Blackboard | July 21, 2020
Blackboard Inc. today announced that in the last 18 months, the number of institutions that have transitioned to the SaaS deployment of Blackboard Learn has increased by more than 50%. The move to SaaS has enabled institutions to scale their online learning programs at an unprecedented rate, while also accelerating their digital teaching and learning strategies in response to the global pandemic."The SaaS deployment of Blackboard Learn has enabled the education community to scale at an incredibly rapid pace as they move towards a more robust, holistic, and data-driven teaching and learning model," said Jim Chalex, Vice President of Product Development at Blackboard. "The foundational role SaaS plays is underscored by the fact that today, nearly 70% of our Learn clients are fully operational on SaaS or have begun planning to move to the cloud."The SaaS deployment of Blackboard Learn enables institutions to access the Blackboard Data platform, an analytics infrastructure that fuels a more holistic, mature EdTech environment. Through Blackboard Data, institutions have access to a range of consolidated learner- and institutional-level insights that can be leveraged to improve the learning ecosystem for individuals, departments, and institutions. The cloud-based solution also allows institutions to activate Blackboard Learn Ultra—Learn's next-generation user experience—which allows instructors and learners to leverage an intuitive digital interface for a seamless experience. In fact, over the past year, the number of clients using Learn Ultra has increased by more than 90%.
themountaineer | August 25, 2020
Cyber criminals targeting Haywood County Schools with ransomeware have derailed another day of remote learning, with school called off for Tuesday, as well. It is unclear when school will resume. “We have three cyber experts working on things with us literally as we speak,” Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte said Monday night. Ransomware is a type of cyber attack that cripples computer servers and holds them hostage until a ransom is paid.“We have no plans to pay it at this time,” Nolte said. “We would only do it as a last resort.”The school system must sort out what has been compromised and then try to rebuild its computer system through back-ups.In the meantime, it’s unclear when students will resume remote learning. Middle and high school students were one week into their online classes, and elementary students were slated to begin their classes Monday.
StrongMind | August 03, 2021
StrongMind today announces the release of a new, innovative K-5 solution designed specifically for hybrid, blended, and virtual learning models. Developed by a team of education experts passionate about fostering student success, the digital curriculum is standards-aligned, research-based, and leverages technology to create a personalized and impactful learning experience for all students.
Using backwards-design and sound teaching pedagogy, the StrongMind K-5 solution engages students with rich media multimedia, including videos, infographics, interactives, comics, and more. Opt-in scaffolds, such as text-to-speech, annotations, translation for 18 languages, closed captions, and more ensure all learners receive the support they need. Most courses include 1-2 projects, guiding students to synthesize their understanding and apply their learning to real-world applications.
For K-1 students, the StrongMind solution uses a unique carousel-style interface with short blocks of text or media to capture and maintain attention. Young learners are also supported with read-along storybooks to reinforce reading skills and fluency.
StrongMind equips teachers with robust resource guides, providing the supports needed to instruct students in hybrid, blended, or virtual learning models. Additionally, teachers can easily tailor learning by customizing discussion questions, modifying sequence control, adding content, and adjusting settings for how students progress through courses. Teachers can view snapshot reports of the whole-class, groups, or individual students with real-time data and actionable insights. They also have a comprehensive view of formative and summative assessment data, including item analysis.
As a unique added benefit, StrongMind has several resources to support parents, families, and learning coaches as students work through K-5 courses. Resources include printable materials, extension and enrichment activities, materials lists, and additional guidance for coaching and online learning.
"From the outset, we designed the StrondMind K-5 curriculum with the end-users in mind, which includes teachers but also parents and students," says Chief Academic Officer, Yovhane Metcalfe. "By working closely with parents to gather feedback and observing students as they interact with courses, we were able to create a user-driven experience that is supported by research- based best practices and aligned to state standards."
StrongMinded K-5 courses are compatible with any instructional model – virtual, hybrid, or blended – ensuring continuity of learning across grade bands or as models change.
StrongMind partners with schools and districts to develop forward-thinking solutions that address unique school challenges. With a consultative approach, engaging digital curriculum, a suite of edtech tools, a range of services, and clear insights, we maximize student achievement and help schools thrive. A recent recipient of multiple Digital Promise Research-Design certifications and winner of more than 60 awards, StrongMind innovates into the future of education.