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January e-ClassNotes

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J A N U A R Y   2  0  1  5

Seeking Advice From….YOU!

Join our Educator Advisory Board! We’re looking for a variety of educators interested in becoming part of an active professional community and using their expertise to help shape our products. Advisors will provide feedback and share best practices on our new learning games and programs. Member benefits include early previews to new games and lesson plans, free access to Classroom, Inc. learning games and resources, and a stipend for providing feedback on all aspects of our programs during the design and development process. If you are interested in joining our Educator Advisory Board, please complete our informational form by Friday, February 13, 2015. For any questions, please email teachervoice@classroominc.org

Every Child Matters: A Reflection on the State of the Union

I want our actions to tell every child, in every neighborhood: your life matters, and we are as committed to improving your life chances as we are for our own kids.” President Obama closed the 2015 State of the Union address with this powerful statement.

At Classroom, Inc. we believe that at the core of improving life chances—the core of opportunity—is access to high-quality education. We live and breathe this mantra on a daily basis as we address our nation’s literacy crisis. This idea that every child must have an opportunity to succeed in school, work, and life is the foundation for nearly all the decisions we make at Classroom, Inc.

Read the complete blog post.

Digital Learning Day is Around the Corner!

We know we’re just barely into 2015. But Digital Learning Day on March 13 will be here before we know it. Mark your calendars for the nationwide celebration of instructional technology. More than 30,000 educators, school administrators, librarians, and parents—all of varying comfort levels with digital learning—will partake in the day. Go ahead, start planning an event for your community. And be on the lookout for more emails from us as the day gets closer!

We’re Hiring

Know of a fundraising candidate with a couple years of experience? Please share the open position with your network:

Thirst for Learning Games at FETC

We just wrapped up a week at FETC, the largest annual edtech conference that convenes each January in sunny Orlando. We put the spotlight on After the Storm: The Daily Byte at three different sessions.

Christina Oliver, vice president of partnerships, and Anne Richards, vice president of product development, started the week by participating in the Playful Learning workshop, led by BrainPOP and Learning Games Network—a free day of professional development around integrating games in the classroom. Christina compared the experience to last year’s FETC; she noted that there is a significant increase in the thirst for digital content in the form of learning games. (You don’t have to just take our word for it, read more about the growing movement in the Games & Learning Publishing Council’s Level Up Learning report.) And while we know there is such potential for game-based learning to transform instruction, teachers need help understanding how games: improve engagement; provide a level of personalization for each student; provide useable, actionable data; reinforce the content being taught; and save precious time, especially around differentiating content.

Later in the week, Christina led a session about After the Storm: The Daily Byte to show how a literacy learning game can both engage and educate students. On the last day of the conference, Anne partnered with our friends at BrainPOP, FableVision Studios, and the Learning Games Network to explain the process of creating After the Storm from development to dissemination.

FETC was an important reminder that we can help all students experience (as opposed to receive) learning in completely new ways. As an organization, we are particularly excited because we sit at the intersection of merging the power of games with formative assessment, while helping students make connections to the real world beyond the classroom.

For more on how FETC helped spotlight the innovative ways edtech is being used in schools, take a read of SmartBlog’s recap.

What we're reading

Check out the full list of news, blogs, and reports that caught our eye this month in our January RoundUP.

Majority of US Public School Students in Poverty, Washington PostFor the first time in 50 years, the majority of students in public schools come from low-income families, as measured by the school lunch program, the federal proxy for poverty.

Communication Gaps Dog Efforts to Use Games in Classrooms, Games + Learning: Jordan Shapiro says that while teachers and administrators always express excitement for adopting games in classrooms, there is a significant lack of communication that leads to the ultimate failure of adopting new innovations.

White House Proposes Community College for Free, Chronicle of Higher EducationIn big news this month, President Obama has outlined a plan to make the first two years of community college free for qualifying students. Modeled after the Tennessee Promise, the program would be paid for by mostly federal funds.

We’re making our plans for various events over the next couple months. Want to meet up with us?

Email: CInewsletter@classroominc.org

Tweet at us: @ClassroomInc

edSurge Tech for Schools Summit:Baltimore, MD, Feb. 28
SXSWedu:Austin, TX, March 9-12
Teaching & Learning:Washington, DC, March 13-14
Sandbox Summit:Cambridge, MA, March 23-24