Future of Education Technology Conference® Reveals Winners of the 2020 Top Education Technology Products of the Year Awards

Fourteen Products Selected for Newly Updated Program Celebrating the Innovations Driving the Education Technology Market

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – (January 25, 2021) – The Future of Education Technology Conference, in conjunction with District Administration® magazine, the premier publication focused on strategic issues in education, announced the winners of the Top Education Technology Products of the Year Awards. The annual competition spotlights the most innovative new solutions on the market that are helping school leaders meet the ever-evolving education technology needs of their districts and schools. seeks to discover the best new education technology products.

Working with the conference organizers, the editors of District Administration® conducted a comprehensive evaluation of 160 submissions, including input from a panel of industry experts and analysts. Taking into consideration factors such as innovation, the value added to the student success, intuitiveness for the user and ability to deliver on what is promised, the following 14 solutions were named the winners:

AllHere Education, AllHere AI Chatbot

Chronic absenteeism is a problem in American education during the best of times, but now, with the vast majority of the nation’s school buildings and lessons being conducted remotely, more students than ever are missing class – not logging on, not checking in or not completing assignments. AllHere offers schools and districts a proven, scalable, AI-powered, two-way text messaging program to reverse chronic absenteeism and help students & families build a strong foundation in attendance, engagement, and success. AllHere for students in grades 9-12 and families in grades K-12 is designed to guide families and students through a personalized series of campaigns that meets their specific needs, helping them master attendance and engagement with built-in conversational support, using a chatbot, and real-time intervention. www.allhere.com 

Bakpax

With Bakpax, teachers can create and distribute assignments, and students can upload their schoolwork by taking pictures on their mobile phones. Bakpax then uses AI to read handwriting and grade student homework and tests automatically. Because the grading is automated, we can provide instantaneous feedback to students, improving learning outcomes. We aim to save teachers hours of grading time, while giving them deeper insights into student performance through daily formative data. www.bakpax.com 

Edupoint, Synergy Education Platform

Synergy Education Platform unites multiple K-12 data management solutions in one seamless ecosystem, creating systemwide data connections that help improve administrative processes and learning outcomes without third-party system integrations. Synergy streamlines the management of student information, remote and on-site learning, assessment, MTSS, special education, and analytics to help districts personalize learning, advance equity, and promote student achievement. www.edupoint.com

IBM Corporate Social Responsibility, Open P-TECH

Technology and jobs are changing much faster than education systems. Open P-TECH closes the gap by providing free online learning on the industry-leading technological and professional skills required to be successful in the new economy. Open P-TECH is easy to try, free to use, and available to students and teachers everywhere! Even students from privileged backgrounds are often unaware of the opportunities offered by technology-related careers. Most parents and teachers are simply unaware of what the possibilities are in fields such as AI or cybersecurity since tech changes so quickly. Internet information is only helpful if a student has the context to ask the right questions. Open P-TECH illuminates this possible future–especially for disadvantaged students–by providing inspiring career information and age-appropriate learning to spark student interest and build skills. It also demystifies hot tech for teachers so that they can better support their students. www.ibm.com

Illuminate Education, eduCLIMBER

eduCLIMBER, an Illuminate Education product, is an interactive data management and visualization system that strengthens multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) implementations, including student need identification and intervention effectiveness. Districts can easily import academic, social-emotional, and behavioral data in order to make data-based decisions about the whole child. This can be at the student, classroom, school, and district levels. eduCLIMBER helps districts take action to accelerate student growth through: Actionable student profiles that include academic, behavioral, and social-emotional data; pre-built reports to track student progress, monitor interventions, and measure effectiveness; access to data aggregations to monitor key programs and initiatives at every level; custom equity dashboards that can be viewed by demographic and disability; virtual behavior walls that help identify patterns in student incidents; and risk ratio calculators to identify the likelihood a student will have an incident. www.illuminateed.net

intelliVOL, x2VOL by intelliVOL

x2VOL by intelliVOL is the leading service tracking and reporting platform in K-12 education with over 50 million approved student service hours. x2VOL captures student service impact and development via an entirely online platform. Students benefit from a single online platform where they can search for service opportunities, record their service hours, and write reflections on their service experiences. Students also have access to order an Official Service Transcript™ (OST). The OST is an official record of a student’s service experience and reflections that can be sent directly to college admissions officials and scholarship boards. School administrators are relieved of the burden of service tracking often done through a tedious paper process. Service leaders can establish service goals based on school requirements, approve or deny service hours, view students’ progress toward goals, generate reports, and see student impact and growth through service. x2VOL’s new robust reporting features released in 2020 give administrators deeper insight into student service data and social-emotional development. www.intellivol.com

Istation, Oral Reading Fluency

Istation’s digital oral reading fluency (ORF) assessment is the latest time-saving educational technology from Istation. Powered by voice recognition and AI, the ORF assessment allows teachers to automatically measure oral reading fluency from digitally recorded passages for students in grades K through 5 in both English and Spanish. With ISIP Oral Reading Fluency, students have the opportunity to demonstrate their reading accuracy through the oral reading of text. Teachers have access to an online archive of student recordings. For grades 1-3 in English, teachers receive an automated score for each passage. All of the results are documented online and can be reviewed at any time. The automated scoring feature takes into account multiple dialect regions throughout the US. Also, students can now record passages from home giving teachers the insight to determine whether students are on track to meet reading goals during this time of distance learning. www.istation.com

Kognito, Trauma-Informed Practices for K12 Schools

Trauma-Informed Practices for K12 Schools is an evidence-based interactive simulation for educators to build skills, confidence, and empathy to support students whose behavior might be related to sources of trauma or distress. By practicing role-play conversations with virtual students, educators learn how to spot warning signs of trauma, lead real-life conversations with students, improve their classroom experience, and explore making a referral to a mental health professional. As users navigate the simulation, they are guided by a virtual coach who provides feedback and suggestions. They also have access to an undo button to see how students respond to different approaches. The simulation concludes with the virtual coach summarizing keyways to support students and reiterating how a trauma-informed approach improves self-esteem, confidence, resilience, and achievement for both students and educators. www.kognito.com

Magic Software Inc., MagicBox – Creating Personalized Learning Experiences

SAFARI Montage provides K-12 districts with an interoperable Learning Object Repository (LOR) designed for in-person and engaged remote instruction. The platform offers teachers and students equitable access to procured, created, and curated educational digital resources and a place to search and manage learning objects and create playlists to feed an LMS and other enterprise systems. Features include federated search access to content from multiple sources via one interface, including Google Drive & Microsoft OneDrive; integrations with Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams and all of the leading LMSs, as well as conferencing platforms Zoom, Google Meet and Teams; the ability to easily add digital course and lesson learning objects from 30+ educational publishers to the LOR. www.magicedtech.com

Microsoft, Insights for Microsoft Teams in Education

Insights in Microsoft Teams for Education enables teachers to access student engagement data from an intuitive dashboard. Given each learner has unique experiences, skills, and voice, Insights helps teachers understand and respond to both class and individual needs. The challenges of the past year have demanded significant and swift action from educators and educational systems globally. Despite the ever-changing landscape, educators must continue to reach students in an authentic way that results in lasting impact. With Insights, educators are supported with meaningful, reliable data to make informed decisions regarding their learning communities. Guided by this data, educators are not alone in ensuring students’ emotional, social, and academic needs are being met. www.microsoft.com

OverDrive Education, Sora, the student reading app

The Sora student reading app allows K-12 students to read ebooks and audiobooks from their school’s digital collection and classroom curriculum as well as the public library. Available on smartphones, tablets, and also desktops via browser, students can read for pleasure and complete assigned reading anytime, anywhere. Sora’s built-in learning tools include exportable notes and highlights, a built-in dictionary, a dyslexic font, and Google Translate. The app offers improved accessibility, incentivized reading with avatars and achievement badges, classroom-specific tools like personalized assignments, reading analytics, and more. Frequent innovative updates are driven by educator and student feedback and performance metrics. More than 35,000 schools around the world have signed up, with hundreds more each month. www.overdrive.com

PowerMyLearning, Family Playlists (on PowerMyLearning Connect)

Family Playlists® are fun learning assignments that can be delivered via cellphone in 100+ languages. Students teach what they are learning to a family partner at home—a strategy that strengthens students’ understanding and social-emotional learning (SEL) skills. Family Playlists integrate seamlessly into teachers’ existing curricula and are available for grades K-8 in Math Science, and ELA. Teachers find and assign pre-built, standards-aligned Family Playlists to students. Students’ family members receive a text alert in their preferred language. After mastering a concept in school, students teach what they learned in class to a family partner using a collaborative, offline activity—this step leverages the “protégé effect,” which shows that students understand a concept better after explaining it to someone else. A study on Family Playlists found a statistically significant effect on standardized math test scores, with a .25 effect size, equivalent to 4 months of additional learning. www.powermylearning.org

PresenceLearning, Teletherapy Essentials from PresenceLearning

In response to COVID-19 related school closures and hybrid models, PresenceLearning, the leading provider of live online special education-related services, developed Teletherapy Essentials to train and support school-based teams in serving students with special needs. Continuity is critical for students who receive special education-related services, and PresenceLearning moved swiftly to develop a solution that could help school teams deliver high-quality services to students in any setting, whether in-person or remote. www.presencelearning.com

Safari Montage, SAFARI Montage LOR Cloud

SAFARI Montage provides K-12 districts with an interoperable Learning Object Repository (LOR) designed for in-person and engaged remote instruction. The platform offers teachers and students equitable access to procured, created, and curated educational digital resources and a place to search and manage learning objects and create playlists to feed an LMS and other enterprise systems. Features include federated search access to content from multiple sources via one interface, including Google Drive & Microsoft OneDrive; integrations with Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams and all of the leading LMSs, as well as conferencing platforms Zoom, Google Meet and Teams; the ability to easily add digital course and lesson learning objects from 30+ educational publishers to the LOR. www.safarimontage.com

SMART Technologies, SMART Learning Suite Software

Smart Learning Suite Online is web-based software that helps you create engaging lessons students interact with through their devices, in class, remotely, or on their own time. It’s a flexible tool that supports active learning and collaboration by giving you the power to transform lesson content, ignite engagement, and capture insight into learning. Import your own lessons and enhance them with engaging, customizable components, like games, activities, and collaborative workspaces. Then deliver them to student devices in a browser, via Google or through Microsoft Teams. www.smarttech.com

The fully interactive, free FETC virtual experience will use state-of-the-art technology to ensure attendees are able to explore and network with other participants, speakers, and solution providers. Attendees will be able to take part in live Q&As, network, schedule one-on-one meetings, join group chats, visit booths, and more. The 2021 agenda will cover the hottest topics and include product demonstrations and solution provider sessions. Additional keynotes will be released on www.FETC.org.

To register for free visit www.FETC.org

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About the Future of Education Technology® Conference (FETC®) (Virtual Event)

The Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) annually attracts thousands of education and technology leaders for an intensive, highly collaborative exploration of new technologies, best practices and pressing issues. As educators nationwide face unprecedented pandemic-related challenges, as well as budge and travel restrictions, FETC and District Administration® magazine are excited to provide this free virtual event for all education teams to attend. With sessions tailored to the needs of each role in digital transformation, FETC is known as one of the nation’s premier K-12 education technology events. FETC provides school and district administrators, classroom teachers, IT professionals, special education directors, curriculum and media specialists, and other educators with roles or interest in ed tech, the opportunity to explore the most effective integration of technology across the curriculum. The conference offers a balanced blend of administrative, instructional, and technical content through targeted sessions, demonstrations of the newest products, and more. Visit www.FETC.org  for more details.


About District Administration Magazine

District Administration print and digital media serve the top K12 leaders at virtually every school district in the U.S. with strategic information about how to most effectively manage their school districts. DA helps administrators make informed decisions about best practices and research-based approaches designed to help them improve teacher quality and increase student achievement across their districts. We bring journalistic excellence with in-depth reporting and analysis, as well as peer information about success stories that can be shared district to district. www.districtadministration.com

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