Here’s one way institutions can handle edtech integration

The Next-Generation Integration Scorecard (NGIS), a free and openly-licensed tool from DXtera Institute, will give colleges and universities new ways to assess the marketplace of available education technology solutions that serve their needs, benchmarking them based on the ease of integration. “As colleges and universities undertake the daunting task of selecting and implementing next-generation technologies, we know that a general lack of functional, real-time interoperation is one of the most consistent pain points they experience,” says Jeff Merriman, DXtera’s co-founder and chief technology officer. “This work is about giving institutions a common language for specifying and evaluating the integration capacity of software solutions, which will ultimately lead to a more effective application of technology for student and institutional success.”The edtech integration tool draws on insights from across DXtera’s projects and its membership of more than 47 institutions and organizations to compare higher education technology solutions based on ease of integration. The NGIS is designed to provide colleges and universities with practical insights into whether potential technology solutions support the level of functional integration required to work together in a next-generation enterprise ecosystem.

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D2L Highlights New D2L Brightspace Product Features to Help Enhance Accessibility and Ease of Use

PR Newswire | October 19, 2023

D2L, a global learning technology company, today highlighted enhanced Brightspace product features — developed over the past six months — that can help global learners and educators simplify the learning experience by bringing learning solutions together in one place. I'm thrilled to share that D2L continues to invest in its existing solutions and broaden its portfolio of products, partner solutions and services to assist educators, organizations, and learners in their readiness for the future, said Rajesh Talpade, Senior Vice President of Product Management at D2L. D2L's new and enhanced product features can make it easier than ever to offer effective learning in online and blended environments to help see that learners have the opportunity to succeed. New D2L Solution for Businesses Announced in September 2023, D2L introduced a new, all-in-one solution for businesses: D2L for Business. This integrated, easy-to-use corporate solution combines the benefits of an existing network of world-class education providers, skill development solutions, and expert consulting services as an learning experience platform (LXP). Empowering Learners, Educators and Administrators Brightspace functionalities and offerings that can provide customers with tools and resources to help enhance outcomes and save time. Brightspace now offers: Even more Creator+ tools for educators, including: new accessible layouts, expanded types of interactive elements, and a fully accessible hotspot practice question type. This can help enable educators to continue building beautiful and instructionally sound content using familiar Brightspace workflows. An AI-driven, first line of contexual help and support embedded within Brightspace Brightspace Virtual Assistant. More datasets and improved data dashboards to help make it easier for educators and businesses to gain insights and understand metrics in their organizations. Simplifying Workflows Recent Brightspace updates continue to make workflows more intuitive, efficient, effective and consistent. This includes: An improved Quiz experience that can offer support for high-stakes exams with strict time limits, support for synchronous quizzing windows, and other improvements. A familiar and upgraded Discussion experience with workflows to help bring new functionality to educators. New content authoring functionality to help make it easier to manage both the required and optional course materials. In addition, enhancements to the Media Library are now more user-friendly, with new time-saving indicators to track progress and surface common actions. And, new changes to course merging options that can empower educators and save administrative time. New self-enrollment enhancements for Brightspace customers that offer professional development opportunities and allow educators to see that learners are enrolling in the right courses. Uniting a Stronger Ecosystem D2L has also enhanced its robust learning ecosystem by simplifying access to Brightspace and encouraging new interactions among educators, administrators, and learners. These updates, features and tools include: An easier, course registration process through Course Merchant, a modern e-commerce experience, whose front-end course catalog and payment and enrollment system is now offered as a D2L product after more than nine years as a key integration partner. Visualized Brightspace Analytics within Ellucian Experience, help advisors to quickly identify at-risk learners by aggregating Brightspace data with external data to holistically determine appropriate intervention. Early access to D2L Link, which can connect Brightspace with the systems of record clients use every day. The integrations enabled through D2L Link can help minimize manual tasks and see that data is synchronized between systems. D2L's new IntegrationHub, built on LTI 1.3. and launched as a new catalog site that lists partner solutions that are available for integrations with Brightpsace. The IntegrationHub makes it easy for Brightspace users to browse D2L's extensive list of integrated technologies and solutions, such as accessibility tools, student information systems, secure proctoring assessment platforms, and many other partner solutions. For more information on the latest features and updates, please visit What's New at D2L. About D2L D2L is transforming the way the world learns—helping learners of all ages achieve more than they dreamed possible. Working closely with clients all over the world, D2L is supporting millions of people learning online and in person. Our growing global workforce is dedicated to making the best learning products to leave the world better than they found it. Learn more about D2L for K-12, higher education and businesses at www.D2L.com.

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Online Education

Imagine Learning Expands Core Curriculum Offering with Launch of Traverse, A Groundbreaking Digital Social Studies Curriculum

Business Wire | October 17, 2023

Imagine Learning, the largest provider of digital curriculum solutions in the U.S., serving 15 million students in more than half of school districts nationwide, today announced the launch of Traverse, a groundbreaking, innovative, and digital-first social studies, living core curriculum solution for grades 6–12. Traverse, created by a team of Imagine Learning developers and educators, represents a significant milestone for the organization as it expands its comprehensive suite of dedicated and immersive digital core curriculum courses for teachers and students across the country. Gone are the days of large history books that cannot be easily updated. Traverse turns that paradigm on its head and provides an on-ramp to ensuring that our students are taught the most updated information, yet customized to meet the standards of local communities, said Jonathan Grayer, CEO of Imagine Learning. This launch is a significant step forward for Imagine Learning as we now provide thousands of school districts -- large and small -- a complete array of solutions, from supplemental to intervention to core. In today’s evolving world, the demand for teaching social studies appropriately has never been greater. Districts have been searching for a modern curriculum that can adapt to their needs and empower teachers to meet the required content and instructional standards while encouraging critical thinking and civic engagement for students. Pairing advanced technology and engaging media with inquiry-based learning, Imagine Learning developed Traverse to address this market demand with a highly adaptable and engaging curriculum. Mr. Grayer continued, “Traverse represents a real breakthrough in how social studies can and should be taught in this country. In a rapidly changing world where there is a greater urgency placed on teaching our students how to be responsible citizens contributing to the well-being of our society, Traverse solves an enormous problem facing our schools by equipping students with the knowledge and skills to navigate a complex and ever-changing global landscape. Like other Imagine Learning curricula, Traverse shares responsibility for this process with teachers, empowering them to cultivate the active, informed, and engaged citizens our society needs. We are very excited to bring Traverse to market.” For the first time, students will be engaged in a comprehensive learning experience that combines content, inquiry, and skills development. Students are exposed to a wide array of multimedia resources, primary and secondary sources, lessons designed to build their skills, collaborative learning activities, and assessments to deepen their engagement with the subject matter. Traverse will prepare students for civic engagement beyond their classrooms by using a standards-backed, inquiry-based approach to learning. It aligns with the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework and state standards, providing teachers with a cohesive instructional social studies program for grades 6-12. The Traverse Solution Traverse is authored by renowned educators Kathy Swan and Sam Wineburg, and designed by Imagine Learning’s development group, the same team that created the award-winning ELA program StudySync. Its digital-first instructional design allows districts to easily support changing curriculum standards with adaptable courses that are built with powerful media and interactives. Through a combination of video, activities, and tools, Traverse leverages interactive media to enhance engagement in instruction. Aligned to the C3 Framework, Traverse prepares students for college, career, and civic life by connecting the lessons to real-life social issues. Students are further supported through active learning and are encouraged to collaborate with their peers and find answers themselves through careful and critical study of the standards-based resources provided. As part of its modern, new approach to social studies, Traverse: Maximizes student learning by focusing only on the content standards teachers are expected to teach. Enables students to critically evaluate issues, both inside and outside the classroom. Blends technology and multimedia to empower learners. Supports teachers in facilitating an equitable learning environment by providing the necessary resources to create personalized learning experiences. Includes Imagine Learning’s exceptional digital and print implementation support and toolkits that work with districts according to their needs. Offers varied modalities for lessons and is compatible with multiple devices. Traverse is the latest digital-first curriculum to be added to Imagine Learning’s core product line, joining Imagine Learning Illustrative Mathematics, Twig Science, and Imagine Learning EL Education. It is available for U.S. History: Beginnings to the Civil War; U.S. History: Reconstruction to the Present; World History: Beginnings to the Reformation; World History: Emergence of the Modern World to the Present; World Geography; U.S. Government; and Economics. For more information on Traverse, visit www.imaginelearning.com/traverse. About Imagine Learning Every classroom, every student is bursting with potential. That’s why we pursue relentless innovation at the intersection of technology, people, and curricula. Imagine Learning creates K–12 digital-first solutions fueled by insights from educators, working alongside educators to support 15 million students in over half of the districts nationwide. Our core portfolio includes Twig Science®, Imagine Learning Illustrative Mathematics®, and Imagine Learning EL Education®. Our robust supplemental and intervention suite equips learners with personalized instruction for English and Spanish literacy, math, coding, and more. Imagine Edgenuity™ is our flagship courseware solution, complemented by Imagine School Services’ Certified Teachers. Imagine Learning. Empower potential. Learn more: imaginelearning.com.

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Continuing Education

Vernier Science Education Announces Strategic Corporate Transition for a Sustainable Future

PR Newswire | September 28, 2023

Today, Vernier Science Education, a leading provider of innovative science and STEM education solutions, announced a significant organizational shift that will chart the course for its mission and values for the foreseeable future. The company will evolve from partner-owned to being owned by a Perpetual Purpose Trust. This allows Vernier Science Education to ensure values-aligned ownership succession and uphold its core mission and values indefinitely, ensuring that its social and charitable objectives remain a priority in perpetuity, securing the futures of its valued employees, and reinvesting profits back into the business while sharing benefits with employees, customers, and communities alike. The Perpetual Purpose Trust is a bold and innovative approach that aligns perfectly with Vernier's vision of serving educators, students, the STEM community, and communities at large. The decision to reevaluate and reimagine Vernier's ownership model and long-term commitment to its mission comes as John Wheeler, the CEO of Vernier Science Education, prepares to step back from day-to-day activities, ushering in a new era of innovation and purpose-driven sustainability for the company. "Our decision to reevaluate our business and establish a Perpetual Purpose Trust stems from our unwavering commitment to STEM education and sustaining the values and principles that have defined Vernier for decades. This transformational shift will enable us to secure the future of our employees, reinvest in our business, and continue our mission of creating a STEM-literate society," said Wheeler. "I am honored to continue to guide our work during this transition, and I look forward to the remarkable achievements that lie ahead for Vernier Science Education." Wheeler will remain in his position as CEO until a nationwide search identifies a replacement. He will continue to be active in Vernier Science Education providing guidance and leadership to the organization and supporting the new CEO. The transition from partner-owned to Trust-owned will be funded by both gifting and purchase of shares from current Partners. Dave and Christine Vernier, the company's co-founders and key figures in its success, will remain actively engaged in the Vernier Science Education family, offering their invaluable insights and support as the company embarks on this exciting new chapter. "Vernier Science Education has always been driven by a deep commitment to advancing STEM education. As we transition to a Perpetual Purpose Trust, we're reaffirming our dedication to our mission and values, and commitment to staying a local independent Oregon-based company for generations to come," said Dave Vernier. "Christine and I are excited to continue contributing to the Vernier family and witnessing the positive impact this strategic move will have on educators, students, and the STEM community. This is how we pay back the years of success our organization has had and give back to our community." By establishing a Perpetual Purpose Trust, Vernier Science Education joins other socially-conscious organizations, foundations, and companies committed to long-term sustainability, fostering a sense of purpose that extends far into the future. About Vernier Science Education Vernier Science Education is a leading provider of innovative solutions for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. For over four decades, Vernier has been dedicated to supporting educators and inspiring students to explore and understand the world of science. With a commitment to quality, Vernier's comprehensive range of data collection and analysis tools, along with its educational resources, empowers educators to facilitate engaging and hands-on learning experiences. To learn more, visit vernier.com.

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