachers, topics include:

  • Lab Safety 101 (Part 1): Will cover common safety protocols and best-practices including safety contracts; chemical storage; how to deal with emergency situations such as fires, floods, chemical spills; orphan chemicals; and more.
  • Lab Safety 101 (Part 2): Will cover common science department safety concerns including chemical storage issues, labelling, Globally Harmonized System (GHS), inventory controls, personal protective equipment (PPE) usage, and best practices in the lab and prep areas.
  • Elementary Science and STEM Safety K-8: Will cover the safe and proper use and storage of science equipment, apparatuses, hand tools, and more, as well as review checklists and things to watch for with students.

To learn more and register for these upcoming webinars, visit https://www.flinnsci.com/professional-learning/.

Flinn Scientific supports STEM/STEAM educators in opening young minds to the challenges and joys of scientific discovery and the design thinking process. The leader in science education and lab supplies and safety, Flinn Scientific also provides learning systems and professional development that incorporate differentiated digital experiences with hands-on learning grounded in the real-world to help all students think critically, explore like scientists and engineers, and solve problems creatively so they are ready for college and careers in an increasingly technology-driven world.


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The Character Tree

Free June 11, 2020 webinar features early elementary school teacher Sara VanderWel who plays the role of “Miss Sara” in The Character Tree videos

Renton, WA. (June 2, 2020) — Character education in the early years can help set students up for success in school, and in life. To help teachers incorporate character lessons throughout the school day, The Character Tree, an online video resource for character development, is hosting a free webinar at 3 p.m. Eastern Time/noon Pacific Time on June 11, 2020.

The webinar, “How to Incorporate Character Development Across Curriculum,” features popular elementary school teacher Sara VanderWel, who plays “Miss Sara” in The Character Tree’s videos. She will share how she structures each school day to support social-emotional learning and character development and provide practical advice for teachers to use in their own classrooms. To register for the webinar, visit https://bit.ly/2TXvqKj.

“When schools eventually reconvene, character education will be even more important to support students’ social-emotional needs and re-engage them in learning after so many months away from the classroom,” said Bill Apperson, VanderWel’s father and chairman of Apperson, which developed The Character Tree. “Sara has more than a decade of experience teaching character development in early elementary school and she has developed a strong following in the teacher community. This webinar will be a great resource for teachers who want to incorporate more character education into their lessons.”

This webinar will cover how to:

  • Support social-emotional and character development throughout the day in the classroom
  • Interweave opportunities for social emotional learning and character development across the curriculum
  • Use intentional language to promote students’ social-emotional and character development

Participants will also receive a character education distance learning handout: “Lessons for Hope.” Those who can’t attend live can register to receive a copy of the recording after the webinar to watch at their convenience.

VanderWel has served as an early elementary teacher for more than 10 years. She specializes in literacy and writing and in 2018 received the Bonnie Campbell Hill Literacy Leader Award for Washington State. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and a B.S. in Spanish Language and Literature and an M.S. in K-6 Reading and Literacy. She also runs a Teachers Pay Teachers site called The Primary Pal. In her role as “Miss Sara” in The Character Tree’s videos, VanderWel guides discussions with puppet children and “Gray Squirrel” as they learn about positive character traits.

The webinar will be part of an ongoing series of webinars by The Character Tree to provide tips on how to support character education in schools.

The Character Tree is an educational video subscription series designed for K-2 students. The subscription includes 32 character education videos, sets of supplemental resources, and teacher’s guides. Every episode, hosted by a real first-grade teacher, discusses an important positive character trait exemplified by prominent figures like Kindness & Jane Goodall or Perseverance & Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The subscription is currently free through June 30, 2020. For more, visit https://charactertree.com/.


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Twitter Chat - Rural Education

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 20 at 2pm ET/11am PT. ACE-ED.org and the Kentucky Valley Educational Collaborative (KVEC) will host a live Twitter chat to discuss how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting equity and access in rural schools. Follow the hashtag #RuralKidsMatter on the day of the chat to participate.

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When schools are closed, the learning must continue. Unfortunately, according to Pew Research, about a third of rural American homes don’t have broadband and nearly a quarter said getting access to high-speed internet is a major problem in their communities.

In homes that do have access and devices, most aren’t equipped to have numerous family members working online at once — Only 30 percent of rural adults said they own a desktop or laptop computer, a smartphone, a home broadband connection and a tablet.

Where does it all leave children who have abruptly transitioned to distance learning? What are organizations like KVEC doing to provide the tools and resources they need to succeed? What more needs to be done across the country?

We’ll Also Discuss…

  • Replacing current face-to-face systems with high-functioning hybrid systems
  • Improving school calendars to accommodate learners in rural communities
  • Blending traditional sessions, virtual at-home instruction and technical education

The pandemic is transforming public education. We need to make sure it results in a more effective structure that’s better adapted to personalized learning, access, opportunity and equity for ALL students. Join us to be part of this important discussion.

Wednesday, May 20 at 2pm ET/11am PT
Hashtag: #RuralKidsMatter

Twitter links: Follow ACE-Ed.org | Follow KVEC


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Edthena Launches New Webinar Series to Support Virtual Coaching

Free ‘Kitchen Table Coaching’ webinar series is part of the new #PLtogether project, a hub for topical resources to support instructional coaching

SAN FRANCISCO (May 5, 2020) – Edthena is kicking off a new webinar series to help instructional coaches provide newly-virtual teachers with timely and much-needed support. The four-part “Kitchen Table Coaching” series, launching this Thursday, will provide strategies and best practices for facilitating virtual coaching. The series is part of the #PLtogether project (PLtogether.org) which will provide a collection of free resources for instructional coaches, including tactical advice from notable thought leaders in the education industry.

“Effective coaching will lead to the ultimate success of distance teaching,” said Adam Geller, founder and CEO of Edthena. “The #PLtogether project will provide a hub for topical resources to support instructional coaching during this unprecedented time. The first resource – this new webinar series – offers coaches an opportunity to ask questions and get tips and best practices for supporting professional learning now.”

The 30-minute Kitchen Table Coaching webinars, which will be led by former classroom teachers Heather Purzner and Rob McCreary of the Edthena Partner Success team, will take place every Thursday in May at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT. Educators can register for some or all of the following sessions:

  • Week 1: Virtually coaching distanced teachers
  • Week 2: Facilitating distanced teacher collaboration
  • Week 3: Developing coaching logs for virtual coaching
  • Week 4: Creating virtual training and coaching cycles

Later this month, Edthena will additionally be releasing “Lounge Talks” with Elena Aguilar, Deborah Ball, Joellen Killion, and other respected thought leaders on the #PLtogether portal. During these video interviews, the experts will discuss the challenges of teaching during COVID-19 and provide tactical “what now” advice for supporting teachers in this new reality.

To register for the live webinars or get free access to the content, visit http://pltogether.org.

Edthena is the leading classroom observation platform for using teaching videos as part of professional development. Teachers upload classroom videos to share with colleagues who leave time stamped comments. Edthena also offers specialized collaboration tools to help organizations implement best practices for video-based professional learning. Edthena is the recipient of numerous awards from organizations such as SIIA, District Administration, and Tech & Learning. For more information, visit www.edthena.com. For more news about Edthena, visit blog.edthena.com.


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Tele-Assessment: What You Need to Know

Leading researcher and clinical director come together to discuss the remote administration of psychological assessments during this free webinar on May 5, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. ET

NEW YORK, April 30, 2020 – With school closures extending throughout the country, some are calling for schools to suspend completing psychoeducational assessments, but does this do the least harm? For districts unsure of how to administer psychoeducational assessments in a teletherapy environment, this upcoming webinar can help.

PresenceLearning, Inc., the leading provider of live online special education-related services to K-12 schools, has been properly administering remote psychoeducational assessments to students at school and home for years. During its new webinar, “Tele-Assessment: What You Need to Know,” on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT, attendees will hear from A. Jordan Wright, PhD, ABAP, director of the Center for Counseling and Community Wellbeing at New York University, and Stephanie Taylor, Ed.S, NCSP, clinical director for psychoeducational services at PresenceLearning, who will break down what schools need to know about tele-assessment including:

  • The tele-assessment landscape related to school closures
  • What the research says about remote delivery of assessments
  • Best practices for transitioning to delivery in a home environment
  • Real world examples of schools utilizing in-home assessments

“There is a great debate happening across schools right now as to whether all assessment should be paused during COVID-19-related closures, until it can be done validly and in alignment with assessment maker guidance. This debate misses the fact that you can do both: there are already commonly used assessments that have been research-validated for appropriate use online with equivalency to in-person administrations. This webinar will help school administrators make informed decisions about what they can use to continue assessing appropriately during this time of extended closures,” said PresenceLearning CEO Kate Eberle Walker.

Both presenters have extensive experience with the Woodcock Johnson IV and the RIAS-2 for remote assessment. Participants will benefit from the experience of these two leading experts and have the opportunity to ask questions regarding moving services to home settings.

To attend the upcoming webinar, register now.

PresenceLearning, Inc. is the leading provider of live online special education-related services to K-12 schools. The company connects speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and behavioral and mental health professionals with students through its proprietary online platform, and has delivered more than 2.5 million teletherapy sessions at hundreds of K-12 schools and districts across the U.S. through its network of nearly 1,000 certified clinicians. Investors in the company include Catalyst Investors, Catamount Ventures, Birchmere Ventures, New Markets Venture Partners, and Blue Heron Capital. For more information, visit https://www.presencelearning.com.


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Resilience and Hope Summit Summit

As students struggle to adapt to the extended isolation of quarantine, mental health issues are on the rise and some at-risk students are falling through the cracks.

  • How can we engage students online?
  • How can we connect with kids who have gone missing?
  • How can we help students weather the isolation of quarantine?

Please join us for a live online panel discussion with a group of students and two thought leaders on this important topic.

This online summit will be hosted virtually and participants will be able to submit questions as we all learn from these field experts.

Hasan Davis
Former Commissioner of Juvenile Justice for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Hasan travels the country to help young people and adults find their voice, personal power, sense of self-respect, and dignity. And he uses his passion for theater to help others connect with historical African-American figures.

Christian Moore, LCSW
Author of The Resilience Breakthrough
Christian Moore is an internationally-renowned speaker, licensed clinical social worker, and advocate for youth. He is the founder of the WhyTry Program.

REGISTER TODAY


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Applying and qualifying for CARES Act funds

The recently signed CARES Act has made billions of dollars in stimulus funds available for educational purposes, including funding streams that can be utilized for education technology and student mental health services. Specified funds include:

  • $13.5 billion for K-12 education virtual offerings
  • $3 billion for governors to allocate emergency support to local educational agencies and institutions most impacted by COVID-19
  • $425 million for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support student mental health initiatives

In addition, the U.S. Department of Education is now allowing states to apply for flexibility when using parts of existing Title funds to enhance distance learning efforts. These new guidelines ensure districts have the freedom to use federal funds to address their most urgent needs.

Register for this webinar with Dr. Kecia Ray to learn more about applying and qualifying for CARES Act funds.


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Happy and Healthy at Home: Student Mental Health and Distance Learning

Distance learning can be isolating for students, who may feel disconnected from friends and teachers. While schools may have protocols in place to support struggling students on campus, educators may be unsure of how they can help remotely.

Join this webinar for a discussion about this “new normal” of distance learning, trends of how students are doing as seen through Gaggle’s data, as well as how educators can keep students safe and connected while they learn at home.


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PBLWorks

Free webinar series this spring to guide educators through distance learning with Gold Standard Project Based Learning

Novato, CA (April 14, 2020) – PBLWorks, the leading provider of professional development for high-quality Project Based Learning (PBL), is offering a free webinar series designed to offer practical guidance for facilitating Gold Standard Project Based Learning online with students. To register, visit pblworks.org/free-webinars-pbl-online.

All webinars will be presented live and recorded versions will be made available for free upon request.

“We asked educators what they need most right now and their feedback helped us create this series of informative and resourceful webinars,” said Bob Lenz, CEO of PBLWorks. “It is important we continue to support educators as they work to engage students in learning through these uncertain times.”

The free webinar series is facilitated by Antoinette Magee, regional director of educational partnerships at PBLWorks, and will include a variety of guest experts. The first four webinars in the series include:

How to Adapt a Gold Standard Project for Online Learning (Wednesday, April 15 – [12:00][1:15] PM PST or Friday, April 17 – [9:00][10:15] AM PST) will teach educators how to adapt a Gold Standard PBL project for online learning and how to engage students in intellectually challenging and meaningful work online.

Solutions for Sticky Problems of Practice for Facilitating PBL Online (Wednesday, April 22 – [12:00][1:15] PM PST or Thursday, April 23 – [12:00][1:15] PM PST) will present practical solutions for the top challenges teachers are encountering as they design and facilitate PBL online.

How Can High Quality PBL Create Equity in the Classroom? (Wednesday, April 29 – [12:00][1:15] PM PST or Thursday, April 30 – [3:30][4:45] PM PST) will explore how bold educators can activate change to foster equitable learning environments that better equip all learners to reach their academic, vocational, and personal aspirations.

An already completed webinar on 7 Tech Tools for Supporting Online PBL took place the week of April 6. A recording can be requested here. This webinar offers technology tools that work well for online learning and align with PBLWorks’ 7 Essential Project Design Elements.

To learn more about PBLWorks’ webinar series, visit https://www.pblworks.org/free-webinars-pbl-online.

About PBLWorks

PBLWorks (the brand name of the Buck Institute for Education) believes that all students – no matter where they live or what their background – should have access to quality Project Based Learning to deepen their learning and achieve success in college, career, and life. Our focus is on building the capacity of teachers to design and facilitate quality Project Based Learning, and on supporting school and system leaders in creating the conditions for these teachers to succeed with all students. For more information, visit www.pblworks.org.


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PBLWorld Online 2020.png

Conference brings together a community of peers and experts to do deep, focused and real work to prepare teachers to deliver quality Project Based Learning to students

Novato, CA (April 7, 2020) – With announcements of school closures across the country and a commitment to ensuring the health and well-being of the PBL community, PBLWorks has decided to move its annual PBL World conference to an online format.

PBL World 2020 Online will take place over three days, June 16-18, 2020. To register, visit PBLWorld.org.

The online conference will bring all the elements of PBLWorks’ professional learning to attendees via digital connection and collaboration tools. Educators will participate in an engaging, highly interactive Project Based Learning experience, and will collaborate in virtual small and large group activities guided by PBLWorks’ expert National Faculty.

“These are challenging times for all of us as we work to be effective educators during school closures. We’re determined to bring to our community a robust, hands-on professional development experience that educators can participate in from the comfort of their homes,” said Bob Lenz, CEO of PBLWorks.

PBL World 2020 Online will feature keynote speaker Zaretta Hammond, an educational leader in culturally responsive teaching practices. Additional keynote speakers will be revealed in the coming months. PBL workshops that run over the course of the three-day conference include:

PBL 101 Workshop – A foundational course in Gold Standard Project Based Learning, this workshop delivers strategies that lead to sustained changes in educators’ practice.

PBL 201 Workshop – An in-depth course for experienced PBL practitioners focused on Gold Standard Project Based Teaching practices.

PBL Leadership Team Workshop – A dive into how school and district leaders can create the conditions needed for Project Based Learning to thrive in their systems.

To learn more about PBL World 2020, visit PBLWorld.org.

About PBL World

Now in its ninth year, PBL World brings together more than 1,400 K-12 teachers, instructional coaches, and school and district administrators for three days of immersive workshops based on the PBLWorks model for Gold Standard PBL. Workshops are designed for educators who are ready to start their PBL journey, or who want to advance their practice.

PBL World is known for its highly collaborative environment. It attracts a vibrant community of educators, who engage in deep, focused work together.  The conference also offers thought-provoking keynotes from PBL leaders and student speakers.

About PBLWorks

PBLWorks (the brand name of the Buck Institute for Education) believes that all students – no matter where they live or what their background – should have access to quality Project Based Learning to deepen their learning and achieve success in college, career, and life. Our focus is on building the capacity of teachers to design and facilitate quality Project Based Learning, and on supporting school and system leaders in creating the conditions for these teachers to succeed with all students. For more information, visit www.pblworks.org.


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