News Feature | January 10, 2014

Education IT News For VARs — January 10, 2014

Bernadette Wilson

By Bernadette Wilson

Publishers Pressured To Adopt Interoperability Standards For Digital Educational Content

In the news, Knewton and Cengage partner to enhance a platform with adaptive learning, schools are finding “assistive” uses for technology, and a new platform assesses and provides feedback on written assignments.

Knewton, Cengage Partner To Offer Adaptive Learning

Knewton, an adaptive learning company, and Cengage Learning, an educational publisher, will partner to bring Knewton’s API to Cengage’s MindTap higher education platform for management and sociology. This will give professors real-time analytics on student performance.

Your Education Customers Can Find “Assistive” Uses For Technology

An article details how the Arizona Department of Education is equipping some students with “assistive technology.” Examples include a student with cerebral palsy using a word processor, keyboards for students who have difficulty swiping a tablet’s touch screen, or even low-tech pencil grips and slant boards to facilitate writing. The department used a $265,000 federal grant among its schools to fund the technology.  The article quotes Kristen Hartsuff, a district special-education director, “If you give the kid the correct tool, they don’t need to be in (self-contained) special-education classes. They can be in mainstream classes.”

New Platform Grades Written Work

In an interview with Education Dive, Peter Murphy, CEO of Vantage Learning, says his company has developed a solution that can grade written work. He discusses how the platform evolved, features of Vantage’s essay scoring technology, and its use in adaptive learning environments.

NJ State Bill Would Require School Security Upgrades

An article, reports the New Jersey Senate approved a bill that would make emergency lights and alarms linked to local law enforcement mandatory in the state’s elementary and high schools. The bill was introduced in January 2013, shortly after the shootings in Newtown, CT, and the state House has passed an identical bill.

Education IT Talking Points

The American Interest’s blog explores the idea of a future step in (massive open online courses) MOOCs: virtual labs. If developed, students could perform experiments remotely on their computers.  

A StudyBlue infographic featured in Edudemic summarizes how students are using smartphones. In addition to texting, photos, and social media, students are also using their phones to take tests, study, research, and track their progress and grades.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Education IT Resource Center.