Istation Spanish language program honored in "Upper Elementary" category
DALLAS, October 23, 2018 — Istation, a Dallas-based education technology company, has taken top honors for its Spanish language learning program in the 22nd annual Education Software Review Awards, also known as the EDDIE Awards.
Istation Español won the award in the "Upper Elementary" category. ComputED Gazette presents the EDDIE Awards annually in an effort to "target innovative and content-rich programs and websites (including apps for iOS and Android) that augment classroom curriculum and improve teacher productivity, providing parents and teachers with the technology to foster educational excellence."
"Fostering educational excellence is in our DNA," said Richard H. Collins, Istation Chairman and CEO. "Our work in reading, math, and Spanish language programs are designed to give teachers and students the tools they need to ensure every child can reach their potential. We are honored by this award and are very pleased our work to improve education is recognized."
Spanish language educators designed Istation Español and ISIP™ Español, Istation’s Indicators of Progress assessment that measures student growth with engaging, computer-adaptive diagnostic and screening programs.
Istation Español is an intervention reading program that teaches bilingual students the foundational literacy skills in their native language. Bilingual students learn the skills that help them be successful readers. These skills can then be transferred to English.
"Istation Español is a comprehensive Spanish literacy solution for any dual-language program regardless of the model being implemented," said Liliana Suero, the manager of the Spanish Curriculum Team at Istation who has led the team for the last six years.
"Our program is both culturally relevant and authentic, meaning we do not translate from English. Our goal is to empower bilingual educators with lessons that are simple, practical, and easy to implement in any classroom setting. Plus, we make it fun and engaging for the students."
"As former bilingual educators, we know that students usually have a hard time identifying the different types of genres. Teaching genres bridges the gap between home and school because analyzing the text students see at school, validates the text they see at home. Istation Español Lectura Avanzada was intentionally designed after receiving feedback from many focus groups consisting of administrators and experienced educators."
Ultimately, Lectura Avanzada brings Istation Español full circle. While in Lectura Temprana students learn how to read, in Lectura Avanzada students read to learn, Suero said.
This is not the first EDDIE Award Istation has won. In 2016, the company’s reading and math programs were honored in the "Early Elementary" category, while their early reading program was honored in the "Early Learning" category. Istation products have now won EDDIE Awards at every educational level at which they are used.
Istation’s innovative reading, math and Spanish programs are aligned with state educational standards and use award-winning animations and content to immerse students in an engaging and interactive environment that inspire them to learn.
Istation is available across a number of platforms, meaning that households with just about any type of computing capacity can access lessons at home. In addition, Collins said dual-language learning is not just for students who come to school speaking Spanish; it helps native English language students too.
Program uses advanced speech recognition to assess students
DALLAS, August 06, 2018 — Istation, a Dallas-based education technology company, is working with Boulder Learning, Inc. to measure how accurately, fluently and expressively students can read grade-level texts aloud.
Known for its computer adaptive assessments and instruction for reading, math and Spanish literacy, Istation is partnering with Boulder Learning to develop Istation’s Oral Reading Fluency and Listening Comprehension Program by incorporating advanced speech-recognition technology. Istation will enhance Boulder Learning’s existing speech-recognition and assessment product, FLORA, and adapt it for large-scale deployment in classrooms across the nation.
FLORA, which stands for “Fluent Oral Reading Assessment,” was created to automatically assess students’ oral reading fluency. The ability to accurately and fluently read grade-level texts is considered one the most efficient and predictive measures of reading proficiency.
“This will take what we have been doing with Istation’s state-of-the-art reading assessments and give teachers and students even more information for intervention and subsequent instruction,” said Richard H. Collins, chairman and CEO of Istation, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2018. “Our goal is to ensure that every student has a chance to reach their potential.”
The new Istation program will use advanced speech-recognition technology to analyze what students say and how fluently they speak.
The idea behind the project is to give teachers another time-saving tool in the classroom, allowing them to focus on student learning rather than assessments. In addition, the program saves recordings of students’ oral reading for teachers to review as needed so they have the best data possible to better guide students.
Istation will launch a pilot program with manual scoring during the 2018-2019 school year that will record students’ reading and allow teachers to manually score and log the results. This pilot will be deployed in select areas of the United States, covering all major dialect regions of the country.
Boulder Learning will analyze the data from the pilot to program the assessment and automate scoring. Once fully developed, the product will give teachers the option to manually score oral fluency or use the scores provided by the program. The new oral fluency assessment will become a computer-delivered subtest of the ISIP™ (Istation’s Indicators of Progress) assessment program for students in kindergarten through third grade.
ISIP effectively measures skills that are predictive of future academic success. Studies conducted by the University of Central Florida and by Southern Methodist University show that Istation can predict student outcomes on critical end-of-instruction tests, giving teachers insight for intervention opportunities with low-scoring students.
“The new Istation oral reading fluency and listening comprehension program will enhance existing data, showing what intervention may be needed,” Collins said. “In the end, teachers and students will have an even clearer road map to improving academic performance, making it possible for students to become superheroes in the classroom and in life beyond their formal education.”
Presenter links bilingual education to economic strength
DALLAS, July 17, 2018 — Viviana Hall, a national education consultant with the Dallas-based education technology company Istation, will be among the presenters at the International Literacy Association 2018 Conference this weekend (July 20-23) in Austin, Texas.
“Dual-language learning is not just for students who come to school speaking Spanish. It helps native English-language students as well,” Hall said. “We know grade-level readers who are native English speakers in a dual-language program exceed the scores of similar students studying only one language.”
In her presentation – “Spanish Literacy Development: Learning to Read as if It Were a Game” – Hall will use Istation’s downloadable resources to develop learning centers that target specific foundational reading skills and promote transferability of skills between English and Spanish. Hall has presented about Istation Español and the importance of dual-language learning at conferences across the United States and abroad.
“Istation’s Spanish program is a dual-language product that promotes literacy in both the Spanish and English languages for native speakers in both languages,” Hall said. “Our program is both culturally relevant and ‘authentic’; we do not translate existing English-language lessons. The content is conceived, written, and executed in the Spanish language.”
Hall said this approach gives teachers a means to evaluate students’ progress in both the students’ native language and a second language. The result is that educators can better prepare interventions based on language and literacy targets.
“Students who overcome the language barrier and who become fluent in multiple languages have the best chance to reach their God-given potential,” she said. “The reality is there will be doors open for them that will be forever shut to those who are not bilingual – and that translates into better jobs and a brighter future.”
Hall also noted that communities that embrace bilingual education have a leg up on those that do not when it comes to attracting businesses and industries. Recently, Hall wrote an op-ed piece published in a business journal that explored the connection between economic development and bilingual education.
“In every economic development proposal, one of the key components every community touts is its skilled workforce,” she said. “As the United States becomes a more diverse nation, that list of skills businesses need and expect includes a workforce that can communicate in more than one language. Not only is this important in construction or manufacturing, where the ability to communicate is critical among workers, it is vital in service and retail businesses that serve a diverse customer, all of whom may not be English speakers – and in the end, Istation makes it easier for teachers to teach and students to excel in dual-language learning.”
Viviana Hall will make her presentation Saturday, July 21 at 11:30 a.m. in the Learning Lab 2 – Exhibit Hall 1 of the Austin Convention Center. Media outlets are invited to cover the presentation, and afterward Hall will be available for media inquiries and interviews.
DALLAS, July 09, 2018 — The Oklahoma State Board has approved Istation for the Reading Sufficiency Act. Istation’s monthly assessment will be available to Oklahoma educators as a means to screen students for reading failure.
According to state law, the purpose of the Oklahoma Reading Sufficiency Act (RSA) “is to ensure that each child attains the necessary reading skills by completion of the third grade which will enable that student to continue development of reading skills and to succeed throughout school and life.” Istation will be one of the tools available to school districts during the 2018-2019 school year.
Based in Dallas, Istation has become one of the nation’s leading providers of richly animated, game-like educational technology. The insight provided by Istation gives teachers and students the tools they need to improve students’ skills and help them reach their potential.
“Istation is proud to be recognized as an approved vendor for reading assessments in the state of Oklahoma,” said Richard H. Collins, Istation chairman and CEO. “Identifying students who need help and then helping them reach their potential is one of our most important missions at Istation. We are excited to partner with Oklahoma school districts not only to identify at-risk students but also to help educators deliver quality instruction and help all students achieve their full potential.”
Istation’s Indicators of Progress (ISIP™) assessment measures student growth with engaging, computer-adaptive diagnostic and screening programs. The result is that teachers and students both know areas where a student needs to improve, and they have a roadmap for how to improve reading comprehension. Because the program is computer-adaptive, it can measure skills across grade levels.
With ISIP, an entire class can be assessed in 30 to 40 minutes. Following the assessment, the program immediately generates score reports that teachers, parents and students can use to guide instruction and intervention. A pair of recent studies has shown that Istation’s reading assessments predict with a high degree of accuracy how students will perform on end-of-instruction tests.
Second study this year proves Istation’s effectiveness
DALLAS, June 13, 2018 — Istation, a Dallas-based leading provider of educational technology, reports that a study conducted by a Southern Methodist University professor shows that Istation assessments can reliably predict student performance on the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) English Reading tests.
The research compared Istation’s Indicators of Progress (ISIP™) Reading scores and SOL English Reading scores for third through fifth grades. Chalie Patarapichayatham, who has a doctorate in Educational Measurement and Evaluation, conducted the study, which was published in May.
“Overall, I conclude that ISIP Reading test scores are predictive of SOL English Reading test scores for 3rd through 5th grade data,” Patarapichayatham writes in the study.
She goes on to explain how the Istation results relate to Virginia’s SOL scores.
“If a student does very well on ISIP measures, it is likely that he or she will do very well on SOL English Reading tests,” she says in the study. “The ISIP cut scores to predict SOL English Reading tests are useful for school administrators, superintendents, teachers, and parents to predict students’ performance on SOL English Reading tests.”
These results give teachers, parents, and students a solid benchmark so they know what skills must be improved in order for students to do well on the end-of-instruction tests. Istation also provides teaching tools that address those specific skills.
“Istation understands the importance of providing teachers and administrators with actionable data to ensure ongoing progress-monitoring during and across academic years,” said Richard H. Collins, Istation Chairman and CEO. “It is great news that ISIP cut scores can now also be used to predict Virginia’s SOL achievement levels.”
This is the second state this year to confirm the predictability of ISIP assessments for state exams. An academic study published earlier this year from the University of Central Florida showed Istation’s ability to accurately predict student scores on the Florida Standards Assessments.
As in Virginia, Istation was shown to give Florida educators, parents, and students critical information on how to improve their performance. That knowledge can support differentiated instruction to help students perform well on the tests, which often determine whether students pass to the next grade.
For a full copy of the research materials in both states, interested parties can visit info.istation.com/research-studies online.
Dallas-based edtech company a leader in literacy
DALLAS, May 21, 2018 — With summer vacation fast approaching, many parents and teachers are concerned about “summer slide,” the documented regression in reading skills that happens when students spend summer months away from school and regular reading practice.
Istation, a Dallas-based educational technology company, wants to prevent the summer slide in children’s reading ability. The company provides school districts across the nation with innovative reading, math and Spanish-language programs featuring high-quality animations and educator-developed lessons and assessments, making it a natural fit in the effort to stop summer slide.
“We know a lot about summer slide,” said Ossa Fisher, Istation’s chief operating officer, who has written on the subject for Huffington Post. “Over the years, it can lead to real regression in a child’s reading ability, as well as their ability to learn.”
In fact, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading reports that summer learning loss is one of the three major obstacles to reading proficiency by the end of third grade. Research shows that summer slide hits children from low-income families hardest. By the time students reach high school, the summer slide gap accounts for two-thirds of the performance difference between children from low-income families and their peers.
To help parents combat the summer slide, Istation has prepared a free e-book on the subject that is available on the company’s website. Both English and Spanish versions of the book can be found at info.istation.com/stopping_the_summer_slide.
“At Istation, we believe every kid has the ability in them to be a superhero,” said Richard H. Collins, Istation chairman and CEO. “Our core value is to help kids reach their potential, and a big enemy of potential is the summer slide. With our e-book, we want to help parents make sure their kids are ready for school in the fall.”
Fisher said that fighting the summer slide can be fun for both parents and children.
“Reading is not only a critical life skill, it is a great form of recreation,” she said. “Books can take readers any place their imaginations can cook up. We want parents to know they have immense power when it comes to making sure kids’ reading ability stays strong, even while the family is having fun this summer. In the end, we want families to have a great summer and students to be ready for an even better school year in the fall.”
Fisher's role to encompass strategy, product development, marketing and sales
DALLAS, May 1, 2018 — Richard H. Collins, chairman and chief executive officer of Dallas-based education technology company Istation, announced Ossa Fisher as the company’s new chief operating officer.
“We are delighted to announce that Ossa Fisher has been promoted to chief operating officer,” said Collins, one of the company’s founders. “Ossa will become increasingly involved in several aspects of the business, including management of sales.”
Fisher was Istation’s deputy COO and she will continue in her role as chief marketing officer. Fisher has extensive expertise in technology, marketing and media.
Before joining Istation, she was the senior vice president of strategy and analytics at Match, Inc., and was a partner of Bain & Company. She also served on the board of directors for Rackspace Hosting, Inc., a leading provider of managed cloud services.
“Ossa is an extraordinary individual who has made significant positive impacts everywhere she has been,” Collins said. “We are fortunate to count her among our leadership and look forward to even more great achievements with her as our chief operating officer.”
In addition to her work, Fisher is active in her community. She is on the board of directors for Uplift Education, one of the largest not-for-profit charter school networks in Texas. She also serves on the board of directors of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation, which helped raise over $100 million to design, build and operate Klyde Warren Park.
Fisher holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Yale University, as well as master’s degrees in both business administration and arts in education from Stanford University. She is a published writer, having been a regular contributor to Huffington Post, and is a contributor to the Forbes Communications Council. She is married and has two children.
The ComputED Gazette recognizes Istation as best academic management website
DALLAS, April 12, 2018 — Istation, a Dallas-based leading provider of educational technology, won the BESSIE Award for best Academic Management Website in the Teacher Tools category in The ComputEd Gazette’s 2018 Best Educational Software Awards.
Now in their 24th year, The Gazette’s annual springtime BESSIE Awards “target innovative and content-rich programs and websites that provide parents and teachers with the technology to foster educational excellence.” Submissions are judged on academic content, technical merit, subject approach and system management.
“Istation is excited to be acknowledged for the sixth consecutive year by ComputEd Gazette,” said Richard H. Collins, Istation Chairman and CEO. “It is our mission to help pre-K to 8th grade students and teachers through our instructional technology and diagnostic tools. We are appreciative to ComputED Gazette for this award.”
Istation received a BESSIE Award in 2017 in the Multi-Level, Multi-Subject category and three BESSIE Awards in 2016 for Early Learning Reading, Early Elementary.
A new research study from University of Central Florida shows that Istation’s reading assessment can predict Florida Standards Assessment English Language Arts (FSA-ELA) statewide examination scores.
DALLAS, January 18, 2018 — Istation, a Dallas-based leading provider of educational technology, reports that a study conducted by the Morgridge International Reading Center (MIRC) at the University of Central Florida (UCF) shows that student results on Istation assessments can predict performance on the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA).
The research compared Istation’s Indicators of Progress for Early Reading (ISIPTM ER) data and FSA scores in the state of Florida during the 2016-2017 school year. Reading test data was used for third graders across five public school districts. The study found very strong correlations between ISIP ER and FSA test scores across achievement levels. The study also provides the ISIP cut scores needed to predict the achievement level on the FSA.
“Istation understands the importance of providing teachers and administrators with actionable data to ensure ongoing progress-monitoring during and across academic years,” said Richard H. Collins, Istation Chairman and CEO. “It is great news that ISIP cut scores can now also be used to predict FSA achievement levels.”
For a full copy of the research, please visit info.istation.com/research-studies.
For 3-Year Contract
Istation Reading and Math Assessments Approved For Local School District Use
DALLAS, January 18, 2018 — Istation, an industry leader in educational technology, announced today that the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has awarded Istation a contract to offer local school districts its Istation’s Indicators of Progress (ISIP™) assessments through November 2019.
ISIP assessments provide teachers and school districts with immediate reports that include vital information and indicate students’ skill growth across and throughout the school year. The assessments are available in reading and math for students in prekindergarten through 8th grade.
“We are honored to be a continuing partner with Virginia public schools,” said Istation Chairman and CEO Richard H. Collins. This continues our mission to support educators with valuable data to help inform their instruction.”
ISIP assessments provide reliable data with frequent, grade-appropriate, computer-adaptive evaluations for students. Adjusting to each student’s ability, the interactive assessments keep developing learners engaged and provide educators with the data they need to help students grow.
With Istation’s formative assessments, an entire class can be assessed in all reading measures in just 30 to 40 minutes in a computer lab setting. The Istation program provides instant results and a wealth of reports, including Lexile® measures, in addition to several thousand teacher directed lessons for targeted instruction.