Cool Tool | Difference Engine

CREDIT Difference EngineIn 2014, Learning Objects, Inc. launched its Difference Engine platform to solve Bloom’s 2-sigma problem by enabling a powerful blend of computer and human tutoring. The platform is fundamentally learning-goal-centric. At any given point in time, the system is aware of each learner’s progress to their goal(s) and provides the next best activity for them and/or guides instructors to do so based on powerful analytics and intuitive dashboards. The system is also built around core IMS standards (including LTI, LTI Outcomes, and QTI) and is proactively working toward supporting Caliper so adopters can readily integrate it with their existing tools and infrastructure. Further, Lumen Learning, powered on their platform, just won a Gates Next Gen Course Grant and the Grand Prize at Educause Startup Alley. Learn more.

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Cool Tool | SharpSchool Mobile Suite

Here’s one of the only K-12 mobile solutions that combines mobile websites, classroom tools, a cloud platform — and a grade book. Designed to improve teacher-student and teacher-parent communication, SharpSchool’s Mobile Suite user-based mobile interface acts as a personalized dashboard where students, teachers and parents can view, download and share relevant information on the go. With their mobile system:

  • Schools can share school information, including maps and staff directories, and push notifications about important announcement, news and updates.
  • Teachers can add homework and reminders; take attendance; communicate with students; provide parents with test and assignment updates, and send alerts and notifications, included automated attendance and grade alerts.
  • Parents can not only follow school information and learn about events, new programs, fundraising initiatives and sport games, but also communicate with teachers, and stay up-to-date with their children’s performance, upcoming tests and assignments.
  • Students can download homework, assignments and important forms; communicate with their teachers and peers; track their performance (grades, attendances, test dates etc.); as well as, receive relevant alerts, notifications, reminders and announcements.

Built specifically to deliver a mobile user experience that gets the school’s information to those who need the most, their district-level mobile app allows all stakeholders to improve the students’ learning experience.

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Trends | Collaboration Technologies

CREDIT AvayaIt used to be the case that “non-traditional” students – those 25 and older and/or part-time attendees – were limited to an online experience that used discussion boards and pre-recorded videos as a means of engagement. Thanks to advancements in collaboration technology, today’s students have access to learning environments that allow them to get the “classroom experience” while skipping the commute. The Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at Pennsylvania State University is doing just that, using AvayaLive Engage. This collaboration technology brings students and faculty together to learn – regardless of location and device – offering a customized solution which provides a virtual studio-like environment where interaction and creativity thrive. This is critical for Penn State, which offers some of its degree programs, such as the Master of Professional Studies in Geodesign, exclusively online through its World Campus. Using this solution, students are able to hone spatial problem solving skills using shared designs, mapping and other graphic communication. This collaborative design experience enables the development of best practices that synthesize environmental design with geographic knowledge and scientific data. The user-friendly platform has proven to be a sustainable and reliable solution that promises to become a crucial component of the Geodesign degree program. Learn more.

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Cool Tool | EverFi Financial Literacy

Founded in 2008 to tackle some of the largest challenges facing our nation, EverFi is an innovative leader in creating e-learning solutions. They build powerful learning platforms to teach students and adults the critical skills they need for life. Their Financial Literacy course is a new-media learning platform that uses the latest technology – video, animations, 3-D gaming, avatars, and social networking – to bring complex financial concepts to life for today’s digital generation. The 9-module, 6-hour program is aligned with Jump$tart and Common Core standards and designed to equip students with the skill set necessary to become financially responsible adults, with content covering over 600 critical topics including mobile banking, credit scores, identity protection and consumer fraud, loans, taxes, savings, and more. Diagnostic surveys and pre- and post-assessments provide insight into individual student knowledge gain, along with attitude and behavior change. Upon completion of the course, students are provided with a Certification in Financial Literacy. Their course is delivered to schools through partnerships with banks and other sponsors. The company fully manages every aspect of the program including the technology, teacher support, and integration into schools. Watch these guys as they change lives and grow future opportunity in communities across North America. Learn more.

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Cool Tool | Bookopolis

CREDIT BookopolisThis is a kid-friendly social network and book discovery tool that ignites a love of reading in elementary and middle school students. It’s like Goodreads made just for young people with built-in edtech tools for teachers. Joining the Bookopolis online community builds excitement for reading as students connect with classmates to share book reviews, discover new books through peer, personalized, and curated book recommendations, and earn points and badges for all their reading activity. Teachers can use Bookopolis to assign and monitor written work like book reviews, book reports and online reading logs and easily track key reading metrics like number of books read, pages read, minutes read, and most popular books with students. Have a closer read.

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