The EdScoops for October 26

You know the devastation that Hurricane Michael had on the Florida panhandle this month.  Here at MDR, we speak to schools every day, all day, and this impacted region of the U.S. has been top on our list. In this week’s scoops, I’ve included some comments we’ve been hearing from schools in the impacted areas.  We encourage marketers to be aware and thoughtful of the challenges these schools are facing, and encourage brands, companies and/or causes to consider the needs of these communities as they think about their philanthropic and charitable giving.

Giving Back

We’re heading into the season of giving, specifically giving back.  In speaking with the school community affected by Hurricane Michael’s impact, we’d like to share some of the things we’ve heard with our valued readers in the event your product or service could help them in some way and provide relief.  Every little bit helps…it’s good for your brand, good for the schools, and good for the kids. Everything we do collectively is in support of the school community.  Check out the comments below and see how your product or service could help in some way.

  • First and secondary schools are splitting the day to attend classes – the elementary school students are attending in the morning and the high school students are attending in the afternoon.
  • School buildings are in horrible condition – Many schools need to be totally rebuilt or refurbished with timelines of over 6 months to before they are accessible.
  • Public libraries are being used as a central hub for the communities – internet connectivity, Red Cross relief, shelters/etc.
  • Areas are completely unreachable with many disconnected telephone numbers.
  • Children cannot carry on with their normal day to day, going to school, socializing and learning.

Think about how you can help! 1,325 institutions were impacted across multiple states. For the list of all the specific impacted buildings with zip codes – download hereopens EXCEL file .

Great Read

Educational expert and learning specialist Dana Stahl, M.Ed. recently released a practical guide to help parents understand various learning disabilities and behaviors that they may observe at home and hear about from their children’s teachers. Published by Palmiche Press, Inc., The ABCs of Learning Issues also offers effective teaching strategies that can be used in school and at home, and a list of professionals who can assist in treating specific learning issues. I found it very informative!  Thank you for sharing.  Check it out >>


Big congrats to Dr. Marina Bers for being named the new department chair of the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University. This appointment puts Dr. Bers at the forefront of one of the country’s leading departments researching the impact of computational thinking and coding education on early childhood. Dr. Bers has designed several programs for children in pre-K through 2nd grade, including the KIBO robot and ScratchJr, a visual, block-based programming language for tablets. She believes that coding can be presented in a playful context, merging STEM/STEAM with social-emotional learning. Wishing the best of luck! Read more >>

ISTE and LearnPlatform Announce Partnership to Enhance Access to Comprehensive EdTech Management & ESSA Reporting
LearnPlatform’s edtech management and rapid-cycle evaluation improves districts’ capacity to access and analyze information about product usage and impact

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and LearnPlatform have announced a partnership designed to enhance the use of high quality research and data-driven insights to inform improved edtech impact and decisions for district leaders, educators and product developers. The partnership expands upon the previous introduction of the ISTE Edtech Advisor powered by LearnPlatform, which was launched as an exclusive ISTE member benefit at the organization’s annual conference in June. This expanded partnership provides ISTE members with access to free resources, as well as a 10 percent discount for members and their districts on paid subscriptions to LearnPlatform, the comprehensive edtech management and rapid-cycle evaluation system. Read the full announcement >>opens PDF file

The Reading League to Honor Dr. Louisa Moats with First-Time Award

Dr. Louisa Moats, a nationally recognized literacy expert, will be honored by The Reading League with the Benita A. Blachman Award for Advancing Evidence into Practice. The award will be presented to Dr. Moats, the first-ever recipient of the honor, by Dr. Blachman on Tuesday (Oct. 30) at The Reading League’s second annual conference at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown.  Read the full announcement >>

Mightifier and Sunburst Digital Partner to Bring Innovative Finnish Education Technology Solution for Social and Emotional Learning to U.S. Schools
Minister of Education of Finland hosts U.S. roundtable to discuss key education topics, including anti-bullying and building positive school culture

Finnish education technology company Mightifier is launching its positive school culture program to elementary schools across the U.S. through its partnership with Sunburst Digital. Mightifier is part of Sunburst’s SafeSchools brand, an initiative designed to support urgent priorities in social and emotional learning (SEL), mental health, and school safety.  Co-created with Finnish teachers, school leaders, and students, Mightifier is based on research in the fields of positive psychology, effective peer-to-peer feedback, and character building. Students master active empathy while giving positive feedback to one another based on 27 research-backed character strengths, including teamwork, self-regulation, social intelligence, honesty, and compassion. Read the full press release >>

Other Education Industry Updates

Willo Labs Updates Bring New Controls to Student Data Sharing Between Digital Course Content and the Learning Management System
As the tech explosion brings more devices and digital content to education, Willo Labs gives added protection to student data and student privacy in K-12 and higher education with encryption technology exceeding industry standards

Today, 78 percent of college freshman use digital course materials leaving campus leaders with a significant challenge in managing private student data being shared with third parties. Willo Labs–the cloud-based platform for integrating digital course materials with campus Learning Management Systems (LMS) per the GDPR global privacy standards–has released new privacy updates for this Fall semester. These updates enable colleges to offer and manage instructor and student consent options, at scale, in sharing data and protecting student privacy. Read the full press release >>

Edgenuity’s New Redesigned Student Experience Strengthens Engagement through Personalized Learning
Enhancements provide easier navigation with data and insights to help students succeed

Edgenuity, a provider of online curriculum and instructional services for the K-12 market, has announced a redesigned student interface to enable students to take ownership of their learning. Built with the input of thousands of students and teachers, the new Student Experience is designed to make it easier for students to see due dates, understand their progress across courses, access feedback on assignments and communicate with their teachers. Read the full press release >>

Follett Supports Safe Schools by Partnering with CrisisGo
‘Safe Classroom’ solution provides emergency alerting communication system

In support of making every staff member, teacher and student safer at their schools, Follett announced it is partnering with CrisisGo to sponsor the release of their Safe Classroom product to PreK-12 Schools nationwide free of charge. Supported by the School Superintendents Association (AASA), Safe Classroom is an emergency alert crisis management application for PreK-12 schools that allows building staff to send an audible alert, enable two-way communications to every computer or mobile device in the school, and automatically escalate to the appropriate first responders. CrisisGo’s customer base includes more than 14,000 schools and organizations, including large districts such as Boston Public Schools, and its Safe Classroom product is currently in more than 6,000 buildings as part of an arrangement with the AASA. Read the full release >>

LearnLaunch Institute and MIT Open Learning unveiled the agenda for the 7th annual Across Boundaries Conference, January 31-February 1, 2019 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.

The Across Boundaries Conference explores the thriving education innovation sector from the viewpoint of one of its global hubs, Boston. Across Boundaries brings together educators, entrepreneurs, investors, and education professionals from across the ecosystem, early childhood through K-12, higher education, and workforce development, to discuss the critical challenges and opportunities around technology in education. Learn more about the Across Boundaries Conference >>

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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