Edmodo to Shut Down; Center for Antiracist Education Ends its Work | News Bites

Ed tech platform Edmodo will shut down in September, the Center for Antiracist Education will no longer produce new materials; Sora is a Google Classroom add-on, and more in this edition of News Bites.

Ed tech platform Edmodo will shut down in September, the Center for Antiracist Education will no longer produce new materials, Sora is a Google Classroom add-on, and more in this edition of News Bites.

Edmodo to shut down

Edmodo, a K-12 ed tech platform,  will shut down on September 22. Teacher, student, and parent accounts, and all personal data and materials created, will be permanently deleted at that time. ​​

Users who want to keep their content must manually export files and other information. The company recommends that teachers and students download content from their Edmodo Library/Backpack as soon as possible and take screenshots of content that is not directly downloadable, including posts within class and group pages, grades, and messages.

“It has been our honor and privilege to create this community platform that has been loved and used by millions of teachers, students, and parents around the world," the company website said. "This has been especially true during the global pandemic, when all of us looked for connection with our fellow colleagues and classmates. However, after more than a decade of ensuring Edmodo can stay a free tool for all, we have found that it is no longer viable for us to maintain the level of service you deserve and that we can take pride in ourselves. As a result, we have made the difficult decision to shut down Edmodo.com.”

The Center for Antiracist Education (CARE) will discontinue its work

The Center for Antiracist Education (CARE), established in 2020 by the Stand for Children Leadership Center. will no longer produce new resources, materials, or professional development programs. All previously developed materials will continue to be available.

Jonah Edelman, Stand's executive officer, released the following statement about the decision to stop CARE's work:

“In late 2020, following a spring and summer in which hundreds of district leaders and school boards across the nation declared their commitment to racial justice in the wake of the George Floyd killing, Stand for Children Leadership Center established the Center for Antiracist Education (CARE) to develop the tools and resources educators and schools were demanding and achieve impact on a broad national scale.

In less than two years, CARE assembled the relevant research and created tools that provided needed clarity about what antiracist curriculum and instruction looked like. These resources have been lauded by district leaders, academics, and educational professionals.

CARE developed and piloted a professional learning program. Although well-received, the pilot demonstrated that transforming mindset and changing behaviors required significant human support. A self-guided online program that could scale nationally cannot meet our bar for quality.

At the same time, a dramatic shift in the political climate halted equity and inclusion efforts in schools across the nation and, in some places, put antiracist educators’ safety and jobs in jeopardy. That, combined with two pandemic school years and teacher shortages, has left districts struggling, and even those that remain committed are reluctant to add anything new.

Recognizing the operational and external barriers to producing impact at scale, in close dialogue with the CARE team, we made the difficult decision to discontinue the program.  Stand will make the CARE materials available for others to use and build on, and the CARE team encourages educators to continue to use the principles, research briefs, and framework in their practice."

Sora App added to Google Classroom

The Sora reading app will now be available as a Google Classroom add-on. Educators can assign curriculum books in ebook and audiobook formats for students and manage reading assignments, according to OverDrive Education. The integration will allow teachers to attach titles to a student’s assignment without leaving Google Classroom.

Biden names new appointees to National Museum and Library Services Board

Julius C. Jefferson Jr., 2020-21 ALA president, and James G. Neal, 2017-18 ALA president and recent recipient of an ALA honorary membership (the association's highest honor), are among 11 new appointees to the National Museum and Library Services Board, President Joe Biden announced. The board oversees the work of the Institute for Museum and Library Services, advising the agency on "general policies with respect to the duties, powers, and authority of IMLS relating to museum, library, and information services, as well as the annual selection of National Medals recipients."

The other appointees are: Joan Breier Brodsky, Susan Lynn Gibbons, Amy Elizabeth Gilman, Cameron Kitchin, Dipesh Navsaria, Annie Norman, Halona Norton-Westbrook, and Monica Ramirez-Montagut.

Veera Hiranandani book earns Judy Lopez Memorial Award for Children’s Literature

The Judy Lopez Memorial Award for Children’s Literature winner is How to Find What You’re Not Looking For (Penguin/Kokila), by Veera Hiranandani. It is the latest in a string of awards for the title, which is also a 2022 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Winner, a 2022 Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner, a 2022 ALSC Notable Children’s Book, and the winner of the 2021 New York Historical Society Children’s History Book Prize.

The honor books are: Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna by Alda P. Dobbs (Sourcebooks Young Readers), Red, White and Whole by Rajani LaRocca (Quill Tree Books), and Starfish by Lisa Fipps (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books).

The Judy Lopez Memorial Award for Children’s Literature—named in memory of Lopez, a founding member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA-LA)—is given annually to works of “literary excellence” for ages 9-12.

The WNBA-LA will broadcast its virtual awards ceremony on YouTube on Sunday, September 18, at 2 p.m. PDT.

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