Dallas ISD Partners With Presence Learning to Provide Students With Live Online Speech-Language Therapy Services

Dallas Independent School District (ISD)—the second-largest school district in Texas, which serves approximately 153,000 students—has partnered with PresenceLearning Inc., a leading provider of live online special education- related services to K–12 schools, to provide online speech-language therapy services to its students. Using the company’s proprietary platform and network of certified clinicians, the district will provide teletherapy support services for 515 elementary and secondary students across 30 campuses. “Due to the nationwide shortage of licensed speech-language pathologists, we needed to find new and innovative ways to ensure our students would receive necessary services and that we, as a district, would meet evaluation timelines,” says Kristin Davis, director of districtwide services at Dallas ISD. “This is why we are turning to teletherapy as a supplemental support to the on-site services we provide. We are very excited to push this initiative forward in partnership with PresenceLearning.”

Swing Education Named Best Hiring Solution by EdTech Digest

Swing Education, the online staffing application for substitute teachers, has been recognized for its innovative use of technology and its impact on education. The company recently won a 2020 EdTech Award from EdTech Digest for its industry-leading staffing application for substitute teachers. The company was named “Best Hiring Solution” by the long-standing awards program, which recognizes, acknowledges, and celebrates the exceptional innovators, leaders, and trendsetters in education technology. “Our end-to-end, tech-enabled service has provided substitute teachers with job opportunities at more than 2,500 schools,” says Mike Teng, CEO of Swing Education. “We are committed to supporting our substitute teachers as well as our school partners in every way possible—both during school closures and once in-person school resumes. This support is at the heart of what we do, and we’re honored to be recognized for it.”

PBLWorks Creates Online Course for Project-Based Learning

PBLWorks, the leading provider of professional development for high-quality project-based learning (PBL), has created an online course to help teachers who are interested in PBL gain the knowledge and teaching practices to become a project-based teacher.

The eight-week facilitated course, “Becoming a Project- Based Teacher,” provides participants with a grounding in the PBLWorks Gold Standard PBL Teaching Practices—informed by educational research and the experiences of more than 100,000 teachers trained by PBLWorks. Instructors are expert PBLWorks national faculty members who will lead a mix of live sessions as well as lessons that participants complete on their own. Participants have the option to earn one graduate-level professional development credit.

For more information about the “Becoming a Project-Based Teacher” course, visit www.pblworks.org/online-course/becoming-pbl-teacher.

Georgia College Team Creates Virtual Reality ‘Field Trips’

Georgia College professor Chris Greer and graduate student Hannah Jones have created a new YouTube channel that brings tourist locations to life across the state, allowing students of all ages to enjoy field trips—without leaving the classroom or home. “The end game is to have sites from all over Georgia. From state parks to museums, we hope to make these sites available to K–12 teachers and students as well as the general public,” says Greer, who serves in instructional technology in Georgia College’s Department of Learning and Innovation. His YouTube channel, Virtual Reality Georgia, is one of the first to highlight locations in Georgia using virtual reality. So far, field trip sites include the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historic Park, Tubman Museum, Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion, Andalusia (home of Flannery O’Connor), Smithgall Woods State Park, Pebble Hill Plantation, Lapham-Patterson House State Historic Site, Flint RiverQuarium, Hardman Farm State Historic Site, and Dungeness Ruins. “For the videos, we look for the most engaging spot,” says Jones. “We try to tell every guide to talk to the camera like a group of students in third grade.” The videos can be watched without VR goggles, but the experience is much more immersive with them.

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