The EdScoops for August 3

There are lots of great things going on in our industry and each week I look forward to sharing them with you.  This week, I have to take a step back from that and share sad news while reflecting on a well-known person our industry most recently lost.  We are mourning the untimely death of Doug Kubach, who dedicated his professional life to education. His work was bettering education through breakthroughs in technology and assessment. He was an industry expert for educational technology and assessment businesses. Until 2016, he was President and CEO of NCS Pearson and Pearson School.  He was widely respected by the education sector across America and around the globe. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends during this difficult time and we hope solace can be found in knowing the positive impact Doug had on the world during his time.

Now, on to this round of scoops…


Amy O’Leary Begins Term as President of the NAEYC Governing Board

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is announced that on June 1, 2018, Amy O’Leary of Boston began her term as President of the Governing Board. Amy O’Leary is director of Early Education for All, a campaign of Strategies for Children, an advocacy and policy organization that works to ensure to ensure that Massachusetts invests the resources needed for all children, from birth to age five, to access high-quality early education programs that prepare them for success in school and life. Amy also serves on the adjunct faculty at Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development and Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester. Amy is a member of Massachusetts Early Literacy Expert Panel, the Massachusetts Birth through Grade 3 Advisory Group, and the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care Advisory Committee.

CDI Receives Award from Microsoft for Deploying More than 1 Million OS Licenses
CDI is among only three Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers worldwide to earn this recognition

CDI Computer Dealers, a leading provider of technology to schools, has earned an award from Microsoft for deploying more than 1 million OS licenses in North America. CDI’s President, Erez Pikar, accepted the award during the Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher (MAR) Summit in Toronto. CDI has been a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher since 2010. CDI partners with educators across schools and districts in North America to deploy and support technology in the classroom. The company provides student and teacher devices, a wide range of classroom technology and accessories, deployment services and warranty programs. CDI’s recertified devices go through a rigorous 12-step recertification process. To date, CDI has deployed more than 2.5 million recertified computers and notebooks into K-12 schools at significantly lower prices than brand new units. Read full press release >>

Other Education Industry Updates

Follett Acquires Fishtree Adaptive Learning Platform
Adds Personalized Learning Platform to Follett’s Leading Content and Data Services for Schools and Districts

Follett announced that it has acquired Fishtree, a leading adaptive learning platform that streamlines both the technical integration and educational adoption of personalized learning in school classrooms. Follett will integrate the machine-based learning tools of Fishtree within Follett’s industry leading Destiny content and resource management platform used by more than 70,000 schools and school districts across North America. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.  Read the full press release >>

RealNetworks Provides SAFR Facial Recognition Solution for Free to Every K-12 School in the U.S. and Canada
Secure, Accurate Facial Recognition (SAFR) to enhance school safety

RealNetworks, Inc. (NASDAQ: RNWK), a leader in digital media software and services, announced the free and immediate availability of SAFR™ for K-12, an AI and machine learning based facial recognition solution to help enhance safety in over 100,000 K-12 schools in the United States and Canada. At no cost, and for the first time, K-12 schools can now confidently apply state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to better protect the school environment. SAFR for K-12 can be downloaded by schools beginning today at SAFR currently supports Mac and iOS platforms, with Android and Windows versions scheduled for release this fall. Read the full press release >>


Discovery Education Adds Engaging New Content Supporting Social Studies, the Earth Sciences and More to Award-Winning Digital Services
Immersive New Content Empowers Educators to Create Dynamic Digital Learning Environments for All Students

Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, announced it has added a host of new digital assets to its award-winning supplemental and digital textbook services. The recently-added content empowers educators to create dynamic digital learning environments that support social studies, life and earth sciences, social and emotional learning, and more.

Among the new resources added to Discovery Education’s digital services are:
• New Content Supporting Social Studies and the Earth Sciences: Two new video series produced by Discovery Education were added to the company’s digital services and are now available to help educators engage students in social studies and science education.  Learn more >>

Upcoming Webinar

Kalamazoo Youth Development Network’s Social-Emotional Learning Program Featured in Aug. 15, 2018 Webinar
Webinar by Aperture Education provides advice for schools and out-of-school-time organizations on successfully implementing an SEL plan

More and more schools and-out-of-school-time providers are implementing social emotional learning (SEL) programs to support student success both in and out of the classroom. However successful SEL programs require careful planning and implementation and it may be difficult for some organizations to know where to start. To help organizations on this journey, Aperture Education has partnered with the Kalamazoo Youth Development Network to present a free webinar at 2 p.m. EDT Aug. 15, 2018 highlighting Kalamazoo’s program and providing tips on how to implement a successful SEL plan. To register for the webinar “How to Develop a Sustainable Social Emotional Learning Program (Case Study),” visit

PlayShifu Launches Children’s Augmented Reality Game, Plugo, to Promote Learning
New educational augmented reality gaming system combines physical and digital play to encourage STEM for kids

​To seamlessly blend screentime with learning in the 21st century, PlayShifu introduced Plugo, an immersive, educational AR gaming system that challenges and enhances children’s mental and physical development with STEM integration. PlayShifu launched a Kickstarter campaign in the hopes of raising $25,000 in order to help bring Plugo to families worldwide. The new gaming system includes a base and modular, interchangeable kits such as a steering wheel, a clickable joystick, a set of number blocks and magnetic hexagon building blocks. Each kit comes with its own set of fun games and inherent learning and is compatible with most tablets and smartphones. Multiple gaming options and future expansion packs will give children a new hands-on, portable learning experience every time they play.  Read full press release >>

Simbli Board Management Software Now ADA-Compliant
eBOARDsolutions, makers of Simbli board governance software solution, reinforces its commitment to diversity with ADA web compliance.

eBOARDsolutions is announced that Simbli board management software is now compliant with the latest standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), making it easier for users of all abilities to participate in and stay updated on board activities through the online governance platform. ADA website compliance means boards can be confident that content on their Simbli site is accessible to people with a range of disabilities, as set forth by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).  Read the full press release >>

Swing Education procures $15 mln Series B
San Mateo, California-based Swing Education Inc, an on-demand marketplace for substitute teachers, has secured $15 million in Series B funding

Swing Education, Inc., an on-demand marketplace for substitute teachers, announced its $15 million Series B investment. The round was co-led by GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Owl Ventures. Existing investors Social Capital, Kapor Capital, Moment Ventures, Ulu Ventures, Redhouse Education, and Edovate Capital also participated in the round. Founded in 2015, Swing Education addresses the nationwide substitute teacher shortage by helping schools connect with qualified educators via an online marketplace. On average, U.S. students spend 5% of the typical school year with substitute teachers, which translates to over 6 months of their K-12 school career.  Read the full press release >>

If you are interested in having your scoops shared, please reach out to me at schoolofthought@mdreducation.comcreate new email with the subject of “Scoops.”  Please be sure to include any press links.

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