Tech4Learning is making it easier for schools and districts to get up and running with Wixie by integrating their service with Gaggle’s Partner Program.
Wixie is a student publishing and creativity platform. Gaggle is a safe, online teaching and learning platform for K-12. With this integration, schools and districts will be able to add users to Wixie through their existing Gaggle accounts and provide a Single-Sign-On (SSO) between the two programs.
“If a Gaggle school district buys Wixie , we can now help them set up their Wixie accounts for free. It’s good karma. With partnerships like this one, educators benefit from easier setup and integrated systems,” said Jeff Patterson, Gaggle’s CEO and founder.
“When platforms are integrated with one another, students and staff have a more seamless experience with the technology and can focus on classroom learning and the curriculum,” shared David Wagner, CEO of Tech4Learning.
Once the connection has been, schools and districts will be able to manage Wixie through their Gaggle account while Wixie will automatically keep the data up-to-date. The integration creates efficiencies for schools and districts by only needing to update one system.
Specifically created for K-12, Gaggle features built-in processes and classroom workflows designed to promote educator and student productivity. Teachers can easily create, assign, collect and correct assignments on their schedule, while promoting student engagement and embracing the benefits of social networking in a safe and controlled environment.
Gaggle has won numerous industry awards, including District Administration Magazine 2013 Readers’ Choice Top 100 Product and a 2012 CODiE Award Winner for Best Cross-Curricular Solution. For more information, visit gaggle.net or call 800-288-7750
The New York City Department of Education has awarded Tech4learning the contract to deliver high-quality professional development to private schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn, which services over 30,000 students in the Brooklyn and Queens areas of New York City.
Over 200 days of staff development and on-site coaching will be provided to schools participating in this Title III grant-funded opportunity as they work to utilize student-created multimedia to enhance learning at all stages of language acquisition.
Tech4Learning has been under contract with New York City to deliver high-quality professional development for over ten years, serving schools directly and supporting educational grants received by the Department of Education.
“Tech4Learning is excited to partner with the Diocese of Brooklyn to expand the capacity of schools and strengthen instruction aimed at supporting English language acquisition,” shares Tech4Learning Director of Professional Development, Melinda Kolk. “Our focus on student-created multimedia and past professional development experiences with both public and private schools in New York City give us a unique expertise we can use to help the Diocese achieve their learning goals for all students."
Schools participating in the professional development will also receive copies of Tech4Learning Imagination Suite to ensure they have multimedis tools in place for student project work. The Imagination Suite includes Pixie,Share, and Frames.
To learn more about using multimedia to support English Language Acquisition, download Tech4Learning's free English Language Acquisition Resource Kit.
Tech4Learning announces the release of Share 4.1, an update to its award-winning project authoring tool.
Share helps students demonstrate mastery of the curriculum through performance tasks that combine text, graphics, movies, and animations into web sites, digital portfolios, brochures, and now eBooks! Share 4.1 also adds integration with Google Drive allowing users to gather resources, store project work, publish finished products using Google’s cloud service.
“Adding ePub export, along with the existing HTML5 and PDF, adds yet another real-world publishing option for student work,” explains Melinda Kolk, Director of Professional Learning at Tech4Learning. “Now students using Windows PCs have a powerful authoring tool for creating their own interactive iBooks, whether they are original stories, animated text books, or multimedia magazines; something that previously could only be easily done on a Mac.”
“The integration with Google Drive provides a seamless connection between researching, creating, and sharing,” shares Tech4Learning CEO, David Wagner. “With Share 4.1, students can gather their images, movies, and sounds for their projects and drag them in right from the Library. They can also save Share files to their Google Drive so they can work on projects from school and home.”
Laura Spencer, Coordinator of Instructional Technology for Santee School District in California explains, “When students share their knowledge and understanding by producing authentic products, they are engaged in learning and gain essential digital age communication skills. Share is a must have 21st century tool!”
Learn more about Share
Started in 1999, Pics4Learning is a safe, free image library for education. Pics4Learning is designed to make it easy for teachers and students to find and use copyright-friendly photos and images for classroom displays, multimedia projects, web sites, videos, portfolios, and more.
Recent updates to Pics4Learning make the layout easier to navigate, make more connections to curriculum, and make searches faster and more accurate.
Some of the most popular collections are now on the home page with previews of the types of images included in the collection to make it easier for users to get to the content they need.
Lesson Plans for Visual Learning
Pics4Learning now includes lesson plans that help students meet Common Core State Standards. Lessons include links to collections of images that support student work in areas like symmetry, ancient civilizations, and the rainforest.
Changes to the search algorithms make it easier for students to find images on Pics4Learing for their projects and provide better results for multiple word searches, like Big Ben, Ayers Rock, and George Washington. Categories and subcategories now also include images, so young children don’t need to read to find the image they need.
The Pics4Learning collection contains over 36000 images thanks to professional and amateur photographers, as well as students and teachers who contribute their work to the collection.
Thanks to these contributors, the Pics4Learning collection of copyright-friendly images for education keeps getting better and better!
Tech4Learning’s Share 4 multimedia authoring tool wins ComputED Gazette EDDIE Award for Best Educational Software in the category of Middle School Project Authoring. The EDDIE Awards target "innovative and content-rich programs and websites that augment the classroom curriculum."
Share is Tech4Learning’s authoring tool for secondary students. Share lets students combine text, graphics, movies, and animations to demonstrate mastery of the Common Core State Standards and make "strategic use of digital media."
“It is great to see Share 4 win in the ‘Project Authoring’ category, since it is such a powerful tool for authoring so many different types of products,” shares Melinda Kolk, Director of Professional Development for Tech4Learning. “Students can use it to teach something, raise awareness, or change someone’s mind by crafting an interactive story, animated process, or printed product like a poster, brochure, or comic.”
“I use Share to help support the Common Core curriculum in the regular classrooms,” explains computer lab teacher Ingrid Griffin. “All of Share's features have the ability for the students to edit and go beyond the basic, allowing for higher level thinking. It is the tool I used most often with the largest number of students as it gives me the flexibility to customize the difficulty of my lessons for each grade level.”
Share 4 is available for Windows and Macintosh. Schools and educational organizations can take advantage of volume licensing through Tech4Learning.
Tech4Learning’s Pixie for iPad wins ComputED Gazette EDDIE Award for Best Educational Software in the category of Multimedia Creation for Early Elementary.
The review declares that the Pixie app for iPad goes “beyond what one expects of the standard creativity program.” The EDDIE Awards target "innovative and content-rich programs and websites that augment the classroom curriculum."
Pixie is Tech4Learning’s authoring tool for the elementary classroom, designed to provide students with tools to share knowledge, communicate ideas, and demonstrate understanding through a combination of text, original artwork, photos, and voice narration.
The Pixie by Tech4Learning app was developed to extend this powerful learning opportunity to more students. Pixie by Tech4Learning is available for iOS for iPad 2, as well as for tablets running Android and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD.
“We have been developing Pixie for over ten years and are excited to extend its engaging tools to new devices like the iPad,” shares David Wagner, CEO of Tech4Learning. “Hundreds of thousands of students have loved creating curriculum projects with Pixie and we are looking forward to seeing the projects of the next one hundred thousand, no matter what device they are using!”
“Elementary students in Manor love Pixie, and now that they can access Pixie on their iPads they love it even more!” explains Angela Matthews, Chief Technology Officer at Manor ISD. “Creativity is no longer tied to a computer lab and now extends to the playground and field trips where students immediately import pictures they take with their iPads and add their voice to narrate and the drawing tools to annotate the photos. Many times after a field trip, the presentation of what they saw and learned is complete by the time the bus gets back to campus.”
Pixie by Tech4Learning is available through the Apple App Store for iPad, through Google Play for Android and through the Amazon App Store for Kindle Fire HD.
It really is. What makes Pixie 4 the best ever are all the little things we added that people have been asking for. It may look really similar, but there are a lot of reasons it is just plain better.
Let’s start with the export. I love ePub3. It has a lot of potential. Unfortunately right now, only iBooks really makes it shine. But hey, how many “not-an-iPad” are schools really buying right now?
Playing a student created eBook back in iBooks is the closest you can get to the same experience as watching it in Pixie. And when parents put it on their iPads, kids can show it to everyone they meet. Pass it around the table at Thanksgiving, the family will be amazed. I know mine is. My son Iain is 7 and the perfect age to be authoring his own illustrated iBooks in Pixie.
People wanted to be able to add hyperlinks to instructions so kids could be guided to appropriate research. It was our most popular request and now they can. The library search is smarter so kids can more easily find the things that they are looking for. Printing is greatly improved with new Avery print layouts, a multi-page preview, printing page numbers, and choosing specific pages to print.
And Pixie is easier to use and touch. A lot more things happen on a single click or tap to make it easier for younger students to navigate. It is easier to add backgrounds to existing pages and import pages from Pics4learning or from activities.
We have spent the last two years bringing first Share and now Pixie up-to-date with the latest software sandbox and security standards. We isolated memory intensive tasks like video export so they are much less likely to crash Pixie. We identified the most commonly reported errors by our users in 2013 and have fixed them.Pixie opens bigger files. We are always amazed when people send us files saying “my computer runs out of memory before it can open this file.” Then we open the file and it is huge. It has way more pages and content than we ever expected. With Pixie 4 we have re-engineered how Pixie opens files so it can open and edit files much larger than were possible before.
Will there still be errors? Of course there will, there is no such things as software without errors. But there are a lot fewer, and let me tell you, what kids were doing to create these errors caught us by surprise. It is quite a learning experience. While you will never “see” most of this work, it is some of the most important aspects of the Pixie 4 upgrade. It will make sure Pixie works for you now, and well into the future.
This new Pixie really is the best one we have done. I have said that with every version, and probably will say it with the next. But, this version of Pixie is really special. I know you will like it.
David Wagner, CEO
If you have been using the Pixie by Tech4Learning app or Wixie app on your iPad, Android tablet, or Kindle Fire HD, you may have seen the recent update notification.
As we mentioned in the recent Wixie update, both Wixie and the Pixie app can now export to the ePub format! This is a great way to share and show off student writing, including voice narration, especially if you are using an ePub reader like iBooks.
Other helpful features include:
- default library category for activities
- export full-page images as transparent PNG files
- touch-friendly delete button on object
You should also notice improved performance when using the spray tool and moving/copying/pasting objects! The updates include several other behind-the-scenes changes that should make your app experience with Pixie and Wixie even better!
Tech4Learning released another update to Wixie, its cloud-based authoring tool. This update adds some great new features to the student authoring application, including:
- ePub3 export
- Transparent PNG export
- The ability to set a default library category for projects
- A delete button on objects
The way fonts, colors, and bold, italic, and underline styles are applied to text objects is also more like Pixie.
Another great new feature is improved search results in the library. Multiple word searches such as Big Ben, black dog, purple flower, New York City, and George Washington return far fewer and hopefully much more desired results. This is also true if you use Pixie, Frames, or Share, as well as Wixie!
This update is available in the browser version right now and should be available as an update to the Wixie apps for iPad, Android, and Kindle in about a week.
The Pixie app (Pixie by Tech4Learning on iPad) will also get most of these new features, except for default library category, at about the same time as the Wixie app.
You can see the details on the release notes when you log in to your Wixie account!
Tech4Learning has updated Wixie to include tools that help teachers combine assignments and assessments to evaluate student performances for Common Core Standards.
Wixie is a cloud-based tool students can use to paint pictures, write stories, and record their voice to explore the curriculum and demonstrate mastery. Teachers can log in to find, create, or assign new activities, evaluate student work, and view student progress toward standards mastery.
Using the updated Wixie dashboard, teachers can now create, modify, and assign assessments to activities and original student work. “Wixie is the perfect tool for today’s digital learners, who need to create, not just consume,” explains David Wagner, CEO of Tech4Learning. “Wixie's new evaluation tools now provide a concrete way to evaluate these student performances and demonstrations of understanding.”
Wixie comes with a library of hundreds of activities that include appropriate assessments, such as rubrics or Done-Try Again evaluations, as well as correlations to Common Core Standards. Teachers can use or customize these, as well as create their own.
“Teachers can start by exploring and assigning standards-based activities from the library, or jump in and design open-ended projects with comprehensive performance assessments,” shares Melinda Kolk, Director of Curriculum at Tech4Learning. “Wixie includes an entire system teachers can use to plan, implement, and evaluate student work!”
To learn more about the student authoring and teacher tools available in Wixie, visit: www.tech4learning.com/wixie