Source: School CIO

MacToSchoolwebNewMac to School is now offering recertified iPad 3s to school districts.

The recertified iPads are available for 25% less than what schools would pay buying comparable devices directly from Apple. On an average order of 300 iPads, a school or district would save more than $20,000.

Recertified iPads 2s are also available, as well as CCSS-ready MacBooks. All of Mac to School’s devices come with a one-year warranty, as well as customer service from a team of Apple Certified Technicians.

To learn more, visit www.mactoschool.com

Source: THE Journal

LU logo20140828_LearningUpgradeTo help students and teachers make the transition to the Common Core State Standards, Learning Upgrade is offering 100,000 complimentary student licenses to schools nationwide. Administrators and teachers can enroll each licensed student into any of Learning Upgrade’s Common Core-aligned courses.

The new courses for grades K-8 were designed and created after the standards were released. Using songs, video and games, the interactive lessons are designed to help struggling students catch up on the previous year’s standards, master current grade-level standards and perform well on the new computer-based year-end tests.

Educators from U.S. schools with at least 300 students who would like to take advantage of the free license offer can click here, then select “Start Free Trial.” Qualifying schools will receive a 20-student license for the 2014-2015 school year at no cost.

PR with Panache! is thrilled to welcome Early Learning Labs to our client family!

ELLStudies have shown that more than one-third of America’s students enter kindergarten lacking the necessary skills to succeed in today’s rigorous academic system. In other words, over 1.3 million students are behind from day one of their academic career. Early Learning Labs seeks to resolve this issue by giving educators the decision-making tools they need to foster early childhood development in the classroom.

The Minnesota-based company’s innovative assessment program, myIGDIs uses research-based practices and classroom technology to help early childhood educators identify at-risk children early and give them the tools they need to become school ready.

With over 250,000 students using the program nationwide, Early Learning Labs is revolutionizing the way schools approach early childhood development and PR with Panache! could not be more excited to welcome them to our client family!

To learn more about Early Learning Labs, please visit http://www.myigdis.com/.

The new feature allows administrators to evaluate data from a district level and support comprehensive professionally development plans for new hires

Single LogoTeacherMatch, provider of the revolutionary teacher candidate assessment solution is proud to announce the addition of it Professional Development Profile (PDP) summary reporting feature to its platform. The new reporting function allows for a summary of the overall strengths and weaknesses of recently hired employees, giving administrators the ability to design comprehensive development plans for their new employees at the point of hire, even prior to these employees working in classrooms.

Founded by a group of passionate educators with the core mission to increase student academic growth while elevating the teaching profession, TeacherMatch uses predictive analytics to help place the most qualified teachers in the classroom. Using cutting-edge, evidence-based research, the innovative PDP feature is based on the results found when new candidates take the TeacherMatch EPI (Educator’s Professional Inventory).

The PDP report provides specific, actionable steps administrators can take to advance the skills of their teachers, setting them up for success in the classroom. The report provides a template with guidelines for preparing a customized, individual plan to target opportunities for improvement.

“We’re extremely pleased with the feedback we are already receiving in regards to our new PDP reporting feature,” said Dr. Don Fraynd, CEO of TeacherMatch. “It gives district leaders a summary of the strengths and weaknesses of their new hires before they even hit the classroom, allowing a district to target mentors to new teachers and create PD plans.”

Drawn from several decades of education research and data from studies of diverse school districts across the country, TeacherMatch offers a data-driven, people-powered formula for success for K-12 education talent management.

For more information about TeacherMatch, it’s PDP report and/or EPI please visit their website at www.teachermatch.org.

Source: District Administration

DA-LOGO_2013_1District Administration featured Nervanix in an article about new products which target memory, attention levels and brain’s plasticity. Check out what they had to say about Nervanix below! To read the whole article visit districtadministration.com.

Measuring and even changing a student’s brain activity was once a science fiction concept. But technology advances are pushing to market more products that use attention levels and plasticity of the mind to raise academic achievement.

Measuring attention

NERVANIX-logo-NEWAnother product on the market is the recently launched Nervanix Clarity, a study tool with a headset that monitors brainwaves to determine how much attention a student is paying to a particular web text, video or audio recording. An algorithm translates the brainwave activity to an attention metric.

At the end of the study session, students can see where their attention was highest and lowest, and go back to the exact place where attention dropped.

“It allows you to flip back to the book or video in an intelligent way,” says Adam L. Hall, founder and CEO of Nervanix. It can also help teachers determine which educational materials students pay the most attention to, he adds.

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Wendy Drexler, chief innovation officer at ISTE, says schools need classroom data before adopting any product or method that claims to enhance the brain.

“The transition from research to actual application in the classroom is a long and complicated process,” Drexler says. “Often, companies and educators take a single study or recent research finding and try to immediately apply them to learning. In reality, the brain is very complex and this type of research is in its infancy.”

More insight into how the brain works and how humans learn will be gained in the coming years. “That, combined with technology, will offer powerful platforms to facilitate and accelerate the learning process,” she says.

Source: EdTech Digest

MacToSchoolwebNewDistrict budgets are tighter than ever, and the prices of the latest and greatest edtech tools are getting higher each day. Is it possible to afford the best products on the market without straining your budget? With a little creative financing, the answer is yes.

Mac to School, a leading provider of recertified Apple technology for K-12, is now offering recertified iPad 2s and 3s to school districts. The recertified iPads are available for 25% less than what schools would pay buying comparable devices directly from Apple.

However, a lower price doesn’t mean lower quality – the technical specifications for recertified iPad 2s and 3s are exactly the same as the standard brand-new iPad purchased for schools. The iPad 2s and 3s both come with the most recent version of Apple’s operating system, iOS 7, as well as the upcoming iOS 8. Both models have the same amount of storage (16GB) and battery life (10 hours) as comparable to brand-new iPads.

All iPads from Mac to School come with a one-year warranty, and they are recertified and serviced by Apple Certified Technicians. Learn more about Mac to School and the Apple products currently in stock.

Source: District Administration

CIOs should make sure refurbished devices are compatible with school software and have sufficient memory

Refurbished tech pic 1District CIOs looking to save money on computers are increasingly turning to refurbished technology. Buying preowned equipment puts more devices in the hands of students and keeps old machines out of landfills.

Administrators at Spencer Technology Academy, a school of 900 K8 students in Chicago Public Schools, wanted to create a 1-to-1 program for middle school math. But the district could not afford to spend $24,000 on 30 new iPads. Instead, administrators purchased 30 refurbished, second-generation iPads for $7,000. They also purchased 10 used MacBooks for $6,000—saving about $10,000.

“It’s definitely more bang for your buck,” says lead technology teacher Tracey Howse. New equipment that is shared between many students undergoes so much wear and tear that it quickly looks used anyway, she adds. “Getting a fairly equal piece of equipment at less than half the price just makes more sense—especially during this day and age with tighter and tighter budgets.”

Howse recommends CIOs start with a small purchase to test the equipment and ensure it can handle the district’s needs. This also helps develop a relationship with the vendor and determine the quality of the customer service.

MacToSchoolwebNewCDI Computers and Mac to School are two companies that sell refurbished equipment. Schools also can buy used devices from nonprofits, such as Computer Recycling Center and PC Rebuilders & Recyclers.

Another Chicago school, Bronzeville Scholastic Institute High School, saved 30 percent by purchasing refurbished Apple computers. And most administrators don’t realize or are aware that buying refurbished devices is an option, says Bronzeville Principal LeeAndra Khan.

“When we’re trying to save money we have to think more creatively, and that goes for everything from technology to furniture,” she says.

But CIOs should make sure refurbished devices are compatible with school software and have sufficient memory, says Geoff Fletcher, deputy executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA). For example, first generation iPads may not be able to run certain newer curriculum programs.

CIOs also need to examine the warranties and repair policies on refurbished machines. “You can’t future-proof any device, but you can make sure there is sufficient capacity in the refurbished machine going forward,” Fletcher says.

Top-quality EdTech available at affordable prices

MacToSchoolwebNewWith the 2014-15 school year officially underway, districts across the nation are facing a dilemma: How can you keep up with the changing landscape of expensive educational technology when budgets are tighter than ever?

To help answer that question, Mac to School, K-12’s leading provider of recertified Apple technology, is now offering recertified iPad 3s to school districts.

The recertified iPads are available for 25% less than what schools would pay buying comparable devices directly from Apple. On an average order of 300 iPads, a school or district would save more than $20,000.

“We want every school district to put the best educational technology in the hands of their students without putting a strain on their budgets,” said Robert Baker, co-founder and president of Mac to School. “Most districts are looking for bulk orders, so the savings really add up quickly when you’re talking about hundreds or thousands of machines. We take great pride in facilitating that.”

Recertified iPads 2s are also available, as well as CCSS-ready MacBooks. All of Mac to School’s devices come with a one-year warranty, as well as customer service from a team of Apple Certified Technicians.

To learn more about Mac to School and the Apple products currently in stock, visit www.mactoschool.com.

Source: TechFaster

goalbookcwPR with Panache! is thrilled to announce that Goalbook was listed #6 in Common Sense Media’s list of top tech picks for teachers! Read what they had to say below and visit techfaster.com to view the entire list of top tech picks.

graphite_common_sense_mediaEarlier this summer at ISTE we got a chance to talk with Common Sense Media about Graphite.

Graphite, is a platform that works similarly to Common Sense Media but instead of evaluating how age appropriate an app, game or website is for kids, it looks at how educational websites, games and apps are.

Common Sense Media is the company, that for the past eleven years, has provided parents, families, care-takers, and educators a simple and easy to use platform to find out if something is age appropriate for their kids. Sure video games are required to provide a rating on all their products but is that game that’s rated E for everyone really ok for a five year old?

Common Sense Media doesn’t just look at whether something is violent or inappropriate but whether or not a kid can really enjoy that game, app or website. Maybe an introductory level on a hit game is a piece of cake for a five year old but at the second level it gets much harder and boring to a child that age. Common Sense can let you know.

Parents, guardians and family members are using Common Sense on the web or their mobile app before making a purchasing decision that could turn out to be a waste of money. On the flip side Common Sense Media is also used to help parents, families and guardians find products that are perfectly age appropriate but may not have had a million dollar advertising budget to get in front of children.

Last year at ISTE Common Sense introduced Graphite a new platform designed to find the best digital learning tools by presenting them with independent ratings and reviews based on rigorous rubric that evaluates learning potential.

Not to be confused with their original product, Graphite can tell an educator if that “educational game” really has educational value.

Common Sense just released their back to school list of top tech tools for teachers. With half of the nation’s kids already back to school and the rest of them headed back after Labor Day, now is the time to see what tools will make a difference this year.

Eight of the entries on the Common Sense list made Bill Gates’ list of favorites as well.

Source: Internet@Schools

LU logoLearning Upgrade is offering 100,000 complimentary student licenses to schools nationwide in order to promote its online curriculum designed to help students and teachers make the transition to Common Core State Standards. Administrators and teachers can enroll each licensed student into any of Learning Upgrade’s Common Core aligned courses.

The new courses for grades K-8 were designed and created after the standards were released, ensuring each benchmark is addressed appropriately. Through engaging songs, video, and games , the interactive lessons help struggling students catch up on previous year standards, master current grade level standards, and perform well on the new computer-based year-end tests.

Learning Upgrade’s new courses are designed with the Common Core State Standards in mind. Each grade-specific course features 60 interactive lessons, covering every standard for that grade. Teachers can quickly integrate the lessons into their classes using a simple one-page alignment, and can track every student’s progress on every standard with a graphical student monitor.

Educators from U.S. schools with at least 300 students who would like to take advantage of this offer should visit learningupgrade.com. Select “Start Free Trial,” then sign up for the school free trial. Qualifying schools will receive a 20-student license for the 2014-15 school year at no cost.