This foundation provides downloadable blueprints for efficiently-built school libraries

Studyinternational | February 14, 2019

A school in rural China with 1,000 pupils, sharing just one library facility 45-square-metres in size. Now, compare that with your school library, your university library or even your local library. Is it anything like 45-square-metres in size?From time to time, it’s good to take a moment like this to reflect on the educational resources you have around you.Whether you have access to 1,000 books or 10 interactive whiteboards, you have a chance to enhance your expertise and increase your academic opportunities.But this is the reality for many students around the world, whose educational resources stretch to a confined space with a handful of books and limited writing apparatus. Noticing the need for renovated learning spaces and resourceful academic areas, the UK’s WikiHouse Foundation aims to place design solutions for constructing low-cost, low-energy, high-performance buildings into the hands of every citizen and business on earth.Recently, the open-source architecture platform attracted a great deal of attention for the part it played in the construction of a new library at Er-tai primary school in Hebei, a northern Chinese province near Beijing.The school’s surrounding community is greatly afflicted by poverty, but the new ‘Huaxia Star Library’ has granted students a central public space with a courtyard, a reading room with library shelves and plenty of windows to shed natural light upon their textbooks.

Spotlight

All students are unique. They learn in different ways, at different paces, and have different interests. Each has potential waiting to be unlocked, so that they may excel and achieve their personal best. K12 educators are making bold curriculum moves to address the unique needs of every student. Personalized learning solutions for ELA and math empower school leaders and educators with the ability to address these unique needs, while still charting a course toward standards mastery.

Spotlight

All students are unique. They learn in different ways, at different paces, and have different interests. Each has potential waiting to be unlocked, so that they may excel and achieve their personal best. K12 educators are making bold curriculum moves to address the unique needs of every student. Personalized learning solutions for ELA and math empower school leaders and educators with the ability to address these unique needs, while still charting a course toward standards mastery.

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Learning Ally Announces PreK-2 Literacy Grant Program for U.S. Schools

Learning Ally | November 24, 2022

To increase reading preparedness in early learners, Learning Ally, a national education nonprofit known to double the rate of reading growth for struggling readers, is announcing its new Excite Reading™ PreK-2 Literacy Grant Program for eligible U.S. schools at no cost. Applications are now open until December 15, 2022. Excite Reading™ is an award-winning early literacy supplement to support PreK-2 teachers who want to share engaging children's literature, while developing emergent readers' comprehension skills. Research tells us that PreK-2 is a critical time for reading development. "Children entering schools today have such diverse backgrounds and needs. Many come unprepared for learning with much less exposure to words and books at home. Putting Excite Reading™ in their hands will play a pivotal role in helping more children learn to read successfully; especially, those struggling in schools located in disadvantaged communities." Lee Peters, Learning Ally's Chief Operating Officer Districts may apply for the Excite Reading™ PreK-2 Literacy Grant Program from now until December 15, 2022. The program runs from January, 2022 to June, 2023. Educators in awarded schools will work with Learning Ally to implement the solution with fidelity and provide benchmark data and feedback. Implementation training, check-ins, and ongoing support are part of the Grant to ensure educator and student success. Early reading success requires evidence-based instruction in both decoding and language comprehension, which includes exposure to text-based vocabulary and background knowledge. Excite Reading™ complements any core literacy instructional curriculum delivered in any MTSS or RTI program framework. The visually stunning audiobook-eBook format includes access to more than two-hundred authentic human-narrated children's audiobooks and resources. Children can listen as they follow along visually, exploring themes including gardens, insects, music and more, with intentional cross-discipline focus on art, social studies, and science connections. Carefully designed language development lessons build vocabulary and background knowledge, with social-emotional components. Activities and discussion prompts create context to deepen comprehension. Corresponding teacher guides support a higher level of discourse, using relevant vocabulary to express questions, answers, and ideas to stimulate critical thinking. A school-to-home connection encourages family literacy. More than 450,000 U.S. educators work with Learning Ally to improve reading outcomes. The organization's PreK-12 Solutions are grounded in Whole Child Literacy™ – the best practices of the science of reading (brain-based learning), cognitive variables, and environmental and social emotional factors that influence each student's learning ability. Peters adds, "For a child who is not reading at proficiency by the end of third grade, the immediate and long term impact can be dire. Getting ahead of each student's potential struggle through early screening, evidence-based instruction, and an approach that considers the child through a holistic lens, is necessary to ensure all children are prepared to 'learn to read' and to 'read to learn' for their future success. In 2022, Excite Reading™ won the American Consortium for Equity in Education Excellence Award for Best Early Childhood Education Solution, Tech & Learning "Back to School" Award of Excellence in Primary Education, and the Readers' Choice Award in Early Literacy by SmartBrief on EdTech. About Learning Ally Learning Ally is a leading education nonprofit dedicated to equipping educators with proven solutions that help new and struggling learners reach their potential. Our range of literacy-focused offerings for students in Pre-K to 12th grade and catalog of professional learning allows us to support more than two million students across the United States.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Edtech leader Otus adds CenterPoint Education Solutions’ High-Quality Assessments to Platform

Otus | November 10, 2022

Otus, a leader in K-12 student-growth edtech, today announced that CenterPoint Education Solutions’ Illustrative Math (IM) certified and EL Education aligned interim assessments, along with state standards assessments will now be available on the Otus integrated learning platform. With these assessments available on the Otus platform, educators and students will have instant access to high-quality assessments aligned with their curriculum or their state’s standards Since its launch in 2016, Otus has been used by educators to optimize learning and help accelerate student growth for over 1 million students nationwide. Otus provides educators with one place to gather, visualize and act on data to maximize student outcomes. The all-in-one platform saves educators time by integrating traditional and standards-based grading, assessments, progress monitoring, data-informed instruction, and more. “CenterPoint is excited to bring our aligned assessments to Otus; we hope more districts look toward incorporating assessments that are aligned with their curriculum and (state) standards, Aligned assessments allow educators to gauge both student understandings and misunderstandings paramount information to guide instructional planning. Otus’ learning platform gathers student-growth data and visualizations in one place, which models CenterPoint’s larger mission of monitoring student achievement around assessments.” LJ Sylvester, Vice President of Growth at CenterPoint. Interim assessments are administered throughout a school year and are key to supporting learning. They empower educators to measure student learning, identify where students are on their path to grade-level expectations, and provide data to drive instructional strategy. With Otus now hosting CenterPoint’s IM-certified, EL Education, and standards-aligned interim assessments, students and educators are provided with expanded access to high-quality curriculum-aligned assessments. Via Otus’ platform, CenterPoint’s assessments will make use of the existing assessment functionality, including technology-enhanced question types to heighten student engagement and real-time standards-aligned data reporting for teachers to inform instructional strategy. Otus is thrilled to add CenterPoint Education Solutions to its ever-growing network of partners and to be able to offer their top-notch, curriculum-aligned assessments to Otus users,” said Phil Collins, Ed.D., SVP of Client Success. “As Otus continues to expand its offerings of partner assessments available to users on the platform, we aim to provide high-quality, diverse options, and ultimately empower educators to make data-driven decisions that improve their schools. By integrating CenterPoint Education Solutions’ assessments into Otus, we are taking a huge step in that direction. Both the Illustrative Math and EL Education curricula are green rated by EdReports and have shown consistent results for student achievement. CenterPoint was the first organization to develop interim assessments aligned to these curricula to support the important work of teaching and learning at the ground level. The following grades and content areas are licensed for use on Otus’ platform: Illustrative Mathematics Aligned Interims Assessments: Grades 3-8, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry EL Education Aligned Interim Assessments: Grades K-8 Eureka Math Topic Items: Grades K-8 CenterPoint Standards Aligned Interim Assessments in ELA: Grades K-11 CenterPoint Standards Aligned Interim Assessments in Mathematics: Grades K-8, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry About Otus Otus significantly improves the way we support students by providing an all-in-one platform for educators to gather, visualize, and act on student data to ensure every child – no matter their learning level or background – is on a trajectory to achieve their true potential. Otus was created and built for teachers, by teachers. It saves educators time through the streamlined integration of assessment, performance tracking, and third-party data, while its gradebook and dashboard reports make it easy for teachers, administrators, and families to understand each student’s growth. Otus has delivered improved results for more than 1 million learners.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Spark Education Group wins Best Interactive Learning Experience award at EdTech Asia Summit

Spark Education Group | October 31, 2022

Spark Education Group, an innovator in global online education and the parent company of VISPARK and Allschool, won the "Best Interactive Learning Experience" award at the EdTech Asia Summit. The premiere EdTech conference took place at the Raffles Convention Centre in Singapore, discussing emerging trends in learning and innovation in education. "We are thrilled that Spark Education Group is recognized for providing interactive learning experiences through our VISPARK and Allschool platforms. We have always believed that the combination of a research-based curriculum designed by expert pedagogues, imaginative designers and technologists, provides the best learning experiences and educational outcomes for children. This award marks that achievement and celebrates the tremendous effort by our team of best-in-class educators," said Mr Xiaonan Wang, co-founder of Spark Education Group, Head of South East Asia Region. Spark Education Group was founded by parents hoping to improve learning experiences and achieve superior educational outcomes for their children by combining technology and education. Headquartered in Singapore, the company introduced two new brands, VISPARK and Allschool, this year for Singapore, US and other international markets. VISPARK VISPARK is an online education provider of enrichment learning programs. Its flagship program, Spark Math, offers online classes taught by certified teachers using innovative and interactive courseware. It aims to provide a fun and rewarding learning experience and improve student's academic outcomes.Its flagship product, Spark Math, is aligned with the Ministry of Education (MOE) Singapore's Math curriculum and the United States Common Core State Standards. The program uses technology to epitomise Singapore Math's concrete, pictorial and abstract approach to technology. Interactive hands-on learning, animated content, gamified exercises and differentiated pacing combined with live instruction by certified teachers, ensures Spark Math students are more engaged, motivated, and achieve better academic results. In the recent Gifted Education Program Screening test conducted in Singapore, 87.5% of Spark Math students passed the test, which is more than 8 times the pass rate of Singapore's national average. Allschool Allschool is an innovative online platform connecting educators and students around the world. With award-winning, purpose-built teaching and learning technologies, Allschool empowers teachers to create and deliver uniquely interactive classes across a wide variety of subjects and topics. Gamified and interactive classes such as Virtual Escape room sessions and Dinosaur explorations are amongst some of its most subscribed classes. On Allschool, parents and students can find hundreds of classes offered by teachers from around the world. With thousands of students attending Allschool classes, teachers can use Classpod, another Spark Education Group product, to easily administer and host small-group, interactive classes. With PowerCourse, our proprietary courseware creation software, educators can easily and efficiently create interactive course content that improves engagement and learning experiences for their students. The platform has received positive reviews with over 97% from users who attended interactive classes. Allschool continues to enhance learning experiences with interactive class offerings in a variety of topics and formats to enable educators and connect them with students around the world. "We are honored to give Spark Education Group this year's award for Best Interactive Learning Experience. It is apparent their products, including VISPARK and Allschool, are designed to actively engage and educate their students. By merging pedagogical expertise with imaginative design and interaction, educators are enabled to achieve quality learning outcomes. We look forward to seeing what other innovation Spark will bring to market in the years ahead." Michael Michalec, the Managing Director at EdTech Asia Spark Education Group is committed to the goal of improving learning experiences and outcomes for students. The group continues to invest in developing expertise and capabilities to stay at the forefront of educational technology development, continuing to experiment and innovate, to inspire a passion for learning and igniting lifelong growth. About Spark Education Group Headquartered in Singapore, Spark Education Group was founded in 2017 by a father who saw the challenges his son faced within a traditional learning environment. He believed that every generation should be better than the last, and that we should work to make the world a better place, especially in making education better for children in the coming generations. Spark Education aims to create the next generation of e-learning through extensive research-based curriculums designed by expert pedagogues. Our products centre around the belief that technology can improve the learning experience and achieve better educational outcomes compared to traditional classroom settings.

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