Oser Communications Group

FETC 2014 EdTech Show Daily Jan 31

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An interview with Alan Tortolani, Founder, ABCya.com. ESD: Tell our readers about your company. AT: ABCya.com is a teacher-created company that pro- vides educational games and activities for kids in ele- mentary grades. The website has over 175 activities, cat- egorized by grade level and content area, and is com- pletely free to use. We also have a number of top-selling, award-wining apps available in the iTunes App Store and Google Play. Millions of people visit the website annually, and several of our mobile apps are best sellers. ESD: What would you say makes your company unique? AT: I think the story of how the company came to be makes it unique, in that it was never intended to be a business. In 2004, during my first year as a computer teacher in an elementary school, I had a difficult time finding good, free educational games on the web to be used in my computer lab. Frustrated by the lack of avail- FREE EDUCATIONAL GAMES FROM ABCYA.COM An interview with Bob Holl, President and Co-Founder of Learning A-Z. ESD: Tell our readers about your compa- ny. What's your main line of business? BH: We started Learning A-Z in 2002, because we saw a growing gap between what K–6 teachers needed to be successful and what they had. Teachers need flexible, affordable resources to differentiate instruction and the Web allowed us to do that in a new way. Our first website, ReadingA-Z.com, was followed by four more websites: Raz-Kids.com, ScienceA-Z.com, WritingA-Z.com and Vocabulary A-Z.com. ESD: What makes your company unique? BH: Unlike traditional print publishers, we add new content and features to our websites every month, mean- ing we evolve alongside the marketplace. Plus, every- thing is available online—anytime, anywhere. This accessibility is critical, both for teachers and students. To top it off, access to any of our five websites only Kaplan Elementary's Partner, Developer Melissa Pickering, is founder of iCreate to Educate. ESD: Tell us about yourself. MP: I am the Founder/CEO of iCreate to Educate, a small learning company in Boston that engages kids with simple tools to blend hands-on exploration with digital creativity. My goal is simple: to unleash the imaginations of kids in homes and classrooms around the world. ESD: Was there a particular instance or event that got you interested in technology? MP: I first became interested in technology through an intro to mechanical engineering course. We were chal- lenged to create various types of robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS and program them to achieve tasks. From that point on I became involved in leading similar activities in local K–12 classrooms. ESD: What led you to this career path? When did you By Sheila Veschusio, Ergotron Education Industry Manager With deadlines approaching, Florida schools are gearing up to decide how they will best deliver on the 2014 Florida e- Reader Initiative. Governor Rick Scott is fueling the ini- tiative through funding specifically for digital content to make e-readers available to students in all of Florida's public schools. "We've seen isolated cases of schools issuing dig- ital learning materials via platforms like Kindle or iPad," said Sheila Veschusio, Education Industry Manager at Ergotron. "But with the decision to choose devices being left to the schools, it will be interesting to see which platforms—Kindle, iPad ® , Chromebooks, Android™ or Windows ® 8 devices—will lead the way with Florida teachers." Whether the implementations take the form of 1:1, 1:many deployment, or a combination of both depending on students' grade level, schools will face new technology dilemmas, like how to keep devices charged and fully functional across the school on a daily basis. Since e-reader use extends out beyond the Education is changing. Influences like technol- ogy, Common Core, accountability, data-driven instruction and personalized learning are driving increased resource demands and complexity in school environments. The focus is on the "new, shiny objects" that will "make everyone's life better." What is often overlooked is the support needed for schools and their stakeholders to make these signif- icant transitions. Technology is a key component needed to deliver on the influences above and the promise of improving student outcomes. However, at every level of the educa- tion system, technology readiness varies widely—from classroom to classroom, home to home, district to dis- trict, state to state. As a result, important decisions quickly become complex. Is the infrastructure in our system sufficient to handle the online initiatives we are putting in place? If it is inconsistent, how do we manage providing equiv- alent education while still leveraging the advantages that come along with technology? What is the best method and timing for transitioning from paper-based to online classroom assessments and curriculum? How Continued on Page 29 An interview with Ed Harvey, CEO, Advanced Training & Learning Technology (AT<), LLC. ESD: Tell our readers about your company. What's your main line of business? EH: Advanced Training & Learning Technology, or AT<, builds educational and training applications. Our current products include integrated technology solu- tions to help students master math skills using assess- ment and guided practice. The products are innovative, efficient and engaging through the use of both video game and online technologies. We are also exploring training solutions for medical/healthcare systems, ener- gy and financial literacy. ESD: What products are you showcasing at the FETC 2014 event? EH: It's all about math. We've got two great products: Pi and the Lost Function [PLF], and Mission:RECON. PLF is a great technology bundle that includes a comprehensive, Continued on Page 29 Continued on Page 29 Continued on Page 23 Continued on Page 29 Continued on Page 23 FLEXIBLE, AFFORDABLE RESOURCES FROM LEARNING A-Z ENCOURAGE CREATIVE THINKING WITH ICREATE NAVIGATING THE WINDS OF DIGITAL CHANGE ERGOTRON DEVICE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS HAVE A PLACE IN 2014 FLORIDA E-READER INITIATIVE MASTER MATH SKILLS WITH AT< O s e r C o m m u n i c a t i o n s G ro u p O rl a n d o Fri d a y, J a n u a r y 3 1 , 2 0 1 4

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