News Briefs, June 5, 2020

June 5, 2020 | Volume 51, Number 12

PowerSchool (Folsom, CA), a provider of K-12 education application technology, said its Unified Insights Student Learning became available in June to customers who have both Schoology Learning Management System and PowerSchool SIS. UISL combines data from the SIS and LMS to provide educators with a holistic view into data they will need to help ensure all students can stay on track following the shift to distance learning. 

College textbook publisher FlatWorld (Boston) said that more than 20 of the publisher’s authors have made substantial additions to their textbooks to reflect the impact of COVID-19 on their respective fields. FlatWorld will begin publishing these revised textbooks over the summer, with the aim of updating over a dozen titles for the start of the 2020–2021 academic year. Titles that are due to get the significant updates include: American Government and Politics in the Information Age, Paletz, Owen, and Cook; College Success, Beiderwell and Lochhaas; Communication in the Real World, Version 2.1, Jones; Exploring Business, Collins; Health Now, White; Human Resource Management, Portolese; Introducing Psychology: Brain, Person, Group, Kosslyn and Rosenberg; Sexuality and Our Diversity: Integrating Culture with the Biopsychosocial, Tye; and Social Problems: Continuity and Change, Barkan.

Educational services provider Kaplan (New York) in May launched Boost Year, an online pre-college and career-readiness booster program that offers a focused approach to help students make decisions on their next steps from picking a major to choosing what courses of study may be the right fit to being prepared for what to do upon graduation. The 14-week Boost Fall online program, which will run its first cohort from September 14-December 18, 2020, aims to help students assess their interests and strengths, identify and explore target careers, understand and build core professional skills needed for their future, and create a personalized go–forward plan for their next steps. The Boost Spring program, January-April 2021, will enable students to apply their learning to real world work experiences. Boost also will provide a partnership option for universities interested in offering such a program to their students deferring admission. The cost is $4,995; early registrants will get a $1,000 tuition credit applied to the program.

Macmillan Learning (New York) said its digital learning platform Achieve, designed for higher education, will be available in the U.S. and Canada in fall 2020. Achieve, which launched in January, includes learning materials with a comprehensive set of interconnected teaching and assessment tools, in May earned the Research-Based Design product certification by Digital Promise. Achieve combines leading features of each of Macmillan Learning’s digital solutions in one platform.

Purdue University Global (Indianapolis) in May launched a contact tracing course to train contact tracers for COVUD-19. The self-study course offering will take approximately six to eight hours to complete. Those who successfully finish the course will receive a certificate of completion. The course will be powered by D2L’s Brightspace learning platform, which supports all of Purdue Global’s online programs, and will use World Health Organization content for the most current and widely accepted information about the disease, aligned with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. The cost for the COVID-19 contact tracing course is $295, but for a limited time that fee will be waived for individuals who enroll. Purdue Global also will make the course available to government agencies, educational institutions and businesses to support their specific needs for training solutions for contact tracing. For more information, including the possibility of customized solutions, visit

Pocket Prep (Seattle), which develops mobile test-prep apps in June Lunched a series of bundled apps grouped by specific industries, a selection of new study modules, and a more affordable subscription model. Users will no longer have to purchase and download a new test prep app for each individual exam. Instead, multiple industry-related exams will be available for access in a single place for a single price. Among the 10 industry-specific bundled apps are: Automotive Pocket Prep, IT & Cybersecurity Pocket Prep, Nursing School Pocket Prep and Professional Pocket Prep. Under the new subscription model, users will pay a lower monthly fee than the higher upfront, one-time fee. The new apps are available now in the App Store for iPhones and iPads as well through Pocket Prep’s online study portal. All apps will be coming to Android in 2020.

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