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Global Grid for Learning Offers Free SSO Ecosystems for Educational Institutions
State Grids Will Expand Access to State-Specific Open Educational Resources Starting This Fall
Alameda, CA – July 1, 2014. EduTone Corporation announced today that with the recent release of version 5 of EduTone XchangeTM (ETXv5), its Global Grid for Learning, previously known for its growing library of 2,000,000+ high quality digital assets licensed from over 50 publishers, will become a free single sign-on (SSO) solution available to educational institutions around the world through regional, statewide and countrywide Grids for Learning, preloaded with the open educational resources (OERs) available and recommended for a given region and an integrated try-and-buy Enterprise SSO Marketplace.
In the U.S., the newly launched State Grids for Learning, built under the Global Grid for Learning umbrella, will be redefining single sign-on for educational institutions by providing them with a single point of access – via web browser or mobile app – from any personal or institution-owned internet-enabled device (Android, Windows, ChromeOS or iOS computers, smart phones or tablets) for all of an educational institution’s existing apps, SaaS tools, digital files and web links. Free and premium versions of State Grids with more features and functionality will soon be available online and through local EduTone sales partners.
“Beginning in the U.S. – with Alabama, California, Florida and Pennsylvania – State Grids for Learning will provide a single point of access to all of a given State’s OERs and publicly-funded educational web services, making access and usage by educators and students easier and more seamless,” explained Robert Iskander, Founder and Chairman of EduTone.
“The integrated Enterprise SSO Marketplace enables educational institutions to allow any group of administrators, teachers and students to try hundreds of popular cloud-based subscription services they might not currently be subscribing to before institutions invest in them. This includes the ability to instantly provision services across the entire institution – or district, or state, or even whole country. All Grids for Learning will also include free access to thousands of assets within our own Digital Content Library as well as our teacher community portal, WeTheTeachers, a growing community of 75,000 educators,” added EduTone CEO Julian Mobbs.
By upgrading to the Premium Edition of their State Grid for Learning, educational institutions can take advantage of a growing library of SSO, provisioning and data integration “Connectors” to enable interoperability and SSO with their existing web-based resources. Educational institutions can also choose to add their own branded online stores to sell merchandise, raise funds and collect payments.
“The State Grids for Learning program enables us to build off of our strong initial traction selling the EduTone Xchange platform in Alabama,” explained Quincy Minor, President of ITS, a local EduTone sales partner. “The new features and functionality, including the Marketplace, mandated state resources and single sign-on connectors for popularly used services will make the Alabama Grid for Learning only more appealing to the schools and educators.”
State Grids for Learning demonstrate the hierarchical and multi-tenant nature of ETXv5. The platform can be deployed across an individual institution, a whole district or region or at a national level, enabling web-based services to be provisioned quickly and efficiently to any end user group or role defined by the institution. State Grids include a limited number of predefined roles; educational institutions can affordably upgrade to the Premium Edition where they can customize roles to meet their needs.
EduTone Redefines Single-Sign On with Version 5.0 of the Award-Winning EduTone Xchange™ Platform
Comprehensive Cloud-Hosted Solution Now Features an Integrated Try-and-Buy Education Enterprise SSO Marketplace
Alameda, CA – June 30, 2014. EduTone Corporation announced today the release of version 5.0 of EduTone XchangeTM (ETXv5), their multiple award-winning single sign-on (SSO) and identity management platform. ETXv5 redefines SSO for educational institutions by providing them a single point of access – via web browser or mobile app – from any personal or institution-owned internet-enabled device (Android, Windows, ChromeOS or iOS computers, smartphones or tablets) for all of an educational institution’s existing apps, SaaS tools, digital files and web links. Now, through the integrated Enterprise SSO Marketplace, educational institutions and their suppliers have the ability to allow any group of administrators, teachers and students to try hundreds of popular subscription-based services they are not currently using before investing in them.
“Technology enables so much – except when it doesn’t. With ETXv5, we’re freeing up even more time for instruction – not to mention budget – and reducing real technical and administrative challenges that schools face today. Through ‘Connectors’ that hook into web-based resources for single sign-on and automated on-demand provisioning, we’re helping to create seamless teaching and learning experiences without the headaches interoperability can cause. And now we’re more scalable than ever – able to turn on our service to millions of users in a matter of hours, not months,” said Robert Iskander, Founder and Chairman of EduTone.
EduTone’s CEO, Julian Mobbs, goes on to explain, “Our new multi-tenant and multi-store Enterprise SSO Marketplace operates much like a shopping mall. It features web-enabled products from third party content and service providers that are grouped inside catalogs within different stores. Each store carries the brand of one of our white label partners. This gives educational institutions and their end users a new streamlined trial, purchase, provisioning and access experience. The pricing model is designed for institutional purchases and distribution, facilitating volume-based and multi-year discounts as well as flexible licensing models per site, user or device.”
In addition to the integrated Enterprise SSO Marketplace, ETXv5 now facilitates the integration of any school or district SIS data with SaaS enterprise applications, by facilitating the upload of school student/staff/courses roster CSV files at no cost to the institution, while providing authorized SaaS vendors – who need to subscribe to such data – customized and secure API-based Connectors for a small fixed annual fee, irrespective of the number of schools they serve.
“We’ve implemented EduTone in two different school settings – one in North Chicago and one on the Pine Ridge Reservation – where students live in communities fraught with poverty and in schools that operate with funding from donations,” said Thomas “TJ” Lynch, who has served as Director of Campus Management at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep in Waukegan, Illinois and Director of Technology at Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. “And we were able to cut costs and upgrade our technology to be top of the line. The kids are the ones who benefit and I’m grateful for the efficiencies EduTone Xchange has provided. It’s a new level of technical competence that school leadership never imagined – all in just a matter of months.”
“SSO, data exchange and identity management are becoming hot topics and we’re proud to be a pioneer in this space. We’re actively expanding through a variety of distribution partnerships and welcome inquiries from potential white label partners who wish to customize ETX to meet the needs of their educational clients,” added Terry Smithson, EduTone’s Senior Vice President of Business Development.
About EduTone Corporation
EduTone simplifies the complex world of interoperability to create seamless teaching and learning experiences that save time, money and administrative headaches. The EduTone XchangeTM (ETX) cloud-based educational ecosystem gives institutions in a given district, region or country a single point of access to all of their web-based resources – via web browser or mobile app – on any personal or institution-owned internet-enabled device (Android, Windows, ChromeOS or iOS computer, smartphone or tablet). Educational institutions can access our services for free via a regional Grid for Learning and upgrade to the Premium Edition through local EduTone sales partners or invest in customized solutions built for white label partners for the educational institutions they serve. ETX is a past triple winner of SIIA’s Codie Award, garnering Best Solution for the K-12, enterprise and education categories. EduTone Corporation is a privately held corporation headquartered in Alameda, California, with affiliated offices in the UK and Australia.
Technology planning and implementation resource recommendations
We’re sharing with you a few of the technology planning and implementation resources that have been recommended by readers of our blogs.
The first of these recommendations comes from Kelly Campbell, web librarian for EducatorLabs in North Carolina, USA. Kelly’s creating a “resource toolkit” for educators – including lesson plans, learning guides, references, field trip suggestions, and more – to help them effectively use technology in the classroom:
We’d love to list your resource recommendations so please do comment on this post.
Major Educational Content Providers Join Forces with Global Grid for Learning
Global Grid for Learning (GGfL), provider of one of the world’s largest collections of digital educational content, today announced it will be adding to its service over 100,000 curriculum resources from Hutchinson Encyclopedia, Audio Network, Amazing People Club, Eye2eye Software, and Geography Photos.
The latest content additions mean GGfL now offers schools access to over 1.5 million digital resources – including videos, interactive activities, images and animations – from 45 trusted providers.
“The ability to access high quality digital resources reliably, quickly and easily is critical for teachers,” said Julian Mobbs, Managing Director of Global Grid for Learning, a wholly owned subsidiary of US-based EduTone. “Often teachers have to cope with content subscriptions from several providers and from locations with different logins. Our latest content providers add tremendous value to GGfL and help us accelerate our mission to provide teachers with a single source for high quality, curriculum-relevant teaching and learning resources, both freely available and paid for, from multiple sources.” He added, “We will be announcing further content acquisitions before January’s BETT Show where we will be showcasing the latest version of our new content service, and demonstrating how it will integrate with our freely available web services, MyCurriculum.com – which GGfL recently acquired from the Qualification and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA) – and Wetheteachers.com, and how it already works seamlessly with the EduTone XchangeTM single sign-on and identity management platform”.
The Hutchinson Encyclopedia represents the UK’s leading single volume encyclopaedia with over 21 million words and over 80,000 reference resources ranging from articles, maps, diagrams, illustrations, audio clips and animations. The extensive resources, provided by Helicon, an RM company, are regularly updated and include timely information, including an article on the recently created country of South Sudan, for instance.
The Audio Network library will add its collection of professional music tracks, used by many of the world’s leading media companies and covering a very wide variety of styles. The resources are intended for use in a variety of educational applications, from drama teachers using sounds to help describe character traits, to dance teachers using backing tracks for their classes, to student film makers using the music as a sound track to their videos.
The Amazing People Club will provide GGfL with eBooks and audio titles that offer students insights into the exploits, achievements and motivations of some of the world’s most inspirational figures like Leonardo da Vinci, Shakespeare, Curie, Mozart, Michelangelo, Darwin, Einstein and many others. Each resource, written in the first person, recreates the life stories of famous people as though they were giving personal interviews.
Geography Photos contributes its library of over 13,000 high quality, copyright-safe and trustworthy images for geography lessons. The Geographical Association recognised the contribution of Geography Photos through an award for its value to education.
Eye2eye Software offers teachers and students photographed points of interest across the whole of Britain with immersive 360 degree panoramas. The resources cover commonly taught topics spanning historic sites, mountain peaks, coasts and interiors.
More information can be found at http://www.ggflondemand.com
Global Grid for Learning Extends Free Content Services through MyCurriculum.com
Global Grid for Learning (GGfL) today announced that it has acquired from the Qualification and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA) MyCurriculum.com, the website that enables teachers to explore, create and share content aligned to the English national curriculum within their own peer groups and networks.
“We are thrilled at the prospect of making MyCurriculum.com a key part of the GGfL content service,” said Julian Mobbs, Managing Director at GGfL, a wholly owned subsidiary of US-based EduTone. “GGfL is committed to unifying access to high quality digital educational content, from commercial, open, free and user-generated sources. This acquisition ensures that the website’s well-constructed tools and resources are kept available to existing users and that the website can achieve its potential by attracting a substantial base of new users. It also gives us a strong platform and brand to leverage our free educational content offering.”
The combination will also offer opportunities for GGfL to extend and enhance its free content service, which currently includes user-generated content from We the Teachers, a community of over 60,000 educators, as well as access to many other open educational resource providers through GGfL On Demand.
With over one million digital resources from more than 40 content providers, including Corbis, Waterford Institute, Intel, Reuters, Bridgeman Education and Science Photo Library, GGfL represents one of the most comprehensive digital educational content collections in the world.
Founded in 2008, MyCurriculum.com users have built up a library of over 1,400 online resources and 500 activities. The site helps teachers to access and develop best practice activities, lesson plans, resources and examples of students’ work.
Educators interested in seeing the MyCurriculum service can sign up for free at www.MyCurriculum.com
Sign Up for Usability Testing and Help Us Improve Global Grid for Learning
At Global Grid for Learning (GGfL) we are always searching for teachers and school leaders who can provide feedback on our products to help make them more relevant and useful.
Do you have an hour to help us offer a better experience to our users?
What’s In It For You?
- Compensation of £30 in Amazon vouchers
- A sneak peek at the latest GGfL developments
- The opportunity to have a say in the future development of GGfL
Who Are We Looking For?
- Primary/elementary school teachers
- Secondary/high school teachers
What Does Usability Testing Involve?
The research is carried out online with a member of our team, and will only take about an hour of your time. You can pick a time that is convenient for you. All you need is access to the internet and a computer.
Once a time is agreed, we will arrange an online screen sharing session with you where we’ll ask you to perform some simple tasks on our website. As you use the site, we’ll ask you as much as possible to try to think out loud: to say what you’re looking at, what you’re trying to do, and what you’re thinking. This will be a big help to us. We may also ask for your opinion on some designs and images representing changes we plan to make to the website.
Sign up for usability testing by completing our short online form here. A member of our team will get in touch shortly afterwards.
EduTone Acquires Global Grid for Learning from Cambridge University Press to Become its Digital Content Marketplace for Education
Cambridge University Press and California-based EduTone today jointly announced an agreement for EduTone to merge Global Grid for Learning (GGfL), the Press’s innovative digital content aggregation business, into EduTone’s portfolio of education businesses.
EduTone has acquired all of the shares of GGfL and the Press has taken a minority interest in EduTone.
EduTone intends to keep GGfL as a wholly-owned subsidiary, and to integrate its products and services with the award-winning EduTone XchangeTM Platform, enhancing its collection of third-party licensed digital education content, creating global and regional content marketplaces, to be marketed to schools through distribution partners globally.
GGfL will also represent EduTone in Europe, Middle East and Africa, complementing EduTone’s current presence in the United States and Australia.
“The coming together of these two organisations will create a unique force in the education market,” said Robert Iskander, CEO of EduTone. “As the role of technology in schools continues to increase, we are pleased to be able to provide our partners and customers with one of the most comprehensive digital educational content collections in the world backed up by a first class integration platform. The passion displayed by both companies to create breakthrough, innovative services that meet the needs of schools is what will continue to drive our product suite forward and fuel our continued growth.”
Stephen Bourne, Chief Executive of Cambridge University Press, said: “The Press is proud to have pioneered Global Grid for Learning and we believe that EduTone has the ideal technology base and management focus to accelerate and strengthen its presence in school markets around the world.”
Julian Mobbs will continue to serve as Managing Director of GGfL with Robert Iskander becoming the newly appointed Chairman.
Picture This: April Fools’ Day
April Fools’ Day is celebrated widely as a day for practical jokes. The day supposedly started in 1564, when France moved the new year from the end of March to January 1. It is also commonly thought to have been first mentioned in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in 1392.
Credit: Bridgeman Education (available through Global Grid for Learning)
Teaching Activity (age 9-14)
Learners could write a short sketch about playing an April Fools’ Day joke. They could storyboard it using storyboard software, act and film it, or develop it as an animated sequence or a comic strip.
Using ICT to tell a story
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Picture This: Eiffel Tower Opens in 1889
Credit: Corbis Images (available through Global Grid for Learning)
Teaching Activity (age 9-14)
- The Eiffel Tower is approximately 300m tall. It has three viewing platforms.
- The first platform is approximately 58m high.
- The second platform is approximately 11 m high.
- The third platform is approximately 276m high.
- Its feet stand within a square with sides of approximately 125m.
Draw a diagram of the Eiffel Tower to scale, showing the relative positions of the platforms. You need to work out a scale that will fit comfortably on the piece of paper you decide to use. Include a note of the scale you have used and label the measurements of the tower.
Look at a range of photographs of the tower to help you to draw its design.
Devising a scale and converting measurements according to the scale; drawing a diagram to scale
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