Ed Dept allows repurposing of federal funds for ed tech, PD in favor of distance learning

educationdive | April 06, 2020

The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday states can apply for flexibility in using parts of Title I, II, III, IV and V of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. States that apply can expect to receive an initial response within one business day. The repurposed funds can be used to support technology infrastructure and teacher professional development as districts shift to distance learning models. Flexibilities would: Waive restrictions that allowed states to carry over only 15% of Title I funding from the previous fiscal year.Waive the needs assessment justifying fund use, content-specific spending requirements, and restrictions on tech infrastructure spending under Title IV.

Spotlight

When Pasodale Elementary School in Ysleta ISD began piloting blended and personalized learning three years ago, Melainie Elliott, a special education teacher, says it was transformational for her students. With this model, she says, “They not only have a voice, but they have a deciding voice about what they do, and how they learn, and how they grow, and what their goals are.

Spotlight

When Pasodale Elementary School in Ysleta ISD began piloting blended and personalized learning three years ago, Melainie Elliott, a special education teacher, says it was transformational for her students. With this model, she says, “They not only have a voice, but they have a deciding voice about what they do, and how they learn, and how they grow, and what their goals are.

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ONLINE EDUCATION

SU Prep Digital Teams Up With Google Public Sector to Develop Streaming Educational Curriculum With Universal Access

ASU Prep Digital | July 19, 2022

ASU Prep Digital, an accredited online K-12 school offered through Arizona State University, has partnered with Google Public Sector, to make remote immersive learning technology more accessible to students across the United States and around the world. ASU Prep Learning Cloud is a streaming solution that empowers schools to deliver innovative and interactive 3D learning experiences to students using low-bandwidth devices. The technology was developed on and is powered by Google Cloud.This new platform invites students to solve challenges by immersing themselves in interactive settings made possible by technology. For example, students can watch geologic formations emerge through simulations rather than reading about it in a textbook. Students can also explore human organs in 3D or examine a plastic mannequin. This brings topics like erosion, hydrolysis, and human anatomy to life. To successfully complete a lesson, students must think critically about the concept, explore it, and learn through discovery. Real-time, instructive feedback also helps contribute to a more individualized learning experience. “We’re turning students into explorers by embedding learning into the digital formats that students love, We spark curiosity by asking students to navigate 3D worlds, hypothesize, and discover knowledge by manipulating game-like simulations to solve real-world problems.” -David Sudarma, ASU Prep’s chief technology officer Advancing Accessibility The ASU Prep Learning Cloud represents an important step toward accessibility for students in rural areas, with limited broadband access, and districts where limited technology funding makes it difficult to deliver cutting-edge learning opportunities. This immersive cloud-based education technology can be experienced from mobile devices or Chromebooks, increasing accessibility for all learners, anytime, anywhere. Removing those barriers is especially important for a program like ASU Digital Prep, which can be instrumental in bridging gaps for districts where resources are slim. ASU Prep Digital has allowed us to partner and advance educational opportunities for thousands of K-12 students who might not have otherwise had access to the courses, credits, mentors, and teachers we offer, said Arizona State University President Michael Crow, who is widely known as a pioneer of online education. Crow’s vision has created a tech-enhanced learning environment across ASU, inclusive of pre-collegiate students via ASU Prep Digital. A key element of that vision is expanded opportunities in online education, which offers a path to higher education for students who are otherwise hindered from pursuing their education goals. In addition to its rapidly expanding K-12 enrollment, ASU Prep Digital’s School Partnerships continue to grow. The program supports entire school districts in states like Utah, Louisiana and Ohio, as well as schools in 22 states and 12 countries. Powerhouse Partnerships In addition to the full- and part-time students who enroll directly with ASU Prep Digital, the school also teams with private schools, public schools, and districts worldwide to offer a K-12 curriculum and one-on-one instruction in a virtual environment. The program’s latest suite of courses, which will be available this fall to partner schools via the ASU Prep Learning Cloud, powered by Google Cloud, can be used in compliance with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). As pioneers in their respective industries, ASU Prep Digital and Google Public Sector worked to develop the platform, which is based on game engine technology. The ASU Prep Learning Cloud features responsive design optimized for the most commonly used devices (e.g., Chromebooks, mobile phones) using Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). “Our partnership with ASU Prep Digital has the ability to unlock new and innovative academic opportunities for learners across the country, We’re unleashing the power of Google Cloud to help make individualized, digital, and interactive learning the new standard in education.” -Steven Butschi, director of Education, Google Public Sector Courses integrate seamlessly into existing learning management systems, while supporting robust interactive features that personalize learning. The platform currently supports ASU Prep Digital partner schools, but in the future, could be rolled out to other educational institutions. As immersive technologies become more widely adapted in education, 3D learning environments such as augmented reality and virtual reality offer great potential for engagement and retention, Our collaboration with Google Public Sector is a terrific first step in expanding access to immersive solutions across many devices, and we’re working together to explore ways immersive technologies can be made even more universally available to eager learners. To preview a snapshot of ASU Prep Learning Cloud courses, visit: https://vimeo.com/623494408 or take a deeper look at the immersive platform here: https://vimeo.com/689344144/795e785a7c About ASU Prep Digital ASU Prep Digital is an accredited online K-12 school that offers a single online course or enrollment in a full-time, diploma-granting program. Because it is part of Arizona State University, ASU Prep Digital offers an accelerated path toward college admission and the chance to earn concurrent high school and university credit. For more information, visit asuprepdigital.org.

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TALENT DEVELOPMENT

Bluum Releases an End-to-end Cybersecurity Solution for Schools

Bluum | June 14, 2022

On June 13th, premier education technology solutions provider Bluum announced the release of a complete cybersecurity solution for schools. In recent years, schools have witnessed an evolving cybersecurity need, especially those brought on by remote learning and virtual schooling solutions. Cybersecurity breakdowns have affected more than 3 million students since 2018 with over 1,300 publicly disclosed attacks. Since February, this has cost educational institutions $2.73 million to secure themselves from ransomware attacks. "With limited budgets, highly skilled IT personnel and time, K-12 organizations are hard-pressed to create a solid cybersecurity plan. Cybersecurity is an incredibly technical and extensive area in IT that is rapidly evolving and needs to stay ahead of ever-evolving attack methods. Historically, school IT budget constraints have resulted in ineffective and outdated systems, so Bluum has developed comprehensive countermeasures to fill that void." - Andre Vashilko, Bluum Vice President of Product Strategy and Growth When cybersecurity concerns arise, whether through internal or external threats, Bluum offers preventive measures that can mitigate the risks during and after the attack. Bluum has started by rolling out easy-tu-use solutions that help schools assess their cybersecurity needs and identify solutions to address them. Bluum will also offer vulnerability scans and penetration testing to detect any areas of concern and exposure risks in the infrastructure. The self-assessment will also help schools communicate their specific needs to Bluum in order to provide a tailored solution.

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ONLINE EDUCATION

Parchment and EAB to Collaborate to Provide Seamless Application Completion for Educational Institutes

Parchment | June 09, 2022

On June 8th, Parchment, prominent academic credentials management provider, announced that it is teaming up with EAB, a leader in education research, marketing, and technology. The partnership will enable EAB undergraduate institutions to integrate Parchment to request transcripts and other supporting admission documents. "For more than 30 years, EAB has worked to reduce barriers to student enrollment. Partnering with Parchment gives our college and university partners another way to reduce friction in the application process to help boost their enrollment." - Chris Marett, President of Marketing and Enrollment Solutions at EAB Educational institutions who are currently using Parchment will get a seamless integration of these new applications into their existing workflow. It will allow administrators to save time and significant resources, as well as have the peace of mind that learner data and records are secure. "The people at EAB and Parchment believe that postsecondary education transforms lives. We are excited about this partnership as it smooths the path for learners in pursuit of their postsecondary goals. Our platform was built to create a seamless exchange of credentials and our partnership with EAB will help Admissions Offices efficiently collect and process applications, getting decisions to learners faster and increasing their likelihood to enroll." - Kevin Martin, General Manager of Higher Education at Parchment "High schools and districts are under-resourced and strapped for time. Giving Counselors and Registrars a streamlined way to support their learners' college pathway will give them back much needed time to engage with their learners in meaningful ways." - Sarah Kiley, General Manager of K-12 at Parchment

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