STATE COLLEGE, Pa., June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Schoolwires, the leading provider of community-based solutions for K-12 districts, is announcing Centricity2, a transformational and unifying platform that goes beyond website and community management to address some of the most pressing challenges facing K-12 education today.
"We have a serious problem in education today," said Edward S. Marflak, CEO and President, Schoolwires. "Students apply knowledge when learning occurs in a collaborative and interactive environment, yet many districts are unable to provide the technology platform necessary to support 21st century learning. Centricity2 addresses this important imperative by providing a unified technology platform with breakthrough engagement and personalization technologies to help districts create 21st century teachers; and for teachers to more deeply and socially engage learners, transforming the classroom experiences into applied learning and ultimately into measurable student success. Centricity2 is the platform of the possible, the enabler for districts to transform the educational experience for their students to drive achievement."
In support, Marflak cited Project Tomorrow's 2009 national research study which found that, "In the absence of a more relevant learning process in schools, our students may be taking their educational destiny into their own hands." The study stated that students are accessing a variety of Web 2.0 tools and online social forums to create and further their own personalized learning. In addition, the study found that 91% of administrators report that the use of instructional technology is extremely important to their district's mission and that social-based and collaborative learning requires a supportive technology infrastructure.
"These findings support the need for districts to implement a technology infrastructure that enables deeper student engagement and parental involvement," said Marflak, "Through our industry immersion and innovative transformational technologies, Schoolwires is the only vendor providing a comprehensive platform that explicitly meets the urgent and pervasive needs articulated by K-12 districts."
Centricity2 not only enables districts to transform teaching and learning, it also makes it possible for districts to foster deeper engagement with all stakeholders, and to measure the impact of their communications. Centricity2 includes several breakthrough components:
A Future-Ready Technology Ecosystem designed to enable districts' current technology investments to work together, increasing their individual value, and decreasing total cost of ownership of technology. The Technology Ecosystem's open API framework helps districts easily and seamlessly integrate compliant systems, data, and third-party applications into the platform. As a result - with a single sign-on - students, teachers, and parents can easily access all the information, content, tools, and people they need to create a more meaningful user experience, driving deeper adoption of technology in support of teaching and learning. Key capabilities include:
- Schoolwires Builder™- for the first time, districts can extend and customize the functionality of the platform by creating their own apps to meet their unique needs.
- A Developers' Network where district developers can share insights, access code, forums and APIs for creating even more robust apps; and an app store to access an ever-growing library of applications, templates, and custom databases that extend the platform's capabilities without large investments.
- An open API framework that allows seamless integration of compliant systems, data and third-party applications into a single, unified platform.
- Provide parents, teachers and students single sign-on access to the information, content, tools and people that are integral to their success.
A Breakthrough Community Engagement Engine™ that is designed to activate 21st century learning, parental involvement and achieve district success by engaging all community stakeholders. The Community Engagement Engine™ includes a Social Media Framework™ that goes beyond standard Web 2.0/social media tools, a Community Engagement Dashboard™, and other key functionalities for driving deeper engagement and measurement across the district. The Community Engagement Engine™ gives districts the ability to:
- Snap-on Web 2.0/social media functionality to almost every aspect of the district's family of websites to create a fully integrated and socially interactive experience for learners, teachers, parents, and the community at large.
- Measure, monitor and strengthen the community's level of online engagement with the district through a Community Engagement Dashboard™.
- Support collaborative learning and community engagement by enabling learners and stakeholders to create and join groups based on shared characteristics and interests.
- Individualize the learning experience for students by providing them with personal workspaces that aggregate and present information and resources relevant to them.
- Make it easy for all stakeholders to stay connected, manage activities and access personal data from their mobile devices.
Next-Generation Website and Community Management designed to revolutionize the way districts connect with their communities by helping them:
- More deeply and socially connect with all members of their district community through threaded community discussions, user-friendly online image galleries, podcasts, videocasts and more.
- Better control their image, develop their brand and enhance their reputation through their web presence, attracting families and quality teachers to the district community. Advanced website design tools give users greater control over both site design and editing with enhanced Styler™, WYSIWYG, Image, CSS and Roundtrip editor tools.
- Keep all constituents on the same page with district, school and personal calendars and events that can be aggregated and shared across the district.
- Quickly communicate to stakeholders in times of crisis through the use of broadcast electronic alerts, as well as National Weather Service and Amber alerts.
- Increase adoption of technology tools district-wide with context-sensitive, integrated video tutorials, help cards and documentation at point-of-need right at users' fingertips.
- Control and filter search results for a safe and secure user experience with Centricity2's integrated site search.
"Standalone social media tools are not enough to affect true change," said Marflak. "Districts must leverage new interactive and unified technologies to provide stakeholders with individualized user experiences, which in turn drive deeper adoption of technology and stronger engagement with the district. Centricity2 provides the robust and unified technology framework that brings together districts' essential technologies, enabling them to address some of the serious challenges facing education today."
About Schoolwires, Inc.
Schoolwires is the first and only provider of community-based solutions that accelerate K-12 district and student success. Through its revolutionary Schoolwires® Centricity2 platform, Schoolwires brings together the industry-leading website and community management solution, a powerful and unprecedented community engagement engine, along with a technology ecosystem that allows a district's critical technologies and resources to be integrated within the Centricity platform for ease of access and accelerated adoption. Built upon the proven and award-winning Centricity website and community management solution used by over 1,200 districts, the Centricity2 platform enables turn-key integration of pre-configured Schoolwires applications, including Schoolwires Synergy™ Digital File Sharing and Schoolwires Assist™ Service Request Management, as well an ever-growing library of applications being developed by Schoolwires, district developers and a network of strategic application partners. Through its many deep and long-term district relationships, Schoolwires works with an estimated 6 million users across the nation. Schoolwires also is recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the top ten fastest-growing private education companies across the nation for three consecutive years. Schoolwires ranks in the Inc. 500|5000 as the 605th fastest-growing private company after achieving Inc. 500 status overall for the previous two consecutive years. Schoolwires, Inc. (www.schoolwires.com) is headquartered in State College, Pennsylvania, USA.
About Project Tomorrow
Project Tomorrow is a national education nonprofit organization. The vision of Project Tomorrow is to ensure that today's students are well prepared to be tomorrow's innovators, leaders and engaged citizens of the world. The organization believes that by supporting the innovative uses of science, math and technology resources in K-12 schools and communities, students will develop the critical thinking, problem solving and creativity skills needed to compete and thrive in the 21st century. Project Tomorrow approaches its mission through national research projects such as the Speak Up National Research Project, the replication of model excellence projects in schools and communities, online tools and resources for students, teachers and parents, and national and regional advocacy efforts. For more information, visit www.tomorrow.org .