Cool Tool | Reading Horizons Discovery

CREDIT Reading Horizons Discovery.pngReading Horizons Discovery® provides teachers with the resources and method to give K-3 students a solid foundation for reading and spelling to put them firmly on the path to reading success. The strategy-based reading program offers both direct instruction and software designed to be implemented in a variety of instructional settings, including the general classroom, blended learning environments, intervention settings, afterschool programs, summer programs, and with English language learners. It is web-based and accessible to students, teachers, and administrators from any location with an internet connection. Incorporating multi-sensory, Orton-Gillingham principles of instruction along with a unique marking system, the program engages all aspects of student interaction when learning. The software delivers assessments and four specific grade-level tracks. Initial assessments give teachers an accurate measurement of each student’s ability; the software then adapts to meet the needs and skill levels of those students and provides differentiation as they progress through the program. Skill lessons include formative assessments called Check-Ups, vocabulary, games, and a library that offers Lexile® measures as an add-on purchase. With all these tools combined, the program fulfills 92% of the standards for foundational reading skills for students in K-3, as well as other standards outlined by the Common Core State Standards and correlated to the findings of the National Reading Panel. Along with Reading Horizons Discovery, Reading Horizons offers a hands-on initial training that prepares educators to provide effective reading instruction and intervention. Learn more.

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Cool Tool | Kahoot!

CREDIT Kahoot!.pngKahoot!, the game-based learning platform, makes it easy to create, discover, play, and share fun learning games in minutes. Games can be found for any subject, in any language, and are accessible on any device. With Kahoot!, you can introduce new topics, test knowledge, revise, connect with others all over the world, survey opinions, gather insights, facilitate discussion, spark up professional development, or just have a little fun. The social, pedagogical games can be used in the classroom for formative assessments, to survey student opinions, and as rewards. Kahoot! will be launching its new mobile app, which it previewed at ISTE this year, in the fall. Teachers can use the app to send after-class challenges to students as homework, and learners can continue playing for revision and fun wherever they are. The game platform now hosts more than 50 million monthly active users and a public library of more than 20 million learning games that have been created and shared by fans in more than 180 countries. Kahoot! is a global company with offices in Oslo, London and Austin. Learn more.

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Cool Tool | TypeTastic by Typing Master

CREDIT TypeTastic.pngThe latest typing course released from TypingMaster, TypeTastic, is specially designed for elementary school students. Learning is based on creative, pedagogical games, focusing on key memorization through color-coding and letter-grouping, hand-eye coordination, writing words, and building fluency. In the various games, players build keyboards with construction equipment, leapfrog onto lettered lily pads, and throw a cupcake party for their bug friends. Created with feedback from classroom teachers, TypeTastic brings a unique approach to teaching beginning typists, in that it begins instruction by having students use just one finger, instead of all ten. Games are easily accessible on both computers and touchscreen devices. In addition to TypeTastic, Typing Master offers the Typing Quest keyboarding courses for schools and TypingTest.com, the number one website to test typing skills. Learn more.

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Cool Tool | Activate by Lightspeed

CREDIT Lightspeed A Learning Company ActivatePodsVideo.png

Lightspeed, a Learning Company, has expanded its focus on helping educators effectively use classroom audio systems to enhance instruction and further support student achievement. The company unveiled its new logo and newest product line, Activate, at ISTE 2017. The new line promotes a collaborative, personalized learning environment that also enhances professional development. Products include the Activate Station charging and control center, portable 2-way audio pods the size of a glasses case that double as handheld microphones, and the Activate App. The product line activates group learning by allowing teachers to listen to students’ small-group discussions. Speaking into a wearable microphone from anywhere in the room, they can then provide real-time feedback to students, making informed decisions about when to intervene and when to let students explore topics for themselves. The new Activate App is designed for professional development, coaching, strategy sharing, and capturing evidence of student achievement. Utilizing the camera on iOS or Android device, the Activate App synchs up high quality audio and video, and allows teachers to push the content to a cloud-based video storage platform for collaboration within individual learning communities. Teachers can watch and listen to their own instruction for self-reflection and share with others to learn new techniques and methods. Learn more.

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Trends | Shift to a Digital Workforce

CREDIT ISDI University.pngISDI Digital University, an in-person and online graduate school in Silicon Valley offering a Master’s degree in Internet Business, surveyed over 100 companies and found that 56 percent of talent professionals across the United States find it increasingly difficult to find digital talent. As digital transformation continues to rapidly evolve across industries, this has created an exponentially increasing digital skills gap; ultimately highlighting the dire need for training or educational systems to provide digital curriculums that will prep both individuals and workforces. The skills gap is not a joke; it is impacting businesses across all industries. In fact, 77 percent of companies surveyed believe digital transformation has disrupted the way they do business, which is why it’s not surprising that one in six companies report that the number of digital business positions available will double within the next six to twelve months. With 74 percent of high-level executives believing that digital transformation is a top priority that increases profits, productivity, and communications, change needs to happen at the organizational level. Corporations and our education system need to start investing in their students and workforce, and ultimately incorporate digital programs so that America can begin to meet its full earning potential in this new era in business. Learn more.

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