Good news! The Technology Department has now embedded more standards into DEC. These are all linked. This way, if you use the Standard Short Code in a lesson, explanation or reference, it will be linked automatically.
Plus, all of the standards are searchable. You can click on a Standard Resource and search within it. In the example below, I searched for “upper case” (note that I did NOT use quotation marks in the search though – using quotation marks would not return any results since those words are not next to each other). This returns three standards that deal with “upper case” (even though there are words between “upper” and “case”) and gives me the standards.
We are aware that Agile Minds is currently experiencing some issues with the recent Chrome update. They are working on the issue.
Chromebook users should expand the viewer’s header and choose a page within the header rather than in the navigation bar. If taking a quiz, remember that you can use the left and right arrows to move from page to page.
Newsela has been reaching out to me. Newsela is a service that provides leveled readings. A few years ago, they were all the rage. They provided free, leveled readings for students (they still do, but more about that in a minute).
Like many free services, Newsela has a free and paid version. The main point of the free version is to encourage users to move to the paid version (this is referred to as “customer acquisition”). Free works in some situations (FOSS for example), but it is important to understand why something is free. Open source is different than “customer acquisition”.
So, what’s changing in the free version of Newsela?
Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, news content will remain available in our free version. Alignments to standards and Newsela-curated Text Sets will no longer be visible without a paid subscription.
The other 20+ standards-aligned content genres such as primary sources, reference texts, pro/con paired texts, historical documents and pre-curated Text Sets will require a subscription.
We do have a couple of schools that pay for the premium version of Newsela. We do want teachers to know about resources that are available, while being smart, informed consumers.
We’ve been transitioning to a new experience in DEC. As such, we are moving some of the links around. If you visit the Staff Resources page of the Dearborn Public Schools web site, the DEC link will now go to the new an improved version of DEC. Since we haven’t yet redeveloped every curricular area, the curriculum committees are hard at work on that, we’ve also maintained the link to “old DEC”.
As you may know, we are working on updating DEC. We are referring to the new DEC as DEC 2.0. Currently, it is very much in beta. We need your feedback to make it as polished as possible for teachers. I’ve done a video to give you an overview of DEC 2.0.
Open eBooks is a mobile app that provides thousands of popular and award-winning books free for students in Title I schools. These eBooks can be read without checkouts or holds. Students enrolled in Title I schools can download Open eBooks and access books for free from their mobile device.
Follow these four easy steps to get Open eBooks on any mobile device – including tablets, iPads, and on smartphones of all types.
Step 1: On an iPhone or Android phone, open the app store and type in “open ebooks”
Step 2: Click GET then click INSTALL to download the app.
Step 3: Open the app and click Log in with Clever.
Step 4: Search for the student’s school to log in with their username and password.
What platforms are the Open eBooks app available on?
The app is currently available on iOS and Android. Subsequent versions will be optimized to support as many open platforms as possible. There will be a web-optimized version coming in 2016. Open eBooks uses the EPUB3 standard but will expand to include PDFs in early 2016.
Will the app be available on Chromebooks or Windows devices?
At this time, the Open eBooks app is only available for the iOs and Android platforms.
Does “unlimited access” mean the books will be free of Digital Rights Management?
In-need youth can borrow up to 10 books at a time and replace each book with a new book as many times as they’d like. The contributed eBooks will include Adobe Digital Rights Management software, which means that the book will be visible only to the student who is accessing it and cannot be shared.
How is users’ privacy protected and respected?
Are individual readers’ activity tracked?
No, individual readers’ activity are not tracked. Reading will be tracked anonymously and in the aggregate. A student’s privacy is paramount and the partners will work tirelessly to ensure that student privacy is maintained at all times.
Does it work for people who are print-disabled?
Yes. Built with Readium’s rendering engine, the Open eBooks App takes advantage of the accessibility features that are native to the EPUB3 format in which the books are rendered. Open eBooks is compatible with Apple and Android’s Text to Speech (TTS). In the future we plan to improve the implementation of Readium to make this even more robust.
We’re working on improving the experience and accessibility in future updates and versions of the app and its content. Again, making this content accessible is a top priority and we are working with all our industry partners to make progress in this area.
We also encourage families, teachers and librarians of readers with print disabilities to try applications like BARD, BookShare, and Learning Ally. These great resources can help students build an even bigger collection of eBooks.
How does it work for readers with Dyslexia?
Open eBooks supports Open Dyslexic Font for those with Dyslexia.
Open your eBook
Click the [Aa] button in the top right corner
Click the Open Dyslexic Font located in the top row on the far right